Tag Archives: Spiritual

What is Ego? Ego is Thought.

You know what I see in this symbol? The circle represents the gap between thoughts, the Grail. But a being, a "monster" one who can't reconcile himself with nature is blocking this portal, where normally the inexhaustible energies of eternity would come pouring through into your life.

You know what I see in this symbol? The circle represents the gap between thoughts, the Grail. But a being, a “monster,” one who can’t reconcile himself with nature, is blocking this portal, where normally the inexhaustible energies of eternity would come pouring through into your life.

“Becoming free of Ego means becoming free of thought, identification with thought. That’s the end of the Ego. It may reassert itself from time to time, but at least its the Awakening.” – Eckhart Tolle [video-link]

When you read enough Mythology, fairy tales, and religion, you start to realize that the most important archetype, the most important theme, if you will, that comes ringing through all the symbols, is the idea of Sacrifice. Now, in most of the stories, the sacrifice is literal, whether it be animals upon the alter, or even human beings, perhaps most famously rendered in the image of Crucifixion of the “Christ.” Taken literally, it’s very off putting, if not downright horrific to the modern reader. But when you start to read the images symbolically, a whole new realization opens up. For instance the Christ story could be read as psychologically sacrificing the impulses of the flesh, the desires of the flesh, as well as its fears, in order to give birth to the “spiritual” body. Read that way, the modern reader can use these stories as guides to real “religious” (re-linking to the Soul) experiences of their own.

Having read a lot of this material one has the realization that the Sacrifice, in its essence, is about sacrifice of the Ego. One gets the strong sensation, through reading these materials, and also through religious practices such as yoga and meditation, that if one could just simply “Sacrifice the Ego,” not only would a lot of problems be solved, not only would a lot of happiness enter your life, you would not only discover, but start automatically living and fulfilling your true destiny, your true purpose. It’s “the track” that Joseph Campbell talks about in the following saying:

If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. – Joseph Campbell (link)

So, the question becomes, “What is Ego?” If we are going to destroy it, dissolve it, or at the very least, reduce it, it would helpful to know exactly what we are dealing with. Today, while listening to a Deepak Chopra interview on Youtube, the interviewer asked him this exact question, and I thought he gave a very enlightening answer that I wanted to remember. So I’m going to write it down:

The characteristics of the Ego are, ‘I am either superior or inferior to someone. I need to control, manipulate, insist, beg, cojole, convince, in order to have control over the situation. I have to really try hard. And, it’s always really full of fear. The Ego is full of fear. The Ego is our Self Image. It’s not our Soul. The Ego is built up through opinions, through public opinions, and uses ‘agency power’…the power of money, the power of political office. The power of being President of the company, or the state, or the Country. That’s agency power. The power of the Soul comes from a much deeper strength. (Here’s a link to the exact moment in the Interview on Youtube).

That’s a lot to ingest, but really for me, while I was walking and listening to this, was the very first statement, ‘I am either Superior or Inferior to someone.’ that gave me a flash of Enlightenment. All my life, without realizing it, those two “see-sawing”, almost directly opposite feelings have dominated me in my relations to others. And often it will be about the very same person, which is very strange! Yet when one feels the emotion, either of superiority or inferiority, one believes in the reality of it. To have someone explain that these are not reality at all, not your real personality at all, but rather acts, reflexes, almost a hijacking by “The Ego,” is quite a relief! “Ah, there’s not something deep, dark wrong with me. There’s something deep, dark that’s artificially taken over me, and blocked me from my connection to my True Self, my soul.

So what’s the remedy for this? I think the first step is, just like in meditation the first step is not getting rid of your thoughts, but merely stepping back from them, noticing and becoming aware of them without judgement) just becoming aware that you are having this feeling. “Oh, I’m feeling Superior to this person. I wonder why? I know, that not only is it unkind and exhausting to feel this way, but inherently not true. But anyway, I am feeling it. So, I am going to acknowledge the feeling. Then gently practice letting that feeling dissappate, and instead send out feeling of love, equanimity, and compassion for this person.”

Perhaps that’s too much to think about at first. Maybe just becoming aware that you are feeling that way will help you rise above the emotion instead of drowning in it. And from there the emotion will lose a little of its energy.

Just being aware when it happens and saying to yourself, “I do acknowledge the feeling, but at the same time, I know this is Ego’s production, and not me. I know that it has to play itself out, but just awareness itself, and having the intention of seeing things the way they really are, will help it dissapate quicker, as well as slowly dissolve itself completely from my personality.”

UPDATE 1/14/14: I saw this video by Eckhardt Tolle right after I wrote this piece. As luck would have it, the very first question posed to him was this, “What is Ego?” question. Remarkable.

“There is no Ego apart from the thoughts. The thoughts, identification with thought is Ego.”

Wow! In other words: Thought is Ego. Ego is Thought! When I think about how I see the Grail, for instance, as a symbol of the Gap between thought, this statement by Eckhardt really blows me away!

I’m so tempted to erase this big ass blog post I’ve written, and just replace it with: Ego is Thought. 

Here is a link to the Eckhart video

And see, before you think, “Well, that’s fine and dandy to realize I’ve got to get my inspiration through transcendence, but in order to enjoy it, I’ve got to bring it back into this world, and THINK about it a while,” read this words by Ram Dass:

“Faith, consciousness, and awareness all exist beyond the thinking mind.” – Ram Dass

We always run back to the “thinking mind” sort of like it were “home base,” thinking that it is our real self.

But in essence, its the “thinking mind” that’s keeping us away from our true self.

Our real adventure.

As Eckhart goes on to say in this same video, “You are not the thought. You are the awareness.”

In this sense, Consciousness, Awareness can observe thought, can observe emotion, but not be trapped inside them, like Theseus is trapped inside the Labyrinth.

The Purpose of Mythology

The purpose of mythology is to make you realize that your ego is keeping you from your destiny.

Maybe we shouldn’t say “your” ego because that emphasizes the sense of separateness that the ego function engenders. The definition of ego is the belief, or rather, the sense that you are separate from the outside world, from nature.

So, its purpose is to break that lock and allow the “waters” of the universe to flow back through you, and the breath (the Tchi) of the universe to once again fill your lungs. Just as your physical body would die without water and air, so your “subtle” body (what we in the West may call ‘Soul’) will die without the ‘divine’ water and air. Because, though, it is wrapped in a story that may be historical untrue, rationally untrue, it contains within it the kernel or seed of a transcendent truth. It’s this very transcendence, the “womb of creation” as Deepak calls it, that’s made, and continues to make, everything we know. It’s desire is to come up through you and “marry” these two worlds, that of the internal and that of the external.

Your ego stands exactly in this middle ground between this external infinity (which our telescopes show us) and this internal infinity (which our microscopes show us), and also this transcendent infinity, which our heart shows us. There’s a trinity for you. A trinity that wants to be “Re-Ligio” or relinked, which are the Latin words that our English word Religion, synonymous with Mythology, actually comes from.

So think about this. Religion actually means to “re-link.” It’s the re-linking of eternity with immanence.

“There’s something that wants to be known, a presence.” 

See, that something, which is real and transcendent, can’t be known when an Ego function serves as a sort of ringed fortress, blocking it out.

So the purpose of the mythology, religion, is to break that Ego sphere, and allow the transcendental to pour forth, both up from within, like a hidden spring, and down from without, like a great waterfall or rain.

On Ego, What it Is, What it Does, and How to Cure It

“Because the conscious mind has to be in control, even though it doesn’t know anything.” – Dolores Cannon [Youtube Link]

I’ve heard Dolores say in other interviews that the Conscious Mind is the Ego. That makes the definition pretty simple. If that is the case then the cure would seem to be spending more time with the sub/unconscious parts of our psyches, paying it more respect, i.e., meditation, having the intent to remember and write down your dreams, and respecting the images and messages coming from that deep well. – Stephen

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. This post is definitely under construction. It may be so indefinitely. The main reason is: I have a strong sense that Ego is our main problem in life. Ego has hijacked our Consciousness, and it won’t let us be happy. It doesn’t want us to be happy.

But here’s the rub and the reason I created this post: I don’t know why, nor do I know exactly what it is, or how to get rid of it.

The few times in my life that I’ve really meditated, and carried on a sustained practice, it does seem like that exercise had a positive effect on reducing it, much like working out at the gym burns fat.

But somehow the Ego itself, being still in control, seems to stop me in my tracks from doing such things as meditating, anything that would threaten it’s existence. Since it has hijacked and controls the brain it accomplishes this behaviourial control by releasing negative feelings around anything it doesn’t want you to do. Anything that would help you escape from it.

Still, I don’t know what it, Ego, is, exactly. I’m hoping that writing itself, you know how writing is a way of learning, will help me arrive at an answer. If you have any thoughts on this subject, then I would love to hear them in comments.

It occurred to me today that we weren’t born with Ego. It feels like Society somehow injects us with “Ego” little by little, as we grow older, and we don’t notice it, much like we don’t notice our day to day aging, until one day we wake up and our consciousness has changed. The wonderous feeling we had about life as children has disentegrated.

The myths and fairytales, in their picture language, seem to be saying, in an over arching theme that the cosmic or natural energies can’t get through to our consciousness, that they’re being blocked by something. And that if we were to remove the obstruction, those energies would automatically carry us to our destiny. It certainly feels like the Ego is that blockage. So the question becomes, how do we in our modern lives remove that blockage? Certainly the picture language of Myth and Fairy-Tales seem to have a metaphorical answer. As time goes on and things come to me, either through my meditation practice, or reading Myths and Fairytales, themselves, or people like Joseph Campbell and Deepak Chopra, among others, I’ll add to this post. This post may get really long! So what? I do think the answer to this question is the central realization of our lives: To Be or Not to Be? It seems to almost come down to this binary, “Quantum” type answer: Either you’re living your destiny or you’re not.

Ok, since this post is just about writing down the ideas that come to me, that feel true, I’ll start with this:

  • Ego is the sense, the feeling, the belief, that you are separate from the World, the Universe, Nature, everyone and everything around you.

That statement came out of me a few months ago, seemed to come from my “archetypal” self. It felt true when it came out, and although I’m not “feeling” it now, I do remember it, and I want to write it down, so I can refer back to it. That’s good. That’s a start. But it still doesn’t tell me what to ‘do’ about it, how to cure myself from it. Well, I’m gonna ponder this, and hopefully I’ll come back to this post with some more ideas, if not answers.

Update: June 1, 2013.

  • “It’s a mode of existing, it’s a way of existing that sets God apart from anything else”

I just saw this in a lecture about Infinity that the World Science Festival produced last night. It’s talking about ‘Qualitative’ infinity as opposed to ‘Quantitative’ Infinity, an idea that apparently came from Aquinas. This idea of ‘Qualitative’ Infinity as a ‘Way’ of existing produces images in my brain of Purity which strikes me as the opposite or even the ‘Antidote’ to the problem mentioned above of some kind of blockage. A “Pure” connection is unblocked. So how does it relate to this article? It almost seems in this sense that ‘God’ is anyone or anything who is existing in ‘pure being.’ Ego is a psychological ‘impurity.’ So it could be that ‘God’ is simply any ‘being’ that is existing without Ego or any other kind of impurity. That’s a fascinating concept.

http://new.livestream.com/WorldScienceFestival/InfinityEvent/videos/20260843 – (That quote and the talk of the Theologian where I heard it starts at about the 13:22 mark of the video on the page of this link.)

Cosmic Consciousness Vol. II

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman, taken from Max Tegmark’s, the famous physicists’, webpage.

“The side-effect of doing what you love, what you’re supposed to be doing, is perfect health.” – Dolores Cannon [Youtube Link]

{I would take this mean psychological/spiritual as well as physical.}

“Infinite love is the only truth. Everything else is illusion.” – David Icke, describing the message he received during an Ayahuasca experience.

“Being shoots and unstoppable arrow through reality.” – Stephen Pickering

One instant is eternity;
eternity is the now.
When you see through this one instant,
you see through the one who sees. – Wu-men

– See more at: http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/blog/2011/03/14/wu-men-one-instant-is-eternity/#sthash.Z8ZpuAom.dpuf

“The Universe is always talking to you, and the true miracles seem to come when you take the time to listen.” – Nikki Gudis

“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”
– Deepak Chopra

“You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” – Paulo Coehlo

“Everything you can imagine is real.” – Pablo Picasso

“The divine is your constant companion, and that constant companion has never left your side.” – Panache Desai

“What people call knowledge, is the reasoned acceptance of false appearances. Wisdom looks behind the veil and sees.” ~Sri Aurobindo

“Let the waters settle, and you will see stars and moon mirrored in your being.” – Rumi

“For 30 years I was looking for God. After that time, when I opened my mind, I found that he was looking for me.” ~ Bastami

“Being (sat) is the sense of giving yourself up to the energies of the world, of the universe, letting go, and letting them carry you.”

“Life in this world is a vast dream, dreamed by a single being.” – Schopenhauer

“We are actually ourselves bringing about what seems to be happening to us.” – Thomas Mann

“All phenomena merely arise from the false notions in the mind,” – Ashvaghosha

“I stood with the pious and I didn’t find any progress with them. I stood with the warriors in the cause and I didn’t find a single step of progress with them. Then I said, ‘O Allah, what is the way to You?’ and Allah said, ‘Leave yourself and come.’” – Bayazid Bastami

“Man has free will to the extent that he knows who he is.” -Alan Watts

“As our minds begin to quiet down, we notice that the thoughts and feelings associated with meaninglessness come and go, and that there exists, in the space between these arisings, a way of being that is not affected by these mind-states. The Soul, we discover, seeks not meaning; its “meaning”, to borrow that Ego-concept, is self-evident.” – Ram Dass

“Remember that your perception of the world is a reflection of your state of consciousness. You are not separate from it, and there is no objective world out there. Every moment, your consciousness creates the world that you inhabit.”
~ Eckhart Tolle

“When you say, ‘I am beautiful,’ you are inviting the beauty in.” – Joel Olsteen.

“The Great Way has no gate; there are a thousand paths to it. If you pass through the barrier, you walk the universe alone.” – Wu-Men
(*As a sidenote, I didn’t know who “Wu-Men” was. Turns out he was a Chinese Zen Master, one of the primary authors of the “Zen Koans.” Man, when I read his “Koans” they just floor me. Here’s a link to one collection, “The Gateless Gate”, and also here’s the webpage where I found this link as well as a nice little bio, plus it looks like it has other resources, including sacred poetry from around the world. http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/W/WuMenHuikai/)

“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” – Alduous Huxley

“Your true self is unlimited. Know that you are already a complete spiritual being. The path forward is just a matter of waking up to your true, unlimited self.” – Deepak Chopra

There is a field beyond space and time from which everything emerges.” – Deepak Chopra on The Akashic Field

“Because the world is not going anywhere there is no hurry. One may as well ‘take it easy’ like nature itself, and in the Chinese language the ‘changes’ of nature and ‘ease’ are the same word. This is a first principle in the study of Zen and of any Far Eastern art: hurry, and all that it involves, is fatal.” -Alan Watts via @AlanWattsDaily

“When neurosurgeon Eben Alexander went into a coma and had one whale of a near-death experience, he received three messages:  “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever,” “You have nothing to fear,” and “There is nothing you can do wrong.” – Martha Beck from her blog here.

“You are not too old and it is not too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out it’s own secret” Rilke (Twitter Link)

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The Law of Detachment

The Law of Detachment:

“If you get attached to the outcome, you won’t be in the process.” – Deepak Chopra

“Life is a metaphor for what’s happening in our consciousness.” – Deepak Chopra

I guess I should add this to my “Consciouness Quotes” page, or my “Deepak Chopra Quotes” page. I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m watching something or reading something that I’m interested in, it could be anything: Science, Spirituality, Entertainment (the fact that we feel the need to ‘categorize’ everything speaks volumes about the state of fragmentation our consciousness is, indeed, in.), there’s always one or two things that really “Hit home” with my “Subconscious” or my “Archetypal Instinct.” I feel the need to write these down, to remember them.

I wish I could find a way to organize them in a better way, but for now the spontaneity of a blog post will have to do.

 

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Cosmic Consciousness Quotes Vol. 1

“The total number of minds in the universe is one. In fact, consciousness is a singularity phasing within all beings.” – Erwin Schrödinger

“We are asleep. Our Life is a dream. But we wake up sometimes, just enough to know that we are dreaming.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein
[Link to Deepak Chopra saying these lines on Facebook Video at about the 10:20 mark.]

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” – Søren Kierkegaard

“I understood that our entire universe is contained in the mind and the spirit. We may choose not to find access to it, we may even deny its existence, but it is indeed there inside us, and there are chemicals that can analyze its availability.” – Dr. Alexander Shulgin, creator of MDMA or “Ecstasy.”

“If you completely accept something, it changes. If you completely accept it, it shifts.” – Eckhart Tolle http://youtu.be/AO3wRY9lWSk

“Resist nothing, and you will receive unconditional love.”

“You are the one. You have all the answers.” – Taylor Marie channeling spirits during a Ayahuasca experience.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

“It’s weird, huh? It’s like the minute you kinda give up control you just know what to do without doing anything.” – Aubrey Plaza’s Character from “The To-Do List” movie, exactly at the 45:05 mark.

“When we heed the call of our deepest desires, we fulfill our true destinies.” – Deepak & Oprah

“You are no more in your body than Beethoven is inside your radio.” – Deepak Chopra

“Faith, consciousness, and awareness all exist beyond the thinking mind.” – Ram Dass

“The Self is not in the realm of thought. The Self is in the gap between our thoughts. The cosmic psyche whispers to us softly in the gap between our thoughts.” – Deepak Chopra

“Calmness is the criterion of spiritual progress. Plunge the purified mind into the Heart. Then the work is over.” – ~Ramana Maharshi

“The worldly person is insane from the point of view of the spiritual person.” – Robert Thurman

“Our practice is not to clear up the mystery. It is to make the mystery clear.” – Aitken Roshi

“If the mind would let go of itself, stop grasping to and for itself, then the real you would come out, like a genie out of it’s ‘bottle,’ and a real adventure would begin.” – Stephen K. Pickering

“Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man.” – Albert Eintein [link]

“God writes spiritual Mysteries on our heart,
where they wait silently for discovery.” ~ Rumi

“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” ~ Joseph Campbell

“The earth has disappeared beneath my feet,
It fled from all my ecstasy,
Now like a singing air creature
I feel the Rose
Keep opening.”
~ Hafiz

“When you follow your bliss a kind of track opens up, that’s always been there, waiting for you. And the life that you should be living, is the one that you will be living.” – Joseph Campbell

“You must let go of the life you have planned in order to accept the life that is waiting for you.” – Joseph Campbell

“The fundamental message of Mythology and Fairytales is that the natural energy of the Cosmos, the Universe, the Ground of Being, can’t get through, is being blocked. You’re only job is to remove the obstruction. When that’s done the energies that come pouring up through you, will automatically carry you to a life of adventure, to your destiny. You don’t have to ‘do’ anything. You don’t have to ‘try.’ These energies will automatically carry you to where you need to be.”

“If you could release the god that is in your soul, the one hiding in embryo, then anything would be possible.”

“The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.” – Atisha (It just occurred to me that “Letting Go” is the essence of it all)

“Knowledge has organizing power inherit in it. It is simply enough to know.” – Deepak Chopra

“I always tell my students follow your bliss. When you have that feeling then stay with it and don’t let anyone throw you off.” -Joseph Campbell.

(Check out this link to Bill Moyer’s website where all 6 episodes of “The Power of Myth” are available in audio by way of SoundCloud for free!)

“Real happiness lies in that which never comes nor goes, but simply is.” – Ram Dass

“I want to be alone with those who know secret things, or else, be alone.” – Ranier Marie Rilke

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” – W.B. Yeats

“Uncovering your real desires can be terrifying. It can also set you spectacularly free.” ~Mark Epstein

“There is no happiness until the mind is still. The cause of all sickness and sadness is the fluctuation of the mind.” – Russell Simmons

“Existence is awareness without boundaries. Perception is awareness with boundaries #SpiritualSolutions’ – Deepak Chopra

“The whole universe exists inside you. Ask all from yourself” -Rumi

“What you seek, you already are.” – Deepak

“Your awareness has its source in unity. Instead of seeking outside yourself, go to the source to realize who you are.” – Deepak

“When the mind is still the whole universe surrenders” – Maharishi Yogi

“Space and time are not objects of perception, but qualities of awareness” – Deepak chopra

“All descriptions of matter are descriptions of modes of human perception within consciousness.” – Deepak Chopra

“The Universe is a mirror of consciousness…” – Deepak

“Be still and know…”

“You cannot find it anywhere because it is inside you. Happiness is your natural state.”

The “watcher” or the Atman (the god inside U) is everlasting & blissful when the noise is gone. All that’s left is the “God consciousness”

The spirit or the consciousness that “watches” never dies. Step back and “be the watcher.”

“Craving security is the cause of insecurity. Freedom is knowing that the only point of arrival is now.” – Deepak

“Consciousness experiences, brain records the experience.”

“Meditate on every sentient beings happiness for the new year. If it doesn’t work for them it will work for u!!”

“When we transcend our own thoughts, we get in touch with the womb of creation.” – Deepak Chopra

“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.”

-Chogyam Trungpa via Ram Dass’ Facebook Page.

“When you’re inspired by some great purpose some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds, you’re mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new and a great and a wonderful world, and then he said dormant forces, things that you thought were dead, dormant forces, faculties and talents, come alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be: you discover yourself to be God, and these dormant forces just follow after you and take care of it for you.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer quoting Patanjali in conversation with Eckhart Tolle

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