What about this thing called "Ego"?

    In many of the great and not so great spiritual traditions there is this incessant chant, almost deafening at times: "let go of the ego", "leave yourself behind", "the ego is an illusion", "you must transcend the ego", "the false self must be vanquished." You get the idea and I'm sure you've heard those words before. The idea is that if somehow you detach from a part of your psychological self or transcend your thinking feeling self you will find something better, beyond or eternal. There is some glimmer of simple truth to this but I would like to take you a step further or perhaps closer if I may.

    "Ego", a Latin word which means I, is a psychological term evidently derived by Freud, which means 'that' part of us which is experienced in perceptive relationship with the outside world, the real sensory world outside of our minds; it is the "sense" of self. The "Ego" is a necessity in our relating with others, whether that other is a person, place or thing. Having a healthy balanced ego is paramount to good mental health. In daily living, when the "Ego" is the center of our lives, when we have become the center of the universe, when the ego must be placated, caressed and allowed to be the manipulator of others, there is a noticed distancing (usually by others first {LOL!}) from ideals like love, truth, God and concern for others. 

    But really, what is this thing called "Ego"? What is the "Me"? What is this term used so often in every spiritual tradition as something that must be transcended or defeated or avoided? Is there another way around this? Is there anything to this?

    I offer that the "Ego", the "Me" is simply a thought, a mental process generated in the brain in a very conditioned system of self preservation. Without this thought of "I, me, mine", the brain is either programmed or conditioned to simply stop thinking, that is the self preserving ruminating thinking of what do I need, want, desire or do. When there is no "I" what is the necessity of thought in general? Who is thinking? Who is experiencing? Who is knowing, if not "I"? Please do think about this! 

    In the moment when there is not this "Ego" thought - there is paradoxically a feeling of great joy, peace and a complete sense of universality of self. How is this evident? Just think of the last time you had a deep sleep, where was the "I"? Or if you have ever been in a deep meditative state and drifted into some samadhi, where was the "I"? Or for all you couch potatoes out there, when you have become absorbed in your favorite TV show or a great movie, where was the "I"? Or in the passionate throws of sexual orgasm, where was the "I"? Or in a moment of deep laughter, yes, in laughter, where is the thought of "me"?

    When the thought of "Ego" is not, there is great joy, great wonder, and superb tranquility. But here is the wonder. You do not need to sleep, or meditate, or watch sometimes mindless, advertiser and thought controlling TV nor be obsessed with sex. All you need to "do" or "not do" is to be aware of the Pure Silence of this moment right now. For here in this moment, when the mind is aware of silent nothingness, before, after and between thoughts of "I" there is profound joy, immeasurable peace and unending wonder. Thoughts can not stand in Pure Silence except as a realization that they are that, simply thoughts rising and falling, adrift in the consciousness of being itself. The thought of you is not you. No, you are not that, nor any one else's thought of you. You are that which is Pure Silence itself. You are this moment of simple joy - effortlessly, ego-lessly, without condition and without end. And please invite laughter to your soul, as well. It's the easiest way to be ego-less and become aware of pure silence itself.

Don't forget to take a moment to have some fun today! You deserve that!

Return to Written Word