A book of liberation and ecstasy, The E-Word lucidly explains how the ego is created, how it thinks, and how its limited mind-set can be expanded—not inflated—into a joyous transpersonal perspective that eradicates feelings of isolation, fear, and insecurity in your life.
Through stories, practices, and a masterful detangling of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the Matrix, and quantum physics, The E-Word strips the ego bare and liberates the soul in highly entertaining, relatable ways, revealing how even self-improvement techniques can chase away the very fulfillment and wisdom we seek. Montana further reveals how the ego co-opts spirituality, dangling enlightenment in front of us as a prize.
Stuffed with electrifying insights and transformative meditations and exercises, The E-Word is the ultimate how-to guide for discovering the “real you” within.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
How can we be here and not wonder at the miracle of existence?
It all started when my dog ran away.
Actually, it started a lot earlier than that.
Like most kids, I asked a ton of questions growing up. “Why is the sky blue? Why do I have to go to school? Why can’t I eat ice cream for dinner?” And answers to questions like that were reliably forthcoming.
But answers to the really interesting questions like, “Who am I? Why am I here? What is life? What is God? What is death?” went unanswered. I was told there were no answers to such questions, so it was best not to ask.
Which shut me up temporarily.
But the questions never went away. As I went about living a “normal” life I just lost track of them for a while.
I went to school, got a degree, developed a great career in the (at that time) exclusively male bastion of network sports television, got a dog, made money, got married, bought a house with a swimming pool, and then got divorced and sold the house with the swimming pool.
It was the move from the big house with the big yard in suburbia that did it. What large, self-respecting, half collie, half German shepherd would tolerate a small midtown Atlanta apartment? Apparently not my dog, Merlin. After screaming myself hoarse and plastering his picture on every telephone pole in a two-mile downtown radius, in desperation I finally took a friend’s advice and went to see a psychic.
A rather plump, matronly woman named Virginia assured me Merlin was okay. “He’s all part of the plan, dear,” she said soothingly. “Don’t worry. He’ll be back in”—she closed her eyes briefly—“eleven more days. Now . . . let’s talk about you.”
What about me?
I didn’t care.
But she wouldn’t back off. As often as I tried to lead the conversation back to my dog, she kept bringing it back to me. Apparently I was not doing what I’d come to planet Earth to do. I was fiddling while Rome burned. I needed to clean up my act. I needed to quit smoking and get a handle on the booze. I needed to exercise. I needed to move back to the country (I’d been raised on a farm). I needed to get in touch with my Higher Self.
I needed to meditate.
I paid and left feeling unsettled. I was relieved to hear Merlin would come back. Not that I totally believed it. But the rest? What a load of hooey. And then, after lots more driving around town calling his name, crying, and poster plastering, exactly eleven days later, Merlin came home.
Hmm . . . how the hell did she know?
THAT SIMPLE QUESTION OPENED the floodgates. If she’d been right about my dog, what about the rest of what she’d said? It wasn’t like I was actually happy or anything. Network sports television, while exciting and lucrative, was also stressful and exhausting. I hated living in the city. And drinking and smoking, both of which I did a lot, made me feel like crap.
Why not make a change?
Within a month I’d found a great condo on the Chattahoochee River next door to a state park north of the city. I bought a kayak and started paddling the river. I hiked with Merlin. I danced. I quit smoking and dropped the hard liquor, diving into an exploration of fine wines instead.
And I started meditating.
All I had to do was close my eyes, put my hands in a funny position, and look within. I mean, how hard could it be?
OKAY. I GOT IT. A crazy person was at the helm.
A crazy person with a mind that contradicted itself and never shut up and yet had nothing interesting to say. A crazy person who was restless and couldn’t sit still, who felt anxious and nervous over nothing, whose brain couldn’t hold a coherent thought for more than fifteen seconds.
And why bother trying? My most profound thoughts revolved around sex, food, money, and the latest sitcom plot. What was there to hold on to?
So much for self-discovery.
But I persevered. After all, there had to be something in there . . .
And so every night I sat up in bed and looked within for hours (if I could stay awake) watching the yadda yadda in my brain that was, apparently, the sum total of “me.”
Talk about depressing. But then, after about six months, something extraordinary happened.
I’d drifted off to sleep sitting bolt upright (as usual), when suddenly, I was aware of a bright light and high ringing tone all around me. The light got brighter until it was LIGHT. The ringing got louder. The most awesome ocean of LOVE swept through me. I became aware that the light was actually a being.
I woke up, scrabbling around in my blankets trying to get on my knees to bow down to this being. And yet the light still filled my mind and I could still feel the love and hear the ringing. So I cried out to the being, “Who are you?”
And the most enormous, gentle tide of laughter rolled through me—laughter that was infinitely loving and very familiar. “You’ll know someday,” came the answer. Not in words. And yet the understanding was crystal clear in my mind.
Then gradually the light and the ringing presence and the love died away. And I was left, once again, with questions.
Table of Contents
Part I A Little Background … Story
Chapter 1 Questions 3
Chapter 2 The Joke 7
Chapter 3 The Dream of Cate 12
Chapter 4 Afterward 20
Part II The Ego Matrix
Chapter 5 No Joy in Mudville 33
Chapter 6 Growing Up 42
Chapter 7 Where We're At 50
Chapter 8 An Overzealous Assistant 55
Chapter 8 Who? 62
Chapter 10 Unity Disguised 69
Part III Ego Mechanics 101
Chapter 11 The Ego Makes Its Entrance 81
Chapter 12 Bodies "R" Us 85
Chapter 13 How the Ego Is Born, or, Where the Rubber Hits the Road 91
Chapter 14 I Think, Therefore I Am 100
Part IV Toward a Transpersonal Understanding of Self and Reality
Chapter 15 The Nature of Reality 110
Chapter 16 The Living Universe 120
Chapter 17 Perception Is … Everything 126
Chapter 18 Getting It Together 135
Chapter 19 The Three Minds 144
Part V The Spiritual Ego and Enlightenment
Chapter 20 The Spiritual and Religious Ego 154
Chapter 21 Looking Up 163
Chapter 22 Extra Baggage 166
Chapter 23 The Law of Attraction 171
Chapter 24 The Higher Self 184
Chapter 25 The Imitation Game 189
Chapter 26 The Real Deal 195
Chapter 27 Buddha Nature 201
Chapter 28 The Grand Design 205
Suggested Reading 217