“To begin to fully understand these Beatitudes we need to understand the nature of our ego, as well as the relationship of our ego to our I Am. These aspects of our being are often confused, especially in translations of Anthroposophical literature.
The dictionary definition of our ego is “The self, especially as distinct from the world and other selves.” “Ego is a Latin word meaning “I”, cognate with the Greek “Εgo” meaning “I”. In this sense this “I” is the personality who is thinking, feeling, and willing.
This “I” operates along a spectrum of total selfishness to complete selflessness, and it should be noted that some selflessness is often completely selfish. In the context of our considerations we could say that when our lower ego dominates it selfishly only experiences itself. When we are able to subdue our lower ego and act through our higher ego, our I Am, then we are able to experience others as if we were the other person. This means that in its lowest expression we only experience our own pain; in its highest expression we feel another’s pain as if it was our own pain. It would therefore be true to say that often we avoid feeling our own pain so how would we be able to bear the pain of others. If that is the goal why do we even have this lower ego?
It was part of the grand design that we should experience our selfish ego because in that way we developed senses that gave us a full experience of ourselves as an individual separate from our environs and separate from other people. This has been a gradual process of changed awareness so that we became aware of our inner selves. When we were part of the tribe we were obliged to share our experiences, another’s pain was our pain but not through our own choice. This was probably to help us connect to others and keep us from feeling too lonely. As we transition away from the tribe and the nation of our own volition it is our choice to experience another’s pain – and our own for that matter. To the extent that we can experience another’s pain is the extent to which we are experiencing our own I Am.” From “Who is Jesus : What is Christ” Volume 2 by Kristina Kaine
“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the Sun, so must you know pain.” — Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet
Painting: The Lamb by Andrew King