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on the pointlessness of ego-based spiritual search.
am 14. Juli 2000
In this book author Steven Harrison focuses on an aspect of the "journey" that is hardly ever mentioned in this age of feel-good spirituality--that is, the action of most seekers is one of grasping. He suggests that instead of chasing after this or that "experience," we work at removing the ego from center-stage. Once we do that, the spiritual journey is done, because we find ourselves already in a highly spiritual state.
I can't disagree with his ideas here, however, he doesn't really explain well enough (for my purposes) HOW one does the work of getting the ego to budge from center stage (the book Shadow Dance by David Richo does deal thoroughly with this topic). His musings on the relationship of ego to consciousness and our daily lives are written in a way which is highly abstract and cerebral. For instance, "Integration can communicate with, interact with the projected thought-reality. It inherently commnicates because integration includes the space within which this thought-reality arises." OK, the whole book is not written that densely, but much of it is. This sort of prose is hard to sink your teeth into and digest in a way that changes your actions in the world. I now see why Jesus spoke in parables and metaphors--he employed simple, concrete terms, and it was the very simplicity of the images which allowed them to act as psychic catalysts ("the Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed"). Harrison does include some little teaching stories in his book, and I savored them much as I once did an iced cola after driving across the Mohave desert with no air-conditioning. Regardless of the language, however, I think there are some important ideas in this book which make it worth reading, and I also believe the author has paid the personal dues necessary to be a teacher.