The complexity of human beings amazes me. It also causes me a degree of confusion at times. The root of our complexity abides within each of us, created by the interplay of Ego and Heart. Those are the two dynamics that work within and upon our total being as we engage in discovering who we are, the roles we perceive ourselves to fill and the way others perceive us, in addition to the way we process life, information, our family, relationships, and history…. Life truly is complex; however, it is not indecipherable for us as individuals.
We get to choose how to connect with everything and everyone, how we want to think and feel, what we do, where we go. Many of us at different times claim we don’t have a choice, and usually what is meant by that is there does not appear to be a realistic choice. All of these choices and perceptions about them, all of them, depend on how we are interacting with either Ego or Heart.
The working of those two forces in individuals and the energy produced by individuals that can grow into an aggregate prevailing energy or spirit (a social/cultural zeitgeist) provide my means of analysis of particular topics I examine day by day. At this time of year, as an American, I have for as long as I can remember thought about the history of this nation. It just interests me to imagine what life must have been like back then, how people took the news events of the day especially when it wasn’t instantaneous.
When the spirit of the original thirteen colonies leaned to declare independence from England, it appears to me that to some extent, at least, those referred to as our Founders had to be operating in some significant arenas at Heart level. I honestly cannot judge, but understanding the operations of Ego and Heart energy, in general, allows me to draw some conclusions.
Tonight, I’m thinking of Thomas Jefferson. He has been severely criticized for years because of his relationship with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, with whom he may have had six children or only one or maybe no relationship or children at all; however, the evidence taken all together makes it probable. The issue becomes this: Thomas Jefferson wrote the immortal words “…all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” All, every single one. Not every single one like us, but human beings.
Now, “good christians” often like to redefine or qualify people based on how different they are from themselves, and during Jefferson’s time, christianity was absolutely the predominant religion of the colonies. But that didn’t matter to Jefferson. What many people do not know are the parts of the Declaration of Independence that other representatives at the Second Continental Congress in 1776 redacted were significant, especially about slavery.
Here is that paragraph Thomas Jefferson wrote and vehemently defended against southern delegates and even northern ones who had profited from the slave trade. Jefferson refers to King Geo. III of England:
“He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where Men should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed again the Liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another” (http://www.blackpast.org/primary/declaration-independence-and-debate-over-slavery).
Jefferson sees the complexities and seeks to deal with them. His words at the beginning of the Declaration taken along with this show me that he understood that Heart creates unity among all. When Jefferson recounts the passing of the Declaration, his intent on condemning slavery is clear: “The clause too, reprobating the enslaving the inhabitants of Africa, was struck out in complaisance to South Carolina and Georgia…” (Miller and Parrish 166). He condemned, reprobated, slavery.
Heart energy is strong there, and the fact that high life energies attended that convention is seen in his opening words remaining intact. Was he a hypocrite, then, in terms of owning slaves and having intimate relations with one? Yeah, probably so. But let me present a consideration here. I am vehemently opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline and other such projects that steal land and dignity from Native Americans for oil reserves, but I have not seen my way clear to stop driving gas-powered vehicles. Am I a hypocrite? Maybe, but my Heart works towards this big societal issue by writing about it, speaking about it, and gradually heading towards alternative energy cars. Like I said, it’s complex.
Sometimes, wealth can make a difference. Like Washington, who if anything I feel was more hypocritical than Jefferson, Jefferson’s personal wealth was involved. What other considerations were there? Did the African slaves want to be released — (controversy about some, which in no way justifies the practice)? What rationale ran through Jefferson’s mind about not immediately releasing all his slaves?
I don’t know those answers, but I do believe the spirit of Heart-energy was captured and preserved in the Declaration. The fact that Lincoln used that in his great Gettysburg address is Heart speaking to Heart over the span of eighty-plus years. I know the words and Heart-actions of such people speak to me today. So do their lack of initiative and action based on Ego in caving to society. The same is true of me in ways.
Those who know Self and create and live purpose will always feel this Ego-Heart dynamic operating within them. The sobering fact is that those who choose Ego over Heart by not responding to that still small voice, those whispers of “conscience,” those flashes of “inspiration,” all of those things that are Heart-impulses, rarely even feel the conflict in these big issues of life.
It’s a widespread spirit now in America to act as if all persons are not created equal, that discrimination by some euphemism or another is not only tolerated but also encouraged and legislated — if not for the system of checks and balances that those founders included in the constitution of this nation. Once again, when people blindly support the sorts of excesses that drove the Colonies to separate from England and were recounted in the Declaration of Independence, then I know Ego-energy is operating. When under the guise of patriotism to “make America great again” this tyrannical-leaning president is supported unconditionally, then I know Ego-energy is operating. And it threatens our nation and peace and stability in this world.
Because of the evolution of societies in our communication and common concerns, we cannot afford to wield some sort of superior authority in unmitigated arrogance as is being projected from the executive branch today. This is the very sort of thing, along with many others I have written about, that has motivated me to write of Ego, Heart, and understanding the basic nature of humanity.
When I roll out “Discovering Self and Creating Purpose,” I hope at least some folks will read it in such a condensed form and rally to their own Heart for their own blessing to offer the wealth of who they are to one another. It’s what I do here; it’s what Thomas Jefferson did; it’s what we all can do, and there is great hope in that.
Blessings in celebrating not only freedom of a nation but also for citizens of all nations in celebrating Self. I welcome the fellowship of the Heart from the global community.
(Work Cited: Miller, Joel J. and Parrish, Kristen, eds. The Patriot’s Reference. Nashville, TN: Nelson Books, 2014. Print.)
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!