Tagged with: ego

If you identify with a mental position, then if you are wrong, your mind-based sense of self is seriously threatened with annihilation. So you as the ego cannot afford to be wrong. To be wrong is to die. Wars have been fought over this, and countless relationships have broken down.

If you identify with a mental position, then if you are wrong, your mind-based sense of self is seriously threatened with annihilation. So you as the ego cannot afford to be wrong. To be wrong is to die. Wars have been fought over this, and countless relationships have broken down.

As Hubert Benoit said, it is not the identification with the ego that is the problem, but the exclusive nature of the identification. When our self-identity expands beyond the ego, into the deeper psychic, then even into the Unborn and One Taste, the ego is simply taken up and subsumed in a grander identity. But the ego itself remains as the functional self in the gross realm, and it might even appropriately be intensified and made more powerful, simply because it is now plugged into the entire Kosmos.

As Hubert Benoit said, it is not the identification with the ego that is the problem, but the exclusive nature of the identification. When our self-identity expands beyond the ego, into the deeper psychic, then even into the Unborn and One Taste, the ego is simply taken up and subsumed in a grander identity. But the ego itself remains as the functional self in the gross realm, and it might even appropriately be intensified and made more powerful, simply because it is now plugged into the entire Kosmos.

Reflecting on our own impermanence helps us stop following the dissatisfied mind of desire whose impulses are seen as without meaning in the face of death. When we don’t face impermanence and death, our lives become busy, complicated, and stressful. When we do face them, our lives become simpler and more full of meaning. Our fear of or aversion to facing these subjects is a trick that the mind plays on itself, which keeps us caught in the trap of self-centered, compulsive, neurotic egotism. The illusion that we exist as solid, permanent entities is in fact a trap or prison for our hearts; facing the truth about impermanence is the doorway out.

Reflecting on our own impermanence helps us stop following the dissatisfied mind of desire whose impulses are seen as without meaning in the face of death. When we don’t face impermanence and death, our lives become busy, complicated, and stressful. When we do face them, our lives become simpler and more full of meaning. Our fear of or aversion to facing these subjects is a trick that the mind plays on itself, which keeps us caught in the trap of self-centered, compulsive, neurotic egotism. The illusion that we exist as solid, permanent entities is in fact a trap or prison for our hearts; facing the truth about impermanence is the doorway out.

Put bluntly, the ego is not an obstruction to Spirit, but a radiant manifestation of Spirit.

Put bluntly, the ego is not an obstruction to Spirit, but a radiant manifestation of Spirit.

Everything with substance casts a shadow. The ego stands to the shadow as light to shade. This is the quality that makes us human. Much as we would like to deny it, we are imperfect. And perhaps it is in what we don’t accept about ourselves—our aggression and shame, our guilt and pain—that we discover our humanity.

Everything with substance casts a shadow. The ego stands to the shadow as light to shade. This is the quality that makes us human. Much as we would like to deny it, we are imperfect. And perhaps it is in what we don’t accept about ourselves—our aggression and shame, our guilt and pain—that we discover our humanity.

Not all pain is negative, even though we label all forms of pain as such and resist them. Positive-negativity is a circumstance that causes us to go deeper, to search ourselves, to stop placing blame on the causes of suffering outside ourselves, and take self-responsibility.
Circumstances arise and hard times come so that we may grow through them, so that we may evolve. I like to say that a bad day for the ego is a good day for the soul. When we look back on some of our most challenging experiences, we admit that we wouldn’t trade what we gained from them for remaining the same as we were. Something within acknowledges that during those times when we are pressed against the ropes of life, we learn to become more generous, to forgive, to never give up on ourselves or others. We learn to regenerate, to rejuvenate, to surrender.

Not all pain is negative, even though we label all forms of pain as such and resist them. Positive-negativity is a circumstance that causes us to go deeper, to search ourselves, to stop placing blame on the causes of suffering outside ourselves, and take self-responsibility.
Circumstances arise and hard times come so that we may grow through them, so that we may evolve. I like to say that a bad day for the ego is a good day for the soul. When we look back on some of our most challenging experiences, we admit that we wouldn’t trade what we gained from them for remaining the same as we were. Something within acknowledges that during those times when we are pressed against the ropes of life, we learn to become more generous, to forgive, to never give up on ourselves or others. We learn to regenerate, to rejuvenate, to surrender.

The ego is not a thing but a subtle effort, and you cannot use effort to get rid of effort—you end up with two efforts instead of one. The ego itself is a perfect manifestation of the Divine, and it is best handled by resting in Freedom, not by trying to get rid of ego, which simply increases the effort of ego itself.

The ego is not a thing but a subtle effort, and you cannot use effort to get rid of effort—you end up with two efforts instead of one. The ego itself is a perfect manifestation of the Divine, and it is best handled by resting in Freedom, not by trying to get rid of ego, which simply increases the effort of ego itself.

In Evolutionary Enlightenment, the perennial revelation that there is only One is interpreted as the recognition that we are all part of One Process—a singular cosmic unfolding that began fourteen billion years ago and is still evolving, in this very moment, as you and as me. Every aspect of your experience in every moment, from the gross to the subtle, has been produced and is being produced by a cosmic process. Your physical form has been produced by a process that is the evolution of the exterior of the cosmos. Your psychological and emotional experience has been produced by a process that is the evolution of the interior of the cosmos. When you awaken to this perspective, you literally can no longer see yourself as separate. You can’t see your experience, at any level, as occurring in isolation from everything else that exists. The separate world of “me” that the ego creates is seen for what it is: an illusion. And you realize that even your capacity to experience that illusory world of “me” has been produced by this vast process. You cannot stand outside of it. You are the process.

In Evolutionary Enlightenment, the perennial revelation that there is only One is interpreted as the recognition that we are all part of One Process—a singular cosmic unfolding that began fourteen billion years ago and is still evolving, in this very moment, as you and as me. Every aspect of your experience in every moment, from the gross to the subtle, has been produced and is being produced by a cosmic process. Your physical form has been produced by a process that is the evolution of the exterior of the cosmos. Your psychological and emotional experience has been produced by a process that is the evolution of the interior of the cosmos. When you awaken to this perspective, you literally can no longer see yourself as separate. You can’t see your experience, at any level, as occurring in isolation from everything else that exists. The separate world of “me” that the ego creates is seen for what it is: an illusion. And you realize that even your capacity to experience that illusory world of “me” has been produced by this vast process. You cannot stand outside of it. You are the process.

The ego, which has traditionally been the enemy of the spiritual aspirant, is not just an individual entity. It also has a collective dimension. The collective ego is your culturally conditioned self-the conglomeration of conscious and unconscious ideas that represent the way you assume life is supposed to be. It is all of the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” you have absorbed from those around you and from the shared history of your culture or ethnic background. It is a set of subtle and not-so-subtle beliefs, ideas, and ways of seeing the world that you deeply subscribe to but may not even be aware of. So much of the individual that you experience yourself to be has been created by the cultural worldspace that you were born into. And that’s not a bad thing, in and of itself. It only becomes a problem when you don’t know how conditioned you are. But the more you are able to shed light on all the different ways in which you are conditioned, the more space will open up for real autonomy-freedom of choice to be the person you want to be. So the culturally created ego is a very significant dimension of the self that needs to be brought to light in your own awareness. And it is not an easy task. It takes an inspired degree of mental focus and a willingness to deconstruct the very foundations of who you think you are-over, and over, and over again. But this process is a critical part of human evolution and spiritual transformation.

The ego, which has traditionally been the enemy of the spiritual aspirant, is not just an individual entity. It also has a collective dimension. The collective ego is your culturally conditioned self-the conglomeration of conscious and unconscious ideas that represent the way you assume life is supposed to be. It is all of the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” you have absorbed from those around you and from the shared history of your culture or ethnic background. It is a set of subtle and not-so-subtle beliefs, ideas, and ways of seeing the world that you deeply subscribe to but may not even be aware of. So much of the individual that you experience yourself to be has been created by the cultural worldspace that you were born into. And that’s not a bad thing, in and of itself. It only becomes a problem when you don’t know how conditioned you are. But the more you are able to shed light on all the different ways in which you are conditioned, the more space will open up for real autonomy-freedom of choice to be the person you want to be. So the culturally created ego is a very significant dimension of the self that needs to be brought to light in your own awareness. And it is not an easy task. It takes an inspired degree of mental focus and a willingness to deconstruct the very foundations of who you think you are-over, and over, and over again. But this process is a critical part of human evolution and spiritual transformation.

earthdrop
Future Possibility

It’s common to say that trees come from seeds. But how could a tiny seed create a huge tree? Seeds do not contain the resources needed to grow a tree. These must come from the medium or environment within which the tree grows. But the seed does provide something that is crucial: a place where the whole of the tree starts to form. As resources such as water and nutrients are drawn in, the seed organizes the process that generates growth. In a sense, the seed is a gateway through which the future possibility of the living tree emerges.

- Peter Senge

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