Friday, May 26, 2006

Cheri Huber on Egocentricity



Egocentricity is the process of wanting something other than what is. Egocentricity means there is an "I" who is separate from everything else and doesn't like it; one thing is happening, but I want a different thing to be happening. Egocentricity is that constant concern with how I feel, what I think, what I'm doing, what I want - looking at what is and seeing it as inadequate. My identity is maintained by the struggle of wanting something other than what is; that is how I continue to know myself.

This practice involves finding a willingness to suffer in order to end our suffering. Instead of spending our time trying to avoid suffering, we just find the willingness to go directly into it. Whenever anything causes us to suffer, we can know two things: suffering is the same as egocentricity, and when it arises, that is our best opportunity to end suffering. As we open to our suffering, as we embrace it, as we accept it, our relationship to it changes. It is no longer something horrible, something to escape from. Suffering becomes just another opportunity, another chance for freedom.

Please find out about that for yourself.
~ Cheri Huber, Trying to be Human

I was involved in a discussion recently in which someone wanted me to define ego needs. This quote from Cheri Huber comes as close anything I have ever seen to defining just what it is our little egos want. It is also clear from this quote that egocentricity creates suffering.

And more importantly, it gives a concise plan for how to work with those needs so that we may decrease the ways in which ego limits our lives. Once we accept the First Noble Truth (life hurts), we have to confront the pain in order to move through it. Some wise person once said, "the only way out is through."

True enough.

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