The Ego - on Our Spiritual Journey II

Laurence Freeman OSB
2008 Series B

Laurence Freeman is a Benedictine monk of the Olivetan Congregation and Director of The World Community for Christian Meditation. He is author of many books and CDs. These talks offer fresh insight on the problem of the ego and the role of asceticism. The ego is a great force in today’s consumer society but, Fr Laurence says, there is a natural gravity in the human soul that draws it towards God. This is the primary human will. The way to recover this primary will is asceticism, and the single word in meditation is a way of ascesis that strikes at the root of the ego. These talks were given to the monks at Gethsemani Abbey in 1992.

If we were to say in the simplest terms what is the spiritual life, I think we couldn’t probably say better than accepting ourselves as we are. Not even transcending ourselves or perfecting ourselves, but simply accepting ourselves. That is the spiritual life. Without that self-acceptance, we cannot come to self-knowledge. Whatever part of ourselves we don’t accept, we repress. What is repressed is not available for the glorification of God. The glory of God is a man fully alive, fully self-accepting. We don’t fulfil our destiny, which is to glorify God, unless we do this hard work of accepting every bit of ourselves, even the bits that don’t seem to fit in, that don’t fit in with our religious image, our monastic image or even our Christian image. Every part of ourself has to be included in the final oblation.

1.    Wholeness    10:54    min


2.    Self-Knowledge    12:22


3.    Death and Resurrection    10:21

4.    The Journey of Meditation    9:49

5.    The Stages of our Journey    13:17


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