There are no shortcuts

Omkaradatta's picture

Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

It's obvious from perusing the various spiritual mailing lists that everybody is looking for a shortcut to enlightenment. A way to get rid of the ego without facing the ego.

I'm here to give you some bad news: It doesn't exist. The only way out is through. The only way you can ever hope to transcend the ego is to understand it, and to understand it you're going to have to face somebody you don't want to:


Nisargadatta: "Before you can accept God, you must accept yourself, which is even more frightening. The first steps in self acceptance are not at all pleasant, for what one sees is not a happy sight. One needs all the courage to go further."

If you're intent on getting rid of the ego, your days of "strenuous laziness" are over. It's time to face the mess that's been created through unconsciousness, through negligence, through procrastination, through the blind seeking of pleasure and shirking of pain, through groping about in a comfortably familiar mental darkness.

You have created your own private hell, and you will now have to face it.

Nisargadatta: "Nothing stops you but preoccupation with the outer, which prevents you from focussing the inner. It cannot be helped, you cannot skip your sadhana. You have to turn away from the world and go within, until the inner and the outer merge and you can go beyond the conditioned, whether inner or outer."

But you only have to face it once. When these issues are brought out into the light of day, into awareness, they dissolve. They were never really 'there' to begin with, any more so than the darkness in a room was there before you opened the curtains. It was really a lack of light, that's all.

The snake is really a rope -- the ancients weren't lying. But you will have to approach the rope and draw the curtains to see what it looks like. You cannot serve the ego and God at the same time.

Ego is a state of ambivalence, a balance point on the edge of madness. It's an institutionalized state, a comfort zone, a series of defense mechanisms. And what's being defended, isn't there. In order to see this, the curtains must be drawn. The daylight may look dazzling and harsh at first, but will soon mellow into what it really is. The Light you've always been looking for.