At one time or another, many of us feel overwhelmed, want to drop-out and just end it all. Suicide may seem like and easy way out. But unfortunately, it’s not a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Rather, it’s a temporary solution to a permanent problem on our hero’s soul journey.
Just like in school, if we drop-out mid-term, we have to start over and repeat the semester. So it is with life. If we drop out of this life, when we come back, not only do we have to play catch-up and master what we avoided learning, we also have to master the lessons of the next life as well. It’s like someone who dropped out having to complete all the normal course work for the grade they skipped, as well as, completing all the required course work to graduate on time.
So nothing is really avoided. It is just added on top of whatever comes next. The ego has an agenda to always be right, even if it means being dead right. The goal is not to destroy the ego. It is to make the ego the servant of the Self. Time and again, ego thoughts pitch us into a downward spiral of doubt, frustration, fear and anger that leads to depression and feelings of hopelessness. Being able to step back and recognized “what is” going on in our mind, allows us to break the cycle.
Eckhart Tolle in “The Power of Now” tells us, “The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life.” (Eckhart Tolle, “The Power of Now”, Novato, CA, New World Library, 1999),27. He goes on to explain the intensity of the pain reflects the degree of resistance of the mind to the present moment because the mind cannot function or remain in control outside of the mind created illusion of time as represented as the past and future. The only true reality is the present moment, the eternal NOW, that exists outside of time and space.
To avoid the egoistic mind generated pain, it is necessary to fully accept “what is”. This is what many call surrender to God. Tolle labels the memory of accumulated pain in the mind and body as the “pain-body.”, a dark shadow of the ego.
“The pain-body wants so survive,…, and it can only survive if it gets you to unconsciously identify with it. It can then rise up, take you over, ‘become you,’ and live through you…the pain-body, when it has taken you over, will create a situation in your life that reflects back its own energy frequency for it to feed on…Once the pain-body has taken you over, you want more pain. You become a victim or a perpetrator. You want to inflict pain, or you want to suffer pain, or both…But look closely and you will find that your thinking and behavior are designed to keep the pain going for yourself and others…But if you don’t face it, if you don’t bring the light of your consciousness into the pain you will be forced to relive it again and again…The moment you observe it, feel its energy field within you, and take your attention into it, the identification is broken. A higher dimension of consciousness has come in. I call it ‘presence’. You are now the witness or the watcher of the pain body…Watching it implies accepting it as part of what ‘is’ at that moment. (Ibid, pp. 28-32)
It is in bringing the darkness to to light, we begin to whittle away at it. A master once likened enlightenment to the layers of an onion. One-by-one, in pealing away the outer layers of the darkness, more and more light is let through until there is no darkness, no shadow, only the shinning, clear light of illumination.