Understanding “Ego” in Today’s Spiritual Times

Bodies and minds will always be subject to the sway of nature, which makes possible the diversities of life and was never meant to be destroyed or got rid of. The word “ego” traditionally represents awareness completely identified with mind and body, therefore the emphasis is placed on the preservation of complex ideologies and the perpetuation of pleasurable sensations. It can go to great lengths to carry out this mission, while justifying subtle or gross acts of violence; either internally against oneself or externally against the “other.” We are all familiar with this definition of ego; and this particular entity does need to go and the idea of destroying it is correct.

What happens after this destruction? I can tell you from experience that there is a personality that remains with seemingly similar attributes of the former ego. Many in the spiritual community still call this ego and therefore say “do not destroy the ego” etc. Right. We do not want to destroy this particular ego that is healthy and functional, as it must be present for practical affairs; but it is important to make a distinction if we are going to use the same word for two very different entities.

The truth is the latter is an evolved version of the former, so they are both “ego” but have two very different effects within the scheme of things. The evolved version is not compelled by self–preservation alone but is under the sovereignty of a balancing principle which can’t but act in the direction of bringing homeostasis to all minds and bodies under all situations without acceptation. This balancing principle is sought by the dysfunctional ego which acts as a catalyst for its own evolution after it catches small glimpses coupled with the realization that it is “me” who stands in the way of experiential grace flowing through my life. Here ego offers itself to the living fire of evolution which turns out to be Love itself and evolves this ego into a servant; where it forever stays prostrated at the foot of its maker.

-Atreya Thomas

Can you really say…

Can you honestly say that the Universe really expects you to worry about all these little details in life? Perhaps the real issue here is this false sense of abandonment. Does a child worry about where they will get their next meal and the details of their life? Perhaps, if the parent is neglectful. And no human is perfect. But Grace is perfect and you are surrounded by it at all times, in all things and places. The time is here my friends to drop the doubt, leave the effort behind; and deeply trust like you have never trusted before.

-Atreya Thomas

Do it Your Way

Live it well my friends and do it your way. You have no obligation to the inner mental rhetoric and the pressures of outer life; either to fix, change, go along, or manipulate them. Let them be and give them space. All the while creating a secret plan to carry out what you really love to do in life, finding your unique talents and expressing them in spite of mind/body conditions. In other words, stand alone and dive into the wellspring of your own heart!

-Atreya Thomas

Taking Care of Yourself

Take time to release responsibility for the quality of your thoughts. Let them be; let them come, and let them go on their own volition. Do not judge and micromanage your humanity. There is pain, pleasure, and everything in between. Self realization does not mean the absence of this spectrum of human experience, but rather a surrender so profound that our humanity is allowed to seamlessly merge with our divinity.

-Atreya Thomas

To Love is to Die

One cannot know love while under the weight of self-centered opinions, demands, fears, desires, and partialities. One must willingly forfeit this super structure of the exclusive “me;” whose main vision is self-preservation through the manipulation of the outer and inner environment. It is in the deliberate sacrifice of this impulse, that enough space opens up for the flower of love to blossom whose perfume is Grace; which permeates and makes straight the dysfunctions of our life.

-Atreya Thomas

Draw the Nectar From the Life Around You

Whatever form life may be taking around you whether internally as thoughts and emotions or externally as sense experience, draw the divine nectar from them by remaining still without grasping. You will begin to see that though on the surface life may appear harsh; within all things is the yolk of eternity that allows for the personal connection with God in spite of the superficial form.

-Atreya Thomas

Stop Having A Relationship With Your Trauma

Do not impose your human experience on your relationship with divinity. In other words, we experience trauma, mistrust, people deceive us as children and adults etc because our humanity is not perfect. So we naturally learn to become guarded; perhaps rightfully so. The problem is we impose those experiences on our relationship with the Universe which is perfect. So our faith, trust, and surrender to the one thing that will never deceive us becomes jeopardized. Today we stop this my friends.

-Atreya Thomas

We Just Want Our Mother

The truth is we just want the certainty and security that we naturally strive for as a child. Ripped from the womb at birth and then placed in a cold world, we just want our mother. As we grow we can not be shielded from the eventual loss of this security and must leave the nest of certainty and comfort. This pain is inevitable and acts as a catalyst for a metamorphosis in our mind, body and soul. Painful indeed.

-Atreya Thomas

The Prism of Humanity

The beauty of a rainbow is its diversity of colors, yet together they are all pure light. Likewise when pure awareness passes through the prism of humanity it creates the beauty of your unique personality. Yet, in essence it is only the One.

-Atreya Thomas

Give up the Doubt

The entire universe is held in place by a power that we intuit to be real. Surely our life is included in this, and at some point we are going to have to accept this force as sovereign. Give up the doubt my friends and the false thinking that peace and harmony means a pain-free and comfortable existence with no place for the spectrum of our humanity.

-Atreya Thomas

Grieve Your Own Death if you Wish to be Free

Your life is the sacred offering and the only thing substantial enough to trade for Grace. Therefore, live in a constant state of sacrifice and accept your inevitable defeat while embodied. Lay down every thought, every feeling, emotion, and ambition. Whether good or bad, sad, horrible, your greatest shame and secret spiritual desire. This is a lifestyle where all is offered to death, which reveals itself to the devotee as the transformative principal of Love whose sole purpose is to consume you, and then rebirth you from the fires of Grace.

-Atreya Thomas

Why do I keep winding up in conflict with friends and family over spiritual matters? I just want them to see what I see.

The truth is you are afraid of being alone and you intuit the path forward is precisely that. You wish to take these people with you out of your own fear as these are the ones who bind you to your old life. This doesn’t mean abandoning your friends and family outwardly, rather it means standing completely alone inwardly. It is in this inner aloneness that one is capable of reaching the inner most Self.

-Atreya Thomas

The Price is Your Life

The end of seeking is not a decision that you make; it comes as a result of a fundamental shift that occurs because of intense seeking. In other words, seek the Source through exclusive devotion to it while allowing your outer life to go on unimpeded. Eventually, all that’s left is grace and one’s personal will is finally burned up and traded in for the will of God.

-Atreya Thomas
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Give Yourself a Break

Take time to release responsibility for the quality of your thoughts. Let them be; let them come, and let them go on their own volition. Do not judge and micromanage your humanity. There is pain, pleasure, and everything in between. Self realization does not mean the absence of this spectrum of human experience, but rather a surrender so profound that our humanity is allowed to exist along side our divinity.

-Atreya Thomas

Courage

Courage comes from a seeker being in love with the source that is intuited but nevertheless they have not fully come in contact with it yet. Through devotion sparked by that small glimpse; the love for the Source grows stronger than the love for ones own preservation. It is here that the devotee musters the courage to take the leap and offer themselves as a sacrifice into the void of the unknown.

-Atreya Thomas

Refining the Ego in the Fire of Grace

 

The ego does die, but it is not what many think. The caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, dies to his old form and can never go back to being a caterpillar. Yet, if you look closely, the main body of it still retains its caterpillar form. Recognize that you are an ego and do not pretend to have wings by using non-duality jargon. You intuit the source within; now offer yourself in deep surrender as ego incarnate to the fire of grace. It is this fire which burns away all that is exclusive and leaves in its place a refined personality under the sole sovereignty of God, which makes the will of the individual the will of the One. Hence, it stands that there is still a “me” and a “father” that are one.

-Atreya Thomas

The Hum of the Universe

There is an immensity present, a profound silence within the noise that when looked at, absorbs every thought, every worry, every sensation and compulsion. It can only be found here, now; in the very midst of your daily life. It is the healing and balancing principle of the universe. Therefore, every chance you get stop, breathe, and listen. It is calling for you, every moment of every day.

-Atreya Thomas

Stop Bottle Feeding Your Feelings

The key practice when experiencing fear, depression, anxiety, and these other debilitating states; is to accept that they are present but never pledge your allegiance to them. Keep a small room in your heart for them and do not turn them into an enemy; but do not enable them by giving them your attention which only energizes them. Anyone who has lived with an alcoholic or an addict will know that feeling of enabling because you want to love them and see them changed. Fear is fear, depression is depression, anger is anger; you are not going to change them into something else by holding them close like little children.

The best way to handle an addict is to be fair but firm and do not give them the time of day until they seek to change themselves. Until then, you remove yourself from the situation, ask them to leave, or have them escorted out. This does not mean you do not love them, rather you are allowing for true love to exist without enabling a false love based on the desire to change the reality. One’s emotions, feelings, states of mind etc, must be dealt with in the same manner. Acceptance but not enabling under the false pretense that spending time with them is somehow going to change them.

-Atreya Thomas

The Glow of the Spirit

Life is like a vast garden with fruit, flowers and trees as far as the eye can see. People spend their whole lives picking through this garden and analyzing, rearranging trauma, and trying to discover something absolute among the transient. But all this diversity has one thing in common and that is the rich soil or ground from which it all springs. Therefore, forget about the details of your life and fall deeply in love with the source of life. Then you will come to know God in all things and you won’t have to pick through the endless expressions of life trying to find the best tasting fruit or the most beautiful flower. Instead, you will come to see the glow of the Spirit within all so called imperfections, which discards the impulse to change anything.

-Atreya Thomas

Love has no Heroes

Love has only one condition, and that is to make yourself available and vulnerable to the living moment. You do not need to concern yourself with the details of how and what; just show up and let yourself drop. Then you will see that grace catches the fallen hero within your story.

-Atreya Thomas

The Idea of “No-Self” and “There is no doer” Explained

It has been emphasized here that first and foremost one must reach for the Source to the exclusion of all other things, which brings down the grace that unites the individual with the One. This Source of All permeates and is the cause for everything including your former personality. So one inherits all that back when they complete the cycle and come back to their humanity after their transcendent awakening.

What happens is that your unique personality shines even brighter and is used to serve the good of all but is now under the complete sovereignty of grace itself. This is what is meant by “no-self.” There is no longer an exclusive self that acts from an egocentric center. Yet, there is a self that is now made in the image of the divine and remains as all things simultaneously yet nothing exclusively.

All the qualities of personality remain latent and only arise spontaneously and in congruence with bringing homeostasis to any situation it finds itself in. This is what is meant by “there is no doer.” There is no doer acting from egocentricity, just the divine will being done through the vehicle of personality.

So from the outside one may seem very normal; but on the inside they are just an empty vessel perpetually being filled with and moved by grace.

-Atreya Thomas

Wanderer….Come Home.

Come home my friends. Turn towards your Inner Beloved, your peace, your stillness that has been validated by your searching and that you know exists now. Bring it all with you. The pain, fear, anxiety, and whatever else you’re trying to get rid of. Your Beloved is waiting and has always been here anticipating your return the whole time. Surrender the impulse to wander in the details of your life and profoundly trust that you are taken care of in the house of your own heart.

-Atreya Thomas

It is One’s Company That Determines the Future of an Individual

Surely, we reap the fruits of the company we keep. Therefore, it is association with the wise that leads to liberation. A proper teaching presents itself by an earnest and abiding desire to know God in spite of belief, dogma, and man made systems. It is in our aloneness that grace may take the form of a teaching that seems made for the individual and is presented away from the herd; and feels custom tailored to a person’s needs. All the while directing the aspirant towards the company of the Inner Most Lord that abides in the heart.

-Atreya Thomas

Is it okay to take medications for anxiety etc. Does it knock one off the spiritual path?

First, nothing can knock you off the path because life is the path and you are not going anywhere. Nothing is off the table as far as options in life. Some suffer so much that they cannot even find the space to regroup at all. Medication can open a small window of relief that provides a chance for the seeker to get some energy back. That energy must be filtered back into devotion towards God and not into ego based idiosyncrasies otherwise the opportunity is wasted and becomes a crutch or addiction.

-Atreya Thomas

Anxiety

Anxiety offers a tremendous opportunity as far as spiritual growth is concerned, because it forces the aspirant out of a comfort zone time and time again. This crisis in consciousness can feel as if one is going to lose their mind or possibly die. To completely intend to give up the mind and body in the midst of this crisis is the highest act of devotion and surrender; and leads to a metamorphosis. Anxiety from a spiritual point of view is actually the movement of energy or grace trying to flow through the body and mind; and is perceived as a threat because it seeks to rearrange and evolve the body, while annihilating the dysfunctional aspects of the ego. Therefore, as divinity lean into your humanity and know your eternal awareness to be the balancing principle.

-Atreya Thomas

A Love We Are Willing to Die For

Every one of you have already sensed that inner stillness before; a sense of un-explainable peace even for a small time. Know that to be your Beloved, you don’t need convincing. Now objectify it. Love it worship it, talk to it, write to it, and fall deeply in love with it. Eventually you will merge with it as the gap closes due to your loving devotion.
Surrender and trust it so profoundly that there is a place in your heart for all of your human interactions, feelings, irritations, etc. Because you are no longer obsessed with the details but are profoundly in love with the source of the details; which inadvertently includes them. This reassures you that you can confront the darkest parts of your humanity because your willing to die for It. Like the devotion and love that makes a parent willing to die for their child.

-Atreya Thomas

Come to the Front of Your Body

Most of you have had a glimpse of your eternal nature and now know it to be real; this peace and beauty that surpasses mind based explanation. It has been validated to you, as it is not just a concept or something a teacher has talked about but you feel it in your bones. Incarnate your life now and come back to the front of your body while holding dear in your heart the experience of this beloved. Dive deep into the ocean of humanity knowing you are forever tethered to this awakening that can never leave you. Prove you trust this anchor and go all in while letting your very life be a testimony in faith and humility.

We transcend the “I am a body and mind” notion by intense devotion to the abstract lord. There, we find the unchanging bliss that exists in spite of the body/mind. The second awakening is awakening back into the body and illuminating our humanity. This is coming back to the front of the body after transcending it. What good is enlightenment if you do not bring that light to the darkest corners of human consciousness.

-Atreya Thomas

Awakening

Awakening can be defined as a fundamental transformation or dissolution of the exclusive “me” that has its identity in “I am the body and mind,” to a non-exclusive awareness that simultaneously sees itself in all things, times and places without a second of differentiation. This incorporates your particular body and personality, which becomes energized and made bright by the force of unimpeded grace that now flows freely in every aspect of your life.

-Atreya Thomas

Your Humanity is not an Obstacle to Divinity

It seems like we must discard our human nature in order to reach our eternal self. This is a misconception. We must first transcend or turn away from our humanity and focus our intent on the inner most self or heart. Once we discover and merge with the source or illuminating principle of the universe, we then come back into our humanity and become a powerhouse for grace. Which makes straight the imbalances of our character, and bends every action towards service as a complete human being.

-Atreya Thomas

Something Greater Than Yourself

Have you ever earnestly asked: what is the cause for all this? There is an “I” that has no clue whatsoever the reason for any of this. Just stop, look, and listen. You will begin to notice there is something present greater than yourself. With intense curiosity gaze into this abyss as its gravity starts to pull you closer. Surrender to it, talk to it, worship it, ask for its favor and prove your commitment to It. By doing so, you are bowing down to the creator of the cosmos and the very source of grace; which becomes you.

-Atreya Thomas

Knowing is not Required for Healthy Living

Watch how thought sifts for a problem. Always looking to fix,refine and make an experience more complete. Accepting things just as they are does not even seem like an option to such a mind. The fear is that things will become progressively more uncomfortable, threatening and unmanageable if we allow for unconditional rest. The truth is quite the opposite. Life works out pretty well when we trust and deeply surrender to the moment. The balancing principle is there ever present in our lives; and all too often becomes obstructed by our own addiction to manipulate and rig our own life in favor of more pleasure, comfort, and the fulfillment of desire.

-Atreya Thomas

There is no Enemy

The more you are afraid of your perceived “enemy” the further you distance yourself from the unifying principal of love. This approach has the potential to divorce one from logic, faith and reason. Have acceptance, and then brighten your own relationship with the source in all things. It is your own light and surrender to God that will cast out all fear. Stay firm in devotion my friends and cry out to grace, so that you may be filled and become a light to others.

-Atreya Thomas

Question: Is prayer selfish?

Prayers start off as self centered and that is natural. Even though they are bent towards the fulfillment of thought, they nevertheless direct the mind towards something greater than itself. In time this strengthens the aspirant in their devotion until it is God alone they seek. Then grace descends and reveals itself as both their outer and inner guru.

-Atreya Thomas

A Published Article by Atreya Thomas

Published article in Edge Magazine

by Atreya Thomas

 

How Do I Change?

Crossing the Ocean of Doubt

There cannot be liberation so long as there is identification with the body and mind. For the very nature of form is that it is in a state of decay, so one who only knows them self as a body and mind will remain in a perpetual state of doubt. Therefore, seek your eternal nature first and foremost by following the question: Who am I in spite of thought and body sensations? Once the eternal “I” is discovered, then come back to the front of your body and marry your eternal nature with your transient life. This is the greatest service one can do for humanity.

-Atreya Thomas

An Incessant “why?” is Self-Bullying

Incessantly asking why can evolve into unhealthy bullying that can lead to unnecessary guilt, confusion, and fragmented thoughts. Why is not as important as “what?” From what space am I going to meet the innumerable challenges of life both inner and outer? Will it be from a space of arresting every thought and emotion and throwing them in some sort of ideological prison? Or can I allow for the ebb and flow of my humanity without pulling out the bully stick.

-Atreya Thomas