Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Ego


The ego has a place, often, several times, in the incarnational history of the Soul. For It might incarnate several times. It is counterproductive to see the ego as an "enemy," and it is not. It is our friend and teacher. But the ego is not a direct creation of God (Love).

Instead, it develops in response to karma and to earthly environments.

Since both these "mothers" of ego are illusion, so is the ego. It disappears at the death of the physical body, having served its entire purpose. Like the body, the ego is an "instrument" created for dealing with this everyday world of illusion. To use the words of the Docetic Jesus, it is a "phantom in a phantomworld." Just as we work out of Love for our bodies to keep them strong and healthy, even though they are but projections of Mind, we also must strive for psychological wellness, balance, moderation, and a Lovebased mind.

The "ego" in psychology is a little different from the "ego" of spirituality. For in psychology, if you do not have a "strong enough" ego, you suffer. But a major quest of spirituality (not religion) is to weaken the very strong ego.

Why? Because too much, or too strong, ego prevents the Spirit of Love from occupying the mind. Both ego and Spirit cannot dominate or control the mind simultaneously. "Ego" is Greek for "self," or, "I am." In metaphysics and spirituality, the word "self" has also more than one definition. There are, for example, in addition to the egoself (your everyday identity; the name on your birthcertificate and driverslicense), the "higher" Self (Soul) and "highest Self" (Spirit or Lovemind).

The mystic does not simply study the Lovemind or Lovespirit. Instead, pursuing enlightenment, she seeks actually to exchange her ego-identity for full identification with the Lovespirit (God).

Is it the goal of spirituality to "transcend" the ego? Yes, and it is viable. The ego is never the "enemy" of the spiritual being; instead, it is her teacher. As spiritual beings, we must remember that we are minds, not merely bodies. The ego is that part of mind that fully identifies with a particular body in spacetime. But these bodies, although we love, respect, and care for them, are not our true "selves."

For our truest "Self" is the Mind, unattached to any body. NOTE: The "mind" is not the "brain." The brain is within the body and is sustained by it, for it is a physical organ.

But the Mind is your immaterial, nonphysical self. It is your Soul. It existed before this life, and after this life, will continue to exist.
It is birthless, deathless, and timeless. So, once we begin to identify "my Self" as "my Soul," we have entered the "timeless life" promised by Jesus and the other great mysticsaints and masterteachers.

Knowing that you are not this body allows for the creation of powerful detachment. What affects the body need not affect, harm, or hurt, you, or yourself. That explains why, even though we age, we often feel "about the same" inside; the Mind, or Soulmind, does not age, is unaffected by time. but the body is not timeless; only the Soul is.

The ego is often a loud, arrogant braggert. It loves the spotlight, and laps up as much attention and notice as possible. Both Jesus and the Buddha renounced this kind of nonsense, which is the result of selfhatred-- not, as it seems, "too much selflove." Jesus taught that, if we receive rewards (he was speaking here of fame) from human beings, we have no reward with the "heavenly Father." (Mt. 6:1)

That is, the cost of fame is the eradication of all afterlife rewards.
To get earthly fame is like trading nuggets of gold and diamond for clumps of mud!

Why, then, do even "spiritual" people reach for, cultivate, and welcome fame? The truly spiritual do not. For them, fame is the worst possible consequence. So, we want to publicize the Way, but to make sure to keep the self (ego) out of the spotlight and the headlines.:) This can be a tricky and delicate balance. But it is mandatory, not optional, for the truly spiritual person. She wants,for example, for her students to talk about the Way, but not about her personally. Anyone who is eager for, and grabbing, the headlines, or fame, has proved her deep absence or lack of real spirituality. For each being is of immeasurable and limitless value. Anyone crying out for personal attention is trying to find validation in others; when we see this lack, we can be absolutely certain that a person is not enlightened. This is the simple "acid test" that every true spiritual teacher must pass!:)

Again, ego is not "evil." It is simply illusion; it is the dreamself occupying the dreamworld. Ego is part of maya or illusion. So, it follows that, she who takes the ego too seriously, or she who mistakes it for the "self," is not enlightened.

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