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,
This is continued from a previous post Problems with utilising conceptual tools:
This brings us to the idea of practicing knowledge. Just to be clear, the knowledge we are talking of here is in the form of concepts, as described previously above. In this case whenever we notice ourselves suffering, we notice it is because we have identified as being the doer/body-mind. We then take up the sword of knowledge ‘I am not the body’ and use it to slay the ignorance ‘I am the body’.
Other similar ideas are concepts of identifying as being the witness or identifying as consciousness or considering the world and body-mind to be an illusion. These concepts all which work in a similar way to negate the identification as the doer/body-mind. Here’s an example from Yoga Vasisthta:
You are bound firmly on all sides by the idea, I am the body’. Cut that bond by the sword of knowledge ‘I am Consciousness’ and be happy.
Whenever ignorance rises, we cut it down. When it doesn’t rise, we can leave it alone. Initially we may have to repeat the phrase ‘I am not the body’ or ‘I am Consciousness’ or ‘I am Brahman’ in our heads repeatedly, like a mantra, until it sinks in, but after sometime it is ingrained into us and we only unsheathe the sword when it is required.
To be continued in a future post: Discarding knowledge as ignorance