Thursday, October 1, 2009


Ego is another jargon we use very often while expressing our dissatisfaction with the behavior of somebody else and also in philosophical and religious (not ritualistic religion) studies. Hence it may be appropriate to get some insight in to this term “Ego”, which is referred as “I” or “Self”

It may not be very easy to understand the term “I”. If we really get a deep understanding of the term “I” and its real (un)importance in our life, probably all our problems will be solved. Hence it may not be an easy task. However, we may try to get an idea about this “I” and this idea can be translated into understanding. At this point we have to clear about one thing. All our psychological conditionings are due to the fact that we have some idea about everything. On the other hand, ideas are just the conditioning of our mind. Hence, if we are getting into an idea about “I” we must be aware of it purpose and sufficiently be free from this idea itself. Otherwise we may fall into just another conditioning and it will be an additional burden.

In the material sense, “I” refer to our body. It is obvious. When we enter into psychological or philosophical domain, defining the term “I” may not be easy. The Indian philosophies (Advitham, Dvaitham, Vishistadvaitham….) are referring the Atman as “I”. For all of us, if at all we are aware and thought about the term Atman, it is just an idea or belief. We might have built this idea based on the scriptures like Bagavad Githa or form write-up of Indian philosophies like Advaitham, Dvaitham, etc. For sure, none of us are having any experience of Atman if at all the Atman is existing and if any one of us has experience of Atman, for sure, the content of this blog are premature for them. As long as it is just a belief, there is no meaning in pursuing it. It will just block our awareness to reality. The above statements do not reject the idea of Atman, but just refuse to accept it either. The reason is that, if we are open about this idea, it may be possible to find it if it really exists, or go beyond and find the reality if it does not exist.

At this point, I would like to bring into a definition of theist and atheist which I came across recently. Theist make god and believe on him, atheist make god and disbelieve on him. Same is the case, if we happen to believe or disbelieve the concept of Atman. At our current level of knowledge on this thing, keeping it open will help enormously on our progress on such trivial issues.

By setting aside the term Atman, let us try to find the meaning of “I” or “Self”. In general, we use the term “I” to refer our qualities which we believe that we are possessing or refer the ownership of (material and social) relations we believe of having possession. What are these qualities and relationships? Qualities are the result of comparison. We constantly compare ourselves with others with respect to certain aspects and find a result. Then identify ourselves with that finding. This identification becomes the “I”. The comparison starts at very early stages of our life, induced by our parents. They start rewarding and punishing as for our actions at early stages of our life and the notion of good and bad starts from there. Once we starts identify good and bad, we starts identifying ourselves with those good/bad. Now the “I” or self has given birth. We start calling ourselves as good or bad. After this each of our activities and thoughts add additional layer of this “I” and now it has become a very thick junk

What is “I” with respect to relationships? The psychological relationships are due to our qualities of attachment and possessiveness. These two qualities were discussed earlier in this blog under the title Bondage & Freedom – 1 and Bondage & Freedom – 2.

All our actions and thoughts are forming additional layers of this “I”, it becomes our psychological center, and now we have the urge to grow this “I”. Hence endlessly attaching qualities over quality and strengthening the feeling of “I”. It has gone to the extent, now we cannot do anything without considering the center – the “I”. In most of the cases, we compare ourselves with others who are having less than what we are having, thus the “I” can be strengthened. But in some cases, the mind sees a danger for the “I” in this superior comparison, in such cases it looks for inferior comparison and secures the feeling of “I”.

If we are not comparing our wealth with anybody else, do we ever get the notion that we are rich or poor? In that case there is no identification that we are rich or poor. We earn money or spend money according to the need – there is no psychological barrier with respect to money at all. There will not be any urge to limitlessly earn or spend money at any cost and at any method. Hence, all thoughts associated with earning/spending money cease to exist. If we are not comparing our kindness towards other beings with that of others, do we ever get the notion that we are kind or non-kind towards others? In that case, there is no identification that I am kind or unkind person. We look into other beings as per the demand of situation. There will not be any urge due to the feeling of kindness/unkindness. In this case, all thoughts within us with respect to the quality of kindness cease to exist.

If we analyse our thoughts and actions, each and every one of them are around the “I” or “me”. All our thoughts strengthen the feeling of “I” and “me”. If we state this in terms of Karma, all our Karmas are due to the “I” or “me” and each Karma strengthen the existence of “I” and “me”. When the philosophies say understanding “Self” is the highest purpose of life, it must be in this context – meaning, understanding our qualities which wrap the “I”. When we deeply understand the qualities which we identify ourselves and clearly see the unworthiness of being attached with this quality, the mind drops the identification of ourselves with that quality without any effort. There is unlimited number of such qualities we are being attached with both in the outer layer of mind where we are aware and in the inner layer of mind where we are not aware, in the way we are living now. The understanding conscious level of identification brings in awareness within us and this awareness reveals the qualities in the unconscious level of mind. If we are free from all these identifications, there will be no more thoughts in our mind. The mind is free and enormous amount of space available within it, in which the awareness flowers by itself.

Here we must be clear that we have to have things like “My Money”, “My bank Account”, “My House” etc. These things belong to the functional domain. For our day-to-day life, we have to have these things. Renouncing in spiritual sense really means renouncing the identification we have and not renouncing the family, wealth, home and getting into saffron dress or moving into some ashram.

The sense of psychological “I” or “me” is the ego. When we lose the sense of “I” it is not unconsciousness – It is the state of extreme awareness. The awareness is not because of any superficies thing. It is just because when we do not have the sense of “I”, there will not be any thoughts in our mind – we will not be living in the past or future. There will be infinite space within our mind and we live in that moment – live at the current moment. The meaning is our brain may be having enormous amount of energy so that it responds to all the senses instantaneously. At this level of living, we will be able to perceive each and every thing happening within us and around us, as our mind is extremely free for being aware of all our senses. It is ecstasy of life!

Every one of us must have had such feeling of extreme awareness (of at least our senses) momentarily at many occasions. The moment of extreme Joy and the moment of sex are few such occasions. We are capable of having such moments at all times. The only thing we have to do is completely forgo our ego! It is not a dream – Possible for every one of us, in this life itself, if we are willing.

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