Been meditating for lots of years? Made pilgrimages to India? Devoted yourself to serving a church or other faith? And you still have a big ego?
Don't worry. I've discovered another path to egolessness. No Zen master required. All you need is an inexpensive Flip Video and a free You Tube account.
Then make some videos of yourself doing something that you think you can do, upload them, and experience the marvelous humility of seeing yourself from the outside rather than the inside.
That's what I did yesterday on my other blog, with "Me doing Tai Chi." I mention this post here for a couple of reasons.
One, the more people who watch me doing the forms (decidedly imperfectly), the greater will be the karmic impetus toward ego dissolution. At least, that's how I figure it. And I'm so smart, I'm hardly ever wrong.
Oops. There I go again. Bad ego!
Which brings me to Two: It's only by presenting our self that we really see our self. Now, before the advaitists and nondualists jump on that comment, I'm talking about the external side of us, not the subjective side.
Meaning, the side that other people see and relate to. That includes the religious, spiritual, and philosophical beliefs that we hold and communicate through words, actions, emotions, and other means.
Just as it includes less lofty things, like Tai Chi forms that I practice.
Until yesterday I'd never watched myself playing any forms ("play" is Tai Chi parlance for "perform"). I'd seen myself in the mirrors that line a wall of the room where I take classes. But a passing reflection isn't a good substitute for what a video camera captures.
It was a surprise to see how I looked through a Flip Video recording. I was pleased with some things I saw; not so pleased with others. Regardless, I learned a lot.
I learned that how I feel doing Tai Chi from the inside is different from how I look outside. I learned that I need to better meld the inside and the outside, because I don't always make my body move as how my mind believes it is moving.
That's one of the benefits of communicating religious, spiritual, and philosophical beliefs – or the lack thereof. Our words, and the reactions of other people, serve as an observable manifestation of what otherwise is kept inside.
Often I hear believers say, on this blog or elsewhere, that sharing their personal experience runs the risk of enlarging their ego. In my opinion, the risk lies in the other direction.
When we see ourselves from the outside, as others do, that's a healthy (and usually humbling) complement to the often inaccurate vision we hold of ourselves.
Feedback is good. Criticism is good. It can't be offered unless there's something to comment on.