“But this highest condition is difficult and must evidently take long to bring about; for the participation and consent of the Purusha to the transition is not sufficient, there must be also the consent and participation of the Prakriti….all the parts of our being must assent and surrender to the law of the spiritual Truth; all has to learn to obey the government of the conscious Divine Power in the members….For some of these parts are still subject to…the lower automatism of…mechanical habit of mind, habit of life, habit of instinct, habit of personality, habit of character, the ingrained mental, vital, physical needs, impulses, desires of the natural man, the old functionings of all kinds that are rooted so deep that it would seem as if we would have to dig to abysmal foundations in order to get them out.” The Life Divine, Sri Aurobindo, Book II, Chapter XXVI, pp. 964-65 (Lotus Press, Fourth Impression 2006)

Is the ego more complex and entrenched than we realize?
So many different responses…the ego is, the ego isn’t…the ego is an idea only, the ego serves a purpose…the perverting false ego vs. the ego being without which we could not be, etc. i consider this forum an open air market for healthy and spirited discussion, debate, and discourse. If ego is necessary, then what is its function? If ego is an idea only, then how does it form lifetime to lifetime, and is it different in each lifetime? Why is such emphasis put on ego (false ego) as the villain? Is there a difference between ego and false ego? i hear many different takes, opinions, approaches, views, experiences…can we rely on such a variety from so many to reveal the Reality? Many are adamant in their statements. Let’s continue the discussion in the next question?
Thimmappa M.S….your “little fellow” is an accurate and colorful description…i am smiling.

27 Comments

  • Ego is not very complex or entrenched, it is something that is conditioned into us. All of us are born in a natural state of bliss, children seldom have ego problems. But as we grow up and are conditioned by the society, the ego problem comes to delude us into believing that we are the doers. To dissolve the ego we simply have to shed this false belief and come out of this delusion of our supremacy. It is very simple but the divine magic and our own ignorance makes it a unsurmountable barrier to realize our true selves, and our true self is ego less and blissful. Society and religion instead of helping us to realize our true selves, take us away from our true selves and we remain stuck to our false egos and perish fruitlessly life time after lifetime. It is really a pity but this is how it is.

  • Something else….
    Does Aurobindo actually use the term ‘ego’ or is that your own interpretation? I couldn’t find it…
    You mention Purusha (pure consciousness) and Prakriti (manifestation of consciousness)…do you associate the ego with Prakriti? In other words, are you suggesting the ego must consent to its own death? Why? I think you misunderstand the nature of ego…
    And if you do associate the ego with Prakriti, then you must concede that it is a manifestation of soul, and Aurobindo tells us that “soul actually and simultaneously dwells” in all of our bodies (structures), including the material, and therefore the ego…
    I agree that all the parts (including the ego) are subject to the divine authority…and the ego has become a tyrant and a rebel, but it needs to be re-trained or re-programmed, (the ego is not its conditioning), but not annihilated…have you ever witnessed the annihilation of an ego? It is not a robot…it is not an artificial intelligence…it is a psychological structure (body)…a manifestation of psyche…
    The ego is superficially conscious, but not artificially conscious…
    Its purpose is directly tied in to the material world and even Aurobindo recognizes the give and take between spirit and the material when he says, “In a sense, the whole of creation may be said to be a movement between two involutions, [Causal] Spirit in which all is involved and out of which all evolves downward to the other pole of Matter, Matter in which also all is involved and out of which all evolves upwards to the other pole of Spirit.”
    These ‘poles’ are not in opposition…they are counterparts directly connected…directly related…with no divisions…
    The ego is our unique individuality manifested in the material world…our earth-nature…and Aurobindo acknowledges the validity of our individuality and material selves when he states;
    β€œAn entirely new consciousness in many individuals transforming their whole being, transforming their mental, vital, and physical nature-self, is needed for the new life to appear; only such a transformation of the general mind, life, body nature can bring into being a new worthwhile collective existence. The evolutionary [striving] must tend not merely to create a new type of mental beings but another order of beings who have raised their whole existence from our present mentalised animality to a greater spiritual level of the earth-nature.”

    Transformation of our natures is not the same as annihilation/dissolution of our natures…

  • Al Ghazali surmised that the human condition is as if four things in one: wise man, devil, pig and dog; with pig representing sensuality, and dog representing hunger. He said, whereas the Philosophers will say: go kill your pig and dog; Al Ghazali said: “If you kill your pig, how can you feel love? If you kill your dog, how can you gain your strength? You have to purify; transform your pig into your pure love, and your hunger into pure aspiration, power and strength; so that the pig and dog become your two wings to fly toward God.”

    We could not function without the ego. We can hope for our soul to be purified so as to take the reins of the ego rather than the ego having our soul in the reins.

    Yes ego is more complex and entrenched than we care to realise. But the path of the heart (soul) would be alot easier if we could learn to let go more (such as of earthly attachments) and trust in the way of the Prophets of God (on them be peace and blessings) who have paved the way for us, by God’s grace.

    Just supposing we could annihiliate (dissolute) the ego, then there has to be annihiliation of annihilation (dissolution of dissolution) itself….only the source of All there is can do that….the one and only God of us all (Allah subhana wa ta’ala in the Arabic).

    Thanks for asking πŸ™‚

  • To me it is possible to have my ego become transparent, rather than to try to remove that which is an integral God given part of me. The ego is the part that differentiates us. It is the uniqueness. However, out of balance the ego is a hindrance and becomes a separator.

    So, if the standard understanding of the ego is
    e asing
    g od
    o ut
    then the correction for this would be to
    E xpress
    G od
    O penly

    This is not a ‘shortcut’ to the details of the Q. Indeed, it can be as lengthy and tricky as described. However, with conscious awareness in every ‘now’ moment [and that is a daily practice if one is willing, that does have amazing results] expressing God openly does happen. Especially if one is intent upon the primary purpose of human life: to commune with GodCreatorSource at all times, in all circumstances.

    The awareness of Christ and receiving Christ (some call this born-again in the spirit) is an integral part of this process: to become what is our true nature, to be the light of the world, to be one with God, to ‘be’ the unconditional love we are made of by and for.

    Thanks for this Q πŸ™‚

    EDIT: Each culture has it’s semantical view and verbage, and claims that ‘this’ is the ‘true way’. It can be difficult when searching for ‘Truth’, as a result (ref: the tower of Babel). This is an internal personal and very private walk, this walk of the spirit. Within each culture and tradition (as in protestant religions for example) there are huge areas where people choose to ‘look outward and judge’ others, rather than ‘look inward and be responsible for your relationship with God’. This is a huge Q with lots of choices, choices to argue and put down one another, or to find the true oneness and communality while respecting the individuality of each one’s perspectives. Thanks

  • yes it is…good question by the way…i have come to realize that if we utilize spirit instead of ego…the world would be a much peaceful,honest place to live within…

  • My beloved, a long time it seems, listen to the words of my heart with care.

    Dissolution of EGO, Is just gain of trust in cosmic consciousness. You stick to your ego, because that is the only thing you trust as of now at all the levels of being.

    please also understand that trust can not be more or less, its not even you have trust or you don’t. you cannot “have” trust, it is JUST you trust or you don’t.

    Once the trust is established in the purusha tattva, than you don’t stick to the limiting “I – ego” factor anymore.

    This trust is established in many ways , by way of understanding ( Gnaana Yoga ) , By traveling till the splendor to witness it through the path of breath ( hatha, raja etc ), by connecting and loving – devotion or Bakthi yoga and so on.

    Prakriti is always surrendered, so no need to worry about that, it is always surrendered to false ego as of now, and when you realize the real Purusha in everyone of you, than your prakriti will surrender to that real purusha.

    so don’t worry about that.

    so like our friend gora tells above, once you have trust, than the grace that gora speaks about, comes from north automatically. the 4th agama , the north, it IS grace.

    Purusha tattva for every universe, enters the EGG of the universe, at the northern point, just like the sperm accurately locates the northern point of egg in a female body and enters as the cause of the development of fetus and further birth.

    when purusha breathes out, than his anshas containing his tattva spreads to impregnate the egg of universe, to provide it the cause to manifest. he is the cause for this material world similarly in a little more complex extension, and this purusha has to be meditated upon to realize the cause

    It is this purusha aurobindo is referring to, i was pulled here just because of his name. what a great master, i bow i bow i bow, he is part of grace, no doubt, no use telling this again and again, there is no need, he is grace. may reverences to the master.

    –Deito

    Harirnama Harirnama Harirnama Kevalam.

  • Ego! Ego is either real or false! Ego is identity. To identify falsely is false ego. To identify properly is real ego.
    We have to understand what our true identity is, what the Absolute Truth is, and what our relationship with that Absolute Truth is. When we know that, understand it, accept it, fully relate to it at all times and in all circumstances and in every way possible and fully accept that the Absolute is inconceivable. Then we can begin to work on the level of real ego. Real ego means:– The Absolute Truth (God) is the Supreme Controller, proprietor, enjoyer, creator and sanctioning agent of everything and everyone. There is nothing equal to or greater than Him. He is one without a second. The Lord of both spiritual and material worlds. He is within everything, yet He is outside of everything. Not even a blade of grass moves without His sanction. He is completely and unlimitedly full on all opulence’s. All beauty, all knowledge, all fame, all wealth, all strength and all renunciation. That He is the master of all sentient beings, and as sentient being we are His eternal servants. As His eternal servants we are made to serve His every wish and desire in the way He pleases and no other way. We must love God for God’s sake and no other. We must accept the Lord as more dear to us than our own life breath and that everything is His and therefore meant for His pleasure and His pleasure alone and no other. That would be REAL EGO. Anything less would be FALSE EGO. When we begin to serve the Lord with love and devotion, using everything in His service and only in a way that pleases Him, with no desire for anything in return accept more Service to Him, then we begin to develop our true state of spiritual awareness and the real identity becomes more apparent. WE are not the temporary material body, but eternal spirit soul, the eternal servant of our eternal Lord and Lover. When we act to gratify the mind and senses of this gross material existence, that covers the real spiritual consciousness and steals away our true spiritual intelligence and therefore cause us to relate to this temporary material existence as the be all and end all of existence. This is FALSE EGO. Misidentification. Work done as a sacrifice to please the Lord has to be done, otherwise whatever you do will lead to bondage in this material world. Bhagavad-gita As It Is, gives a complete description of Real Ego and False Ego and how to get free from the false ego. The recommended way to become free from false ego and attain our true eternal transcendental identity is pointed out in the Vedic literature. In this age in which we are presently living. The age of quarrel and hypocrisy, or Kali Yuga as it is known in the Vedas. The way to free ourselves is : Harinam harinam harinama eva kevalam kalau nasty eva nasty eva hasty eva gatir anyatah. meaning:— Chant the holy name, chant the holy name, chant the holy name of the Lord, it is the only way, it is the only way, it is the only way for self realisation in this age of Kali, ( quarrel and hypocrisy). In Bhagavad-gita As It Is the Lord states; ‘ only by devotional service can I be known as I truly am’ and ‘to those who are constantly devoted and worship me, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me’ and ‘the condition soul due to false ego, thinks himself the doer of activities which in actuality carried out by nature’ and ‘ this divine energy of mine consisting of the three modes of material nature is impossible to overcome, but it is possible by My Grace and My Grace alone’ and how to get that mercy to become free? ‘ to show the special mercy,I dwelling within their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge all darkness born of ignorance born of contact with this material nature’ and how to please the Lord? He states. ‘Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me with love and devotion, bowing down before Me, surely you will come to Me’
    Real ego is to Identify ourselves as eternal spirit soul servant of our Divine Lord and lover eternally, and false ego is anything other than that. The dissolution of false ego is, a decision that you need to make, a process that is set out by the Lord, that you need to follow exactly, an agreement on your behalf that you will only do as the Lord wants and the way He wants, and when and how He wants, and it is an ongoing observation by you and the Lord, as we have to be very attentive in this tricky world of illusion as there is danger at every step. And it is something else alright. It is beyond the perception of material mind senses and intelligence. As the Lord says. ‘I give the intelligence by which they can come to me’ Take care. There is so much more could be said on the matter. Thank you for the opportunity to answer. Best wishes. GOURANGA GOURANGA GOURANGA,

  • It is something else too and whether it is more complex and entrenched or not depends on how it is built up in the individual.

    Young child/infant is relaxed yet alert allowing attention to any thing and everything that comes along without discrimination or value judgement, busy looking hither and thither for no ‘purpose'(selfish), deeply relaxed and enjoying. Here, there is ego as it apprehends and holds it for oneself, though briefly, but lets go soon, fresh nevertheless – no remorse – and moves to hold the next thing along, without choice, without seeking. So, there is a way to be without ego not getting dominated! Let us not say what kind of life is that, if we do, it can be said to all kind of life.

    Strangely, Sirius, I continued that way, ridiculed apart! Totally involved and ‘committed’ to what arrived, enjoyed to the tilt and moved on; if not enjoyable, I do not feel miserable either, I just let it that way without reflecting/commenting on myself(ego). This is how I have been wearing the ego, my little fellow! ‘He’ never posed any problem. I rarely find ‘him’ useful, when I did try to use occasionally, ‘he’ has put me in trouble!

  • Once you evolve to a certain level of consciousness after enough incarnations, it is an imperative.

    Transcending the ego is a process and ongoing observation of reality which mirrors the hidden beliefs of this conditioned identity, making it possible to examine the origin of the beliefs which distort perception, feelings, thoughts and reactions.

    Return to essence/authentic being/true Self and one’s passion and purpose is not possible until the defensive ego system is gone from the subconscious. Living with it is not an option if you expect to accomplish what you are capable of accomplishing. Why? Because Reality is responsive to consciousness.

  • I have no doubt it’s a process, it’s a growing metamorphosis which happens while you are alive in body. It’s sort of like withdrawing energy away from the structure of ego, by being meditative, and then when you are like that, then the awareness that is you ‘is in charge now’ and changes you while in that meditative state. ‘you’ don’t have to know how this is done, YOU just have to make the decision to get quiet, then it happens.

    I can tell you that it doesn’t happen in one fell swoop, because I have taken enough steps to know this is not the case. It doesn’t happen even when you can sit in absolute total silence for 45 mintues in meditation. I have done that now for 1,000’s of hours in the last two years, and it continues to go on. Awareness keeps rising, insights keep happening, steps keep happening – there is no doubt it’s a process, yet what one has to do is very simple – just get quiet. each time you get quiet, a change is made. there is nothing more to know about it. There is no instant full awakening, the myth of spontaneous awakening is confused with the first time one realizes one is not ‘the talking ego voice’. Then one can say one is awakened, or privy to another possibility. so a turning point from there on, yet there are many more steps to take. See the ego as built up of many differernt parts, which all have the commonality in ‘you are identifed with these parts’ believing them to be essential parts of your true self. Yet, you can’t identify all these at once, it’s more like before awakening, you are building up ego, in all it’s parts. To simplify – your body contains all, it’s the reflection of you. Your ego is built up like this: First there is ancestral imprint, inherited aspects, soul/past life aspects. Then there is early fetal imprinting on the emotional or feeling based levels from birth to about age five. Then the cognitive/mental aspects develope, until about age 23 or so. Then the ego is fully formed for this life time. If it happens that your ego is big enough, has enough energy, then you will awaken, and the first steps to reverse out of are the cognitive, mental, conceptual, beliefs, etc. (all this personality was grown into you since birth and is like added onto the base of what you started with, so family and geography and environment all have their additions). See it like healing the ego, and doing it in reverse: first there is perception/cognitive of which there are quite a few steps. Most people don’t get out of the perceptual aspect – most spirtitual people are stuck here. After you identify and clear all the perceptual aspects, then you will be faced with the feeling/energy/emotional use of personalty. After that a physical step will follow known as kundalini awakening, where the whoel body is dramatically rewired in the nervous system. I’m just about done with that, so can’t tell yet what the resutl of that will be — but will as soon as I know.

    Betsy

  • What ever it takes for each individual. Our egos all came about differently, therefore what works for one may not work for another. For me, it is about letting my spirit reign. No more duality. The more ego we release, the more we find. Things we never thought of as ego come popping out. I’m having war games with mine. My spirit takes a lot of hits, but it can take more than any ego can. lol

  • I used to wrestle with and philosophize about this and practice, read, meditate, etc. to “transcend the ego” and all that for years and then I had a realization about the automaton and Consciousness and it made me very humble and miserable for a while, but in the long run, freer perhaps and i put away all the books and curbed my enthusiasm about all the groovy ideology and poesy. The ego on the one hand is a survival mechanism of the organism. It is also an aggregate of circumstance and experience and an aggregate of the inexorable karma of all the entities within a person’s constellation of circumstances and experience. Enlightened beings who are human beings with nervous systems and all that live in a paradox, being a personality (an ego) and automaton and experiencing themselves as Consciousness or of just experiencing Consciousness and the illusory nature of self. Some have even described somewhat in this way.

    “Ego dissolution” is simply intentionally repatterning the program so that it is more of an intentional and efficient program marked by a higher degree of true volition, than the randomly circumstantial program a person haplessly comes into the world as and becomes during its helpless formative years. This is what spiritual discipline and meditation is ultimately for.

  • Yes it is. After all, it has been developing all of your life, since conception. It dissolves slowly. Although some people have claimed to have sudden experiences of transcendent “cosmic consciousness”, those are always followed by “downs” where the seeker returns to normal life, only slightly different. Many more such experiences are needed to dislodge the ego. It requires daily effort, just like physical exercise, eating, etc.

  • Ego is what glues spirit to flesh.
    We need ego to agree to stay out of the way of awareness. Ego creates our grandeur, but truth is perception without the veil of pride. If one doesn’t acknowledge the ego then the ego strengthens, as ego is fueled by fear of death and humiliation. If acknowledged it is weakened and it will give you permission to see truth. It can’t be fought by logic or fear; to fight ego is to fight your own mind.

    Consider how you must deal with the egos of other people to get them to understand something; this is how you must be with yourself as well. When ego becomes your ally it will vanish, and so will your misconceptions.

  • I think it is an ongoing, gradual process.
    The self is a deep, subtle delusion; a product of our minds- thus very cunning and elusive. It will seek to subvert at every level.
    Sustained concentration and lengthly observation of non-self is the way of practice.

  • Male and female energy dancing, Purusha and Prakriti, Shiva and Shakti. Tantra is a rocket-ship to enlightenment, sexual energy raised transcends conditioning and brings us to the natural state *Glimmering* before time. Sex is the key, conditioning about sex the lock. : )

    Edit: Of course there are many horse and buggy methods also. : )

  • IMHO I believe that there comes a day when you wake up and you just give others the benefit of the doubt and you decide that there are certain priorities in life and arguing with others over insignificant things is NOT one of them. Some call it maturing, some call it enlightenment, others may call it apathy.
    In came over me in a flash after I had found out some rather distressing news about the govt in general and then specifically news about our local FBI, sheriffs dept, 1/2 of the local judges, most of the District Attorney’s office, the local police, the local city councils and mayors and how the newspaper worked hand in hand with them all.
    I perhaps told too many people and was suddenly hunted, hounded, my house was broken into, my computer hacked, and then they started to get mean. Ridiculous charges, court dates, judges dismissing charges followed by the DA dismissing that judge, internal riff-raff in the system, followed by threats of death, torture, the list goes on and on. I even wrote a book while I was being imprisoned between court dates. I finally gave in and was released, ONE MONTH before another guy in the same boat as me was murdered in his cell by what most people say was the sheriff’s dept themselves. I had escaped just in time thanks to a friend who worked for the DA’s office and told me that I had been targeted and I needed to leave that area as soon as possible. He gave me a destination and said “Be there in a month …. or you are a dead man.” Well, I’m reporting to you LIVE from that destination. I may not be ready to blab the news to the world since I simply MENTIONED it to Phil Donahue and his secretary was all jumping up and down and really into it and then a week later called and said that “this is too big for us to handle … we would lose our license and Phil would probably end up going through what YOU went through so thank you but you’re on your own!”

    So … there are times when you save the battle for another time and place. In the meantime I am a “broken spirit”, but one never knows when I might take the form of the Phoenix. Like Terminator, as long as there is ONE spark left, one volt to power up the mains, the possibility of GREAT things still exists. But I am gradually returning and seeking vengeance upon my dear overlords. The banks are first, religions as we know them are next, and the govts will be last. None of this will be done by ME thank Goodness.
    We are ALL becoming enlightened as we Ascend to 13 hertz and 5th Dimensionality since we are ending the 13th era in the Mayan calendar and are about to enter the topic of many songs from the 1960’s “The Age of Aquarius”. When we go 5D one of the perks is that we will be given the TRUE Knowledge of Everything from all time. The fruit from the tree so to speak. I think when God smit Adam & Eve he dropped them from 5D to 2D and man has been ascending the ladder ever since. Well, finally at last we are ascending the LAST part and once we reach Dec 21, 2012 we will ALL KNOW the truth. We will also be totally intuitive like the animals. We will become ONE people, with ONE mind, and ONE thought! Hopefully we will even be accepted into the galactic community as equals to many other alien races. It will be the “Party of the Ages” literally.
    And then there is the possibility that Nibiru will wipe everything out but that’s just the luck of the draw. Personally, I’m hoping that we can all band mentally together and repel whatever it is that threatens us in the future. For those of you who think that’s an “odd thought” please feel free to enlighten yourself at this website: http://2012.heavenforum.com
    It will tell you everything you need to know to update your systems.
    Once we reach 2013 and have all ascended we can look for the 1000 years of peace to begin, aka Heaven on Earth.
    If we FAIL and don’t ascend for some reason then we can look for what those doomsayers talk about and go thru Hell on Earth. This is also why the coming pages of the Mayan Calendar are blank. There are TWO possibilities for the future. We are reaching the MAJOR fork in the road. Right, left, heaven, hell … which way are we going? The future is not fixed … WE must be the Change we wish to see in the World!” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ego? Are we still talking about Ego? How Neanderthal … not that there’s anything wrong with that!
    Ego is dead. Enlightenment is the new Ego! One for all and all for one is the new motto of the New World. We have a New World Ego now! Who will win? The New World Order or the New World Ego? I ask YOU! …………..

    πŸ™‚
    peace, love and light

    N.B.
    So, it’s your choice people. Heaven or Hell. Either relax and enlighten and ride the crazy roller coaster ride through you emotions and shut down your logical mind and begin thinking with you emotional mind, and enter into a state of bliss … or fight it all the way and force Mother Nature to start the whole process all over again until we can get it right. Stuff some flint in your pockets now b/c you’re going to need it to start the fire to heat your food, unless you like RAW bear.

    πŸ™‚
    Peace, Love, and Light to All

  • an awakening. the ever present source of consciousness comes through the veils of mind and truth is seen.
    ego is a myth, a self- created stream of thoughts, a bundle of past memories, a beloved servant, nothing to be afraid of.

  • Ego separates man from God.
    Through ,’maya’ it appers as object.
    We feel as creators
    By expelling ego consciousness only we awaken and feel oneness with God

  • Very Interesting question, Thank you for asking.

    We had a discussion about this last week. The story was how this person addicted to sweet wanted to avoid eating “Baklava”. So there are 3 Baklava’s in front of him and his ego is convincing him to eat it all. He says to himself that he wont since he has pledged. As soon as the thought of not eating convinced him, a worm falls from his nose and starts eating it and he yells, hey it is my ego that wants to eat it. This worm later goes back in the nose. The moral of the story is as long as the human is alive, fighting ego is an ongoing observation and battle. The ego is also within him/her. They say outer Jihad as in fighting oppression is way easier then inner Jihad e.g Jihad against nafs(ego), gluttony, pride, greed, lust etc. Only saints majorly live in that state. In my humble opinion, I only believe in the forgivenss, mercy and Love of the divine, so my focus is always on that and in the world, I have to try my best to battle the ego. Thanks again. Peace and Blessings be upon you. Have a great day!

  • I haven’t read the source material that you quoted, but I have read The Power of Now and A New Earth. I think the shedding of the ego is all of those things you asked about or any combination that works for you. What I took from Eckhart Tolle’s books is the realization that the quest is as unique as the individual seeking to make it.

    I’ve made some progress, hit a few brick walls, found a way around them and so on, many times so far. I’m doing my best to enjoy the journey instead of focusing on the goal. I hope your journey is going well and I thank you for starting my day on a high note.

  • Yes definitely!!
    Realizing that the ego is more complex and entrenched than we realize though makes, all those things you mentioned above, more doable and feasible.

    Thanks for sharing this…good question for me to reflect on.

    Peace!

  • It’s an inevitable consequence when one learns to overcome materialist desires. I know nothing about Purushas and Prakriti.

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