The Fly on the Windshield
Recently, as I jumped into my vehicle and began driving I noticed a fly sitting on the windshield. As the car accelerated he continued to hold on. The more the speed increased, the tighter he held. As the vehicle reached a mere 50 km/hr the fly was fighting for all of his might to try and hold on no matter what.
From the fly's perspective everything he was doing was based on his view of the world and all that he had ever experienced in his short time on earth. It must have felt as though the wind had suddenly picked up and was getting worse. To the fly this wind must have seemed quite dangerous and fearsome, and the only thing he could do was to hold on as tightly as he could, fighting for his life.
What the fly did not realize, because it was outside of his conditioned experience and thus beyond his understanding, was that there was no wind, and all he needed to do was simply let go and everything would be fine.
It then occurred to me that this was a great metaphor for the human ego. Because of all of our life's experiences and conditioning, letting completely go of our ego, our sense of who we think we are, combined with having no understanding or experience of what lies beyond our ego, we too are afraid to let go.
Letting go of our very identity, who we believe we are, can be quite scary. From the thinking mind's perspective, the collection of thoughts that make up our identity have become so real to us, and we have come to identify so completely with them, that not having them would feel like we no longer existed, or as though we were annihilating ourselves. It is for this reason that some people have come to fear letting go of the ego much in the same way as their fear of death.
It isn't until one finally lets go completely that they come to realize that the ego never was who we are, and that there never was anything to fear in the first place.
|Michael L. Fournier|