Category Archives: Spiritual Ego

The Binary Code of Belief

Tremendous advancements occur within the space of a thought when we are able to shift our conception of what we believe.  Difference of opinion may infuriate us but it is only because we have forgotten how to occupy more than one space at a time.  Stationary conviction denies the expansion of the dance.
I have been having a wonderful conversation with my friend Angie Moates about being able to explore the paradox beliefs of theism and nontheism.
Pema Chodron in her book,  When Things Fall Apart says:
“The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does or does not believe in God.   It is an issue that applies to everyone, including both Buddhists and non-Buddhists.  Theism is a deep-seated conviction that there’s someone’s hand to hold: if we just do the right things,… someone will take care of us.  It means there’s always a babysitter available when we need one.  We all are inclined to abdicate our responsibilities and delegate our authority to something outside ourselves.  Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves… It is total appreciation of impermanence and change.
In speaking about theism the poet and philosopher Shankara in his book Crest-Jewel of Discrimination, based on the Vedas says: “Brahman- the absolute existence, knowledge and bliss- is real.  The universe is not real.  Brahman and Atman ((hu-)man’s inner Self) are one.”
The central Jewish prayer, the Sh’ma also says that God is one.
One view suggests there is nothing real inside or out (so why get hung up? : ) , another view suggests there is only one real thing inside and out. (so why get hung up? ; ) The first can be represented by a zero (no-thing) (0) and the other by a one (1).  This makes me think of binary code in which programmers use combinations of zero and one to make up a computer ‘reality’.  What if our projected reality, Maya, or the illusion of reality as we know it is a form of this binary code?
In quantum physics, when you break down elementary matter it can be seen as a particle or a wave. Both the particle and the wave represent the same thing. This further represents the paradox of the zero and the one or as Einstein wrote:
It seems as though we must use sometimes the one theory and sometimes the other, while at times we may use either. We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do“- Albert Einstein
Here is what my friend Angie had to say:
“The Buddhist psychology, including the practice of meditation, helped me to reduce my dependence on my spiritual ego. For me, (the spiritual ego) this is the part of me that is always seeking, never finally settled with what is, and full of beliefs and truths that only keep me separated. I realized at one point that this was my addiction. For several years now, I haven’t been comfortable in any church setting.
I still believe in God, but prefer to feel God through nature, music, conversation, animals, etc. Mostly, I have a very personal practice that’s difficult to put into words. Pema taught me not to fear the pain, (our negativity) that comes up but to allow it and accept it. Last year at this time I had a hard time doing that! But I’ve learned that my spiritual ego was keeping me from going deeper with growth. Now, I finally understand what it means to truly love myself at the core. Whatever comes up, I do my best to be kind to myself in all ways, especially thoughts. This became more of a permanent state for me during meditation when I had a vision of myself as a mother, then a father, then finally a small child. It was like all parts of myself came together in a bond. It was pure goodness. And it’s all good, whatever comes up.” – Angie Moates
So here’s to “Loving ourselves at the core”, relieving neurosis so we can direct our hearts towards healing.