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The two generals

Melting snow, melting hearts
Melting snow, melting hearts
Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images

Imagine if you will, two generals staring each other down on a rugged, snowy battlefield. Behind each one is an army of thousands of soldiers, all waiting to see what will happen next. The two generals are poised for more battle, both of them barely moving, intently eying the other to see who will make the next move.

Within the context of war, this scenario is an easy one for us to visualize. We can picture the scene, the darkness, the colors, and even the tension in the air. But within our brains, right now, a very similar battle is constantly going on.

Our higher self and our ego self are just like these generals, but with one fundamental difference. The Ego General is blindfolded, just has no idea what's happening. The ego, in fact, acts as if there is no soul across from it, no corresponding general, only a battlefield to conquer, and land to claim. The blindfold is practically tattooed onto the Ego General's face it's so tight, and no one can ever get it to see the truth.

At the same time, we've got this higher self, the Soul General, whose only purpose is to love. It cannot do anything but show purest love to all people at all times. Where the Ego General wears a blindfold, the Soul General has perfectly clear vision. It can see all things for what they really are, and all people for whom they really are. Unlike ego, the Soul General seeks to end the war with the limitless power of purest love.

Inside ourselves at all times, we have these two generals leading these two charges. We control them. They do not control us. They can take control if we let them, but the power is within us to choose our battles and whom we want to win. Do we want the blindfolded Ego General to take up its sword and swing away at our perceived enemies? Or do we allow the Soul General to stop the madness, overwhelm us with love, and show us the light of love and understanding?

The Ego General gets the better of us too often, and convinces us that the Soul General is worthless and powerless, that its love is a weakness, and its destiny only failure. The Soul General approaches things differently. It loves the Ego General, but knows the landscape will be safer without the turmoil ego brings. The Soul General puts aside all sense of self-preservation and ego, and simply generates a bright light of love, melting the cold landscape of hatred and misunderstanding.

Two generals are always there, but they both work for the same divine commander. You.

Sean Patrick Brennan is the author of the Heaven, Hell, and the Planet In Between series, available for purchase on Amazon. Book 1: The Uniter was published in April 2013, and Book 2: The Papal Visitor will be out in March 2014. Sean is a former monk, Publishers Clearing House deputy, and social activist on a national and international level. He graduated from Manhattan College with degrees in Theology and English Literature. You can contact him on Facebook at or by commenting on this piece.

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