I have fear, said my friend. You have fear? I repeated. Yes, he replied, since I began this work – I fear death. I understood exactly what he meant.
I grabbed my journal and turned to my early writings, immersing myself in the memories of that tortuous handful of days. Oh yes, I remember how hard I fought as I engaged in battle with my ego mind. It wasn’t my first hostile encounter with evil, but the only one I wanted to run from – thank God for my teacher, Savannah. Without her words to assure me, there is no way I would have made it through that first transitional stage.
How do I tell my friend what to expect? How do I make him understand what is really going on? Ego death is violent, but the violence is temporary. Is that good enough?
It would be difficult to isolate one of several possible mental alarms going off during this time; instead I will generalize what I believe to be happening: (1) A portion of your identity is being eroded. (2) The ego dies slowly, bit by bit. (3) Oh, and by the way, it will feel like ‘You’ are dying. What a comfort!
It’s not uncommon for people in an ego death to plan their funeral, imagine they have a terminal illness or even go to the ‘Emergency Room’ seeking a diagnosis, only to hear, ‘There is nothing wrong.’ Saying it’s a ‘Shift in Perception’ and that is all, demeans the experience. Death of the ego cannot be explained with a few short words and the wave of one’s hand. No, it is the hardest thing I have ever done; I didn’t know its ranking when I agreed to the terms of the contract, signing on the dotted line.
From my journal
Killing the ego sounds easy enough, no one will know; no blood, no trail, I will avoid suspicion. Ah yes, a first kill, my one and only murder.
What a naive young man I was back then! This is what I would say to that young man now: Stop, not so fast. Let me lay out what’s ahead before you start plotting your escape. This killing will be brutal; one slash to the throat will never do, 1,000 cuts, maybe more. Your ‘moment of triumph’ will happen for sure, but not for a while, oh, maybe a long while, my friend. I have to ask, ‘You up for this?’
I think Savannah’s words to me about ego death sounded like a video game from my childhood, ‘Knights of the Crusade’: Trapping my nemesis, I slashed once maybe twice with the knife. Falling back, in the slowest of slow motion, I heard him take his last breath, and then his body hit the cold hard ground.
More from my journal:
Ego, you sick, dysfunctional lover, you should have known from the start our kind of love couldn’t and wouldn’t last forever. Now that I know you, I don’t like you, I have to destroy you, tear you down. I know you feel me breathing down your neck. There will be no evidence, a flawless crime. Ha ha ha, I will get away with murder.
Am I scaring you? This work is not a ‘happy ride off into the sunset’. It is difficult, and in the beginning days of undoing the ego, pretty darn scary! I have to give you the truth because as soon as you feel death is coming for you, you will want to give up, and you mustn’t.
I for one can’t tell you what it’s like on the other side of this battle with the ego, I’m not there yet. But I can say the ego’s rage eases and you are functioning again. Panic is replaced with a higher sense of awareness – and God peaks through occasionally to say ‘Hi’.
There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not ‘harder’ or ‘bigger’ than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal. A Course in Miracles
Hang in there. (sigh) Vale la pena! (It is worth it!)
Te quiero. Joey