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The Ego is My Jailor

 

In a state of tension and fatigue, I accosted the body, demanding that it release its hold on me.  And the body replied that it was afraid of the ego. “How could this be?” I pondered, still believing after all this time that in some way the ego was still my friend.  It had, in fact, succeeded in convincing me over the years that it was part of myself.  I defended its convictions without question and supported, against the world, every one of its premonitions of danger. And my body had become so accustomed to responding to the ego’s fears, that it hardly hears any other voice at all.

 

Then I knew that I had been like an absent landlord that has entrusted his house to a devil who has defiled it and terrorized its occupants.  And, in my ignorance, I have defended him and attacked the world.  And each thought of attack had its representation within the body.  Like a petty king, the ego sat upon its throne these many years making unkind judgments and handing out condemnatory edicts.  And the body responded obediently to every one, tightening another tendon fiber after another until I have become imprisoned behind a solid defensive fortress composed of muscular walls.  And now I must convince the body that all of the ego’s edicts have been forgiven so that I can be freed.

 

The task of freeing oneself from the ego is somewhat like the problem of trying to get messages to a man in prison to help him to discover his way out.  However, the messages must go through the hands of the jailor who reads them and then transmits what he wishes.  And often he will transmit a truth in order to conceal a previous lie. And it becomes the burden of the prisoner to become aware of the situation and to learn to sift the truth from the lies.

 

This might be relatively simple were it not for the fact that the identity of the jailor is none other than the selfsame person who the prisoner imagines himself to be!

 

The one thing that stands between yourself and enlightenment is the identity that you now call by your given name.