How's Your Inner Beggar?
February 8, 2013
(from Oct 31, 2009 - Improved Feb 8, 2013)
Simple creatures, we want to feel good.
If you make other people feel good, they'll love you.
We are feel good addicts, hoping to wring our happiness from the world. Food, drink, drugs, sex, money, power, love.
(left. Not everyone Oprah likes is evil)
The message is "the kingdom of heaven lies within" i.e. in the soul. Tolle's theory, based on Raja Yoga, is that we are souls, not minds. But we falsely identify with the mind (ego), which is the voice of a beggar in our head, constantly saying, "I want."
"I want corrupt politicians to be punished. I want the world to be just. I want my stocks to go up. I want to be noticed. I want my boss to praise me. I want to make a big sale. I want my spouse to be sweet. I want people to write on my Facebook wall. I want someone to put something in my cup."
Tolle's theory is that the ego has no permanent existence. After all, we die. But throughout our lives, our ego-beggar tries in vain to assert its existence.
This is why many rich people are so stingy. They are their money. If they give it away, they are diminished. This is also why people cling to discredited ideas. They are their opinions.
The ego can never be satisfied. No matter how much is stuffed into its cup, it wants more. "Enough is a little more than what one has," Samuel Butler said.
So Tolle's message is: we should identify with what is eternal and permanent, i.e. our souls, and not our ego-beggars-thoughts.
According to the mystics, we can access this spiritual dimension, where truth and love are self-evident, by meditation and prayer. By switching our identity to the observer, which witnesses beggar-thought as something foreign to our real spiritual identity, eventually we can experience our soul. If we don't identify with our thoughts, and learn detachment instead, we will never go crazy.
Tolle teaches his followers to be still and live in the present; to empty their minds and unwrap the lollipop within.
WAITING FOR GRACE
I favor a balance between ego (mind) and spirit.
The ego also has legitimate satisfactions. For example, a job well done. A well deserved promotion. Figuring out a difficult problem. Cleaning out the garage. Making someone else's day. A good run or work out.
Fortunate is the person who can enjoy himSelf; the person who has many private pleasures: Jazz, Victorian literature, bird watching, knitting, sports ....
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE NEEDY
I've said to my wife, "Nobody ever calls unless they want something."
Recently, I was having a nap on a lazy Saturday afternoon when my fax line rang. No fax came in but every few minutes ... a nagging ring. Finally my phone line rang. I answered it.
It was a politician I had supported financially 20 years ago. Hadn't spoken to him since. Haven't been involved in mainstream politics either. Well, it seems that he had incurred a large campaign debt in the interim. The lender was going to forgive it but had died first. Now his estate was suing the politician for his house.
At this time, the politician somehow remembered a large cheque I had written in 1988, when I was flush with Scruples money. Could I find it in my heart?
The audacity! I would have told him to go to hell but I felt sorry for him. His judgment was impaired. So I let him down gently.
THE FOUR LAWS OF SOCIO DYNAMICS
I am the "Father of Socio Dynamics." These four laws, based on years of observation and thought, explain all social interaction:
1. We are attracted to people who have something we want.
EXAMPLES OF SOCIO DYNAMICS
Like the politician, she was desperate. She didn't consult my friend when making this investment, or offer to cut him in. But she expected him to bail her out.
Chutzpah- you don't have to be Jewish. Panhandlers for example -- they appeal to our human compassion but they don't give a damn about us. Usually, they can't even remember our faces.
To end on a less cynical note, it's a blessing to find someone who is genuinely good and deserving. These are the people I like to support.
PS. I wanted to be the Father of Hygiene but Louis Pasteur beat me to it. And, my son refused to change his name to Hygiene.
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Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at