Acheson, the secretary of state who played a central role in defining the foreign policy of our nation, famously said:
The great corrupter of public man is the ego, and looking at in the mirror distracts one’s attention from the problem.
As such, it’s worth unpacking some of the assumptions connected to this ego.
First, we assume that our ego is always out to protect itself at the expense of all else. Must be right. Successfully defend point of view.
Next, we assume that our ego won’t let us admit that we have no control. Must be safe. Preserve reputation and personal interest. Survival equals good.
Third, we assume that our ego will try to convince us that nothing will help and nobody will understand. Must be independent. Pride swallows humility. Take my secret special separateness and run into the corner.
And most importantly, our final assumption.
We assume that the greatest threat to the domination of the ego is the awakening of the soul.
But this last one is actually a good thing. Because every time we allow new things to serve our awakening, every time we widen the possibilities for igniting our spirit, and every time we intentionally put ourselves into environments and relationships and activities that awake our soul system, we lay that fragile ego on the anvil and give the world a chance to swing a hammer at it.
Which certainly won’t get rid of it, but it might purify it.
Of course, the great paradox is, there are no awards for awakening. Nobody will congratulate us on waking up.
And that’s the point. The moment we let go of needing to win, needing to be the best, needing to be the only, and needing to be praised for authenticity, we bow to something bigger.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What is your great corrupter?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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