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We each have a lens through which we see the world. It’s like looking at life through a camera that automatically adjusts to the light and other conditions to give you a particular picture. But suppose you wanted to see the world differently. You would have to consciously change the settings on your camera so you could manually adjust your view.
Our ego works the same way; it is a lens automatically set to show you the world from a particular point of view, that is, your point of view. Our egos are concerned with what we want, think, know, and need. We can become very comfortable seeing the world through auto focus. It means we never have to consider the needs or feelings of others. We never need to understand what life feels like on the other side of the camera. It’s like being in our own little word.
The Kabbalah Centre teaches that the ego distorts reality, causing us to see the negative around us and in others. “Much of what we see is an illusion painted negative by our ego,” Michael Berg explains. “If we are able to let go of our ego the true good can be seen.” When we live our lives guided by our egos, we may feel satisfied with our accomplishments and relationships, but a far richer experience (success, more meaningful relationships, deeper love) can be had as soon as we change our perspective and see the world beyond the lens of our egos.
Divisions emerge when we begin to experience negativity. We start out in life innocent and curious about the world around us, approaching new experiences and people with openness. But as our relationship with the world grows, we encounter shame, disappointment, and rejection. This negativity feeds our ego and alters the way we see and interact with the world. We begin to close up. Our egos prevent us from acting with kindness and generosity toward others.
Instead of thinking about the thoughts and needs of others, we think, “You’re not making me happy. You’re not fulfilling my needs. You’re wrong, I’m right. I need ... ” This kind of thinking sets us in opposition to those around us, when our real foe is the ego. Try to see past your ego’s agenda. It is not a person or a situation that causes difficulty in our lives, it’s our egos filling us with anger and blame, preventing us from truly connecting with others.
But all is not lost. With consciousness, we can begin to shift the way we see the world; we can tear down the emotional callousness that builds up when we become accustomed to viewing the world only from our own perspective.
It’s all about choice. Michael Berg very simply states, “We have the power to choose our reality. Each moment, we can connect in varying degrees to Light and to Darkness, depending on our actions. To the degree our actions connect to God, we will experience Light and fulfillment. To the degree our actions connect to Darkness and ego, we will experience pain.”
Through our acts of kindness and sharing we choose to connect to others and as a consequence see the world from their point of view. And when we do that, we break down the walls of prejudice to find that we are all connected through the Light of the Creator. Unity comes when there is no division between ourselves and others and we can feel their pain as if it were our own. Try seeing beyond the lens of your ego and connect to Light in others.