Coming through vision, coming through wisdom,
Coming together—this love!
Giving me daytime, giving this nighttime,
Bringing within me this love!
From the song “Change We Must”
from Change We Must by Jon Anderson
Fear drives the ego, but love drives life. Love drives all that matters in life. Love is the motivating force in life that creates, sustains, enhances, and gives meaning to life. There is nothing else here but love because Life is love. We are love.
This Love is hidden only by a sense of being someone who is afraid of life. Our identity as a separate individual is of someone who feels lacking, insignificant, lost, confused, afraid, struggling, and in conflict with life. So it’s no wonder the ego wants and feels it needs so much to be okay and happy. But this is a false identity and false needs—we need nothing but what we already have to be happy.
We are not the individual we think we are. We are life. It is living through us. And when the ego is put aside, Life lives through us more cleanly and purely, and with ease, gratitude, fortitude, joy, and love. When the ego is no longer dominant, it becomes obvious that all that’s here is Essence being and relishing in being.
Life is trustworthy because love is behind life. Love is what is unfolding life and making life happen. Love is the motivating force in all we do: Love for our life, our body, and food motivates us to grow, shop for, prepare, and eat what we need to sustain us. Love for self-expression, expansion, discovery, and self-development motivates us to speak, learn, create, expand our capabilities, and develop our talents. Love for others motivates us to procreate, relate, give, care for, nurture, and support others and society. Love for pleasure and fun motivates us to play, rest, sing, dance, and enjoy life. Love for security and safety motivates us to be careful and take care of ourselves. Love for being productive motivates us to work and develop our skills. Love for knowledge motivates us to learn, read, and share what we’ve learned.
Love allows us to identify with the ego, and love is even what motivates the ego: Love for security, safety, self-preservation, superiority, power, comfort, and prestige motivate the ego to pursue what it pursues, such as money, beauty, and a good job.
The ego and Essence are motivated to do many of the same things: Both motivate us to take care of ourselves, work, play, pursue relationships, and in other ways create a life. However, the ego and Essence do these things for different reasons. While Essence does them for the love of life, the love of being alive, and the drive to perpetuate life, the ego does them out of feelings of lack and fear in order to gain superiority and control. Because the ego acts from fear, it often causes harm, but even love is behind that, albeit a distorted version of it: love for what the ego is trying to get by harming someone or love for its own self-preservation.
Because the ego sees itself as separate from everything, it is driven by fear and sees others and the world as something to conquer or subdue. This is obvious in how people have related to the environment. While native peoples have generally viewed themselves as part of a Whole and as belonging to and caretakers of nature, our ego-driven societies have related to the environment and other peoples as something to control and use for our own needs, without considering the impact of our actions on the Whole. These are two very different ways of being, which come from very different states of consciousness and result in very different worlds. If we don’t begin to relate to the world more from Essence instead of the ego, there may not be much of a world left. Raising our consciousness is not just for ourselves, but for everyone and for the earth—for the Whole.
Many think that if they don’t live as the ego would have them live, they’ll end up doing nothing. They think that spiritual teachings that emphasize meditation, acceptance, and being in the moment lead to being passive and avoiding the world and practical matters. Many assume they won’t get anything done or be able to pay their bills if they live as these teachings suggest. But that’s a misunderstanding. These teachings emphasize what they do because doing these things drops us into Essence, where we can then discover how Essence is moving us to act now in the world and what wisdom and insights it might have for us that can inform our life and actions. How do we know what to do and how to live our life? Instead of getting the answers from the egoic mind, we can find out by paying attention to what’s coming out of the Now.
Life happens, and it happens through us. We can be moved by the ego and its fear, or we can let life happen through us as it’s meant to by letting Essence move us. Essence is motivated by love, not by fear, and the results of Essence moving through us are peace, harmony, unity, and love. The only thing that can interfere with wiser and more loving action in this world is following the ego’s fear and letting the ego dominate our lives. When we’re no longer listening to the egoic mind, Life has a chance to flow through us as it’s meant to and as it naturally does, even to some extent when we are ego identified.
Everyone knows what it’s like to live from Essence: Life is happening, and you are flowing with it. Sometimes you are the actor, and sometimes you are responding to whatever’s happening. When we’re living from Essence, we move naturally and spontaneously through life, accomplishing what we need to accomplish and enjoying life every step of the way. When we’re in Essence, our actions are more functional and effective than when we’re ego identified because they are what’s called for in the moment—no more no less—and because our experience of life isn’t cluttered by unnecessary thoughts or troubled by unnecessary feelings, which drain our energy. Life is much simpler and happier when we’re in touch with who we really are than when we’re believing we are alone and separate and that life is a struggle. The ego makes life a struggle, but life doesn’t have to be that way.
From Trusting Life: Overcoming the Fear and Beliefs That Block Peace and Happiness by Gina Lake