There are countless ways to stumble and fall,in both everyday life and in spiritual life.For this reason,the seeker has to be vigilant and watchful like a hawk.The biggest stumbling block on the spiritual path is self importance,or you might say the ego.We work hard to develop an ego,starting from early childhood,when we sense that we need to develop a certain identity, in order to survive in the human world. Gradually, we learn to identify with the persona that we have created. We use our persona to present ourselves to the world and we guard it with all of our might. But lo and behold, we forget who we really are underneath this image of ourselves,that we have created. We accumulate layers upon layers of conditioning and ideas about ourselves,like the layers of an onion.

So,we can say that ego was a stepping stone in our evolution, that got us to were we are.But now that we are seekers,ego is what obscures our true identity.Our true identity is outside the parameters of time,space and social definitions. As seekers, we have to peel off the layers of identity, which we have worked very hard to assemble.So, this is a reverse process to the process of building up the ego. It involves recapitulation of our past and letting go of it.In the western world,the process of becoming our authentic self has been named:INDIVIDUATION.We peel off the layers of identity,like the peeling of an onion,and of course,it makes us cry.The ego wants to hold on to familiar beliefs and ideas,which are what it is made of.Underneath the peels there is nothing. It is empty. Our true self is immortal and is to be found outside the machinations of the mind.

To find the spirit within,we have to constantly challenge the ideas of who we are.We have to negate these ideas and keep negating any conclusions that we arrive at. Naturally, the ego objects to this questioning fiercely! It feels that this is a threat to its existence, and indeed it is.What would we be without a set structure of definitions and conclusions about ourselves and the nature of reality?we fear chaos.We fear insanity.

There is a need to balance out the forces of change and stability each step of the way. Each time we make a discovery about our nature, we feel enriched and satisfied, but then the ego jumps in and tries to use the discovery to boost itself.It incorporates the newly found information into its sense of self importance.It says:Ah-Ha!I always knew that I am great.Maybe, I am the greatest?Maybe,I already know everything and need not explore any further?I now have a new definition of my identity, that makes me feel even more important than before!...You see? The ego always wants to be the boss. It has to realize that it is nothing but a construct of the mind.A tower of cards filled with words.The ego has to be made to go on its knees and submit itself to the will of the spirit.It has to become its servant.Keep your mind open to new ideas and do not rest on your laurels. Never assume that you have already reached the top of the mountain.

P.S.I would like to emphasize,that due to the complexity of the mind,the trickery of the unconscious mind,and due the the ability of society to divert the individual from the spiritual path,an enlightened guide is indispensable to the seeker.

All copyrights to this article are reserved by its author:Gloria Eagle.

Author's Bio: 

Gloria Eagle [oracledreamhealer] is a modern sage- a guide to individuation and liberation.She was trained by Carlos Castaneda in The Art Of Dreaming and Alchemy.
Gloria,who is also known as The Nagual Woman,integrates into her work the mystical traditions of many cultures.From her personal teacher Castaneda,she inherited the ways of the Toltecs.Gloria has been assisting seekers of healing and liberation for over 30 years.
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