Written by Lee Schneider, founder of DocuCinema.
Spiritual seekers may spend decades working to detach from their ego. Buddha meditated under a Bodhi tree for 49 days when he did it. But I think I’ve managed it in just .2 seconds. All I had to do was Google myself. There are 8,900,000 different results for Lee Schneider. I can already feel my sense of self slipping away into 8.9 million little pieces. In yoga we’re often reminded that it’s a good thing to surrender the ego. Buddhism teaches that the self is only an illusion. But what does that really mean?
As I examine myself under Google’s microscope, I can verify that I was once a writer of “ThunderCats” cartoons. How did I juggle that with my job as project manager at the Computer Sciences Corporation in Dallas/Fort Worth? It seems like a good living, I just don’t remember going into the office this morning.
Then again, I do move around. This week I’m living in Alexandria, KY, Morrison, CO and Batavia, OH all at the same time. Perhaps, upon dissolution, my ego is now able to be in several places at once. In his book “Autobiography of a Yogi,” Paramhansa Yogananda described one Swami Pranabananda who was able to do this. That seems like pretty advanced yoga and I don’t think I’m there yet. I’m not even doing handstand anymore.
When I started this blog I said I would never join Facebook. But it looks like I have anyway and I really like horses. I also like to Twitter, have 124 followers and live in Boston. Whole chunks of my life are kind of different from the life I thought I was living. For instance, I married Elyssa Korez on December 20th, 2008. Sorry, I don’t remember that wedding at all. Thing is, I’m getting married again in Los Angeles on June 20. Could I be practicing polygamy? I don’t remember being Mormon but then I don’t remember signing up for the Navy Reserves in Auburn, Washington either. I don’t know how I fit the Reserves in with my job as a photographer of tall ships. I published a calendar of them in 2002. It’s for sale at Amazon, anyway, and it has my name on it.
In Buddhism it’s said that attachment to ego leads to suffering. Right now, I’m getting the opposite effect. As my ego splits apart I’m hyperventilating.
If people are looking for me online, they might connect with one of my other selves instead of the one typing this right now. What is my name good for if so many others are using it? I need to run an online background check on myself to get back in touch with who I really am, but that costs $39.95.
Maybe finding myself isn’t as easy as clicking on a link. Maybe I’m not ready to completely surrender my ego, but if I nudge it out of the way a little I might have better access to the interior life that goes on whether my Google ranking looks good or not.