On ego and perception... How did the belief in one reality fall apart? Well, we put each person at the center of his or her own world. This is the choice we call ego, although it has been called by other names; such as the pursuit of pleasure, the bondage of karma and the banishment from paradise. So thoroughly does it permeate our culture, following your ego doesn’t feel like a choice anymore. We’ve all been carefully trained since childhood in the ways of I, me and mine. The ego, we are told, blinds us with its constant demands, its greed, selfishness and insecurity. That is a common theme, but a mistaken one.
Some have examined the ego and found it so repugnant that they want to be without ego. But, in the end, attacking the ego is just a subtle disguise for attacking yourself. Destroying the ego would serve no purpose even if it could be achieved. It is vital to keep our entire creative machinery intact. When you strip away its ugly, insecure, violent dreams; the ego is no longer ugly, insecure and violent. It takes its natural place as part of the mystery. If there is one reality, it must be all-inclusive. The ego can’t be thrown out any more than desire can be thrown out.
To embrace one reality again, we must accept that the world is in us. This is a spiritual secret based on the nature of the brain, which spends every second manufacturing the world. When someone calls you on the phone their voice occurs as a sensation in your brain. By showing up on your doorstep, their voice hasn’t gotten any closer. When you look at a distant star, it too seems far away, yet it exists as a sensation in another part of your brain. So the star is in you, just like the voice. The same is true when you taste an orange or touch a velvet rope or listen to Mozart - every possible experience is being manufactured inside yourself.
Getting serious about transformation means giving up a personal stake in the world, once and for all. That alone will pluck ignorance out by the roots. This may sound like a shocking conclusion. One’s immediate reaction is to say: “But I am my personal stake in the world.” Fortunately, that's not the case. The world is in you, not the other way around. The creator owns everything by virtue of having created everything. If you and I are creating every perception that we take for reality, then we are allowed to own our creation as well.
Perception is the world; and the world is perception. In that key idea, the drama of us-versus-them collapses. We are all included in the only project that makes any difference: Reality-making. To defend any existential thing - money, property, possessions or status - makes sense only if those things are essential. But, the material world is an aftereffect. Nothing in it is essential.
The only personal stake worth having is the ability to create freely, with full awareness of how reality-making works. The one reality has already revealed a deep secret: Being a creator is more important than the whole world. It’s worth pausing for a moment to take that in. In fact, it is the world. Of all the liberating ideas that could change a person’s life, this one is perhaps the most freeing. Yet to truly live it, to be a true creator, a great deal of conditioning needs to be broken down.
No one remembers being told to believe in the material world. Yet, somehow, we’ve learned to accept ourselves as limited beings. We come to believe that the outside world must be far more powerful. It dictates the storyline, not us. The world comes first; we come a distant second. But, the outside world will never produce any spiritual answers until we take on a new role as the manufacturers of reality. Therefore, we don’t have to try and escape. There is nowhere to escape to, and as long as I see myself as the creator of my reality, I wouldn’t want to escape even if I could. I can affect change by transforming the only thing that I ever had control of in the first place... myself.