If there is one common denominator, one giant and all encompassing barrier to emotional freedom, it is your false sense of self. Your ego.
It is very real and it exists. To the unconscious, they simply can't accept this. The idea is too abstract. They simply cannot understand what you are talking about. The ego becomes such a necessary component of their psychological make-up, that they simply aren't even aware of it's existence. They may look at you and think you are bona fide nuts.
Yet the evidence is overwhelming. Fear driven and controlling egos are everywhere. Whether it's a lunatic N. Korean dictator firing test missiles, a controlling boss who has to have everything done his or her way, or a couple engaged in a mission of conflict and one ups man ship, ego in an individual or collective form is utter insanity. It is everywhere.
A year ago, I found myself talking to one of these unconscious folks. In addition to a fear and control driven false sense of self, this individual had consumed about a full bottle of wine. I found myself in a social setting where good etiquette was the rule. I was listening to the conversation intently when Tolle's book, "A New Earth" became the topic of discussion. This individual had not read the book and was applying his version of "contempt prior to investigation" and calling it a bunch of hogwash and rhetoric. I was asked what I thought primarily because the people at this particular gathering were aware of my fondness for Tolle and the work I was doing. I only made a half hearted defense. The reality was that Tolle's concepts are so completely true that my belief is that they are prima facia evidence. But to say that would diminish my friend. I did not find any reason to defend Tolle's work because it requires no defense nor did my ego find it necessary to impose my beliefs on an intoxicated friend at his expense.
Therein lies the ultimate dilemma. If people are unwilling to learn-you cannot control that. You cannot teach willingness even if it's for someone you love. This man would be a poster child for an ego run riot of self will and self centered behavior.
I accept that willingness is all that separates my buzzed host from me. I was willing to examine the concept of ego, weigh it on it's merits, and jettison the material if I found it not useful. My host that night was a mechanical engineer and successful businessman, very bright, but just not ready to take this step yet. That doesn't mean he is not intelligent, articulate, or any other label or description. He is simply unwilling to take the leap of faith that is required because he sees no reason to. His ego is in control and it is unwilling to learn, accept, or comprehend what Tolle teaches.
So how do you lose your ego? It is relatively simple, actually.
You recognize it's existence. That's 75% of the battle. You remain vigilant and on guard. You don't indulge in any of that false sense of self nonsense anymore. You don't have to be the smartest, the fastest, the richest, or the prettiest. You resist every urge to impose that on others. As time rolls by, it requires less and less vigilance. You recognize that insanity. You begin to say only supportive and kind things to others. All you require of yourself-is to be happy. Indulging in that false sense of beliefs, opinions, you have about yourself will not make you happy. In fact, it will bring you conflict and pain. Guaranteed.
If you find yourself in a place of utter confusion or having an identity crisis, you have done good work. Think of that as removing your old computer's operating system. We have a blank screen. It is time to install the new operating system.