I am currently trying to learn Latin, and so far it has proven to be a daunting task, especially if you are trying to learn it on your own. I really wish I could afford Rosetta Stone. I have visited a few websites, and downloaded some books, but I am still having trouble with the language. So far I am able to say and understand the first four verses of the gospel of John. In my studies I have discovered that much of the English language has origins in Latin. With that being said I stumbled upon something very interesting. I noticed that the Latin word for “I” is “ego.” This was sort of an ah-ha moment for me.

My greatest enemy in life is my ego. In all my study and meditation on the Tao Te Ching I have discovered how harmful ego can be. It is literally destroying my marriage, and my life. I did a post a while back on “pride.” According to Pope Gregory I pride is the most damaging of the seven deadly sins. I am prideful to a fault, but after some advice from Rambling http://ramblingtaoist.blogspot.com/ I now believe pride comes from my ego. I try my best to live and follow the Tao but I question my dedication. I can read a verse and see the light contained within, but when it comes down to actually living it I fall way to short.

I think I live my life with too much “I” in it. I have admitted to myself and in therapy that I am a selfish person who thinks of himself first and foremost. It makes me sad when I actually verbalize this, because then it makes it so real. The question is how do I turn “ego” into “tu?” I wish I had the answer for this question. I think my selfishness is a built in defense mechanism; developed over time in my life. Which leads to another question; am I am just saying this as an excuse for my behavior? Am I taking ownership yet at the same time transferring blame?

There is nothing I hate more than self reflection. It is by far the most painful procedure I can endure. I have caused far too much hurt in my 31 years of existence, and very little joy. To say and realize this is an agonizing state of affairs. I dread this process; instead of facing it I just run to the hills. I wish there was a God I could pray to asking him/her to alter the past, but sadly even God cannot change the past. The devil can now frolic in my fields of sin. I am stuck with these sins for the rest of my life, and no amount of washing them in holy water will wash away the blood of damaged lives.

For better or worse I must reap what I have sown. I must live in these prison walls I have created. My misery is of my own doing, and karma is a bitch. My life of ego will never lead to a life of amor et gauisus peractio.

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Comments
  1. Nicole says:

    In an instant you can simply change this course. You CAN consciously live every day, starting at this very moment, putting the ones you love before you. Then before you know it your PAST is about how UNSELFISH you have become and how great that has made your life. IT IS A CHOICE TIM, you simply want to make justifications and not really have take accountability because then you do not have to make the actual change.
    The only way faith of every kind, TAO included, actually works is to live it all day everyday….

    That’s my way of thinking anyway.

  2. Johanna says:

    Humans are by nature selfish and prideful. We are all at the same at the core of our being. I do find some comfort in this. We are all struggling on the same path. It IS hard to live out what we know to be right or true. The struggle will be worth it. I recently got a book called ” One thousand Gifts” It talks about gratitude and being thankful every day. I think it will be life changing for me!
    And, God forgives all sins if one is sorry. YOU need to forgive yourself.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      There are many verses in the Tao Te Ching that tells us to be grateful. I think I often times get lost in this or that I do not really take the time to appreciate the good things I have in my life. I am a selfish person, and I am prideful these are two of my faults, and I do not believe it is as easy as just one day you wake up and say ok I am going to change my whole mental psyche. I at least know it is not that easy for me. Some of my issues are so deeply rooted in who I am it is like a weed with deep strong roots. Sometimes you can get bits and pieces and the weed will be gone for awhile then it returns just as strong as before. I can take solace in knowing God forgives, but I cannot forgive myself.

  3. From my perspective, people spend far too much energy and effort “trying to forgive” themselves. If you think about it, THAT is a selfish activity.

    What has happened is over and done with. As you have already acknowledged, you can’t change a wit of it, so let it go.

    Like Nicole suggested, start fresh tomorrow morning. Put effort into walking in other people’s shoes. Put effort into genuinely listening to others. Put effort in seeing that the needs of your loved ones come first. In time, it won’t take much effort at all.

    Finally, I strongly disagree with the first line of Johanna’s response: “Humans are by nature selfish and prideful.” I think the exact opposite is true. In my opinion, selfishness and pride are learned behaviors.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      When do you guys agree!! I think the viewpoint Johanna is taking is classic Christanity/Catholic viewpoint of we are destined to sin, and sin is in our nature, where your view-point is that of we are born good, but learn bad. I think it is somewhere in the middle. I believe we are born a blank slate with no concept of good or evil. Everything we are today is learned behaviors whether it be from our parents, teachers, peers, or the media. We are who we are today because of what we have seen and learned. The non-spiritual person in me does not believe we have ingrained good or evil into us, where the Tao student in me wants to say we born from the Tao and we are meant to walk the Way, so therefore in our infancy we are perfect and then later become corrupted

  4. Nicole says:

    I strongly agree with Rambling, which happens 95% of the time!!! I to believe people spend to much time on “forgiving” themselves…you make bad choices you must accept the consequences. stand up and accept them don’t justify behaviors, don’t pray for forgiveness, take the consequence and most importantly LEARN from that bad choice and choose to NOT do that behavior again. It is not that hard to actually put another persons feelings above your own, mothers do it everyday with their kids. Nor is it wrong for people to expect that their kids and spouses do this for them. I love that my oldest son puts others first in our family most of the time. we started net-flix the other day, so Tim, Dylan, Brianna and Austin are all psyched about it. last night Austin went down to watch a movie, he came up a few minutes later and said “mom can you tell me when dad or Dylan and Bri are done watching their shows, because you can only have net-flix on two TV’s at a time” Had that been Brianna or Dylan they would have ran upstairs and demanded that they can not watch their show now, how its not fair, how they want what they want and want it now. Austin was also the kid that donated the extra $5 he had from registering for a football activity to a fund for a teammate who had broken his leg. He does these actions as his core response and behavior…and he is a TEENAGER. Self centered behavior is a choice and is learned…sadly we have come to see it as human nature because so many people have been taught this negative behavior that it has become common place and accepted. My hope is to raise unselfish giving and respectful children who go into the world with the vision of empathy, respect, responsabile for their behaviors and treat others how they want to be treated!!

  5. Johanna says:

    Humans have an intrinsic nature that tends toward pride and selfishness. We were born this way as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve. It is not an excuse but a reality. We have to struggle against these tendencies. The real point here is that we do have a choice. What I was trying to point out was that if we acknowledge and recognize our weaknesses, we can work to overcome them. So many people have so much guilt that it is helpful to know we all have the same struggles and temptations at the core.

  6. Johanna says:

    Rambling, I think forgiving oneself should be pretty cut and dried as well. Just move past it, it’s gone right? Well not all people can do that. They agonize for years, refusing to let go of guilt, shame, and regrets from the past. For some, it’s a long, HARD process.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Johanna,

      I have been struggling for years to overcome my guilt, not just in my marriage but my terrible things I did as a teenager. I destroyed so many lives I cannot forgive myself for that. I have grown as a person and learned as a person I need to forgive those who have harmed me, but I can’t forgive myself. This has caused me to really hate myself. I do not know why I destroy everything I have ever touched.

      I don’t know if we are born with a sinful nature. I think we are born blank and it is our role models and personal experiences that cause us to become good or bad people.

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