The Bonfire of the Ego
We love movies for their innate ability to transform the ordinary moments of life into the extraordinary. In contrast, the mundane moments of our lives always seem to be an entangled monotony of ordinariness—a constant flow of change through the changeless presence that surrounds us and breathes us, which we usually overlook in the cacophony of changing circumstances that assault our senses. This invisible presence holds the eternal promise of freedom, but we find ourselves constantly distracted by the roller coaster of emotions rolling through our lives.
It is the monotony of daily life that lends itself to the boredom of ordinariness; the monotony broken only by the moments you deem special or even spectacular—those precious moments with friends and family when you feel happy, loved, or perhaps even extraordinary. Sometimes you escape the ordinariness of life in the secret fantasy unfolding in the hidden recesses of your mind—the realm where you dream of a future you hope will deliver you to a different reality than the one you find yourself tethered to by the every changing unfoldment of your personal circumstances.
If only things were different, is the dream of the perfected future that overlooks the perfection of now present in all ordinary moments of life—the life of your life overlooked in the rush to live your life. Strangely, it is the ordinary moment when your life is shattered by an unexpected disillusionment—the sudden realization you have no idea what your life is really all about. This heartbreak of seeing through the illusion of your life is the catalyst for questioning life itself. What is life all about anyway? What is the purpose?
It doesn’t matter how this shattering moment of disillusionment unfolds— the shock of an unexpected end, a death, a loss, a relationship ends, or a book falls off a shelf and the silent stare of a saint captivates your attention while an inexplicable shiver of recognition runs down your spine—no matter how it happens this shift is no accident. It is the predestine catalyst for a sudden inexplicable truth telling—the moment when you see through all the lies you’ve been telling yourself.
This shift is essential. It is your heart breaking open to something deeper than your mind. It is the great seeing through the lies of your life that kept you trapped in the circumstances of your life as the never-ending story of you. This shift is the spark of consciousness that causes you to search for the answer to life’s deepest questions. It is the miraculous awakening or realization; your life is not at all what it seemed—the spark of deeper awareness that has the power to ignite your search for the freedom known as enlightenment.
Often seeking is infused with the idea that enlightenment will deliver you from the monotony of ordinary life to the special or extraordinary life of the enlightened one. This idea overlooks the true nature of enlightenment—the ordinary enlightenment—the ordinary recognition of seeing what you truly are beyond all ideas of what you imagine you are—the deep recognition of the pure presence that is always at peace no matter what is unfolding in your life. It is a deep seeing through the illusion generated by your memory, your projections, and imagination. The predestine moment when you notice the vast indescribable presence of life itself—the freedom that is living you before your breath—the ordinary enlightenment.
This realization is a ruthless humbling of your mind and a deep confrontation of your ego. It is a moment of surrender. If this moment is resisted it is painful, but when it is welcomed fully it transforms into the ruthless grace that naturally frees you from the limitations of your mind. It is a scared holy blaze—the bonfire of the ego—the ruthless fire that destroys the past, the future, all ideas of you, and returns you to the profound happiness of now alive in your heart. This confrontation of the arrogance of mind, which lives in the delusion of knowing, cracks you open to the truth of yourself that can never be known.
In the willingness to surrender to this fire of the heart, all that is false burns away leaving you face to face with the indescribable emptiness of your being. The shock of this realization often gives rise at first to a primal fear of death and later to the most indescribable peace, happiness, and profound clarity, but to realize this directly for yourself you must turn and face this demon of death. Meeting death is the willingness to fall into the gaping void within you. In the willingness to fall into this void you can discover intimately the overwhelming love of your being—the great and eternal fire of your heart. This fire of love is the life within you that beats your heart—the life of your life—the eternal presence never touched by life or death.
This deathless presence is the life before your breath—eternal salvation—the ordinary enlightenment untouched by any feeling, experience, or thought. Enlightenment is this ordinariness. The intimate realization that you are this living presence that naturally reveals how precious, how absolutely perfect, every boring monotonous mundane moment of your life is. In fully embracing this ordinariness you can directly experience the indescribable eternal love that you are in the core of your being.
Ordinary enlightenment stretches into this eternity of the heart as the perpetual sunrise of the purest most indescribable love. No words exist to describe this love that devours every false idea that binds you to the suffering nature of mind. Enlightenment is the process of being devoured by this love until there is no one to perceive, or resist, or even understand this love. It is the willingness to be devoured by love that you set yourself free from life times of suffering.
Being devoured by love is the bittersweet nature of Freedom. Why not be devoured? Why not be free as the freedom that lives beyond all ideas of freedom or enlightenment?
No greater love exits. It is ordinary and in this ordinariness your life is recognized to be truly extraordinary.
Ordinary enlightenment is the life of your life—the heart.
This heart is the only reality.