THE WINDS OF CHANGE

Ego Mechanics, Resistance, And That Which Does Not Change

Look up at the treetops.

As the leaves rustle in the wind, the wind comes to know itself.

When you look around in nature, you’ll see everything is always in a state of growth and decay.

Here in Sweden, autumn is approaching fast and furiously.

Leaves are turning yellow. Soon, they will be orange, then red. Then they’ll fall off, turn brown, and start decaying… feeding into the next cycle of growth.

The leaves then, are part of a greater ecosystem. An ecosystem that is always changing, moving, growing.

Everything in the universe is always changing and moving. It’s a basis for existence itself.

It is even the basis for how we perceive time.

Have you ever seen a movie where someone has the ability to stop time?

How do you know that time has stopped?

Everything stops moving.

If the constant movement of the universe were to suddenly stop, so would all of life stop.

Change is life.

This means that this constant change is also a basis for who and what you are.

You are also in a constant state of change.

Everything you have ever done, every experience you have had, has changed who you are.

As a matter of fact, every breath you take changes the chemical composition of your body.

Take a deep breath with me.

BIG INHALE

Hold it. 4-5 seconds.

Exhale.

Let’s do that again.

Look - your blood now has more oxygen than it did a moment ago.

This has a direct impact on your organs, and every cell in your body.

Every 7 years, every cell in your body has been replaced by another.

We cannot escape change.

And this is where we get into trouble.

Because the ego’s primary job is to keep you safe.

And to do that, it tries to lock the identity into place.

It wants to know what it is, and remain what it is.

So it constantly tries to stabilize its own sense of identity by securing it into place.

Perhaps more than anything, it wants to feel SECURE IN ITS IDENTITY.

Now the trouble is, it can only know what it is by the effects that it can perceive.

Here is what I mean:

As the wind blows through the treetops, it only sees the effects of itself - in the rustling of the leaves, the swaying of the branches.

But it still perceives no clue as to the origin of the wind.

As we move through life, we come to identify with events, experiences, people, places and things.

We form emotional attachments, as if to say “this is me.”

We think we are our genders, our names, our nationality, our skills and talents, our jobs, our relationships, our memories.

Because this is what we have experienced, we think it is what we are. It is the only way we know to define ourselves.

And define ourselves we must, because the ego must feel secure in its identity.

Now.

As we define ourselves by the events of our lives, we also form resistances to everything that is NOT that.

In other words, we define ourselves as much by what we think we are not as what we think we are.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say when you were in third grade, you cracked a joke in class because you thought it was funny.

The teacher did not.

The teacher scolds you. And the whole class laughs at your expense.

You feel humiliated. The ego perceives a threat to its identity.

You unconsciously make a decision:

“This kind of behavior is DANGEROUS. This is NOT ME. I must never act in this manner again, or I could DIE.”

So you disavow this part of yourself that is loud and expressive.

And you form an identity as someone who is quiet and reserved.

As you grow up, maybe you begin to struggle in social situations.

You have a hard time connecting with others.

And you write it off as “Oh, I’m just an introvert, this is normal.”

And every time you feel an urge to express yourself, you start feeling extremely uncomfortable.

You are running into that wall of resistance that has been erected by the ego.

This resistance is the wall or barrier by which the ego has defined your identity.

Once your identity has been established as “introverted,” anything that does not match that behavior is then “NOT YOU.”

These barriers of resistance mark the edges of your comfort zone.

They are the definition of your comfort zone.

You’ve heard that all growth happens outside of your comfort zone.

And this is literally true to a degree you may not have thought of.

As you step beyond the edges of your comfort zone, you are really stepping out BEYOND your own identity and, in the act, expanding your identity.

A breakup is a really good example of this.

When we start forming an intimate connection with someone, emotions running wild, our ego quickly latches on and identifies with this relationship.

The relationship becomes a part of how we define ourselves.

And you’ll often hear people, in the midst of heartbreak, say “I don’t know who I am anymore without this person.”

It would seem that the reason it hurts so much is because the person is gone, and you love them so much.

But if you investigate more deeply, then you’ll notice precisely what we have discussed here:

As you identified with the relationship, you also set up resistance to not being in the relationship.

But as the person was removed from your life… the sense of identity, along with its resistance, remained.

What really hurts is not the fact that the person is not in your life.

If that was true, you would have been in an equal amount of pain before you met them.

What happened was that you were suddenly and violently catapulted way outside the edges of your identity, and now your ego does not know who or what it is, and therefore feels unsafe.

Your ego had established a sense of safety in its identity within the relationship, and then tried to lock that identity in place.

And then that identity was forcefully ripped away without its consent.

The wind blows THROUGH the treetops…

… and reaches a snowy mountain range.

WHOA.

What is this??

This is NOT ME!

AAAAAGGGHHH

The wind suddenly wishes it would stop blowing, so it can remain in the treetops where it feels safe.

Not understanding that if it stopped blowing, it would stop existing.

Another popular quote:

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

As you approach these edges of identity, fear arises.

Because the identity is what has been established to keep you safe.

So going beyond those borders is literally what you have decided is unsafe.

Fear is just the controlling mechanism designed to keep you in that sphere of safety.

There is one more point I would like to make.

Let’s go back to the forest.

You’ll notice that no two trees are exactly alike.

They all have their own unique characteristics.

And there are two factors that determine those unique characteristics.

First is the individual programming of its DNA.

The second are the conditions in which it was planted.

The conditions of the soil, the sun, the wind, its environment, and the overall ecosystem of which it is part.

As it grows, the wind will challenge its structure, and in response it will grow stronger.

A tree grown in a windless environment will not grow strong, and eventually it will collapse under its own weight.

In the same way, the unique circumstances of YOUR life, as well as the challenges you have overcome, defines YOUR growth trajectory through life.

If constant change is the fundamental basis for life, your DNA, combined with your unique circumstances, will define the path of your life.

And this is something to be celebrated.

It means we all have a unique gift to share with the world.

It means we all have a potential to be something that no one else can be.

It means we are all designed like a special key that opens a special door, that no one can unlock but you, for the benefit of all that exists.

A final point:

If we are NOT our gender, name, nationality, jobs, relationships and memories…

What are we?

What IS the source of the wind?

All you have to do is pay attention to that which doesn’t change.

Which is awareness itself.

No matter what happens in your life, what remains the same is awareness.

Even in your dreams, awareness remains unchanged.

Even when you’ve blasted your consciousness to the moon on psychedelic mushrooms… your awareness of the experience is as unchanged as ever.

And this is the only place you can find a true sense of peace and security within yourself.

- Linus

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