By Vincent Van Ross
All spiritual journeys boil down to ego-tourism! Our ego is at its peak when we begin our journey. We are all beasts of burden. And, ego is the burden that we carry. We keep shedding our ego as we journey along in our lives. We shed our ego just as we shed our extra weight. Our ego is an extra weight sitting on top of our heads. When we shed our extra weight, we become trim. When we become trim, our gym, physical training and exercise sessions come to an end. We are fit and fine. Our journey ends there. So is the case with our ego. When our ego reaches level zero, we arrive at our destination.
The difference here is: we go to a gym to shed our extra physical weight. We go to a spiritual master to shed our ego. Ego-tourism is the means. Ego-less-ness is the end. Our spiritual guru or guide becomes our guide for ego-tourism.
Ego is ahem. Egoism or egotism is ahenkaar. It is ego that creates the gap between us and god. Once we shed our ego, we bridge the gap. We reach god. We achieve salvation, moksha, mukti, nirvana or whatever we call it. Religion after religion…master after master has taught this secret through the ages. Disciple after disciple has learnt this little secret time after time and achieved salvation.
Our master or guru keeps tabs on our progress. He keeps weighing us from time to time. And, he prescribes and administers the right dose of the medicine that we require at the right time to help us achieve salvation.
In the physical exercise, we shed our weight till we become trim. We stop there. And, we try to maintain ourselves at that level. Because,…there is an optimum level for our weight. If we go below that, we would look starved. Our body would be sapped of all energy.
On a spiritual level, we keep shedding our ego. There is no optimum level. We must keep shedding our ego till it reaches the zero point. When our ego becomes zero, we become egoless. That is when we become a good human being.
If our ego is hurt when our self respect is challenged, we are still human beings. If our ego level is higher than that, our behaviour might be akin to that of beasts. When our ego level hits zero, we can consider ourselves at par with holy men who epitomize benevolence. When our ego level dips below the zero level, we may be in the process of becoming god!
That is ego-tourism for you!