By Andrew Cohen
It is possible to go beyond the ego and tap the source of creation as our motivating force for achievements
There is a different motive that can easily equal the energy of the ego, if not far surpass it. I call it egoless passion. And the goal in what I’m teaching is to awaken this egoless passion in human beings. This teaching is all about awakened, deeply conscious, profoundly passionate, committed participation in the life process.
Usually the word ‘passion’ is automatically associated with ego or a strong self-sense. But there is a different kind of passion that is absolutely free from ego. This passion is synonymous with the energy or the impulse behind the evolutionary process itself. When that creative impulse is unleashed within the individual, extraordinary things become possible.
For example, I produce a magazine called What Is Enlightenment? But personally, I have no previous experience or skills that would enable me to create something like this. So what makes it possible? It’s the passion that I’m speaking about. This egoless passion really does make it possible to create and manifest things that one would never ordinarily be able to do if it were coming from ego. One begins to express something that’s profound and meaningful in a non-personal way. And it seems that this passion has no end. There’s never a point where it’s over, because there’s always more to be done.
When a conscious human being who has transcended the fears and desires of the separate ego to a significant degree feels this intense passion for evolution, for life itself, awakening in them, it’s recognized as a sense of care, a sense that something must happen that’s more important than anything else. It says this must occur. And there’s a tremendous impersonal, non-egoic passion in this. One has nothing personal to gain from it. But it is possible to begin to care so much about something that one has nothing personal to benefit from. When it’s egotistical passion, of course, one has everything to gain from it. It’s all about personal glory. But in what I’m speaking about, this passion comes from an overwhelming compulsion. It’s not for oneself. And as a result of giving oneself that much to the task, one wins one’s own personal liberation. As a result of giving oneself to this deeper passion one loses one’s hypnotic attachment and slavery to the fears and desires of the separate ego.
We have to look deeper. If we put our attention only on ourselves—my fear, my worry, my pain, my frustration, my anxiety, and so on—we’re never going to find that passion. But underneath all that there’s a passion for life, a passion that’s not selfish. So in order to find that passion for life we have to be willing to disregard all the fear, all the self-concern. You see, the selfish ego is like a dam. And just as water gets stuck behind a dam, so all that energy, that passion, is stuck behind the fears and the desires of the ego. But when we feel the spiritual impulse or evolutionary impulse, then our attention goes from the ego to something bigger, and when our attention goes to something bigger, then all that energy is released. So this is the heroic spirit that we have to cultivate—to disregard all the self-concern—and then, this tremendous passion comes up out of nowhere. It surges up, and suddenly it becomes incredibly thrilling to be alive.
Andrew Cohen has been a teacher of enlightenment since 1986. He is the author of numerous books on spiritual life, including the recently released Living Enlightenment and Embracing Heaven & Earth. He is also the founder of the award-winning magazine What Is Enlightenment?.
Printed with the permission of Moksha Press.
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