Friday, May 22, 2009

The Tantra Tip of the Day- The Dance of Ego and Essence

Original Art by Paul Heussenstamm

This was sent to me this morning by a friend. It speaks beautifully about the struggle of the ego to be loved and why it is never satisfied.

Today notice when your ego judges others. Notice when you don't allow the love in. How do you create separation? Are you being present in the Now? See if you can open to Essence and love each moment just as it is.

From Choosing Love: How to Find True Love and Keep It Alive by Gina Lake
(Edited for lenghth)

The ego doesn’t want to commit to anything—a place, a relationship, a career—because it believes that something better may be possible, and it’s willing to forgo what is present for the possibility of something better that isn’t present. Essence, on the other hand, is committed to whatever is. It doesn’t commit into the future because all that exists is the present, so it commits itself to that. This is the essential difference between the ego and Essence: The ego dreams of something better in the midst of whatever is, while Essence simply enjoys and commits attention and love to whatever is. In fact, committing attention to anything that is present results in enjoyment. This is why the ego enjoys so little—it commits attention to what isn’t present and to what it doesn’t have, and suffers over that, rather than committing attention to whatever is. It loves its fantasies, dreams, and desires more than it loves reality.

To love, we have to fall in love with reality—with what’s true right now, not with what might be true in the future or with what we want to be true in the future. Love happens in the now (like everything, really). That’s why the ego doesn’t know about love—because love is the experience of being in the now, or the present moment, and as soon as the ego experiences the now, it runs from it. Commitment takes a willingness to fall in love with reality—with the real partner who is in front of you—rather than seeking something else, either actually or through fantasy. What you commit to is what’s here right now. Who knows what will be here next? All you ever really have is what’s here right now, so it makes sense to commit to that, in other words, to give your full attention—your love—to that.

Essence experiences “the one” in whomever is showing up, and that’s the difference between Essence and the ego. It’s possible to love whoever shows up in your life. In fact, it’s very wise to do that if you want to be happy. If you don’t want to be happy, you will reject whoever shows up in your life. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be discriminating. Loving and saying yes to those who show up in your life doesn’t mean getting sexually involved with them unless you want to. Essence says yes to them—is open to them—because it is curious. And then it is very wise about getting more involved with them. Essence commits itself to someone only when love is flowing in both directions and the relationship is rewarding on many levels. The ego, on the other hand, may commit out of sexual attraction or because some other need is met through that relationship, which is not a good basis for commitment.

Commitment only makes sense when there is love, but the ego isn’t capable of love. It forms relationships based on needs, and that’s when commitment falters. As soon as someone’s needs aren’t getting met, then the commitment is questioned. Those who are identified with the ego much of the time have a very difficult time committing, while those who are identified with Essence are able to love and therefore able to commit. Eventually everyone learns to love, but relationships can be pretty volatile when egos are in charge. Even so, because relationships provide the ego with many of the practical things it values—sex, security, affection, companionship, support, and help—people who are in relationships for egoic reasons often end up discovering love. This is how life draws people out of the ego and into Essence.

Choosing Love will be published by Hampton Roads in 2010.

Read Gina’s full blog post at,

From Choosing Love: How to Find True Love and Keep It Alive by Gina Lake, which can be purchased through;

1 comment:

  1. Hi crystal i found today thoughts very interesting, specially since last night I was watching a TV show that is called "Art in Construction", and there was this artist who explained her installations about the ego. what sticked to my mind was that she said that she found out in a workshop that when people try to let go the ego there is a struggle with the will.
    so today reading kept me on this issue. Thank you for sharing it! always a bight light! ;)