Thursday, June 18, 2015


     I am a “little i”. Ironically, my “little i” is my “higher self” in that it is my bond with the universal in mankind. My “little i” is its “brother’s keeper”.

     But, I also have a “big I” as well. This “big I” is, ironically, my “lower self” in the sense that it is self-centered, vain and self-serving. It seeks to estrange me from everyone else, it wants to be its “brother’s jailer”.

     My “big i” wants a greater portion of life’s booty for me. It is proud of what I have accomplished in my life. It wants to stand in a public place and shout out a list of my greatness to the world. “Give me a little more me, please!” (Bob Stanford)

     My “little i” knows that, actually, very few people care. My “little i” finds it boring to continually listen to my Big I talk about my Big I’s accomplishments. My “little i” does not live in a Tower bearing my name. My “little i” does not need these things. It does not need put other people down in order to feel big.


     It is very interesting to have these two I’s within.

My Big I seems to be encouraged by outer groups, laws and governmental policies and bureaucratic systems; while my littleness is not. This has unexpected consequences. The more that my “little i” has to struggle to practice humility and humbleness, it becomes more and more aware of the multitude of ways that the Big I’s have created a system of self-serving egos who really don’t give a damn for one another but who prop one another up like a giant stack of very thin playing cards which looks very impressive.

     My “little i” is true to myself is my True Self. It has the power to live life without needing life to come to it. It recognizes the struggle for the True Self in others and supports that struggle but needs and wants no recognition for this support. This is just what “little i’s” do.

     All “little i’s” have a set of values and practices which comprise their unique integrity. These make the “little i’s” consistent and coherent. Others depend on them for being themselves, always.  The struggle of my “little i” makes it stronger. It is not bitter that life is dominated by “Big I’s”, drug dealers, corporate bullies, or people who regret that they have no time to do their jobs well; and it does not “give up” or “give in” to the insanity of big systems. “These are just another opportunity to practice equanimity.”


My Big I wants all the big things: fame, glory, wealth, accomplishments, the Tower named after me, the Gold, Stocks and hot cars, beautiful women, and a “mass outpouring of love from a grateful nation” (Woody Allen). My Big I would quietly sit for days and listen to a stadium filled with celebrities reading a list of my Big I’s greatness (even if it was full of lies and boasts) at the end my Big I would say “thank you” and tell you, “I am too nice a guy to say you’re lying.” (Shel Silverstein)

Most of all, my Big I loves POWER. Not just a small amount, we’re talking megalomania, addiction to “myself”. And, if this addiction to self were to cost as much as heroine, my Big I would sell all its trophies and lose all its glory because it thinks it wants more bigness.

But, there is never enough bigness.

What does my “little i” want? Not much. It's enough to show up and do a few little things on a regular basis.

© Copyright 2015 Jean W. Yeager
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