Lectorium Rosicrucianum

The Black Hole of the Human Being… is the Ego

Black holes are regions in star systems where nothing, not even the light that has been attracted can escape. If we look at ourselves from the point of view of a small cosmos, we can discover a black hole within ourselves: our ego.


Its immense power of attraction paralyses everything in its sphere of influence, causing it to become a ‘lightless being’. The ego makes our life heavy. Even so, we have the possibility present within our cosmos to illuminate it from within.

All events and phenomena in our universe are determined by laws. These laws, like the law of the power of attraction, influence everything that exists. We can only observe their results and the effects they cause, and in this way, it is possible to study them. In this context, it is, for instance, remarkable that the influence of an object increases as it moves closer to the centre of the source of energy, regardless of whether this concerns a visible or an invisible source of energy: the closer an object approaches the source of energy, the stronger it is influenced or attracted.

This is why we should not be amazed that, when astrophysicists of the European observatory for the southern sky were able to show irregularities in the orbit of stars, the conclusion was drawn that there must be a ‘black hole’ with an immensely strong power of attraction. There is one particular black hole located in the centre of our galaxy (Sagittarius A). Theories about black holes have been developed for decades. It was discovered that most large galaxies have a super heavy black hole in their centre. Only in a small percentage of these systems, does the black hole absorb sufficient matter to cause a spectacular effect. Cygnus A is an example of this.

Cygnus X-1: Illustration courtesy DSS and M. Weiss, CXC/NASA

Although astrophysicists consider many theories already outdated, it is nevertheless assumed that most black holes are characterised by an unbelievable material density. The mass of a billion of suns can be compressed into them. In its turn, this leads to an enormous power of attraction. All objects in its vicinity are irresistibly drawn into the direction of the centre of gravity by it, becoming unimaginably hot and then disappearing into the black hole. Even light (and according to some theories, time) is subservient to these energies and is no longer able to spread. It disappears into the black hole forever.

The existence of such black holes, from which no light can escape, can only be detected by observing deviations in the orbits of the stars in its vicinity. These stars are, as it were, ‘cast out of their orbit’, by those tremendous forces. It is still debated what will happen to those black holes and to their enormous amounts of energy.

Some scientists assume that the black hole will dissolve during billions of years by processes, based on quantum mechanics. Others say that each black hole corresponds to a ‘sink hole’ of matter, a white hole, a source of matter of another universe.

When we look at ourselves, do such irregularities not sound familiar? Are these events not mirrored within us and in our outward life? If we profoundly analyse ourselves, we will also be able to locate a black hole in our own, small cosmos that attracts everything, that claims nature and fellow creatures, and that influences fellow human beings and puts them on the wrong track. Even in a heated discussion, we may notice that a strong, centripetal power is working in us. Similar to the large cosmos, this must concern a mighty concentrated energy. Its tremendous power of attraction paralyses everything in its sphere of influence causing it to become a ‘lightless being’.

It is the power that makes life ‘heavy’. It is the gravitational fall of the self-maintaining ego.

On the basis of the laws of nature, one has to behave in a way consistent with one’s nature and structure, that is, egocentrically. By ones actions, positive as well as negative, stemming from memory or as a reaction to a current situation, the ego tries to attract, preserve and make productive everything and all people, which appear useful to it. These are the fundamental properties of the ego.

It may also use the forces of altruism and neighbourly love for its own benefit, for even the ego experiences that life without those properties would be hell, particularly for others. These very efforts, so necessary in our cold world, show the deeply buried urge to be active for our own well-being, by shaping the world with these forces according to our own insight or our own morals, and by making countless others do our dirty work. The ego even tries to do so with the divine light powers, approaching it from the depths of its cosmos, or from the Christ field that irradiates the world.

However, what we hold onto in this way will lead to a great paralysis of life in the microcosm, because life is the transformation of energies, metabolism, receiving and relinquishing again. And an ego that devours everything, including the spiritual forces from the nucleus of the microcosm, turns into a monstrous black hole, a rigid and immovable, enormously concentrated mass.

The human being need not be his ego.

Our ego is capricious, unreliable and easily influenced. We are nevertheless inclined to organise our lives according to its laws and demands, until we awaken and gain insight.

We have a name, a date of birth, a profession and thus provide ourselves with an identity. We know, however, that this does not necessarily mean that our name and profession explain our ‘essence’. They are attributes or aspects of our personality in the world, in society. The same is true of our physical properties like young, old, pretty, strong or attractive. Character traits like courageous, sensitive, musical, irritable or resigned and the like are certainly more decisive for our understanding of the self than the physical properties are.

Yet even so, depending on the situation, some property of our character is more prominent, often without our really wanting it to be or against our will.

We call the totality of our physical and characters traits: ‘ego’.

Can we be content with it?

Indeed, there are people who are content with it. We would be too if we not harassed by a nagging dissatisfaction that does not stop even though everything in our life is perfectly fine. One year follows after another, results and experiences fill our days, and often something fails; that is part of the deal. Then probably the question crops up: who is it that partly causes and partly experiences this whole whirling of events in the inevitable passage of time, in all events, in our rushing, in our pleasures and triumphs, in our possessing and losing?

In this context, the word ‘ego’ sounds perhaps remarkably flat and inadequate. This part of the personality which perceives many outer and inner states and is partially able to affect them, cannot be the definitive answer to this existential question, because our ego or consciousness is just as transitory or unreliable as all other ‘movements’ or states of the mind or of the soul. And where is our ego when we are asleep? It disappears! And what happens to it after death?

Our ego is inseparably linked with our body and life fluids, it does not survive the death of the body for very long.

And so the question arises, where can the inner, unwavering basis of life be found, which makes us rightly say: ‘I am’?

The Greek philosopher, Archimedes, once said: ‘Give me a fixed point and I shall move the earth.’ Does such a fixed point exist? Can we find one within our own cosmos? The New Testament calls this point the father. Jesus Christ, says: ‘The father and I are one.’

This refers to a state, for which we, if we take our question seriously, can only yearn with all our heart, because we do not know this ‘I’ that is mentioned here. Nevertheless, there is a basis in a human being, where this higher human being is able to develop. In human beings, this point is found in the heart. No one ever explained this point, which we refer to as ‘the father’, more beautifully than J A Comenius, who lived from 1592 to 1670. He wrote:

‘Do not burden yourself with anything beyond that which is necessary for life; be satisfied with a few things that benefit you; praise God. If conveniences are lacking, be satisfied with only necessities. And if they are taken away, strive to save yourself. If you are not able to save yourself, abandon yourself, only taking care that you do not lose God. For he who has God is able to lack all other things, for he will forever possess his highest good and eternal life with God, and in God. And this, of all desires, is the end.’ The Tao Te Ching echoes similar wisdom.

Every human being possesses something of this divine element; something of the deity burns in every person, in a minutely small and concentrated essence called ‘the spirit-spark atom’. It is the point that links us with divinity. This divine spark enables us to realise our longing and to elevate our current world, our being and our consciousness. When the fire is ignited, a path of development begins, which fundamentally transforms the outward human being and lets him wholly merge with his essence. Step by step, the earthly human being ascends by surrendering to this other one within, the true human being, the prototype of the Divine human being. He breathes eternity, perfection, and is, as Jesus says, one with the father, the wellspring of everything created.

He who walks this path, will naturally pay less attention to his insignificant personal ego. He understands that his ego is something like one of the drops in the ocean, like the seeds of the plants that are spread over the earth by the spring breeze, and like the atoms, swirling through the worlds, sustaining whole star systems. The history of humanity, the earth and the universe merges in the human soul and waits until it is vivified by the creative impulse of the
spirit-born one. That is why our ‘self’ is a cosmos within itself and at the same time a living cell of the myriads of radiant worlds.

Reaching this notion means awakening. The inner and the outer world gradually become clearer. The personal aspect dissolves into another, more comprehensive, consciousness and the seeking human being is increasingly able to cast a more neutral look at his own ego. He understands: the personal ego actually only exists at the moment, when it experiences itself. It is unable to guarantee its future and its past; it is a structure of the forces of the imagination, a halt in the current of time.

We now ask ourselves again, Who am I? This question can easily be answered as to its external aspects, but when we look at it inwardly, a labyrinth looms up, and he who is seeking an answer to this question, has to enter this labyrinth. But we are not alone. Every human being has an infallible guide. Whether there is an end of the path of seeking for the self, this cannot be answered in advance. However, we can point out the beginning.

The labyrinth of our soul, in which the ego usually loses itself, develops, because our soul lacks a stable centre. The three power centres of our soul, the will, vitality and feeling, only cooperate temporarily and partially. Often, the will takes the lead, and when the mind has then thought up sufficiently good arguments for an activity the vitality has already dissipated.

Our feelings and our mental insight are at cross-purposes. In this way, the ego is only able to lead the three horses in a certain direction in an exceptional situation. Everything that develops from this proliferation in the inner being necessarily remains improvisational and unstable.

The condition for a structured soul development is that a personality, on the basis of longing and yearning, voluntarily turns to a lofty, inner guide. Only then are we able to begin trusting our observations; only then will we be able to recognise clearly, and therefore act in a meaningful way. The will to act and the mental insight into a situation plus our power of empathy to forge links, work like a seismograph. Even subtle changes will work harmoniously.

In this equilateral triangle, we find a stable home on earth, in which we can live and work as long as this is necessary and useful. And while we are living, we work on an eternal house, because the lofty energies of the divine universe can circulate and work in a transfiguring way in the new structures that are active in the soul. All improvised projects may be pulled down, but a new, durable soul will achieve creations that are imperishable. This concerns supernatural powers that would like to manifest themselves in human beings, and which will show them the way of the stars.

The possibility of allowing ourselves to be voluntarily pervaded and changed by the divine, creative energies from the spiritual nucleus would transform us as human beings into very active workers, involved in a tremendous process. ‘We would learn to pass on what we have received. We would be standing in one ray of the divine love, which is cosmic.

Instead of devouring everything like a black hole and allowing everything to become paralysed, we would begin to spread light, warmth and movement like a sun. By our presence alone, we would help people experience the ‘purpose of life’ again and our actions would then always work as an impulse, without our deliberately trying.

Consciousness and insight would awaken in us the liberation of the divine nucleus in our microcosm, the original human being, from the ‘gravitational fall’ of the ego. Due to this process of ‘awakening’ a human being wholly changes and transfigures because of this ‘unearthly’ energy.

All this is possible because the true Light, a power stream of a divine nature, makes the supreme sacrifice of allowing itself to be seized by the black hole in order to subsequently renew the whole human cosmos from within. Then the entrapped light is also liberated again and is enabled to pass on to its own domain, a cosmic field of great light. And while the renewed human being is transfiguring and is becoming free from egocentricity, he will also be active in the world as a new, pure source of Light, a beckon that others may follow. He becomes a living example, a prototype of the true human being.

What a marvellous gift!

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