The Ego - on Our Spiritual Journey I

Laurence Freeman OSB
2008 Series A

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 have found our true self, then we have found that wavelength in which we can relate to each other in a truly loving way, truly compassionate, truly in empathy, truly non-judgemental, truly tolerant, putting up with the weaknesses of body and character in each other. This is very much related to our relationships with each other, very much related to forgiveness, for example. We cannot truly forgive one another unless we are in touch with our own true identity, our own essential goodness. We cannot forgive one another, and therefore we cannot enter into relationship with one another, unless we are in touch with that true self. The process of forgiveness occupies such an important place in the Christian vision precisely for this reason – because it is in the process of forgiveness that we detach from our ego and find our true self, from which experience we find the power to love one another. Christ is the supreme example and teacher of that. It is in this pure prayer that the ego is transcended. In the transcendence of the ego, reconciliation and communion become possible.

1.    The Ego    10:57    min

 

2.    The True Self    13:10

 

3.    Egoless Prayer - Pure Prayer    8:45

4.    Our True Self - A Child of God    13:46

5.    Christ in Contemplative Experience    12:11

6.    The Prayer of Faith   9:55

 

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