Existential Minefields of Law Practice

Through a good portion of my life as an attorney, my actions and decisions have been ego-driven, i.e., rather than being directed by my true sense of self rooted in present-moment awareness, my actions have been largely dictated by a need to strengthen my ego and ensure its survival. The ego surfaces when we come to confuse our socially conditioned thinking with a “sense of self.” When this happens, we make decisions and take actions largely aimed at bolstering our fictional belief that if we get this or that, or achieve this result, or win, etc., we will be “happy.”

Few professions in contemporary American society perpetuate these false, egoistic delusions more than legal practice. Our society is deeply enamored with power. Lawyers obtain this power by becoming educated in our basic societal rights to a far greater extent than non-lawyers, and learn how to pursue these rights with greater efficacy. Additionally, over the past several decades, lawyers (being almost entirely self-policed) have been able to create an industry in which fees routinely exceed $300.00/hour, thus allowing many attorneys to amass significant material wealth, also highly valued by contemporary society. Further adding to the construction of a tenacious ego is the fact that the ability of an attorney to command the highest fees is largely dependent upon the ability to “win” in court, or achieve outcomes “better” than one’s opponent.

All of these factors create a a minefield through which few attorneys are able to successfully navigate. Most attorneys become hijacked by an egoistic notion that they are “better” than others during and subsequent to law school, eventually becoming dominated by a false sense of self leading to a range of difficulties and suffering. The prevalence of substance abuse among attorneys is no surprise.

Maintaining this delusional egoistic self has become an increasing challenge to many attorneys during this economic downturn. Our broad economic problems have surfaced after several decades during which law schools flooded society with huge numbers of lawyers. These factors have given rise to a new climate in which relatively fewer attorneys are basking in material wealth. Egos have become threatened.

Threats to the ego can produce intense clinging, longing and anxiety as one struggles to maintain the illusory self. It is at this point, however, that an attorney can begin to open to the reality that what he or she had come to view as him or her “self” was primarily based on fictional thoughts, and that his or her true self actually lies beyond these thoughts.

What lies beyond these thoughts is a true sense of being that connects all life. This life force is, ultimately, what gives rise to all life forms, including you and I. In this light, the falsity of the ego becomes readily apparent and a true sense of being can be sensed. This reality cannot be proven by logic, intellect, or thought as it lies beyond these faculties. Its truth lies in one’s experience of the inner peace felt when connecting up to this core.

My practice is primarily aimed at helping individuals: (1) become aware of the extent to which societal conditioning has given rise to a false sense of self (the ego); (2) begin to feel the inner peace realized upon connecting to one’s inner sense of being rooted in present-moment awareness; and (3) develop strategies to strengthen one’s ability to maintain a connection to this inner sense of being in our very challenging society in which egoistic thought is so pervasive.

To learn more, contact me at (415) 508-6263.

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