Hi everyone! New to this forum, so bear with me!
Something very strange happened to me just over 4 years ago and I decided to post about it on this forum with the hope that someone could make sense of it or provide some kind of context for it, because I've really never heard of anything like this happening before.
I discovered Eckhart Tolle's 'A New Earth' in late 2008 when I had just turned 17. Reading the book, I was very intrigued by Eckhart's description of the ego. It explained a lot to me about human behaviour, as I'm sure a lot of others can relate to upon reading the book themselves. Whilst reading this, there was a strange kind of energy (perhaps my own ego?) driving me towards WANTING to actually become more egotistical. The egoic state appeared to describe very accurately the behaviour of a lot of the people around me. At this point, I would not say I was a particularly egotistical person. Not to say that was 'superior' in some way because of that, but I always felt quite detached from the dramas around me - most probably largely due to my sexuality leaving me feeling like I'm not part of this world, but also a greater sense of feeling like an 'alien' for reasons unknown (I've been obsessed with aliens since I was a kid haha). But upon reading 'A New Earth', something within me drew me towards becoming more egotistical. It was almost like it was saying: "this is how other people are, why aren't you more like them? Something is wrong with you!" It was bizarre because Eckhart was teaching how this 'ego' was the cause of all of people's problems, yet I wanted to experience it for myself.
It's hard for me to say whether it was Eckhart's teaching that was drawing me towards becoming more egotistical, or whether it was my saving grace at a time when my ego was flaring up. I'd like to think that the latter were true. I remember having thoughts a few months before hand along the lines of: "Why do you never get really mad with anyone? Everyone else seems to! What's wrong with you!?" which lead me to start getting intentionally mad with people I would have normally forgiven. I was also starting to think about ways to make myself 'superior' because I was sick of feeling inferior all of my life.
Around this period, whereby I discovered 'A New Earth', the ego began reflecting in my life in all sorts of different ways - basically every manner described in the book. I fell madly in love with someone and wanted him to be "my everything" and to "complete me". I started valuing popularity, money and fame with more importance than I previously ever have, even putting those things before my own happiness. I started to distance myself from my true friends in my ruthless pursuit for becoming 'better'. I became more fearful. Alcohol, which usually put me in a happy and carefree state started to make me feel more depressed and unhappy with life.
It was weird, because the year had been going so well. I had recently discovered the Law of Attraction and it seemed to be having a positive impact on my life. I found such amazing friends, had a lot of fun times with them, was generally feeling pretty happy all round with my life. I remember feeling profoundly one day "I have everything I could ever want and am so happy for it". Yet it practically all fell apart, at least on the emotional level.
It seemed like this correlated with what was happening around me, or perhaps even contributed to it. My friends were going through pretty rough emotional times during this period: one suffered from anorexia and nearly died from it, another had to witness her dad abuse her mother, and plenty of other friends were going through rough emotional break-ups. Interestingly (but quite possibly unrelatedly) the global recession hit around this point too. All these things may simply be irrelevant but I bring them up in the hope that they may help someone contextualise this.
Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think I've solved my own question. I don't think 'A New Earth' encouraged my ego, but it actually could have been my saviour, even though it lead me to try and think my way into Awareness and lead to 'enlightenment' into becoming this lofty goal that would make me superior. Perhaps the ego flare-up in me was a product of the increased 'negative' energy around me, and my desire to be normal and do what everyone else was doing, even to the level of strengthening my ego and becoming miserable.
But I'm still interested in responses! Anyone else find that their ego flared up out of nowhere when you were previously in a more conscious state? Can a negative environment or peer pressure cause someone's ego to flare up?
(P.S. I still don't feel like my level of ego is back to how it was before the flare-up, I would say it's lost a lot of it's momentum but is still there and there is a need to keep monitoring it)
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