The higher self, free of this desire to make the world conform to a set of expectations, offers no apology and no complaint. Finding life in the present moment, it is receptive to, and grateful for, all that it experiences. In the void created by its lack of expectations, comes the peace that fills the heart and brings calmness of mind. Contrast this to the ego, which perpetually wants more of that which it perceives will give it strength. Seeing itself as lacking these objects of worldly power, we are unconsciously led to complain about things that don’t matter very much to the higher self. It is thus no coincidence that most people complain about superficial things like money, possessions, physical appearance and the most routine behaviour of others.
Three primary drives of the ego are to obtain, control and devour. It wants to accumulate the fruits of its indulgence, and consume those to the exclusion of others, while attempting to control those who have these fruits in their possession. Providing further evidence of this is the situation where the ego struggles against those people who are resistant to the satiation of its desires. Being incapable of getting them to do what we want for our ego’s benefit, we condemn their opposition, while at the same time being ignorant of our own opposition to our spiritual nature.
If we are living in integrity with this higher dimension of being, we will not be driven by the primitive desires of the lower self. Contented and harmonious within ourselves, we will not need to criticize, condemn or complain. See here that these are different faces of the same dysfunction, being the separation from spirit. Mistakenly thinking that we are the ego, we voice its displeasure as if it is our own, but what we miss when we do this is an experience of the authentic self that is centred in clarity and abundance.
In a moment of conscious clarity, there is always enough of whatever you have before you. Whether it is a person, object or a landscape, there is nothing else that is needed in that experience in order to feel whole. Joined in love with that which is gazed upon, everything is perfect in the world, not because we are naïve or wishful, but because we are aware of the truth behind the lie. Shall we be in this moment and allow it to give of its gifts, or will we resist and make its offering a burden to carry?
By complaining about my marking duties, I was choosing to suffer rather than applying myself towards the task. Wishing the moment to be different, I desired to be stimulated or entertained in a way that marking could not provide. Finding that task to be ‘boring’, I did not want to serve the world but be subservient to my ego. Despite the fact that I was being paid to mark these papers, it was what I wanted to escape from because it did not promise the instant gratification that other more pleasurable activities would have delivered.
Wanting to surf the web or grab a snack from the staff room instead, I was tempted by the desire to procrastinate, which I indulged by stopping what I was doing to complain. Pining for some relief, I found it not in complaining, for that which I was resisting sat silently there waiting for me to gather the fortitude to do what I knew my duty to be. By complaining, I took the easy option and lost momentum in the process. Building towards completion before my concentration was broken, I squandered the opportunity to engage with that task, choosing instead to waste my energy by postponing the inevitable.
In the end, I wised up and just got on with it. Having a deadline to meet, it was an unlikely saviour, for it forced me to move past my resistance. Completing the task a mere half an hour before deadline, I had made things harder on myself than they needed to be. With less complaining and more diligence, I could have finished the task much earlier, and saved myself much in the way of stress that revolved around the question, was I going to finish my marking on time or not?