Have you ever felt nostalgia for the old ego-self? I rather suspect all of us have, at some time or other. We look back at the life we led as the old ego-construct through rose-tinted spectacles and we shed a few tears thinking of the good times we used to have.
And there’s nothing wrong with that, I hasten to add. Nothing wrong with it at all. It’s perfectly natural to feel the odd pang of nostalgia for the old conditioned existence. Perfectly normal. It’s all fantasy of course and I know that as well as you do but at the same time it has to be said that there’s no harm in it. There’s no harm in a little nostalgia every now and again. Indeed there isn’t.
The good times we had, the good times we had. Just me and my ego, up against the whole world! Just me and my ego, knocking around the place, having the craic. We were a team you see – we stuck together and helped each other out when times were tough. Unbeatable, we were! We were some team, I can tell you – an unbeatable team. Although we got badly beaten in the end of course. Very badly beaten, as I remember.
Those were the days and those were the days and those were the days my friend. Those were the days and those were the days. That’s a fragment of a song that keeps on going through my head. It repeats on me, so it does. Like smoked mackerel that was eaten too fast. Hey – it’s you again my friend. Nothing will ever be the same again of course and that makes me sad. Those days will never come again. Those days when it was just me and my ego up against the world. We lost very badly in the end needless to say, as I believe I have already mentioned.
You couldn’t beat the craic we had, you see. No sir you couldn’t beat it… The world has changed an awful lot since then however and I am not sure I understand it any more. I’m not really sure if I have any place in it anymore, to be honest. If I were to be even more honest then I’d have to admit to not being sure if I ever fitted in. We won’t be that honest though will we. That would spoil the mood, that would introduce the wrong tone altogether.
I was an odd child, it has to be said. I never really fitted in and that’s probably why me and my ego were such a great team, come to think of it. We had each other and that’s all that mattered. We stood up for each other you see. We had each other’s back. Not that it did us much good in the end of course, but there’s no point in dwelling on that. There is no point dwelling on stuff that’s only going to spoil the mood. Happy people doing happy things – you can’t beat it! Happy people with suntans doing happy things and looking like they’re in an ad. So content, so joyfully happy. So serene. Smug, almost. Verging on smug, anyway. You can tell by the expressions on their faces that they’re having a good time – it’s there for everybody to see.
It was never like that for me though – I can see that now. I realise that as I look back now, I realise that it wasn’t all fun and games. We made the best of it all the same though. I remember how I’d be sitting there on a bench in Saint Anne’s Park in Vauxhall, feeling a bit down in the dumps, feeling a bit lonesome, and then the next thing I’d look up in and see my ego walking towards me, out of the blue so to speak, with a big old smile on his face. And he’d be calling out to me, ‘How you doing good buddy? How’s your day going?’ Things wouldn’t seem so bad then – not when I had my old ego to keep me company.
Things are never as bad as they seem, are they? Unless they’re worse, of course. Sometimes they are worse. Many is the time I’d be sitting there thinking to myself that things are never as bad as they seem and then the very next moment I’d realise that they’re actually a hell of a lot worse! I’d realise that they are actually a hell of a lot worse than I could ever have imagined, in fact. It’s all part of conditioned existence of course – I understand that now, the same as you do. It’s all part of conditioned existence; it’s all part of the Theatre of Samsara, so it is.