One of my favorite authors, Ram Dass, in his lecture Cultivating The Heart Of Compassion, describes the ego-body complex as a space suit. Much like astronauts who need space suits to walk on the moon, the ego acts like our space suit for our awareness or soul or pure-mind, while we are exploring this plane of existence. I have always found this analogy to be useful since it clearly contrasts the functional, utilitarian side of the ego, with the detrimental aspect that creates a barrier between us and experience, happiness, god, etc. Everyone's space suit is different. Some models are new, some fast, some strong and so on. From the moment we become aware of being in our space suit we are rewarded for being in it and using it. People acknowledge how attractive it is and encourage us to dress it up and use it to its full potential. In short we become so good at using our space suit that we can't differentiate ourself from our space suit. We believe that who we are inside is a direct reflection of how others see and experience our space suit. The problem with this predicament is two fold. Sometimes we don't feel comfortable in our space suit or we feel limited by what it isn't capable of. More dramatic for most of us, the awareness animating the space suit remains constant while the suit itself ages, wears out, and eventually stops functioning. Despite our best efforts dissonance emerges between the timeless awareness within each of us and the entropically trapped ego-body complex housing it. The ego is a like a beautiful shell housing a much more beautiful jewel - the self. The struggle is to find the spaciousness within to locate that jewel and lose the self's identification with the space suit.
Enjoy The Spring
John Merideth - Spring 2012