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The Wise Guide

By Monique Rhodes

July 25, 2022


Two entities live inside of us. Usually, we are only engaged with one. 

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  • Hello Monique, I love your work and all you do for the folks that follow you. This podcast may well reflect your personal experience, yet, I don’t believe it will work for many folks.
    Would you be willing to entertain another view?

      • Thank you, Monique. I trust you.

        I listened to your encouragement in this podcast as a wonderful strategy that can be carried on over time with more and more benefits accruing over that time. I have deep respect for you and that approach. With what I am going to say, I have no disagreement with that.

        In my one-on-one work, I often encounter clients with essentially two entities in active conflict with each other. I need to help them find relief in just a few sessions. So the following is the approach I take to accomplish a relatively quick reconciliation between these two entities. I think it can have occasional application to your entities, the ego and the wise guide.

        The presupposition behind the presentation of your two entities implies an inner conflict that must be won by one entity over the other, and you imply one is better and the other problematic.
        That is a model that, for many people, already exists in their psyche and causes regular episodes of inner conflict and turmoil, with never a real winner. These episodes can be very painful emotionally.
        The breakthrough solution is not for one to win or ascend over the other. Transformation comes when both entities realize they each have deeper—un-manifested—positive intentions that cannot manifest when they operate independent of the other—either one at different times trying to “go it alone” and win on its own.
        Only through creating a profound partnership with each other based on respect for what each can bring to the party of life—the un-manifested intentions—and based on recognizing each needs the other—their skill-sets are not redundant or identical to each other—can they fully succeed and enjoy life, and each other.
        Then, through partnership, the relationship becomes one based on mutual respect, collaboration, cooperation, and soon… mutual affection and loyalty. The solution is all in the health and vibrancy of the inner relationship.
        This calls for a big inner shift: to suspend judgment of each other and begin considering and seeing the value of working together as if an integrated whole. From this integration—this working relationship—the entire individual has their best shot at reaching the zenith of their potential here on earth in this lifetime… successfully AND enjoyably.
        From one of the basic principles of systems theory, we can observe that when the figurative ego and wise guide agree to join forces, by the fact of their union they combine the best traits of both… and simultaneously cancel out the limitations each one has when operating independent of the other.
        From that combining, this union results in surprising emergent properties—states of being (such as inner peace) and behaviors (such as elegant solutions to formerly intractable problems)—not previously even conceivable much less possible.
        The general principle I work within is… the problem is never with one entity or the other. The problem is always with the state of the relationship (or lack thereof) between the two. Fix the relationship, and as a natural byproduct, the problem resolves.
        So, in some cases where short-term relief is needed, I recommend the ego and the wise guide consider working together. If they do, they may well and surprisingly bring out the best in each other—something they never could have foreseen.

        • Ahhh what you have written here is so profound. And so beautifully expressed. Thank you for sharing this wisdom. It’s a gift for me to read it.

          I completely understand what you are saying. Yes, it makes perfect sense. I wonder about this, Michael. Hear me out. I know you will know much about what I am about to write, but I’m giving context to anyone reading this.

          I believe that the origin of ego comes from the mind believing in itself as a separate entity. Interestingly, it arises from our inherent pure mind, our primordial nature or divine godliness. Ego arose from this pure awareness by assuming a sense of self and separating itself and others, creating the notion of I. Once the mind established this dualistic perspective, thoughts arose from that sense of being individual and separate. This notion of separation, of self and others, creates the mental activity of comparisons and judgments, leading to a chain of discriminating thoughts. We aren’t always aware that our experiences revolve around a sense of self-concern and self-centredness, the main focus being ourselves and our feelings. This selfishness takes us away from our true nature and its qualities of love and compassion. It also prevents us from resting in the present moment.

          The ego self that we think we are doesn’t exist. It’s a fabrication of the mind. When we rest in the present moment, the ego-mind is quietened, and our inner nature is revealed. We see that we are much greater than what we think we are. It can be a shock to hear we aren’t what we think we are. We look in the mirror, and we see our reflection. There we are: we have a name, we are a mother or daughter, friend, partner, or business associate. We have all these labels we live by, forming our sense of self. Yet these labels are not inherently in our makeup. We take on these designations, which come from our dualistic minds relating to others and the world around us. It’s a self within our thinking mind, fabricated by all the labeling outside ourselves. That is the illusion. That is what the ego is; it takes us away from our true inner self. This inherent nature is beyond the labeling we define ourselves by. It is the divine within us.

          In my work, I aspire to see the illusion of the ego to awaken that inherent nature. With that in mind, I fully acknowledge there is a possibility that we can do this in partnership with the ego. For me, the way that I work is to slowly but surely shatter the false house of the ego to let the true light of the inherent nature shine. It’s just a different approach – a “cutting through” approach that I bring to all of my work. I will often describe this as looking at a tree. So often, we are trying to cut off the leaves or the branches. If possible, I prefer to see if we can locate the roots. And it’s the same for me with the ego, especially in my personal awakening. Ultimately, I am aiming to cut through and reveal my true wisdom nature.

          What do you think? đź’•

          • Thank you, Monique, for taking the time you did to share your aspiration and personal awakening. I’m moved by it.

            We’ve opened up a huge discussion that can go on… I’ll narrow my scope best I can.

            What do I think… I like what you wrote and see how your approach has been so useful for you and for many.

            The mechanisms of mind are in a way, vague and hazy, presenting a challenge to pinning down anything for sure about the mind itself. Scientists and philosophers call this the hard problem of consciousness—you mostly can’t know anything about the mind or consciousness as a provable certainty.

            But we try to know :-). We can experience and over time observe, say, certain behaviors (thought patterns) that occur within our consciousness, put them into a category (assessed as problematic) and then assign the category to a metaphoric label… like “ego.”

            So the ego then becomes a created thing that can take on a life of its own if we’re not careful—one that we created. In that sense I agree, it is best we ongoingly recognize this as the illusion it is.

            We made it up…, and it becomes our shorthand way of thinking and talking about the behaviors when they show up, ‘This is my ego, and my ego just did this behavior that I don’t want it to do anymore.’ To thusly assign the problem to the ego is illusory thinking.

            The behaviors are the thing—the things in themselves—that are problematic, and they are conditioned into us by early life experiences. They are not us.

            If I am understanding you correctly, I love your notion of going right to the roots and that the quickest way to the roots is being in the moment. And, in the moment, the behaviors we don’t want… can begin to go quiet.

            All my best, Monique…

          • I love this conversation. I’m going to address it in a podcast later today đź’•

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