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:
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!
P.S. For anyone who doesn’t get the Ghostbusters slime reference, see this clip:
Prefer listening? Click the green arrow below!