ReLentless ego

People like to talk about what they’re going to give up for Lent. Some give up a certain food. Or TV. Or the mall.

I’d like to give up my ego.

My ego is what lends heavy importance to all of these things. I wouldn’t be tempted to buy things like new shoes if I took my ego out of the equation. Let’s take a look:

I want to buy new shoes.

Who wants to buy new shoes? “I.” Now take the “I” out of that sentence.

Want to buy new shoes.

Who is this enigmatic person or thing who wants to buy new shoes? We don’t know. It’s a mystery. But surely this person or thing has an understanding of new shoes without dualism, without need for a subject for this sentence. This person or thing might have some answers to life’s questions. In fact, it feels like a question. Maybe that’s it:

Who wants to buy new shoes?

I do, I do!

See, that’s my problem. That “I” likes to jump in there, even though I know I don’t need new shoes, even though I defy grammar in plenty of other ways. That’s why we give up chocolate, or double mocha frappuchinos, or new shoes for 40 days. It’s tangible. It’s a deadline. It’s something “I” can do.

2 thoughts on “ReLentless ego

  1. Such a great point, JF – it’s easier to deal with an external object than with what’s going on inside us. We are able to define a strappy pair of Blahnik spikes – but, figuring out ourselves? Not so much.

    There’s a saying: You can never have too many friends or too many pairs of shoes. Probably not born of a Zen mind?

    A material object is much easier to understand than something cerebral. It’s more quantifiable, provable. Dealing with that which we can think but can’t see is much harder – and, therefore, less popular. Some call it insignificant. Some call it faith.

    You can never have too many friends or too deep an understanding of ourselves. Shoe allotment is dependent on space. Them shoes will eat you outta house and home…but there’s always room for more enlightment.

  2. Who likes JF’s columns? If I take the “I” out from “I like JF’s columns” then its:

    “Like JF’s columns.”

    We then ponder: Who is the mystery object or life force(s) that “Like JF’s columns” ?


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