Once upon a time, a Persian king was coming out of his palace for a morning walk when he met a beggar. He stopped and asked the man, “What do you want?”
The beggar laughed saying, “You are asking me this as if you could fulfill my desire!” Offended, the king replied, “Of course I can fulfill your desire, I am the king! Just tell me what it is.”
“Okay, if you insist,” said the beggar, “but I have one condition, so think twice before you promise anything.”
The monarch was a bit stunned. He had seen many beggars, but never a beggar with conditions. He found this one quite unusual, but he couldn’t resist his charisma, and he was also a bit jealous. He didn’t know this was a very powerful man—a Sufi mystic.
“What do you mean?” he asked. “What is your condition?”
The beggar replied, “It is a simple one. You see this begging bowl? I will accept whatever you give me only if you can fill the bowl with it.”
The begging bowl was small, so the king said, “Of course I can fill this dirty bowl! Who do you think I am?”
The beggar admonished him, “Start only if you truly believe you can fill it, because you may get into trouble later on.”
The ruler called his vizier, saying, “Show this beggar who he is dealing with. Fill the bowl with precious stones, like diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.”
As the advisor began filling the bowl, the king was surprised to see the gemstones vanish as they went into the bowl. It was filled many times, and every time it appeared to be empty again. Enraged, he ordered the vizier, “Even if the whole kingdom goes in, and all my coffers are drained, keep going. I cannot let this beggar defeat me!”
Within a few months, his whole empire disappeared. Everyone in the capital witnessed their sovereign gradually become a beggar, wondering what was going to happen to him once he lost everything.
Finally, the king-turned-beggar fell at the feet of the Sufi mystic, pleading, “Please forgive me for my arrogance, I have nothing else to give! But before you leave, tell me one thing: What is the secret of this begging bowl? Why did everything disappear as soon as it went in?”
Laughing, the master replied, “Because it is made of human ego, so nothing ever fulfills it.”
Learning How to Dissolve the Ego Is Your Purpose Here
The ego-mind is inherently greedy. It craves more pleasure, more recognition, more stuff, and more control to experience a momentary gratification that hides the sense of deficiency the ego also produces by blocking Consciousness. You need it to act and express yourself in the world, since it is produced and ruled by the ego-mind. But it also makes you believe that you will find happiness in what the world has to offer, so you get attached to things and people invariably bound to change, which causes you suffering.
This is why it is crucial to understand and master the ego-mind to be happy. As long as it controls your perception and behavior—through your own negative tendencies—you will be seeking love, happiness, and fulfillment outside of you, where they can only be found momentarily before they disappear again, like the riches in the begging bowl.
In my new book, You Are Your Healer: The Ultimate Guide to Heal Your Past, Transform Your Life & Awaken to Your True Self, I explore in detail the nature of the ego-mind and share the Swan Method to remove your identification with it, which is what keeps you emotionally stuck in the past and produces the attachments, aversions, and fears that cause you suffering.
I am super excited that the book is out on paperback now, so yay!! (The hardcover is coming out soon as well.) This is a book you’ll want to go back to again and again until the wisdom and tools in it start really sinking in. Trust me, in time, they will become second nature, allowing you to experience life from a place of inner peace, clarity, and curiosity, rather than fear, confusion, and dissatisfaction. Click on the picture below to grab your copy today!
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