A Conversation about Ego and Unconditional Love

Originally published July 17, 2013,  with an addendum in March 2016

 

“If people are sending out negative energy and not meeting your expectations, it is important to send them unconditional love. They are simply being themselves, doing the best they know how. You will find great inner peace when you do not need others to act in a certain way to be happy yourself. When you send someone unconditional love, it is no longer possible for you to be harmed by his or her negative energy.” ~ Orin

 

Ontario: Some questions – do people consciously “send out” negative energy – probably some do. Is there intent to harm? Sometimes. The majority of people that have negative energy are unaware that they have it. Are our expectations part of an automatic response to negative energy that accidentally sets up a negative response in us that we are unaware of? Do we not become part of the equation of negative energy?

 

Cynthia Seymour: I believe that people sometimes try to alleviate their pain by trying to create pain for others. Is that “sending out negative energy”? I’d say yes, and, as you say, energy is often unconscious, so it may be just that their own energy is full of fear and/or pain and it impacts those around them. Certainly the best choice is to be a vessel of LOVE, compassion, and humanity, but that takes practice. Until then, it’s important to create as much LOVE for yourself and for them as possible, in the moment. It’s a wave, after all. ; )

 

Ontario: Let’s assume that we can send out unconditional love for a minute. [Unconditional love has no conditions, but since we have bodies and egos – are these not conditions that prevent unconditional love from being sent out from us?] Would you want unconditional love being sent to you under the conditions of ego without your permission? Even if could send unconditional love would it be okay to give it to someone without their permission?

 

Ontario: It seems that its a huge assumption to be making from a place of ego perhaps that we could give unconditional love to some we think needs it. Are we playing God? Doesn’t this act of sending unconditional love to prevent purposeful or accidental negativity without the permission of those receiving it create a negative reaction of superiority in us and thus create what we are trying to avoid – mainly – negativity?

Cynthia Seymour: Well, the intent is to LOVE without involving ego, yes? In fact, the intent is to obliterate our ego altogether. I cannot imagine anyone resisting receiving unconditional LOVE, but perhaps I’m missing what you’re saying? I guess if ego were involved, then it would feel patronizing, but, again as you say, unconditional LOVE implies the absence of ego, yes?

 

Ontario: Its seem that the best way to cope with the negativity in others might be this and this is what I sometimes do – 1. forgive that person for creating attachment in me and forgive myself. 2. forgive that person, 3. Send love (as if it were a substance) near to that person and then they can have a choice to access it or not.

 

Cynthia Seymour: Hmm, well, I believe each of us are extensions of God, therefore, if our intention is authentic — LOVE — then it is usually received as such. If our intention is purely ego driven, then it’s just delusion. EGO = Edging God Out — by definition that cannot be LOVE!

 

Ontario: Ego and language cannot be separated. Language and the written word are the invisible technologies of ego. Ego is not a bad thing and egos can be pure and send love. That may be delusional but I’m not the only one.

 

Cynthia Seymour: Do you believe it’s possible to release the ego?

 

Ontario: For moments here and there ego can be released and this takes practice. Ego comes rushing back in. There is an ingrained belief in our culture that ego is bad. But we need ego as a way to define our sense of self so we can work at letting it go. Without a strong ego it becomes more difficult to release ego. Ego is an integral part to all spiritual / inner work.

 

Addendum to the conversation 2016:

 

Let’s look at Orin’s proclamation:

“If people are sending out negative energy and not meeting your expectations, it is important to send them unconditional love.”

 FALSE

 

“They are simply being themselves, doing the best they know how.”

MAYBE

 

“You will find great inner peace when you do not need others to act in a certain way to be happy yourself.”

TRUE, MOSTLY

“When you send someone unconditional love, it is no longer possible for you to be harmed by his or her negative energy.”

 FALSE

~ Orin – for all statements in quiotes/

 

STATEMENT ONE:

“If people are sending out negative energy and not meeting your expectations, it is important to send them unconditional love.”

FALSE

 No one need meet my expectations necessarily.

The mere fact that we are sending love that is unconditional gives it the condition of having been sent thus negating unconditional love.

By sending out unconditional love one sets forth the condition that people exhibiting negative energy are in need of it, nullifying the unconditional love by setting for a condition.

If people are intentionally sending out negative energy or are spewing negative energy everywhere and not caring about where it goes and we send our unconditional love are we not setting up a power struggle?

If a person is sending out negative energy it seems important to let go of my expectations that a person act or be in a certain way.

Most of the time I live in my ego that defines who I am and who I am not. On occasion I have transcended ego to dwell in my essence and this has lasted only minutes at best. To assume I can send out unconditional love from my ego places conditions on this love and makes it ordinary love. Even if I were able to send unconditional love to a person who I think needs it a few processes begin to unfold. I create a separation between myself and the other person where I know better for the person and perhaps deny that person their process of feeling. Forcing love on someone is not an act of love as the sending of love implies.

The times I have experienced unconditional love when ego fell away there was no need to send it anywhere because it is everywhere and in me connecting and being in and with every being everywhere. My ego keeps me from unconditional love because I expect to see it in a certain way. Ego is an illusion and ego helps me navigate the world. I need ego. Ego claims my experiences of unconditional love and makes it shiny like an apple for the teacher – there is a sense of pride and self-aggrandizement in ego’s claim on my experiences of unconditional love.

Its easy for Ego to assume it can send unconditional love because Ego’s job is the control everything. Ego can fool itself into thinking that there is no ego and is a God-self or a Higher Self.

STATEMENT FOUR

When you send someone unconditional love, it is no longer possible for you to be harmed by his or her negative energy.”

FALSE

 

Let’s say it is possible to send unconditional love. If as person has negative energy and I am in contact with said person I can:

Only be harmed if I take what they say or do personally.

Can be triggered by what they say.

Have my feelings get hurt.

Be injured if they stab me with a knife.

 

If I can’t be harmed does this mean:

I am safe?

I no longer see their negativity?

I have healed their negativity?

Is there something terribly wrong with being harmed? If I am harmed I can recover and flourish. If I am able to heal another person without their permission of their negative energy am I God-like? Have I robbed this person of experiencing growth?

 

 

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Work of the Heart

I am a man of the mind – my origins.  When I was 29 I came to the realization that I needed to work on the opening of my heart.  A week after this realization my first astrology reading indicated the same.  It made me laugh heartily.

As I have worked to open my heart over almost 40 years or so I have found that there have been heartbreaking wounds that have wrenched my being apart.  And the healing continues.  To open to the compassionate heart has been and continues to be painful and richly rewarding.

Love is its own reward. 

In my work with mental health clients who have been homeless I find that the compassion never seems to stop even when they screw their lives up and come back for more help.  Like I said – Love and compassion have their rewards.

I used to think that if people were inspired they could lift themselves up from an economic bottom rung and live free of inner demons. While inspiration is a great gift it does not necessarily sustain a person nor can it be regenerated without a good self-esteem grounded in self-love I see that offering a person love and compassion that may or may not reach them is never wasted. They may feel it or not feel it. If they feel it – it is the connective tissue of caring. It is one’s choice to receive love and compassion in the midst of suffering. That choice when honored is a gift and honors the person as with integrity as an equal.

Comfort from suffering can happen in small doses and love and compassion is the fire that fuels this comfort.

 

I work to open my heart remembering that it automatically closes for protection from being overwhelmed and ineffectual in the face of humanity’s suffering. The choice to open’s one’s heart is one of inclusion rather than exclusion. The love is the connective tissue that allows all beings to be connected.

Home

There is something to be said about returning home.  Sonoma’s heritage is the matriarchy of the North American Continent.  It is the cradle of alchemical magic and there has been no other place on Gaia that has touch my heart as deeply or called out to invite me home.

My heart swelled by the elves and devas as I entered the western gate into Sonoma from the plains of Petaluma.  I continue to be grateful for this place I call home.