Yeshua says:
It is not possible for anyone to overthrow
the house of someone powerful
unless first the hands of the powerful one are bound.
Then everything can be taken from the house.

(Matthew 12:29; Romans 7:19-20)

I am often a conflicted being. I see that there is within me that which must be “overthrown”.

Paul articulated my struggle when he wrote

For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.
(Romans 7:19-20)

There is within me an “I” that wants only what is good, true, and beautiful. But this “I” does not entirely describe the fullness of who I know myself to be.

I see another “I” that is bent towards death and destruction. In some spiritual traditions this deadly other “I” is called the “false self”, or the “small self”. It is sometimes labelled the “ego.”

Most terms used to describe this deadly reality are inadequate and carry connotations that are at times less than helpful. But the urge to live as something less than the luminous being I was created to be is a real experience which needs a name.

In an attempt to avoid the pitfalls of most words applied to this part of the human condition, Hugh McGregor Ross, in his commentary on the Gospel of Thomas uses the Sanskrit word ahamkara which in Hindu philosophy describes an unhealthy attachment to, or identification with, the ego.

Whatever term I use, the important thing is to recognize the power of this force. There is a part of me that seeks to dominate my life. It is identified with the surface circumstances of life and struggles to establish meaning, purpose, and happiness by having an impact in the external world. It wants to be in control; it rejects all suffering and seeks to minimize pain and maximize comfort.

Ironically, this small but powerful resident in the house of my life is the cause of most of my suffering. The determination to meet my needs, wants, and desires before anything else, always creates pain in my own life and in the world I inhabit.

But the important thing in Saying 35 is that the goal is not to destroy, but to overthrow ahamkara. Ego makes a good servant, but a poor master. I need a strong ego in order to navigate life. But ego must not dominate. The power of love must bind the ego in order that I may have full access to the riches stored in the house of my inner being.

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Today I will seek to observe when my ego has moved into a position of dominance and will overthrow that part of my being that is bent towards power, privilege and prestige.