Don’t let the clarity and simplicity of the book “Choosing Easy World” fool you. The spiritual concept of ‘Easy World’ is not a new one, but oftentimes teachers have trouble conveying this state of being with words. The author Julia Rogers Hamrick guided me on a path of looking at how I view the world and how to hear the voice of my ‘difficult world dictator,’ or in other words ‘ego.’
The ‘ego’ is a word thrown around so heavily in the spiritual community that often I get lost when a spiritual teacher talks about it. When I attempted to listen to ‘A Course in Miracles,’ I gave up after five hours of repeated use of the word ‘ego.’
In ‘Choosing Easy World’ what Julia is referring to when using the word ‘ego’ is easy to understand. She also points not to create a battle between yourself and the ‘difficult world dictator.’ It is good that she addresses this early in the book, because the risk of defining the ‘ego’ and setting it apart as a personality other than the self is easy to fall into.
Naturally the ‘ego’ is integrated with the self and spiritual teachers often attempt to point out the egoistic aspects of the self to look at and understand. With understanding one can better overcome where the ‘ego’ is holding a person back. Yet, in separating the ‘ego’ as something other than the self there is a risk a person will create a ‘devil’ to fight with in their mind. They could give the ‘ego’ a greater power as an individualized aspect instead of letting it integrate back into the self upon identification.
When I was a child I did not go around thinking about the ‘difficult world dictator/ego’ both my negative and positive thoughts were all me. Therefore the ‘ego’ is a bit of an artificial construct. It is a mirror for the mind to look at itself and make changes.
Now that I have gotten my personal issues with the concept of ‘ego’ out of the way, I highly recommend the book ‘Choosing Easy World.’ The best part of the book is that it is easy to understand. Long before reading the book, I had recognized the aspect of my self known in the book as the ‘difficult world dictator’ at work. Even if I had never received any negative feedback on my work, I would imagine my supervisors thinking I had done a bad job. I would picture them firing me for every little mistake I made.
I asked myself, “Why do I think this? Never once have my supervisors had to give me a talking to. I have no evidence that they dislike my work. So why do I keep worrying I will be fired?” So I made a point to stop thinking in such a way. Yet, there are still other areas where the tendency to think that way holds me back. This is mainly in relationships.
When I was still in my teens, what Julia refers to as the ‘difficult world dictator’ was a major part of my relationships. So much so that I stopped entering into relationships altogether fearing that part of my personality would surface ruining the joy of a relationship. For a long time, I was ill, and I told myself I didn’t want to burden a partner with my issues.
I got used to being single. And to this day, every time I think about getting into a relationship I ask myself, “Am I ready and able to be the kind of person I want to be in a relationship or will I return to old patterns.”
I don’t know the answer to this question. For all my spiritual study has never made that voice of worry in me forever disappear. I do not think it is ever going to disappear, but I can learn to recognize it. ‘Choosing Easy World,’ demonstrates that there is another way of being in the world. One where faith in the divine order of reality can override the fearful tenancy to create illusionary problems.
So here you have it, my attempt at a book review.