Wednesday, May 23

Ideas from Vegas - post 1

One thing that keeps echoing in my head is something Wayne Dyer said in the keynote session on Friday night:

Three lies of the ego:

  • I am what I own.
  • I am what I do.
  • I am what people think about me.
It's easy enough to understand that "I am what I own" includes what I refuse to own, what I'm too poor to own, what I'm too rich to own and what I could never imagine owning. And it's pretty easy to see that "I am what I do" includes what I don't do, what I do for work, what my hobbies are, who I'm married to, who I'm parenting, what kind of exercise I do and the spiritual teachers I'm listening to. And "I am what people think about me" means I need to manage what people think about me to make sure they have the right impression of me.

If these are all lies of the ego, then when I am busy acting them out, I'm acting out of my ego and not my authentic self.

In terms of pursuing a smaller carbon footprint, my ego can threaten to derail me by whining about the fun toys I'm missing out on, by encouraging me to feel inadequate when I buy a cheaper car, or carpool, or ride the bus, or ride a bike, or walk. Alternately, it can tempt me with the idea that somehow I've achieved something by engaging in a project like this. And finally, it can tempt me to listen to the positive and negative opinions of others about me and change so that I can improve those opinions.

So, it seems to me that the ego is one of the forces that's resisting the changes necessary for sustainability.

1 comment:

P~ said...

Seems to be a lot of deep thinking going on today. NIM has a similar theme today also. I agree with you though. It is hard sometimes to do things that are perhaps a little against the grain. For instance driving older cars or biking to work for that matter, or not buying every new gadget that comes along. I am in the IT field and believe me I get a lot of weird looks when I not only tell people that I don't have a cell phone (my wife does) but that I really don't know how to use them all that well. I think it is OK to have ego, and to let it express itself some times. The key for me is to undertand it, and be able to place it in check when it needs it. I rode my bike today to work. The helmet I wore is the same one that I wear when I skateboard at the parks with my kids. I felt like I wanted to buy a different helmet so I didn't "look silly" riding around in a skateboarding one rather than a biking one, that was Ego kicking in; I knew it and supressed it. I don't always, but it does go a long way to what I believe is a more deliberate way of life.

P.S on that note Anne, your Quote of the day from Thoreau was one of the things that inspired me to write this posting. Thank you.

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NotSoBigLiving is the story of a woman inspired by Sarah Susanka, Bill McKibben, Airstreams, Tumbleweed houses, Mennonites, Jimmy Carter, hippies, survivalists, Anasazi, Pema Chodron and Joko Beck, Scott Peck, Buckminster Fuller, and Al Gore to see what she can do to reduce her carbon footprint in her mid-80's suburban townhome. Strategies include roommates, alternative travel, organic eating, planting a victory garden, mindfulness, and a belly full of laughter.