Remember the climax of STAR WARS: A New Hope? When Luke Skywalker was in the middle of the Death Star battle? All his friends had been blown to bits or fled, the rebel base was about to be destroyed, their efforts to drop a bomb into the exhaust tunnel had failed, and the targeting computers had proven useless.
All rational argument said that the cause was lost. This is the “Dark Night of the Soul” and will attack everything you love, and was inevitable the moment you committed to the new path.
But he heard Obi-Wan’s voice in his head: “Use the Force, Luke!” He did, and by trusting his feelings made an impossible shot, saved the day, and became a hero. Just an incredible, primal victory, as powerful a moment as I’d ever seen in popular film. The audience went NUTS!!
In life, whenever you seek change (“victory”), both internal and external obstacles will fling themselves at you like crazy.
The Ego thinks it is you. To change, you must destroy your current ego shell. To stop you from doing this, it will generate fear.
The definition of Terrorism is not someone who sets off a bomb. They might have done that to reduce your infrastructure to make it more difficult to attack them. Terrorism is specifically using FEAR as a weapon–doing things to weaken your will by using fear to trump love and commitment.
Your ego loves this approach.
Ego-Terrorism, you might say.
It would require a miracle to destroy the Death Star. If Luke can destroy the Death Star he is the agent of that miracle–a Jedi, like his father.
That means destroying “Farm Boy” Luke, so “Farm Boy” will use every tool at his disposal to hold Luke into his former self: despair, fear, depression, anything. Failure. Followed by the Dark Night of the Soul, the moment when it feels all is lost.
The way through this is called The Leap of Faith. This doesn’t have to be a spiritual faith (although it is about a third of the time). It can be faith in your teachers/mentors/friends, or faith in something deep within your Self.
This can be touched by clarifying your values. Why was Luke fighting?
- For his slain aunt and uncle
- The memory of his father
- The legacy of his teacher
- To become a Jedi
- To survive
- To save his friends
- To free the galaxy
- To express himself–to be the man he was born to be
In aggregate, you can see that he HAD to find a way to do it, or die. All of the reasons pressured him, crushed his ego shell so that he saw nothing but the overwhelming need, and dared not doubt that he could.
Where is “Ego-Terrorism” hitting you in your life? It may have found external allies to slow you down. Here are seven statements you may have heard (directly or implied) by “friends” and “family” who are allying yourself with your ego instead of your spirit:
- Survival (We’ll kill you if you transgress)
- Sexual (I will withdraw sexuality if you don’t do what I say)
- Power (I’ll ruin you if you cross me)
- Emotional ( If you love me you’ll stop)
- Communication (Words mean what I say they mean)
- Mental (Your memory is wrong. THAT’S not what happened. I’ll tell you what happened)
- Spiritual ( God knows you’re wrong. He told me)
Any one of these is troublesome. Three or more can be devastating. At one time or another I’ve heard every one of them. Directly or indirectly, haven’t you?
The answers are faith, love, and keeping your attention cleanly on that line between your childhood dreams and ultimate values.
Just yesterday, I was made aware of an attack used on women on the second level. There was an article claiming that women absorb DNA from every man they’ve ever had sex with. While there are some interesting questions around this possibility (which could be mitigated simply by wearing a condom, even if true) apparently the Men’s Rights types have been quoting an article that is corruptive of the original research, draws conclusions the scientists never intended, and use it to “slut-shame”, suggesting that women with sexual experience are therefore less desirable.
That’s an attack on BOTH sexual and emotional levels. But according to the “Chakra” model, a fully awakened human being has to “own” themselves on all seven levels–if you allow someone to control you with fear, you cannot move forward.
They want to control your behavior. Your ego wants to survive. An alliance made in hell.
The answer is either to start at the bottom (survival) and work your way up, or start with your heart, loving yourself first but expanding out to love others. This requires constant commitment. And remembering that “Ego terrorists” will try anything and everything to drag you from the path.
In ANY arena of your life where you seem to be lacking motivation, look at Luke’s list, and create your own. Look at the seven levels you can be attacked on, and be sure you see how your actions benefit you on EACH of them.
Trust me, if your goals are significant, they will touch every level. For instance, if I am an engineering student and want to finish a paper in school:
Why? To get a good grade. Why? To graduate. Why? To get a degree. Why? To improve my career. Why? To be able to make a better living, and contribute more.
I could go further, but it isn’t necessary.
Survival: I will make more money. And to build better, stronger buildings that will resist storms, enhancing my survival and the survival of my family.
Sex: Being good at my job is great for attracting a partner. When I feel good about myself I feel sexier. Money means my wife and I will be able to plan romantic getaways.
Power: Being good at my job will give me opportunities to advance.
Emotion: If I’m good at my job I’ll get to choose my assignments, and I’ll choose the cool stuff! The FUN stuff that made me want to become an engineer in the first place.
Communication: Everything I do is a statement of who and what I am. I am a sharp mind, a loving heart, and a raging energy. I will change the world with my innovative creations!
Mind: I seek to understand the world. Physics, chemistry, math, business, human psychology…all of these and far more will be required to create dreams, and teams of people who can bring my dreams to life.
Spirit: I will build things that outlive me, and benefit and inspire generations to come. I love for more than just myself.
Control your motivations, you control your actions. Control your actions, and you control your life. And yes, some of those actions are probably gaining greater understanding of human motivations so that you know how attract the attention and approval of the people who can advance you.
That’s just the reality of the adult world.
Now, although juggling seven different arenas is possible (our brains can handle seven plus or minus two things at a time, on average. But if you can boil it down further, that’s even better.
For me, that means love, faith and human equality.
Starting with love for self, so that the Ego-terrorists cannot pull you from your path: you are supplying everything you need. They can only give what you WANT…which can be powerful, but nothing anyone can give you from the outside is worth your soul.
That is what is at stake. Not just life, but soul. And that applies whether you are speaking of your individual self, your family, our nation, our world. There are perhaps four major battles I am willing to engage with. You will need to find your own.
Love and fear, illusions of racial or gender separation, the need to feel superior, and the war between man and nature.
All of these can be resolves, and have beautiful outcomes. I see a future where we have already resolved these things, and everything we experience now is just a bumpy road caused by old memes, from a time when tribalism, racism, sexism, fear, and the rape of the natural world were survival assets on a personal or genetic level.
We have a new opportunity. Can throw those chains off. But if you get caught at the levels of race, gender, nationality–not playing the games and working for the good of all but actually BELIEVING that these things are more important than our essential connection to the world around us…
You have been trapped by fear, and the Ego-terrorists have won. Love is the way out.
But love yourself first: your ego has powerful allies.