Ego, Imagination, Condition, and Light

by Robert Griswold

Friends use the word Light a lot. They use it as a metaphor to point towards an experience. But Friends use this basic expression so casually that I fear it has become conventional and trivial. We don’t much think about what the Light (as experience) means or where it comes from or why we need it. Nor are we aware of how we got into the dark in the first place. Like many metaphors, Light is better understood when it is placed in a context. My experience is that ego, imagination, and condition are factors that provide a helpful context for considering the Light.

Ego is that part of a person that defines itself as a personality, separates itself from the outside world, and considers itself (read: you) a separate entity. As basic as that might sound, it is important to note that an ego is not something a human being is born with. It is an artifact, a made thing. We know from many observations that an infant does not sense itself as anything separate from its mother. It is only when the infant is given a name and taught that the name applies to the actions, moods, and words coming from a particular separate location that the infant begins the task of building an ego. We don’t have an ego when we are born, but we are born with the capacity to build one.

To start this building, we have to begin imaging who we are. Until the ego is established, Read More

July/August 2014 Western Friend

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