Having a Choice

By Nadav Gordon

Is living without ego concepts (thinking patterns in our minds) is at all possible, and how letting go of each ego concept would feel. This question misses the point of psycho-spiritual work. At this stage, we are not discussing the experience of living without any ego concepts but the idea of having a choice. Right now, an ego concept intervenes, pulls you away from the experience as it is, and provokes a reaction. The entire process is automatic. You have no say in it. By practicing meditation, yoga, or any other relevant practice, your relationship with your ego concepts will slowly shift. Instead of catching you unawares, interfering with your life and influencing it, they will become a part of you that you can observe and recognize. Recognition offers you a choice, and when you have a choice you are no longer enslaved to these patterns. Admittedly, this takes time and dedication, but if you truly devote yourself to the practice you will eventually realize that you are able to recognize the process while it is in progress. Imagine that your partner is doing something that has infuriated you in the past. If you practice regularly, you will be able to notice how this action flares up your anger. You will be able to see this as it happens and after a while before it happens. By this I mean that you will be able to notice that your partner is doing something that conflicts with your expectations and needs (the ego concept), and you will have the choice to decide whether or not you wish to allow this particular ego concept to dictate what will follow.

This brings us to an important point: Although the situation and your partner’s actions are neutral and it is your own needs that are making them seem “wrong”, this does not mean that you must automatically accept them. If you notice that a person or a situation is wrong for you – you can choose to let go of it and move on. Notice, though, the great change that has occurred: in the past you would have blamed that person/situation, assuming that something was wrong with them. Now you understand that the perception that those persons or situations are problematic stems from your own ego concepts. You are now able to make a conscious choice. Working with your ego concept, you can decide whether to stay or leave. Once you are able to discern that it is your own perception that makes you feel the way you do, you will learn to take responsibility. You will have a choice.