Seeing Our True Self and That of Others Underneath Our Ego Slime

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Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Meditation, Spiritual Teachings, Spirituality, Thought | Posted on 06-01-2014

[Jill’s Note: If you prefer to listen rather than read, please scroll to the bottom of this post for the audio version.]

When I graduated college way back in the olden days of 1983, I landed a job with Prime Computer in their Business Practices department. My main job was performing simple word processing (typing documents into the computer) of the internal company handbooks which were created by others in our department. Once a particular handbook’s information was in the computer, it was also my job to bring it to our Reprographics department who would reformat, print and bind it into the spiffy looking handbooks that they eventually became. The Reprographics department was located in the basement which seemed to be deep in the bowels of the building itself. I had to take a special elevator to get down there, and it was kind of dark and dirty and even a little bit scary to my 22 year old self. While the people who worked there were nice enough, our department was beholden to them to get our handbooks printed properly and in a timely manner. This always gave me the feeling that they had something over us. There was a sense that if we didn’t maintain a good relationship with them, they could easily screw us over.

During this time, the movie “Ghostbusters” came out and became an instant hit. And with that, my colleagues would tease me every time I had to “go down to Repro” that I had been “slimed” like the characters in the movie! At one point, they even bought me a mug that said “I’ve Been Slimed” which I still have:

I've Been Slimed!

I Should Use This For My Mug Muffins!

This was all an almost forgotten memory to me until a recent morning when I was contemplating the difference between my “true self” and that of my “ego self.”

The Two Voices in Our Heads

As my regular reader(s) know(s), (Hi Cousin Lisa!), I’ve been dipping my toes in the Spiritual waters as of late, and one morning I was contemplating the apparent 2 separate “minds” we all have. All of the various teachings I’ve been learning about point in this direction. We all have what seems like a main voice in our head which chatters on incessantly, often without us even noticing. In fact, many people will go their whole lives and only hear or listen to that voice. But if we can get that one to simmer down for even a little bit, we often find that there’s another voice inside of us as well. The catch is that it’s the quieter of the two. Which is why, when we don’t specifically listen for it, we will often miss it.

Our True Essence

While contemplating this, I realized it’s that quiet voice inside of us that is our true essence, or our true self, if you will. It’s the part of us that we are born with which “only” knows kindness, love, health, true knowledge and wisdom. It’s in me and it’s in you. It’s in those of us who appear to be very good on the outside, as well as those who appear to be very bad.

Sadly, in this world, most of us don’t often see this true essence, and therefore never utilize it as much as we could and should.

Here’s what I think happens:

We’re born as perfect human beings with just this really cool and loving “person” inside of us. But as we start to perceive others as being mean to us, or not taking care of us very well, or whatever, like the characters in Ghostbusters, we have essentially “been slimed.” It’s what I’m going to call “ego slime” for the purposes of this post. While deep down we all want and try to be loving and kind human beings, the build-up of ego slime over time that occurs when we open ourselves up and are shot down, causes us incredible fear and sadness. While in actuality, ego slime is really only thought, it certainly feels real to us.  Add to that, the fact that the people whom we want to show and receive love and kindness from are covered head-to-toe in their own ego slime, and we have the perfect set-up for misunderstandings and heartbreak. Sadly, because others are also covered in years of slime, their reactions to what we say and do often ends up sliming us all over again!

Trying to See Through The Slime

So we have this entire world of people carrying around layers and layers of ego slime, which doesn’t wash off when we take a shower (wouldn’t that be great!). If we are aware enough to even want to try and see through the ego slime of others, first we have to scrub through our own layers to find our own true essence. That is, that part of  us who is always loving and kind and knows exactly what we need to do in every situation. And even when we do catch glimpses of our slime-free, clean and shiny Self, we have to be willing to let it shine without fear of getting slimed yet again. Which is no easy feat.

For those rare individuals who are able to see that the slime isn’t real–it’s just our thoughts–and therefore are able to express true kindness and love to others without being afraid of getting slimed, the next step, it seems, would be for them to also see that everyone else’s slime can be virtually washed away. Our true, unslimy essence has the ability to uncover the loving and kind essence within others–even when they still feel pretty slimy themselves. That goodness is inside of everyone, yet obscured by layers and layers of thick, gooey ego slime.

Any of us who can recognize the slime for what it is (just thoughts–not real) can start to live from a place of inner peace. We will be less fearful of life, in general, and have more capability to be kind and loving to others.

What About Me?

In case you’re wondering, no, I’m not there yet. While I now see some glimmers of my true self, I haven’t yet been able to see it in everyone else. However, I hope in time that as my understanding of how it all works becomes deeper, my own ego slime, as well as that which I see when dealing with others, will begin to melt away and I will see everyone (including myself) as the perfect human beings we already are.

I’d be grateful if you could leave your thoughts below, as this is new to me. Am I on the right track? Was this at all helpful to you? Please let me know!

–Jill

P.S. For anyone who doesn’t get the Ghostbusters slime reference, see this clip:

Prefer listening? Click the green arrow below!

CONTACT JILL WHALEN to learn how she may help you be the best you can be.

Jill is the author of Victim of Thought: Seeing Through the Illusion of Anxiety

For the past 20 years, Jill has consulted with companies big and small, and spoken at conferences all over the world. She is currently a transformational speaker and mentor to businesses, individuals, coaches, leaders, groups and organizations. She helps them uncover their natural well-being and happiness so that they can operate from a clearer state of mind and take their lives and businesses to a higher level.

Jill’s blog, What Did You Do With Jill? is a personal account of what she’s learned throughout her transformational journey. Jill has many “viral” articles on LinkedIn and is a contributing writer for P.S. I Love You.

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Leave Your Thoughts Below(24)

I really enjoyed your blog. You are definitely on the right track… Going home

Thanks so much, Karen!

While we come at this from completely different angles and interests (as a spiritual phenomenon versus the science of the mind/brain) I think ultimately we land at a very mutual place.

I’ve always felt that people do the best they can at any time based on their circumstances, where they are at, what they know, what they are capable of, what they are dealing with, etc. When people do wrong or hurt you it’s usually because of their own problems, pain, hurt, suffering, lack of knowledge, etc. To use your metaphor, their SLIME.

It’s like that story in one of the self-help books where the guy was on the subway and some young kids were acting out annoying everyone. The father of the kids was oblivious and didn’t do anything about it. When the guy said something to the father about controlling his kids, the father said, “Oh, I’m sorry. You are right. We just got back from the hospital where their mother died…..”

Oops.

We don’t really come at it via different angles. I totally agree that the science of the mind/brain is what causes it all to work this way.

I do have a different take. I’m a Christian and don’t believe we were born perfect. Even babies are selfish until they are taught to consider the needs of others. That being said, Jesus also brought us a way out of the slime and the ability to become new people from the inside out.

That quiet voice you mention is to me the voice of the Holy Spirit, reminding me I’m a child of God, made in his image, and redeemed by his love. He encourages me to share that love with others and help them out of the slime.

That being said, we agree that we don’t overcome the effects of the slime in this life. We constantly battle to listen and obey that quiet voice that urges us to act as the children of God we are. I believe it can only be done with God’s help.

We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one Barbara.

It’s OK to agree to disagree. I’m fine with that.

Barbara, To believe that we are sick and are commanded by god to be well seem to me to be an error in the scriptures or of interpretaion. Another misinterpretion or error is the separation of the self from that which they call god, we are all part of the one life which is behind all things, this what is taught in eastern religions as oneness of essence. God is in all of us, being true to it is our purpose. The one ejected from heaven or satan is ego, the saparate self, the world would be a very different place if we were taught from young these facts. God is your true self and all that is bad in you is thought, ego, the separate self.

Yep!

Gareth,

Again, I don’t agree, but each of us is untitled to our own interpretation. We don’t need to see it the same way.

Nice one Jill, The true self is awareness and is love, beauty and calmness. The slime covers that up wonderful metaphor.

Thank you Gareth!

Loved it! Great metaphor too! Definetly on the right track. Thanks Mark

Thanks so much, Yoga Mark! And welcome to my blog. (Love your radio programs, btw!)

Jill,

I love your post.

Yes, indeed. There are two voices–the quiet voice that speaks for Love that we were given. And then there is the voice that shouts for Me that we created.

Yep! Thanks, Barry. Welcome to my blog, hope you’ll come back!

Thanks Jill. i often compare your slime analogy to lots of overcoats we´re putting on which are weighing us down.. Coats of education, beliefs, politics, experiences, feelings, emotions etc.. We´ve got to shed them off to reveal the true lightness in our hearts. I laughed today at the supermarket when another aisle opened to reduce the queue of people. As it was announced, everyone rushed to the new queue leaving me first in line.. This is a ´´someone´s gonna get one over on me´´ coat.. When you stop and try to enjoy life moment to moment, you see the truth unfold.. We´ve gotta laugh at ourselves…

Right you are, Nikki! Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s much appreciated!

With your coat analogy, it can also get pretty hot with all those layers of coats on!

I find, that when you begin to listen to your inner self and start to find some peace, you begin to see things like this all around. People rushing to pass you in traffic, fighting over the closest parking spots etc. In the grand scheme of things its all so silly! Finding that inner voice and then listening to it is hard at first. But once you hear it I truly believe you can’t unhear it (just my experience). I feel SO incredibly lucky to be finding this at what I consider to be a young age (37). I so much happier now than I’ve ever been.

P.S. I’d like to call my ego slime my Egon Slime 🙂

Jackie, that’s so awesome! Thanks for sharing and while you might be lucky, I’m sure it took a lot of contemplation to get where you are.

Perhaps true positive thoughts that beget positive feelings could be viewed as religion and Higher Power. Getting or giving slime has a way of sliming ourselves as negative thinking begets negative or damaging feelings.
I believe in both. The Higher Power and positive thinking/feelings are related. Guidance, controlled thought and productive, positive actions walk hand in hand with practice.

Yep, still practicing as I wipe off the slime…

Sheryl, I think that part of us behind the slime is what I described in my other post discussing the energy behind life.

I am such big fan of yours. You always brought me back to earth when reading your practical words while struggling with my site.

Yes, you ARE on the right track. In a way the right track may appear to be THE true track until one day one realizes that it is one’s own track back to one’s self. To me, it is kind of like deciding just what exactly is in the soup, only to find that we too, are IN the soup. Or studying nature (out there), only to find later that we are part of that great program of nature.

What is good about this, it seems to me, is that we are all a part of that which is, and have always been that, and will always be. And so the search for something outside ourselves can take a rest since what we seek most deeply is within us all.

Perhaps we forget for a while when here so we can collect our experiences. All the best to you, Jill

Thanks Elizabeth. What you wrote definitely resonates with me as well!