My little schema of the Grand Unified Theory of Humanity centers on the aspects of human personality bound up in Ego and Heart. Notice, I did not say Ego versus Heart; no, I am one being, not divided personalities, not a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. Day to day, moment to moment, event to event, situation to situation, I decide through which aspect of my personality I will act, respond, interpret, feel, allow to motivate me.
When we do not consciously choose Heart, Ego is the default life filter and energy source for our personality. Ego is that part of humans that has been programmed into us as our factory-given operating system. We needed something from birth to help us in some way to relate to this world, people, and the universe, and that something is ego. From the beginning, ego takes all data input and begins to formulate it into actions and reactions in order to help us survive in our society, our environment. It creates command codes: “When this happens, you do this, feel this, think this.” It runs deep, especially when a child never chooses heart over ego, because the child has never been encouraged to know Self, to know that there is an alternative operating system in the same person which could be chosen and used.
Much of the input of my childhood was used by my ego to protect me very deeply, simply because of my personal situation. It was as if my ego buried itself deep in that little part of my soul that had become wounded and become a sticky, gunky, thick, gooey swamp. It wasn’t all of me, but it was enough for my ego to use. Everything programmed from such a place makes it difficult to have much self-esteem or personal freedom because you react negatively to everyone and are always on the lookout for hurt. You try to make sure and fit in or to stand out or to be on the defensive or the offensive. Like I said, a sticky, icky mess, but my ego did its job to preserve as best it could.
So much more was available, and I felt it and heard it during that same childhood of pain. This internal conflict was ever a part of me, and my awakening into the reality of who I am occurred gradually, in an evolutionary process. My ego fooled me at various times into buying into comforting, apparently new directions, but they were no different — simply others trying to have me believe, think, and behave in prescribed ways with which my ego felt comfortable, accepted, protected by a group thought process and belief system. I am sure that was fine for some and in accord with their hearts, but as soon as the effort is made to have everyone fall into formation, it becomes an ego thing.
I kept seeking, and my heart kept speaking. My awakening has been ongoing, but the more recent realizations of the extent and power of it over the past number of years have included a process of painfully reaching into that mucky part of me and pulling my ego into the light. Yes, ego will always strive for its goals, but Heart, now, will not allow it to determine life paths, actions, and reactions.
It is good to recognize what is going on in my whole being, to discern when ego or heart is acting. Ego recognition helps me realize my comfort zones, what I’m trying to protect. This drives me to my heart for enlightenment and progress — getting out of the comfort zones and into the spirit of growth. I have no wish or peace in remaining in a life with no challenges, with perfection as a goal because that amounts to a slough of stagnation, the same slough from which I plucked my unhappy ego. Challenge and change are healthy, and my heart leads me into them and through them.
How? Well, knowing my heart means I know who I am as core Self, and I determine how to express that core Self to the world. It is ironic that as humans we are born to connect with all of life, but the default setting of ego is to isolate and/or insulate us in so many subtle ways. The expression of my heart is my expression of love to the world. It drives me to connect with the world, and I believe that is why we all arrived here from the very beginning.
And that brings me back to my Grand Unified Theory of Humanity. When each of us hears our heart and comes into line with that general principle of love and purpose, we are free to shine our unique beauties and self to the world and live in significance and fulfillment. My purpose to help others discover Self, purpose, and passion derives from this belief. To tell others what to do, well, that is fruitless, but to share the reality of the heart and self-awakening — well, that is why I have written a novel and titled it as I did: The Fellowship of the Heart.
We all have Ego and Heart. We choose which processing system we will use. I know I’ve written previously about it, but it was on my heart this morning to pen these words! My sincerest desire for all of us is that we each move Onward and Upward!
Why are we so drawn to some works of art, literature, architecture, musical composition/song, or anything that seems to capture the attention of people? A variety of reasons. Some people don’t think beyond “It’s beautiful” or “I never saw anything like it.” And sometimes, that’s just enough. Of course, I always have to “find meaning,” which is just me. And that’s okay, too.
Beauty surrounds us, and I would make the plea to look for those works that exceed the average. For instance, I look on a mechanic or an auto body repair person who really know their shit as artists, the kind of craftsmen who perform so easily and effortlessly that I just have no question that they are truly experts, artists, and they are in flow with the nature of their work. They inspire confidence and appreciation. I can see this in anyone performing their job in an excellent way. I love encountering such folks.
Some people, though, that function in the arts, produce works that are viewed as world class. I want to share about one of those that appeal to me in such a way: Dale Chihuly. Chihuly is an artist who works mostly in glass. His creations evoke strong reactions from me.
In St. Petersburg, Florida, the Chihuly Museum boasts rooms filled with his expressions in the magical stuff that is glass — a virtual separate state of matter, combining properties of both liquids and solids, an in-between state as it were. Nothing else like it. Like I said, magical — just one of those things that intrigues me. One room there is devoted to one display, the “Mille Fiori.” A thousand works of glass throughout the color spectrum. It’s a forest of glass, vivid, living forms and arrangements of trees and flowers and insects and animals. Unbelievable. I stayed in that room for a long time over several visits.
What makes a great artist, a world-renowned artist? To me, it’s one who uses their chosen medium in a way that captures the flow, spirit, and vibrational energies of the Universe. And they just make me smile, or sometimes shed a tear or twenty if they are truly enchanting. Dale Chihuly sees organic form in every molten blob of glass; he sees his medium in relationship to Nature, sensing what that glowing mass yearns to become. He works the violets, blues, reds, yellows, oranges, greens, and so many colors of glass until he sees the moment, the exact point that it has become what he envisions, and boom! He cools it into art — world class art.
Just like works of literature, artistic expressions in any form, if they are true art, yield deeper insights into life, help us to appreciate life, and for me, create a thankful heart. And yes, they are just awesome to view, listen to, or interact with, and they help me think about our world, humanity, the universe. Sometimes, I wonder what artists like Chihuly think about as they are working, creating masterpieces, because unlike those who view their work, they think about what they are doing for long stretches of time. Their productions show what they have gleaned about life and themselves in relation to all.
And maybe such great works of art are so because they inspire us to look around our lives and see the beauties and wonders around us, to be an organic, vital, unified whole with this world, with one another, with all of this creation. Yes, I want to be like that, sensing the vibrations and energy of life each and every day.
And that makes me wonder: How can you or I express what we see and value and sense about life in our work every day? How can we be artists in that sense?
It’s not organized religion, friends!Hey, I know I’ve shared my ideas and philosophies over the last months, and I’ve written some about my journey leading to the eventual publishing of my novel. Today was one of those emotional days, a day when I had to decide if I would push through, onward, and upward or if I would just quit. Quit writing the Morning Pages and these posts. Quit hoping that my novel is worth a f — k. Just quit. And, quite honestly, it scared the hell out of me. And I was in hell.
The struggle prevented me from even being able to think creatively, to think in a way that would make any difference at all. I thought about what might be helpful, encouraging, and maybe even a little entertaining. Nothing. Then — oh, it can be so subtle — I got it. Ego was working overtime. I can’t blame it, because my ego was protecting me from disappointment and a lot of hard, and to some extent unrewarding, work.
How does my ego work? Oh, it’s really fairly simple, and the pattern should be recognizable. In fact, I did realize it — when I started thinking about getting a nice, safe job somewhere. But not before I was reminded that I had not obtained education jobs for which I applied. Not before remembering that almost everyone in the publishing industry thinks selling a thousand books is a big deal. Stop. Regroup. Try a job at a store, maybe a grocery store, until something better comes along. If I work a lot of hours, I won’t have to think about writing — or failure.
My heart never stopped, though. “Write, Michael, write. Vision. Mission.” What did my rationalizing ego say to that? “What about those people you like, whose philosophies you agree with? You know, things like ‘The Universe likes speed.’ ‘Take baby steps.’ ‘Get out of your comfort zone.’ Yeah, you’ve done all those things over the last five years and even intensely for the last six months. What has it gotten you?”
Much, it has been amazing, if I stop moaning and think with my heart. I have made wonderful connections with a number of people. I love being a writer, but you know what my ego keeps throwing at me? Yeah, you know: “How much are you getting paid? Six to eight hours a day for maybe, on a good day, twenty readers? What is that per hour?” You’re right, Ego, so f — k off. I don’t need safety, security, rationalization. I need to be true to my heart.
How? It’s called resilience, grit — things that people are currently being paid a lot of money to speak and write about. I don’t know them, but I know myself; I know Discovery. I’ve made a commitment to write, to help myself and others discover anything and everything we might need to know in order to awaken to self and to all the glories of the Universe that the Spirit would reveal to us. I will not abandon that, and the only way I won’t is via resilience, to return to my heart’s revelations and counsel, to not let it slide — dedication, devotion, determination.
Whenever faced with the persistent, protective voice of ego and opinions of anyone else or anything else — facts, figures, incomes, “logic,” whatever — I must remember who I really am and how I have determined to express that Self in fulfillment of my life purpose and love to the rest of this Universe. Anything short of that — for money, love, fame, or power — is treason, betrayal of core Self. But ego’s powerful role in our lives makes the internal conflict strong. The answer, always, is found in the questions: Who am I? What is my purpose?
I have to occasionally, as I have previously shared, answer those clearly and consciously and shut the ego down. I need to evaluate and live my life based on my heart; living heart, and that alone, determines peace, fulfillment, significance, and eternal value.
This morning I was going through hell; Winston Churchill famously said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Finishing this, I’m in heaven. Where are you?
I think it’s significant and worthwhile to occasionally make a conscious decision to look with fresh eyes at our everyday, commonplace environment, especially people that we may encounter in the course of a normal day.
I’ve written before about my wide variety of interests and my ADD mindset and thought process. I definitely am not a linear thinker, and I value that about myself. However, that means that sometimes I am challenged in making decisions.
This may be most evident in my college choices. Oh, my! It’s almost embarrassing to say it, but it has given me quite a background. I went to college for two years out of high school and had no idea what I wanted to pursue: math major (one semester); Spanish major (three semesters); quit (two years); pharmacy school (two years). Then, work and life took the forefront for fifteen years, and that included starting a family, having my own painting business, working for a chemical firm as a chemical engineering lab technician, and ending up with my own business restoring and conserving antique furniture and objects — oh, I did serve a small local church in a pastoral and teaching capacity, too.
Like I said ADD — at times frustrating when in the midst of things, but no matter what I was doing, at the time, I chose to do it and did it whole-heartedly. I always knew when it was time to move on, and I started working to change things. That all led up to completing my English and secondary education bachelors’ degrees, followed by a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in educational leadership. I spent seventeen years in the classroom — a most fun, rewarding time of discovery with my wonderful students.
Through all of these experiences, I expressed my core Self in one dimension or another: I am Discovery, I love to discover new ideas, new techniques, new relationships, whatever it might be. I delight in simple things, especially when I see or understand things that had escaped my notice. So much of life awaits discovery, so much that surrounds us, that is above us, beneath us.
And I know that even more awaits within us. When we awaken to our hearts, we gain a new way of seeing all those wonderful things around us. Yes, interests, discoveries, connections energize me. In my mind, I see all these bonds, but that means I must be very careful when I write because I sometimes leave huge logic gaps for anyone who may be reading my work. They are not gaps for me, because I know what I was thinking — not quite fair to readers, though.
This brings me to my point of today. The discovery of Self and then all of wonderful life around us must be purposeful. Our hearts may speak to us, but if we do not pursue it and seek the message, it won’t be forced on us. The same is true of the offerings of this Universe.
I want to discover new nuances or even previous unseen, unknown aspects of life around me today and every day: animals, trees, birds, neighborhood, neighbors, strangers. I can get excited about almost any topic that someone presents to me with enthusiasm because their attitude communicates that thrill and excitement of life in their hearts, and that creates connection with me.
I have no idea what time of the day you may be reading this, but whenever it is, determine that you want to be thrilled by some aspect of your life that you walk past, see, hear, feel, or even taste almost every day. Discover joy in the commonplace today. The rewards will last far past this.
When Jesus of Nazareth heard his disciples bickering about how to take care of the people who came to them for help, they had overlooked even miracles that had been right in front of them. Even though he had fed over five thousand people with very little to start with, they didn’t get it. (By the way, he said we could do greater miracles than him — must know our hearts, though). Jesus asked them, “Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart? ‘Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears do you not hear?’ And do you not remember?…” (Mark 8:17, 18 New American Standard Bible).
They had rejected the voice of their own hearts, creating a spiritually blind condition. Stuff right in front of them, they couldn’t hear, see, perceive without opening themselves to their own hearts. If miracles are missed when living in self-consumed egos, how much more the wonders around us in our everyday lives?
We have eyes to see, ears to hear, and all the rest of the senses needed to experience the wonders of life. Use them. Today. Discover!
Some day I may tell more stories from my childhood as I did the last three days, but for now I will tell you that I was and am exquisitely gifted with some form or another of Attention Deficit Disorder. Oh, how my mind would wander to so many interests when I would be sitting in a school classroom — scuba diving and dolphins and whales and ships and submarines and baseball and composers and outer space. I may write about ADD some time, too.
However, I want you to know why I even bring this up. I have trouble focusing, so I think that is why my mind is always trying to make connections and unify things that at times seem so disparate and overwhelming to me. To me, that ability to create connections is a gift, one that resulted in my first novel, The Fellowship of the Heart. Thematically, the novel centers on self-awakening that occurs by hearing the steady voice of our hearts, which stands in contrast to interpreting and responding to the world through the voice of the ego.
The ego works as the default world filter because it functions to preserve us in an infinite number of ways. However, it preserves in a way that isolates us from our true core self, and it does so because expressing that core Self can threaten our psyche, our physical bodies, our social relationships, and many other aspects of our life. The decision to choose to listen to the heart changes our relationship to all of life, to the universe itself. It involves all human dynamics and interactions.
Obviously, I am passionate about this. Oftentimes when humans gain insight that is good for them, they want everyone else to feel the same. In fact, the ego will tell us that if we believe something so strongly, everyone else should, too, so that we don’t risk self, our emotions, our psyche; ego doesn’t want us to be outcasts. The tendency, then, is to preach to tell others, to convert them in order to make them conform. Preaching works efficiently, but that is not the way of the heart. Each one needs to hear their own heart, to realize core Self, and that experience varies. I had to revise my novel to remove preachiness from it. I mean it to be a novel of freedom from ego and freedom to live self.
It’s no wonder since I see how coming to know self and follow the heart changes our relationship to everything, which has prompted me to term it as the Grand Unified Theory of Humanity — not science, physics, or anything else except humanity, who and what we are as human beings set in relationship to all else. It comes up constantly as I view things like Brexit and the current presidential campaign or the violence around us or the great and good things and people around us. I see it all directly related to folks coming to awaken to their hearts and know core Self.
So, why not preach it far and near. Well, I will tell about the value of self-awakening, but any attempt to systematize it or force it or reject those who don’t see it the same way — well, that’s all ego. This is where I will end by letting a passage of The Fellowship of the Heart illustrate it a bit more:
Edward paced around the edge of the cavern, lightly brushing the walls and some carvings on them with his fingertips. “Then, how should we respond to those around us? Shouldn’t we be telling them about this?”
Alaun stood in silence for a few seconds. “What would happen if we did? How would we go about that? I really would like you to consider that. Right in this very space about two thousand years ago, I am quite sure that some gathered here wondered the same thing about friends and family that were being left behind in their village. However, they came to understand that the heart of a person speaks constantly, and if they will not listen to their own hearts, then the voice of others will not make a difference. Religions — paganism, far eastern, eastern christians, western christians, muslims and many other brands — try to tell others what their hearts should be telling them. Those rejecting the message are labeled as outsiders, infidels, unbelievers, enemies of the faith. Discord and blame and justification and so many other negatives ensue, and all in the name of religion, in the name of something that in the beginning was good, of something that in the beginning was a simple whispered message from heart to soul and mind of a person. Do you see this, Edward?”
“Yes, I think I do. But what about those who we know, those like Paul Egan, Jack Actov, Peter Colboard, and others who would set themselves against us when we try to follow our hearts?”
Eric, who had still been looking around the cavern, brought his full attention to the conversation.
“Alaun, may I say something here?”
Alaun smiled. “Of course, Eric. I am not a special authority. I merely have been around longer.”
Eric walked close to Edward and examined the carvings that Edward had been feeling. “Edward, I think that what the elders had to say to me through the vision that I saw answers to this. The group that left the mass of their tribe simply followed their hearts. I think that is the answer here — not running away but following our hearts, listening and receiving the message just when we need it most. We all, deep down, know the right thing to do. It’s like us back home. We battled — and it seems there are times to battle in such ways — but the time came to simply walk away. The time may come to return or find other means to express our purpose with our gifts and talents. We will know, if we listen to our hearts.”
Yes, we will, and we will know freedom
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!