Ego process

Ego process

In another discussion, someone commented that they were surprised how hard it was to do what made them happy, what brought them results. How they would forget the simple things that made a difference. I explained:

Actually, if you understand the ego, then the behavior begins to make more sense. As part of the natural growing process, we need to gain a sense of separateness from our mother. As a young child, the mind creates the idea of an identity separate from other. We call this the ego. This helps us become independent and self-sufficient.

But not understanding human potential, we tend to get stuck there, building our adulthood around this childhood ego, around an idea or story about who we are. Oftentimes, this story is built upon our view of certain events in childhood – that we’re ugly or stupid or blame worthy or better than or justifiably angry, or whatever. Basically primitive lower emotions. This becomes the back story of our life.

And this is where we have our blind spots. Could be around happiness, around relationships, food, sex, money, and so forth. The basics.

The trick is, the ego has created a story and it keeps control (of what it cannot control) by making itself right. And the only way it can be right, is to make other wrong. Note that being right is being right about your story. Being right about being stupid or unworthy or better than or other total nonsense. Our whole language is built around this need to be right. Our culture is full of it. We’re right so Bush is wrong, they are a gossip and we’re not, I am better than, black and white, right and wrong. And in order to keep being right and thus ensure its existence, the ego is willing to sacrifice our health, our happiness, and our well-being. It sees it as a matter of its own survival.

The problem is, the ego is built on air. It is an illusion. It is just a “tiny mad idea”, in use long past its due date. Although the west does not yet acknowledge this, normal human development is to lose the ego sometime in the teens when the body is completing its maturing. Then the nervous system can sustain the next level of development. (just wait for the Indigos…)

The simple reason you don’t always do what is “best” and what would make you happiest is that it would make the ego wrong. For whatever irrational reason. These stories are often quite sub-conscious and deeply tied to our core sense of identity, so it take time to be clear about this. This is why it takes practice at first. We have to culture gratitude and more positive emotions. We have to practice a different outlook. We have to try different things. We have to create new habits of mind and begin rewriting our story.

But until we lose the ego, it will remain a practice because the ego is a devious little beast. The ego will pretend to cooperate. It will pretend to be spiritual. But it will tend to sub-consciously thwart. You’ll see the head of judgment, doubt and dismissal come up – thats ego-speak. And it will always try to run its story against everything that comes up. And will filter out what does not fit the story. This is why we can be standing in heaven and suffer. Suffering is simply a habit of mind as we did not know otherwise. Heaven is not somewhere else.

But there is nothing we can do to kill or suppress the ego. The ego is a natural quality of the mind and any mental effort against it is just the ego playing with itself. The only way we can dump the ego is by connecting with who we really are again. Beyond the mind. We lose the ego by transcending it. Again, by practice.

The only thing thats hard about this is that we have little context in the west for it. Loosing the ego is actually very easy. We do it every night when we sleep. When the mind goes to sleep, all the ideas of the mind, the story and the ego, all sleep as well.

Have you ever woken in the morning and for a short moment you didn’t know who you are and where you are? This is because the ego had not yet woken to remind you. If you felt any panic or other negative emotion, it was only because ego had not initialized its story and was fearful of its loss. It was not you being fearful, it was the ego. The ego is the source of almost all that negative noise.

You also may note that the ego is always in the past or the future. That is the nature of the mind. It is running on memories and projections. Not what is real.

To lose the ego, all we have to do is connect deeply enough with who we are and the need for the ego will fall away. The idea will be forgotten when we remember who we already are. It only takes a moment, when we’re ready. And the way to that is to allow. Just allow everything. Just as it is, now. That is what is real, now.

Everything you experience is either fullness or resistance to fullness.

If you have some sort of spiritual practice like meditation. Something that is easy and brings you peace, that will help make it faster. Its a practice that will help you remember. Help you allow.

Its a funny thing, but every day is miraculous, if you create your day or not. It is only the ego that judges it otherwise. When it shuts up for even a moment, the light that can shine in is immense. The happiness we can be, simply by being who we already are, is more than you can imagine. And because it is infinite, it can only increase. More, and more, and more.

If that seems too much, know that remembering who you already are is just the beginning of a remarkable adventure. An adventure into what we really can be, a greatness and a fullness beyond what the mind can conceive of. History is full of people who have embarked on this adventure but the stories rarely do it justice. Words fail when its beyond mind. Yet it is perfectly normal and natural, and actually ordinary. Because its who you already (really) are.

Be patient with yourself. The thing thats in a rush is the ego, pushing to be in some other time than now.

Keep practicing. The rewards are more than worth it.

Last Updated on November 11, 2017 by Davidya

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  1. Wonderful exposition. I particularly appreciated paragraph 11, as I experience not knowing where or who I am almost every morning. I’m not always pleased to find out who I am, as it were, but mostly I am. 😉
    I like the metaphor of ego as story. That I can relate to. And meditation is a huge help with everything.

  2. David

    You’re welcome. I appreciate the feedback.
    Its worth observing that the story is not a metaphor. The ego is a story, an idea of the mind. Or rather a bunch of stories we aggregate as “me”. This is seen clearly when we wake from the ego. You have undoubtedly heard references to ego-death. Its less a death than a forgetting. The idea of ego is forgotten when we discover who we really are. Or really, allow enough to become who we are.

  3. Davidya

    Hi YV
    Fascinating web site. To understand that mind is working in a programmed manner is indeed an important awakening. However, I would not describe it as the end of the game. It is the opening we need to help us wake from the dream of the mind. But there is more to it than that.

    Its a curious thing in the growth of awareness. The mind likes to have “the answer”. So each time it gets some clarity, the mind will decide it has reached the ultimate truth, the key to existence. Certainly, we may have found the key to that stage of our life. To that stage of our growth of perspective. But never think you have reached the end. There is no end to our development. Existence is such a vast place, there is always room for more opening, more growth. Indeed, even full enlightenment is not the end.

    We are here for the journey, for the experience, not the end.

  4. Davidya

    Hi YV
    Thanks for the feedback. In both Buddhist and Vedic traditions, and probably others, there is illuminated a series of stages where one ‘awakes’ from the grip of the mind (and what Eckhart calls the ‘pain body’). Once we are fully established beyond mind, the games of the mind no longer hold sway. That is the end of the game, the Maya, the Lila.

    Awareness itself I agree holds no markers. But there are certain key shifts or switches that can be noted if we have enough clarity to note them. Shifts in who we seem to be. Where we seem to be. Essentially not in awareness but in our relationship with it. But you are right that there is no end point, no ‘ultimate’ goal. If I read you correctly.

  5. Davidya

    YV, you are so polite. Few call me Sir. (laughs)
    I would say that the mystery cannot be solved by the mind, but it can be known. Once known, it is no longer a mystery.

    Thats not to say the human expression can ever take it all in at once. We can only digest parts of it. But we are that, so in knowing who we are As It Is, we become that which we have always been. And in fully becoming that, it ceases to be unknown.

    That said, its very true that allowing it to be as it is required to progress. We have to lose it all to gain it again in a higher perspective.

  6. All the out side impacts are causing a stir in you, either positively or negatively or neutrally. There is not a single moment when this stir is not there.
    Mind in a stereotyped manner is trying to hold on to positive, reject the negative and ignore the neutral. Actions are guided by holding, rejecting or ignoring. This movement is mind’s default setting.
    Just being aware of the above shows forth the mystery.

    Mind sensates the challenge by seeking satisfaction out of it either by accepting, rejecting or ignoring. It is not that challenge should not cause a stir. Challenge must stir you and in awareness that stirring withers away. The unified field includes the stirring and withering away. In unawareness, the stirring impels one to lean on to any one side, the side is immaterial. Or in unawareness, the challenge does not stir you. The system continuously throws challenges to stir you so that there may be awakening.

    Y V chawla

  7. Davidya

    All events take place within consciousness. What stirs the world into being and into action takes place “within”. Our identity, deeper than ego, is what gives us an idea of “inside” and “outside”. Once lost, there is no division. Everything is within the One, and thou art That.

    Mind has its stories it plays, its stereotypical responses. But after we transcend mind and discover ourselves to be, mind becomes more environment. The stories, like traffic noise. Without our investment in them, they begin to wind down.

    Mind tries to identify with the positive but because of resistance, tends to get caught up in emotional dramas. What Tolle calls the pain body.

    The stirring and the withering, the accepting, rejecting, and ignoring, the play of the 3 gunas. Indeed, mind ignores the vast majority of what shows up or we would not be able to function in the barrage of senses.

    And yes, the lack of satisfaction and the challenges eventually cause us to “rethink”, thus opening the way for insight and awakening.

  8. Sir,
    Truth can not be understood through experience, however high or low flying it may be. Truth can not be held within the language of the present mind.
    The present mind responds to every fact or challenge through the screen of idea, which is psychologically comfortable.
    Can one see it? Can one notice it?
    This noticing, this seeing is your connection to the ‘whole’. But then ‘you’ is not there to make any idea out of it. There remains seeing, noticing only.
    The seeing, noticing lets the hold of idea (you) drop.

    Awareness is actual understanding that psychological comfort through idea is fragmentary.
    There is immediate conversion of every situation into lack by the mind. Now the lack has to be countered by some psychological comfort to sustain it
    (the mind).
    One never questions lack or one is not aware that lack can be questioned.

    Y V chawla

  9. Davidya

    I think we are saying much the same thing, simply using our words differently.

    You describe the seeing very well. And the ways of the mind. But I hesitate to use “truth” that way as most people mean what is true for them and is thus relative, of the mind. The reality that underlies mind is indeed a greater truth that one cannot experience. But our relationship with that evolves, the value of what we reflect grows, and thus our relationship with this truth also evolves.

    The only thing that is completely absolute cannot be named as it is beyond even existence. Yet we are That.

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