Q. If truth is always present and available, what prevents someone from seeing it?
Tom: Pre-occupation with and belief in the content of thought.
Q. How can I drop all this activity and take that leap of faith?
Tom: Ignore your thoughts.
Q. How long should I ignore my thoughts for? What if I do it for a few days and nothing has happened?
Tom: This is also a thought.
Q. Is it possible to live whilst ignoring thoughts in a modern urban lifestyle?
Tom: Yes. The body-mind will take care of itself. Notice how thought is trying to prevent you from ignoring it, how it is throwing up various fears. Ignore all this.
Q. Thank you so much for holding me when I feel like collapsing 🙏
Tom: It’s my pleasure, I am humbled by your gratitude. Best wishes to you 🙏❤
Also see Nisargadatta Maharaj: Ignore your thoughts
What is the ego?
Will you accept my definition or find out for yourself?
Stop, be aware of what is happening:
Notice the content of your thoughts.
Notice the feelings that accompany the thoughts:
Is there tension and stress in a particular thought?
Or is there a freedom,
A space where thought is free to move,
Free to come and go as it pleases?
And what is the ego?
What does it feels like?
What kind of energy does it bring into the physical organism?
Be open to feel this ego:
Get a sense of what it feels like in its many guises.
Relax and let it in.
Notice a cascade of thoughts and feelings:
When they are believed in and invested in,
The egoic thoughts weave an apparently believable story line,
But when seen for what it is,
Inherently empty of any self,
Just empty thoughts coming and going,
With some associated sensations,
And perhaps an interpretive thought accompanying and interpreting what the ‘feelings mean’.
Notice there may be an urge to get out of the ego,
A movement of thought that attempts to end the ego may occur,
And notice that this is simply more of the ego,
More of this activity based on this false sense of self,
Based on this false notion of separation.
When things are seen for what they are,
And allowed to unfold as they are,
And illusion born of thought is no longer believed in,
Know well that even performing tapas (spiritual practice) and yoga with the intention ‘I should become an instrument in the hands of the Lord Siva’ is a blemish to complete self-surrender, which is the highest form of being in His service.
(Guru Vachaka Kovai, verse 471)
Sri Sadhu Om’s Comments:
Since even the thought ‘I am an instrument in the Lord’s hand’ is a means by which the ego retains its individuality, it is directly opposed to the spirit of complete self-surrender, the ‘I’-lessness. Are there not many good-natured people who engage themselves in prayers, worship, yoga and such virtuous acts with the aim of achieving power from God and doing good to the world as one divinely commissioned? It is exposed here that even such endeavours are egotistical and hence contrary to self-surrender.
Usually in eastern traditions the word ego is a translation of the Sanskrit word Ahamkara*, which refers solely to the (false) belief in doership and not the personality or decision-making apparatus in the mind.
It is the belief in doership that goes with enlightenment or self-realisation, not the personality or decision-making apparatus.
Hence it is perfectly right to say the ego is no longer present in one who has realised.
(*Aham = I, kara = do)
This post is continued from Discarding Knowledge as Ignorance
Do you go around repeatedly saying your name so that you remember it? Do you have to walk around saying “I am Tom, I am Tom, I am Tom?” (obviously substitute in your name).
Or do you spend most of your life not even thinking about your name, but when someone calls out your name, the understanding ‘My name is Tom’ automatically acts: you turn your head and respond?
It’s the same with understanding there is no doer: initially you may need to think about it, go through the reasoning, and realise there is no evidence for a doer. It is a conscious process. Because we have been conditioned to think of ourselves as being a doer, there is often a process of deconditioning.
It may also take time for all the suffering based on the ‘I am the doer’ notion to fall away. Other notions such as ‘I am to blame’ or ‘I could/should have done it differently’ or ‘I am not worthy’ may still all be at play. All these depend on the root belief ‘I am a separate doer-entity’. Again, there may be a conscious process of applying this understanding in order to deal with suffering as it arises and uprooting the associated beliefs upon which suffering depends.
But once this has been done, then we don’t need to think about it. The knowledge of ‘there is no doer’ has been ingrained into us. We do not need to think about it, we no longer need to repeat the process of understanding.
But just as when someone asks your name, you can spontaneously respond ‘My name is ____’, when someone asks you ‘Are you a doer?’, you can instantly reply ‘there is no doer’.
This post is continued here: Am I the body? Am I not the body?
When the doer* is seen to be an illusion, an imagined fiction, the sense/feeling of being a doer may still continue. The sense/feeling of being a doer can arise like any other phenomena arises.
And notice – it arises spontaneously, meaning there is no doer there doing it. You see! It can be seen that even the sense of being a doer is something that has no doer behind it – it just happens, by itself.
So, in my daily life I often feel like I’m doing things, but there is an understanding there that there is no doer-entity doing it. It is all just happening.
This is the difference between experience and knowledge/understanding: I may feel like a doer, but I know/understand I am not a doer.
It is similar to realising the sun does not orbit a stationary earth, even though the appearance of the sun rising and setting each day continues. Or if you realise that a mirage is an illusion, the illusion persists even when not believed in. The sense of doership can continue even when the understanding ‘there is no evidence for a doer’ is present.
*By doer I mean the notion of being a separate entity which creates or authors thoughts and actions