My Mafia Friend

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” –Albert Einstein

Today I got to see a few beautiful examples of A Fully Integrated Ego, something I haven’t seen in a while. In some persons, the ego and the soul come across as best friends, as a winning team, as life’s winners. It’s easy for us to think that these people have found the solution of How to Live, and we like to model our behavior after them. In fact, they are the first to tell you how to become just like them.

But these people are often far from being the happy-go-lucky success stories they would have you believe. That’s because underneath the shiny façade, something sinister is simmering. The soul is working for the ego, but doesn’t know it yet. This is a relationship that benefits only one of them.

In a way, it’s like a mafia friendship.

You’ve seen the movies. The mafia friend comes by to see you once a week for coffee. Above the table, to the other customers, you appear to be great friends. Underneath the table, you slip him an envelope. There’s an undercurrent of threat, of terror… but somehow it’s averted because of the envelope. Then it’s all buddy-buddy, with smiles all around, pats on the back, and “see you next week, Charlie.”

The relationship between the ego and the soul, at its most productive, is exactly like this. You are the immortal soul, generous and naïve and trusting the good intentions of your friend. You have lots of energy, and freely give to all. Your ego is the mafia guy who comes around and tells you how he wants you to use your energy in a way that suits him, and in exchange… he tells you that you need his protection (his ideas, his cleverness, his savoir faire). If you don’t comply, he says, he will turn your life into a living nightmare.

And this Sword of Damocles will always be above your head, for as long as your soul can tolerate it. Then one day, you’ve had enough; you won’t pay the ransom. That’s the day the ego will justify your worst fears. That’s the day you really find out what kind of “friend” your ego has been all along.

Your mafia friend will threaten you with everything he’s got. He will threaten to take away everything you’ve ever loved. Yes, you will be terrorized, you will be confused, but don’t relent, don’t be afraid. You will survive.

After you’ve taken back your power, you’ll no longer fall for his bluff. You will have truly begun to live fearlessly!

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