Paramahansa Yogananda defined ego as “the soul attached to the body.” He taught that there are two forces at work in the body: the outward (downward) flowing energy and the inward (and upward). Our bodies are the field where we play out or reap the consequences of the choices that we make all day long. The Bhagavad Gita tells us that the body is a field where our ego’s battle and struggle toward or away from truth. This is what we create as karma which means that we have energized these ideas, hopes, dreams, desires, dramas as thought on the inner or outer fields of our consciousness. Every time we have a desire we are extending an energetic list for our souls to work out. We consciously or unconsciously determine how things play out when our decisions show up as uplifting thoughts, expansive attitudes and we play an active part in directing our energy toward the light. Desires are the fuel that keep us bound to the body the reincarnation.
To know something, we differentiate three things: the knower, the thing known, and the act of knowing. So long as the act of knowing is directed outward, the energy in the body will flow outward, through the senses, and we will be sucked into a downward vortex that is very challenging to escape.
As we aspire toward the light, we are struggling to lift our energy in the body so it will flow upward in our spines, and be very aware when our choices cause us toward lower awareness which brings us back toward the senses, which cannot satisfy the soul and keeps us in our reactionary dramas. The senses take us in the opposite direction from what we ultimately want which is divine bliss. We can see how our desires can be harmful when we deceive ourselves and behave in ways that are against our own higher interests. That is usually seen and experienced in retrospect. Habits and desires separate us from soul-awareness and keeps us bound by the fierce hold the ego exerts on our awareness.
The process of awakening continues as we tire of the ever-disappointing dreams and we become determined to dispel these illusions. We awaken when we draw the energy and consciousness up the spine to the heart and above. There are ancient practices, such as Kriya Yoga, that will help us draw greater happiness and joy and become more ourselves as we eventually realize a state of oneness with Spirit.
~ Wisdom from Paramhansa
paraphrased by Rev. Barb