Thursday, October 28, 2010

circle of habits ...

How difficult can it be to do something which lies far beyond the vicious circle of habits?

You fight against it in order to attain it and from time to time you get a small victory, a swift gaze just around the corner. But the honey-sweet, colorful taste of deep vision is almost always rapidly changed back into the cocooning bitterness of that monstrosity called “ego”.

However, monstrosity as it often might be, it still remains a most vital part of us which is needed to live life more or less properly, without which we would all dissolve into a devastating, schizophrenic chaos.

Through its vitality it’s also an instrument of growth, a process (or rather, a highly dynamic and organic cyclic dance which is never truly the same again after each turn) during which its boundary must continuously be expanded. This does not mean an ever inflating, limiting sense of “I” versus “the world”, rather than an ever deepening, embracing awareness of “me” inside “the world” or “the world” inside of “me”.

Breaking the circle of habits, this cocoon woven by the ego, is almost like attempting to crystallize a purely white substance out of an otherwise formless and colorless liquid. This can be done by pouring in a second liquid which forces crystals to coagulate and to grow so they become visible to the naked eye.

However, initial crystal formation can be deceiving: a few drops can suddenly make the solution all cloudy, but when you shake a little, they often disappear and are gone forever if no more drops are added. The more drops are added, the longer these ephemeral clouds of tiny crystals can be seen, until it can, hopefully, remain stable enough to become the cradle for some beautiful crystal growth. Only when such saturation is reached can crystals start to grow.

Breaking the circle of habits through spiritual crystallization (or should we say, recrystallization?) needs more than a rational analysis of the situation.

Painful reflection or psychotherapy can flawlessly deliver all the apparent causes of any vicious circle, its entire history starting from the supposed point of origin.

But all this knowledge doesn’t break it. It helps to understand it, that’s for sure, but it’s not enough to finally break it. The same patterns will continue to pop up, mercilessly tormenting the conscious mind who feels helpless, abandoned and utterly powerless to facilitate inner change.

What else is needed then besides rational analysis?

The seed of a vicious circle often lies in a shadow territory of the human soul, where the ego feels powerless. To enter this Great Unknown means to open up towards the bitter and disillusioning fact that one contains more than merely an ego.

It’s bitter, because an ego is incredibly well adapted to do especially one thing, namely to inflate itself, regardless of one’s awareness of the process (at least, my ego has this hugely annoying tendency, but annoying as it is, there’s an innate potential for transformation and growth hidden below its outer “negative” aspects).

This tendency for inflation makes ego the supreme ruler of its universe. Every other presence in its house needs to be controlled, or repressed in case the Other One can’t be controlled.

The path to the realization that the world is not all about the ego, but that ego is just one of many satellites orbiting a much larger sun, thus becomes indeed a difficult, painful and, more often than not, a lifelong path.


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