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A Probability of Words

Text Thomas Lloyd Qualls Photo Kelly Peyton




Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff - Orison Swett Marden you if they can


here is much talk these days about the ego and its evil ways, about the importance of eliminating or transcending it. It is true we should be more aware of the ego and its tendency towards chaos and distraction. But it is also futile to imagine that the ego is something we can destroy. More than this, it is delusional to believe that eradication of the ego is something we should aspire to accomplish. Though it has become the all-purpose whipping boy of many a guru, the ego is more akin to the tempting sprite or the trickster coyote of various mythologies. One of the ego's games is to set up unnecessary hurdles for us to clear. It tells us that if we clear this next hurdle, we'll feel better. We will be known as the hurdle-clearer. And all will be right with the world. But once we're over the hurdle, the ego immediately begins to diminish the accomplishment: It wasn't as high as it looked. Other people have overcome far greater obstacles. Immediately, the ego starts looking for the next thing to prove itself. And make no mistake, no matter how high the bar is set, it will not be enough. This is because -- among other things -- the ego has an attachment fixation with drama. 8 Reno Tahoe Tonight

The Master does nothing, yet he leaves nothing undone. The ordinary man is always doing things, yet many more are left to be done. -Lao Tzu The ego also has a terrible memory and tends to forget its job. Its primary job is to be the vehicle for the soul's expression. But for whatever reason, instead of sticking to the task at hand, it has developed an unending lust for want. And in the perpetual swoon of its desire to desire, it has forgotten its original charge to do the soul’s bidding. Intentionally or not, the ego engages in its own brand of mutiny and re-charters the course of the vehicle for its own means. No one is certain why this is. Perhaps, like most of us in this modern world, the ego is just easily distracted. But the havoc that follows in the wake of its attention deficit is connected to a great many of the human world’s problems. I want to be clear that want is not a bad thing. And that desire is an essential component of life. In a way, all creativity is born of desire. Obstacles are also not necessarily bad. All of us will encounter our fair share. And they tend to build character and identity, to add to our

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