The spiritual meaning of inflammation is all about the ego, whether it’s righteous, victimized, entitled, or needy.
Typically, the word inflammation is associated with the different ways that bodies respond to their environment. This can include reactions to certain types of food in which allergens are capable of producing an inflammatory or toxic response in the body. Ego is what happens when the personality gets inflamed. For example, when you see someone who is angry, they are in a state of emotional inflammation. To say that they’re in ego may be a true statement, but through the eyes of the Universe, you are able to see how they are having an “allergic reaction” to their conditioned state of being. This means ego is much like an allergy toward the unconsciousness that each of us came here to resolve. When the ego is active, the innocence within you, or within anyone else, exists in an exaggerated manner.
When you start to see ego as the inflammation of the personality, you notice how often you can become “puffed up.” Whether puffed up in righteousness, defensive postures, or in response to the evidence of injustice, an inflamed personality creates an exaggerated perception of life. When living with an allergic reaction to the vibration of the planet, an exaggerated level of consciousness causes you to oscillate between spiritual highs and emotional lows. This can create much suffering until you cultivate love as a potent form of energy medicine to return your personality to its original form.
I’ve come to recognize four basic types of inflammation:
1. Righteous inflammation. It is characterized by an ego structure that feeds on needing to always be right by making others wrong. Even in the presence of one who is saying something totally correct, the ego that is righteously inflamed must make another point in an attempt to be even more right than the other. This type of ego lives to have the upper hand and final word — even if both parties agree on the topic at hand. The theme of righteous inflammation is, “I’m always right.”
2. Victimized inflammation. This is the kind of inflammation in which an ego believes it is always a victim of circumstances. From this perception, even when life seems to be going right, something always happens to turn it upside down. A victimized ego holds very tightly to its judgments, beliefs, and opinions as the reasons their life is regularly in chaos. Whether a belief in light versus dark or pitting good against bad, a victimized ego typically acts as an instigator of turmoil that is guaranteed to be hurt or heartbroken by the way others respond to it. Even if others do not respond at all, a victimized ego uses such feedback to feel invisible or inferior to the world around it.
3. Entitled inflammation. This occurs when a person believes it is their right to have whatever they want, exactly when they want it, even at the expense or to the detriment of others. In entitled inflammation, the ego tends to believe that everyone must fulfill their every whim and demand with little to no regard for the well-being of other people’s experiences. As you can imagine, the theme of an entitled ego is “What about me?” Even when served by others, there is never an end to the requests and demands of an ego that believes it controls the characters in its life.
4. Needy inflammation. In this type of ego, no matter how much attention is received from others, it never feels like enough to be properly filled up. Despite how intently someone listens, there is always a lingering sense of being invisible, unrecognized, undervalued, or unheard. In needy inflammation, it’s easy to feel misunderstood. No matter how much time, interest, and attention you receive from others, it only makes this type of ego hungry for more. Whether active in you or someone you know, needy inflammation can be quite draining for those held in the grip of it.
While you may recognize yourself or others in these descriptions, it is common to embody combinations of those aspects or to flow in and out like the changing of weather patterns. I’ve even seen ego structures that are combinations of all four aspects at once. In each of these aspects of inflammation, there is always a kernel of truth.
By exploring ego in a more heart-centered way, you can have greater patience and compassion throughout your daily encounters. Instead of ridiculing or persecuting the characters within your life, you will be able to see the light of divinity dancing in a play of exaggerated perception. While the ability to see at this level may be limited by an inflamed personality, any amount of time spent incubating in a cocoon of ego prepares you to awaken a greater truth for all.
Adapted from Whatever Arises, Love That: A Love Revolution That Begins with You by Matt Kahn. Copyright © 2016 Matt Kahn. Published in January 2016 by Sounds True.