When we came out of the womb we didn’t have any illusions. We were egoless. We came with a clean slate, a clean conscience, and non-judging eyes. I believe children are in many ways our most important gurus. There’s wisdom in the innocence of the young. They know some things that we have forgotten.
You can see it when you let go of all your ideas for a little while. They collect pebbles, coloured glass or twigs that we, in our judging nature, automatically deem useless. Their faces, on the other hand, lights up and they fall right into playing with them and treasure these things like they were gold. Who’s to say these things are not precious?
They say things like it is. If you want an honest opinion, ask a child. We’ve gotten ourselves mired into a bog of people pleasing and political correctness. And it’s no wonder. We judge. Constantly. When you judge, people feel judged. They sense where you’re coming from. People need to hear it like it is, but they need to hear it in a way that says love. Not judgment.
Inflation of Ego
Some time after birth we started building egos. By judging. Saying that something is good or bad makes it a part of you. “I” don’t like this. “I” like that. This is “mine”. You can put in books, games, exercise or whatever words fit. These things became part of your ego the moment you judged them. It’s been a continuous process of inflation since birth.
The Turning Point
It’s easy to become arrogant, thinking that our knowledge makes us special. We think we got it all figured out. But then life throws us around and we start to search for meaning. Is this it? Many of us come into meditation and eastern philosophy at some point in the search. And what we find tends to shake our foundations. All that knowledge, thoughts and ideas, beliefs and values, they don’t really mean anything – at least not when we go to the deepest realities of life. We’re all one. The ego is an illusion – a construct of the mind.
Wisdom Flowing From Below Up
We think that wisdom is only something you gain from knowledge – from adding to our selves. We think that this wisdom is a flow from top down – from us to our young. But wisdom can flow from below up – the wisdom of the present moment.
Now, you’ve come to see the ego for what it is. You’ve started the process of deflation – letting go of the ego. In some ways this is like going back to the ways of children. My advice, then, is to learn from them. Let go of the feeling of knowing, and observe. Observe without judgment. There’s much more wisdom there than we give them credit for.
This article was inspired by this beautiful video by Tragedy & Hope: