The True Story of the Ego
by Joseph Shore
Let me tell you about being an EGO. Everybody in the spiritual community talks like it is such an easy choice to give up the ego and go for oneness. Well, you know what? All those people who talk that way are egos! They believe they are bodies or they wouldn’t be here, and many of them play little spiritual ego games, like “I can be more spiritual than you can.” Spiritual egos stink like dead fish! I have been immersed in egoness. Let me tell you, it feels GREAT…for a while. When you are king of the hill, top of the heap…when you can command, when you can do something better than anyone else in the world, you feel GREAT. “I Am that I Am.” I am ME, distinct, better at something than anybody else in the world and when I walk down Broadway I walk with a swagger and my pockets stuffed full of hundred dollar bills! I drink vodka martinis all night, eat Iranian caviar by the bucket, have any woman that I want…IT FEELS GREAT…like a climax that won’t quit coming. You go on stage and sing and act better than anyone else can and you get standing ovations and groupies line up to be taken back to the hotel with you! What do you think? Would you turn that down, oh so easy? Ha! I don’t believe it!
Been there, done that, bought the T shirt….But what happens to you after a while is the real bad thing of dualism. What goes up must come down, and so after a while–it might be 40 years–you crash! You can’t do it anymore. Some other punk kid is better than you. The audiences don’t want you anymore. The chicks don’t want you, and that climax that wouldn’t quit won’t come anymore. All of a sudden you are old and you say, “FUCK! What happened?” The money is gone. The fame is gone. The highs are gone. The swagger turns into a droop and you wonder, where did “I” go? “What the hell happened to me?” “I am supposed to be a GREAT FUCKING ARTIST! What happened?” Dualism happened! You have been living in a world of opposites. You were great. Now you’re not. You were hot. Now you’re not. You were young. Now you’re old. You were rich. Now you’re broke. And you think, “FUCK, there must be something better than this!” Then some spiritual dude lays on you this rap about “love” being all there is, and you want to smack him because you just know he’s full of shit and has never done anything or he wouldn’t say shit like that! But sooner or later, given enough grief, you begin to wonder what he is talking about. You ask yourself, “Have I EVER really loved anybody? I mean all those chicks…but love?” You ask yourself, “Has anyone ever really loved ME?” And you ask that sort of self-serving shit thinking you’ll hear a big “No” coming from the universe. But instead a memory pops up that you have long forgotten, and it makes you well up. You see yourself as a kid coming home from summer camp, and you have really been missing your mom and dad a lot. You meet them at the bus station and you run to them and you mom hugs you. That really felt great and so full. All of these memories start coming back to you and you think, “Fuck! Where did I miss it?” I mean all the fame and riches shit just fell apart and there was nothing left. “Where did I miss it.” Maybe like Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, I’ll have to say, “When they ask me about my life I guess I will just have to say, ‘I got stoned and I missed it.'” But you can’t stay there. You gotta find it…and so you start looking. Soon you are with a whole bunch of other people who are looking too! You’re all just trying to find IT, whatever it was that you missed. Finally somebody starts to say, “It’s OK. I mean really OK. We didn’t really miss anything because all this heavy stuff of up and down, in and out, is just our drama. It’s just what we do. It’s OK.” Some chick starts to cry and you think, ‘Christ, what have I gotten myself into this time?’ But sooner or later someone in this new group of yours makes you feel just like you felt when your mom hugged you, and you think, “Fuck! There’s more of this stuff around?” All of a sudden you just want love. You’ve had all the shit. You just want love. You’ll go to any guru, read any damn book, go to any workshop, do EST, do yoga, become a vegan, anything to get this Love stuff! If you really do show a little willingness, a little desire to know,one day you look at the person next to you and think, “Fuck! We are the same being. There is just One of us here!” And it blows your fucking mind! Now you don’t want anything except this Love stuff in your life. You’ll blow off the old chicks because you don’t want that stuff anymore, and besides, they are just another part of this big picture you’ve seen. After a while, your mind slows down. Your brain chatter slows down. You find yourself thinking and talking differently. Those books you have been reading have had an effect on you. You don’t look at things the way you did, and you begin to see that maybe there is something besides an ego to be. Maybe I don’t have to bounce up and down. And the mind quiets further. It happens quickly one day as you are looking at a flower, a dog, a girl, an old woman. The mind stills. There is newness in this stillness. There is peace in this stillness. There is no observer in this stillness. There is no “I.” And you know that this is all you have ever been looking for. This is what you missed. This is the Love you felt, and it is all there in this stillness. Your eyes well up. You cry like a baby. Your roommate comes in and asks you what’s wrong and you look up at him and just say, “I found it. I didn’t miss it.” And he looks down on you and says, “Fuck! What weed you been smokin’ man? Give me some of dat ganja.”
But the stillness is still there. This peace hangs around you now. You don’t want to let go of it. You don’t want to go back to the old up and down, in and out thing! There is just this peace that is Love and you know it has been there your whole life. You were just too busy being the big “I Am” to feel it! Now it sings to you, man. This peace sings to you, and everywhere you go you hear this same song. You don’t yell at people anymore. You don’t react because you don’t want to forget this song again. This song is in your bones now. It is eating you up from the in sides and what it is eating is EGO pie! It’s eating you up man, and you don’t care. You just say, “Eat away baby. I’m just groovin’ on this Song. And so it eats until there is no more Ego pie. There is just this Song. There is no more in and out, up and down, rich and poor. You are the Song. It has replaced you!!! And there is nobody left to cry about it, or get angry about it, or be afraid of it. You are just the Song, baby.
That’s the true story of the Ego!