In most religions, when one has offended others, it’s considered very important to humbly apologize rather than ignore the offense. It’s a good way to keep ego from growing out of proportion, don’t you think, and it’s just the kind and loving thing to do. Is this part of your practice?

My practices aren’t really germane to this question—except, perhaps, to someone who thinks I committed offense, wants me to own it and wants me to deal with it in a way he or she was taught is appropriate ;-). So, putting motive for the question aside, what is the real question to be answered here? God is simple, but sometimes getting to that simplicity sure can take a lot of dialogue! LOL

The poster is reacting to a perceived “clash of egos” which took place in another forum to which I had been invited to contribute. The content of that discussion may or may not be important to this answer so I invite the poster to make that determination and post a link to it here as an additional comment should it be deemed appropriate.

Without a doubt, in one’s quest for Self-realization, a seeker’s ego will find itself “in upset” to one degree or another a huge amount of the time. Actually, that’s the state of an ego whether it’s questing or not. In any event, the removal, the rooting out of ignorance appears as struggle and unpleasantness until the seeker actively solicits and acquires a modicum of consent from his ego. This is difficult in the beginning because seekers almost wholly identify, inaccurately, their egos as their Selves. Ego has a stake in its continuance. It resists giving up, sometimes mightily, any of its rightly or wrongly held  “knowns” for the “unknown.”

But no one can trust ego to give a true picture of the state of things. “Ego in world” is the view a soul perceives as if trapped in one of those carnival fun houses, a mirror house where you might have seen convex, concave and rippled mirrors distorting the reflection. It does not produce an accurate picture. This phenomenon is the effect of Reality being deliberately distorted by time, space and causation, that is maya, the power responsible for creating and maintaining the illusion that we are anything other than a spark of Divine Light. It’s not a flaw in the system. It’s how the System is designed to function. Vedanta teaches in one of its opening lines, “All this (sweep the hand to include countless galaxies and universes, not just our little playground here) is created FOR THE PLAY AND HABITATION OF THE LORD.” A place for God to dwell and sport with Him/Her/Itself.

So when God in one costume plays or interacts with God in another costume and both costumes “get it,” there is no strife—only ever-increasing joy, love and knowledge. That is one kind of relationship. Then there is the relationship where God in a costume interacts with God unaware of Itself, i.e., ego in the other costume. God in either costume is not upset at all, but the one identifying its costume as ego, if it thinks it’s being challenged rather than assuaged with what it wants to hear, what it thinks it should be hearing, usually pats and praise, goes into upset. This is often what you find in the spiritual teacher-student relationship if the aforementioned consent to be taught—a surrender to the Light in the teacher costume (NOT the costume!)—has been withheld or is given only partially. The third type of relationship, of course, in which the vast, vast majority of souls find themselves, is strictly ignorant ego having intercourse with ignorant ego. These relationships will run hot and cold, lovey dovey one minute with each other, twenty minutes later in complete discord. Sometimes many times in one day. Ah, maya!

No matter the religion and no matter in which of the three types of relationships one finds himself, the most critical thing is to be certain one has not offended God in one another. That assurance is not given by anyone other than God. So always check that out first if the question arises. Then one has to determine if offense was actually given… or only taken? Knowing the Reality, the Truth doesn’t really give much of a fig whether it offends an ego. Ego embraces offense easily and experiences upset and wanting reassurance that its silly little self is still OK and intact. It looks for approbation from others. It also thinks the acquisition of Self-realization, of Truth, Awareness and Bliss should be a “warm fuzzy” type of thing. Alas, the “warm fuzzies” come later, after the surrender. The experience of “pain and upset” is in direct proportion to how tightly the ego clings to its ignorance. But sometimes, a blow from the sword of Truth is enough to accomplish a complete reset of a seeker’s approach and thinking. Even though the first reaction might be defensive posturing, if the sword was wielded properly, the chastised ego will reflect, ponder, be more careful. And might never acknowledge to the outside world that that’s what happened in the end. To a seer, however, the evidence of transformation, if any, will be quite clear.

Thank you, truly, for writing.
OM and Prem, Sw. Vandana