Wither Goeth Ego?

If you read much spiritual literature from different traditions, you’ll quickly find a plethora of conflicting information about human awakening.

The main issue is that we tend to think, and some teachers encourage, that awakening is a black and white thing. First you’re this suffering peon and then, in that magic moment, the butterfly emerges and you become the avatar of all wonder.

That’s kind of like thinking you’ll enter kindergarten and come out the next day with a Ph.D. That may happen, but it’s pretty rare. Some may skip a grade or fail some. But largely there is a process of knowing.

First we learn arithmetic, then geometry. Algebra, then calculus. There is a process and series of apparent stages. A person who knows calculus does not see a problem the same way as a person who only knows how to use a simple calculator.

The evolution of consciousness is the same way. People will describe their experience from where they are at the moment. If you understand the general process taking place, the variations in description turn out to just be variations in how the process is unfolding personally.

I harp on this point a lot here. It’s all about perspective. If you get the gist of it, everything begins to make sense.

A really good example is ego death. For some people, the ego clearly dies with awakening. This is also clearly what ego is resisting as it approaches. What they are typically referring to here (and as I use the term ego) is the mental idea of being a separate person.

With awakening, we become the cosmic Self. The individual ego sense ends. “pops” even. There can be some “shrapnel” of “me” concepts to clear after that, but the core has ended. Curiously, as the waking unfolds, it can become increasingly clear that an ego value is still there. It’s not personal ego but rather a cosmic one.

Thus, some people don’t experience the death or end of ego, they experience their personal becoming cosmic. Little me becomes cosmic Me. self becomes Self.

Same process but described in what may seem like opposite terms.

This is similar to the prior post on ideas like emptiness vs. fullness of being, Self vs. no-self, no mind, and so forth.

There is another aspect to no-self I’ve not touched on before though. Many writers of an eastern bent will describe the evolution of self to Self, the small me becoming the universal Self. (see above)

But there is another stage to this less commonly talked about in these terms. The transcendence of Self altogether.

Self still implies other. As the stages of Unity consciousness develop we can reach a point where we transcend being even “cosmic” Self. Without any separation, there is just One, all inclusive. Everything is just That, falling back on Itself continuously.

Surrender is absolute. There is no mind to allow or emotions to allow as it has permeated everything. There is only That. We are one with God, Brahman. Not as an experience but as being. That is both full and empty, active and silent, expressed and unexpressed.

Silent, loving bliss.
Davidya

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10 Responses to Wither Goeth Ego?

  1. With respect to your comment: “People will describe their experience from where they are at the moment. If you understand the general process taking place, the variations in description turn out to just be variations in how the process is unfolding personally.” …in my experience the “louder they preach,” the more they have yet to learn (i.e. basic arithmetic vs algebra or calculus)

    I suppose that’s why your messages, Davidya, resonate so beautifully…in silent, loving bliss.

  2. Davidya says:

    (laughs) There is truth to that. There is a curious balance here though. There is a deep certainty that comes from clarity. Very wise teachers will thus speak with conviction. But there are also teachers who speak with certainty because they’ve had a good experience. Both may speak of THE truth. But the second can give themselves away with rigidity and specialness. The ONLY truth.

    For example, Jesus is said to have said “I am the way and the truth and the light.” He was speaking of his experience of being. Put another way, I am That. He also said that anyone could do what he did and more. In other words, I’m not special. Thou art That.

    We can also note that there’s a big difference between good experiences and established being. Experiences fade into memory and become ghosts. Becoming deepens into wisdom.

    Thanks for the feedback and more great points. Draws out interesting stuff.

  3. Share says:

    Francis Lucille has said that whatever the state of the teacher, the purity of the student will draw out the highest wisdom. Maharishi explains that as we evolve, we are able more and more to extract the rasayana (life nourishing) value of whatever we experience. And D writes in Good Resistance that even the blocks are totality. So in a sense there are no imperfect teachers. No imperfect students.
    No imperfections anywhere at all.

  4. Davidya says:

    (laughs) Yes, Share, it’s true. Every teacher has something we may find useful. In fact, every person that comes into our life can teach us something. But there are degrees of quality. And degrees of what we can learn from a given person or teaching.

    Life takes care of seeing to it that we’re brought what we need to see. And that is indeed the perfection of it all.

  5. Elena says:

    Share. What a wonderful comment. Thank you. That is a great reminder for me on in my spiritual practice – not to judge and to trust the Universe.

  6. Davidya says:

    Hi Elena
    Yes, Share is wise. And that’s a good lesson. The ego has the habit of judging and making wrong so it feels in control. But that can get in the way of us seeing what is really unfolding before us. And the remarkable life we are actually living!

    Mind will always judge – that is it’s nature. The key is not taking all of it so seriously. It may be useful in choosing fruit but we can ignore it much of the rest of the time. As we settle into our true nature, mind feels more secure and will judge less. And offer more value. Become the tool, not the master.

    Have fun!

  7. Share says:

    Thank you both Elena and D for kind words. If you see something wonderful in me, it’s only because it’s already in you two too (laughs).

  8. Davidya says:

    (laughs) Yes, Share. It’s all in us, every thing.

  9. Elena says:

    Davidya,
    Thank you.
    Would you say that the best way to deal with it, when you catch yourself judging is to acknowledge it and let it go, without feeling guilty about it or fighting it?

  10. Davidya says:

    Hi Elena
    I would say – when you notice yourself judging – even catch is a judgment (laughs) This is the difficulty of escaping the ego. The part that makes the ego wrong is the ego. It’s a sort of closed loop. That’s why so many teachers speak of allowing, surrender, noticing, and such. It’s just about attention. Not engaging it.

    The rest you word just right.

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