If you’ve been reading my work for any length of time, you might notice that, although I write about some pretty deep stuff, I maintain a Calvinist (as in Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes, not the religion) undertone of mischief, lightness and tongue-in-cheekery.
Here’s the deal. It’s vital that we be able to laugh at the ego. Extremely vital.
The other day, I was walking through the grocery store and this little old lady kept getting in my way. It seemed like, every time I rounded a corner, she’d emerge. She was doing that thing where she walked diagonally. Every time I went to pass on one side, she’d veer towards me. And when I switch sides, she’d shift along with me.
I was going. F*cking. Insane.
Even though this woman probably slowed me down by about 20 seconds, my mind immediately went to how I was running late to pick up Rory and how I was a horrible father and how she’s probably going to have abandonment issues because of this and that we won’t be able to afford her shrink bill because I’ll be in prison for murdering a little elderly lady at a grocery store in Reno with a frozen chicken.
In all seriousness though, I was immediately flooded by ego. There was no laughing (even though, looking back at it now, it’s really damn funny).
Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh. In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea, possible of both accomplishment and real effects.
-A Course In Miracles
The ego is only an issue when we lose our ability to laugh at it.
The scenario I described above in the grocery store is a light one. But there is no degree of difference in ego manifestations. Ego is ego — a flawed way of thinking applied to any situation. And when we take it seriously, it bleeds out onto our reality. This is a universal concept.
It only takes a nudge to wake up. To take a look at ourselves at our darkest moments. And to not forget to laugh.