Plucking Out the Ego

“The Ego is a veil between humans and God’.”ego
― Rumi

When his disciples asked Jesus who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, he called a little child over to him, sat the boy in the midst of them, and said:

Unless you are converted, and become like little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever is as humble as this little child will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such little child in my name receives me. Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for in heaven, their angels always behold the face of my Father. It would be better for whoever leads one of these little ones who believe in me to sin if a millstone was hung around his neck and he was drowned in the depths of the sea.

Jesus is saying that the ego is one of the impediments to entering the kingdom of heaven. Humility and the innocent wonder of the beginner’s mind are necessary. He then goes on to say something quite extraordinary:

Woe to the world for our offenses! Such things will happen, but woe to the man who causes the offense! If your hand or your foot makes you stumble, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better to live life lame or maimed, than to have two hands and two feet and be cast into everlasting fire. If your eye leads you to sin, pluck it out, and cast it from you. It is better to live life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into hell fire.

Jesus is not being literal here. He’s talking about things like the ego that we feel are as much a part of us as our hands or feet, and urges like lust or envy, rather than our eyes themselves. These must be uprooted from the mind, not simply suppressed, before one will be ready to enter the kingdom of heaven.

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About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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