The Bigger They Are

I wrote yesterday about waking up. The waking up I was referring to is awareness…awareness of myself and what I am thinking and feeling, of my life and how it has impacted me. I was referring to my awareness of all that is going on around me right now…observing, noticing, sensing. Living in the moment. Consciousness. In the words of yesterday’s blog, those who are asleep are those who are not aware. These are people living primarily in their own heads. They are thinking and feeling, but they assume that what they think and feel is real. If I see a person agitated, my thought might be that this person is agitated at me because I didn’t prepare his eggs just right. This may seem reality, but the person may be agitated because he had a poor night’s sleep and has a big project ahead today. What the person is really agitated about is real. What I am thinking is fantasy, something I am making up in my own head.

An awake person is one who knows that they only know what they know. I cannot accurately know what another person is feeling or thinking unless they tell me. I might guess and my guess may be close to the truth, but it is still my guess. I might ask them the reason for their agitation. If they tell me their eggs are too hard, I can fix that. If it is the loss of sleep and a big day ahead, I can offer to assist them. But I cannot change their feelings. Over that I am helpless. Awake persons know that they cannot control others, only themselves.

I don’t know exactly what sparked these thoughts. I was thinking about the phrase “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” Yesterday I suggested that for some people to wake up, it takes an event that is really dramatic. I think this phrase is referring to the ego. Recovering people often talk about the ego as that part of me that thinks only of me. My feelings are important, more so than anyone else’s. My agenda usurps anyone else’s agenda. My idea about the causes and effects of things are the accurate ideas. What I believe to be real is real. We have words to describe such people. Egotistical, narcissistic, self-centered, drama queen (or king) are a few.

The Buddha sat under a tree one day, as the story goes, and he “woke up”. He woke up out of his dream state that he realized he’d been in since the day he was born. Buddhism, the religion that his followers created after him, is about waking up, seeing life as life is, stepping away from the fantasy world I have created.

“The bigger they are” refers to the bigness of the dream, how deeply have we bought into the dream are creating. A good thing to notice is how angry we get when someone disagrees with us. Very angry…BIG! A little annoyed…not so big. Not annoyed…awake.

“The harder they fall” refers to the bigness of what it takes for a person to let go of their mistaken beliefs. If you ask people in recovery from any kind of addiction, they can tell you stories about big falls. But they are not alone.

One thing I know is that when it comes to waking up, a hard fall can be the best thing that can happen.

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8 Responses to The Bigger They Are

  1. Debbie says:

    Thanks Judy! a wonderful lesson. One thing to note. We often refer to the ego as a negative part of ourselves. We would not have it if in wasn’t necessary. I think that its just too often we over identify with it.

    • Judy says:

      I understand what you are saying. I read once that the ego is what we create in childhood to help us maneuver the world, to survive. It is quite useful. It is the story we make up about ourselves.(“I am shy.” “I am outgoing.” “I am a nervous person.” “I say it as I see it.”) Once we grow up, I learned, the ego ceases to be useful and can even be troublesome but, because we have come to identify the ego as us, the real me, we have trouble letting it go. We continue to use our ego as the description of ourselves. A master of the enneogram (sp?) told me that the personality that comes up as a number in this method of self-discovery is really our egoic self. The true self is much deeper and mysterious. He told me this to help me understand why, whenever I set out to get to really know myself, I kept coming up empty. The best we can do is become observers of how we are in the world and note patterns. But these can change. The real us is quite deep. I believe our talents are a hint. I have gotten weary of trying to figure myself out worn my self. It gets to feeling self-centered and I forget to listen to the birds. Perhaps it is a yin and yang thing. Go inward, go outward. Balance. Spiritual.

  2. Chris Jeub says:

    Wow. Pretty intense. Deep.

    I wonder if Jesus’ or Paul’s concept of “born again” was similar? The idea of seeing life much differently than before the big dramatic fall.

    Death to life.
    Blind, but now I see.
    Slave, now free.

    Good thoughts Mom.

  3. Nancy says:

    Thank you, Judy. “A good thing to notice is how angry we get when someone disagrees with us.” That really hit me, because I get so angry over political and religious views. What a waste, when you think about it.

  4. Cathy says:

    Great post, Judy!!!

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