A Meditation on Ego

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Those who have discovered great Truths have done so in the still depths of the Self. The ego is like one’s shadow thrown on the ground. If one attempts to bury it, it will be foolish. The Self is only one. If limited, it is the ego. If unlimited, it is Infinite and is the Reality. The bubbles are different from one another and numerous, but the ocean is only one. Similarly the egos are many, whereas the Self is one and only one.

When told that you are not the ego, realise the Reality. Why do you still identify yourself with the ego? It is like saying, “Don’t think of the monkey while taking medicine” - it is impossible. Similarly it happens with common folk. When the Reality is mentioned, why do you continue to meditate Sivoham(I am Siva) or Aham Brahmasmi(I am the Absolute)? The significance must be traced and understood. It is not enough to repeat the bare words or think of them.

Reality is simply the loss of the ego. Destroy the ego by seeking its identity.

Because the ego is no entity it will automatically vanish and Reality will shine forth by itself.

This is the direct method. Whereas all other methods are done, only retaining the ego. In those paths there arise so many doubts and the eternal question remains to be tackled finally. But in this method the final question is the only one and it is raised from the very beginning. No sadhanas are necessary for engaging in this quest.

There is no greater mystery than this - viz., ourselves being the Reality we seek to gain Reality. We think that there is something hiding our Reality and that it must be destroyed before the Reality is gained. It is ridiculous. A day will dawn when you will yourself laugh at your past efforts. That which will be on the day you laugh, is also here and now.

--Ramana Maharshi

Find this to be truly a gem when I read it.



joejo's picture

Needs Clarification

"There is no greater mystery than this - viz., ourselves being the Reality we seek to gain Reality. We think that there is something hiding our Reality and that it must be destroyed before the Reality is gained. It is ridiculous. A day will dawn when you will yourself laugh at your past efforts. That which will be on the day you laugh, is also here and now."

This I think needs a bit of clarification. Its all right for Ramana to say this but for us the veils are a reality. Till the time snake is seen in a rope the snake is a reality or rather the power of illusion (Maya) is a force to reckon with.

The coverings are known to be two. Avarana (covering) and vikshep (outward movement). The first veil (Avarna) hides the substratum (Reality) and makes us believe that it (Reality) does not exist. Its antidote is repeated hearing (Sravana) the truth as told by sages (Scriptures). The second Vikshep (agitation of mind) is overcome by practice of inquiry or eight fold path of Yoga.

Time to laugh is some way off I guess unless we want the Devil(Maya) to have a hearty laugh.

joejo | Sun, 03/07/2010 - 04:57
B-friend's picture

hmmm

Sounds like you have a lot of clutter in your attic.

Your concept of maya differs than Ramana's..And keeps your thoughts permeated with dualism without your knowing so that some basic understandings will fly right by. Hate it when that happens...

Tough to grasp everything nondualism implies when we are saturated with dualistic thought. Makes me want to shower.

B-friend | Sun, 03/07/2010 - 06:12
joejo's picture

Quotes fm Ramana

I am enclosing Quotes fm Ramana. Pl do correct me if I am wrong. Quoted works are available as free downloads.

Spiritual Instruction

4. Is the state of ‘being still’ a state involving effort or effortless?

It is not an effortless state of indolence. All mundane activities which are ordinarily called effort are performed with the aid of a portion of the mind and with frequent breaks. But the act of communion with the Self (atma vyavahara) or remaining still inwardly is intense activity which is performed with the entire mind and without break.
Maya (delusion or ignorance) which cannot be destroyed by any other act is completely destroyed by this intense activity which is called ‘silence’ (mouna).

5. What is the nature of maya?

Maya is that which makes us regard as non-existent the Self, the Reality, which is always and everywhere present, all-pervasive and self-luminous, and as existent the individual soul (jiva),the world (jagat), and God (para) which have been conclusively proved to be non-existent at all times and places.

Collected Works

34. The natural and true Reality forever resides in the
Heart of all. Not to realize It there and stay in It but
to quarrel ‘It is’, ‘It is not’, ‘It has form’, ‘It has not form’, ‘It is one’, ‘It is two’, ‘It is neither’, this is the mischief of maya.

Similarly, one must hear about one’s true state from a Guru who knows Brahman, and then meditate upon it and experience it directly through constant meditation. Without this, the true form of one’s own Self, that is hidden by maya, cannot be realized through mere argumentation. Page220

joejo | Sun, 03/07/2010 - 07:08
B-friend's picture

Upon further review

Maybe my attic is cluttered. It seems our difference is in our view of maya. Whereas maya is the devil for some, maya is God for others. I used to see the world as nothing but illusion and lies. Even God wasn't spared from this disgust in seeing the illusion in everything. Now, though, everything is God, including maya..including the humility I feel when I say such a thing. Perhaps I lost the fight with maya..lol..I don't know. Don't care too much either. It is only God for me..even when I see ignorance. Perhaps this is only an exercise of theoretical perception. I accept that as a possibility. It sure beats the other way though.

Your quotes made me want to explore the meaning of Mouna in more depth. Thanks

I also thought it would be fun to pick out everything I could find concerning what Ramana would say on maya so that we could watch Bhagavan argue with himself..lol
Maybe another time.

B-friend | Sun, 03/07/2010 - 11:45
Quantum's picture

Your humility is admirable

I don't know where to begin. There is nothing in your post for me to debate or argue with.

That said...

I wanted to talk about books again. (Sorry for sounding like a book worm, or a book club.)

You seem to have read a lot, and seem to lean towards Maharshi. I may end up reading him after I'm done with "I Am That" by Nisargadatta.

But two books I think might go really well is one by a dead person--the first half of "Practicing His Presence," by Frank Laubach, an American Missionary back in 1939, around that time. (The second half of that same book is by "Brother Lawrence,but I cannot stomach the incessant references to "sin" and "unworthiness", and spiritual groveling, reminiscent of King Arthur in Monty Python and the Holy Grail when God appeared to them in the movie.)

The other book I think that goes very well with it is "Stillness Speaks" by Eckart Tolle--alive today as of this writing. He is also an english speaker. English, actually, or okay, if you wanna be technical, I think he was born somewhere else in Europe. Maybe Hungary...don't remember. But my point is....no translation from Sanskrit, or whatever else, was necessary. He writes in English. So, nothing lost in translation, so to speak. At not at that level.

That said, what I find very striking in both books is that they both mention that when they practice constant attention on their...whatever they focus their contstant attention on, call it "God", "inner body", or "present moment awareness"...events and circumstances go well, and things they thought would be troublesome turn out okay and manageable.

In fact, a quote from Eckart--alive today, written in his own words, In english is:

"And the miracle is that...every situation, person, place, or event becomes not only satisfying but also more harmonious, more peaceful." -Eckart Tolle, Stillness Speaks, p. 68.

And quoting Tolle from antoher book: "...you tend to attract newn circumstances that reflect this higher frequency." -Eckart Tolle, "The Power of Now," pg 117.

I call them "Wayne Dyer" moments. Dyer gave an example in his personal life experience about the brand new "Needle Nose Pliers" that he found laying around on his driveway on the way back from jogging. Total Twillight Zone moment.

I get lots of these Wayne Dyer moments. I mean, a LOT that can fill a book.

Too bad I have not found a blog or forum yet that shares peoplese experiences with "coincindences" that happen when they "Practice Present Moment Awareness."

In my daily personal experience, specially in the office, "To the Extent that I practice Present Moment Awareness, things seem to go well." The key is "To the Extent."

This is the main driving force behind my "practice" of Present Moment Awareness. The other reason I meditate is mainly for stress management, and the other reason I meditate is simply for "spiritual masturbation," as someone called it in another post. (Secretly, I get a kick out of those "Twillight Zone" moments that happen the more you meditate...but I consciously avoid meditating for the sake of obtaining Siddhi's...I don't mess with stuff like that. Might get troublesome, or scary at best.)

So, two reason:

1) Improved circumstances.
2) Stress management.

The rest is all fantasy and ego in my book. Enlightenment? Bah!

Here is my summary of what Enlightenment is: "Stop, slow down (the momentum of the mind), and smell the roses."

And if you really enjoy the scent, you can write books, or give satsang, about how good the smell is, just like Jesus, Buddha, and all the other yogis and gurus, living or dead.

But for now...just stop (the momentum of the mind) and smell the roses.

Behind the mental noise and momentum, they do, by the way, smell nice.

Quantum | Sun, 03/07/2010 - 17:11
B-friend's picture

so much reading

>>I don't know where to begin. There is nothing in your post for me to debate or argue with. <<

I didn't think there was either..lol

>>You seem to have read a lot, and seem to lean towards Maharshi. I may end up reading him after I'm done with "I Am That" by Nisargadatta.<<

The "Interior Castle" by Teresa de Avila and a book my mother gave me to read that she enjoyed may be the only books I've read since I don't know when. The Interiour Castle I read online. I used to always carry around a couple of pocket books by Kahlil Gibran and kept a bible handy. I was reading Jacob Boehme before Maharshi..Works also available online. Ahh...I just remembered. I bought some poker books a while back and a book of poetry by Bukowski. Don't think I hardly read em though. Teresa de Avila and Boehme were very Grace-full for me. Maharshi is the only thing I've read, though, that let me know I wasn't insane. Could be an illusion. ;D I do tend to come across things to read over the internet.

When I first started seeking I read a good deal for a couple of years which provided me with some things to explore. Books then became empty along with knowledge. Then everything else I encountered became empty too. Common I'm sure.

>>But two books I think might go really well is one by a dead person--the first half of "Practicing His Presence," by Frank Laubach, an American Missionary back in 1939, around that time. (The second half of that same book is by "Brother Lawrence,but I cannot stomach the incessant references to "sin" and "unworthiness", and spiritual groveling, reminiscent of King Arthur in Monty Python and the Holy Grail when God appeared to them in the movie.)<<

Haven't got to those. One thing that helps when reading Christian literature for me, in the case of Teresa de Avila and Boehme, is recognizing their audience. In the case of Teresa, her works wouldn't have made it past her superiors if it weren't clear her obedience and submission to the church and it's doctrine. One may see that as an ignorance on her part and one could see that as a product of true humility by one who is capable of such while performing the duties they were given of that life.

On Tolle-

I've glanced at Tolle through lectures and excerpts, but in being honest, I felt he is not a complete realized. That doesn't mean his work has no merit, by any means. Only it's not what appeals to my temperament. Plus..Who am I to judge anyway..I've hardly looked at the guy.

On Nisargadatta-

Again only a glance. He seems to be complete. Just haven't gotten interested in him to this point.

On Present Moment Awareness-

It confuses me how it is taught as something to be experienced by emulation. The Present Moment is Reality is Self. Maybe there is merit in that practice. Don't know.

>>Here is my summary of what Enlightenment is: "Stop, slow down (the momentum of the mind), and smell the roses." <<

I like your previous definition better..."Bah!"

>> And if you really enjoy the scent, you can write books, or give satsang, about how good the smell is, just like Jesus, Buddha, and all the other yogis and gurus, living or dead.<<

Bah!

B-friend | Mon, 03/08/2010 - 07:55
Quantum's picture

Thanks for the comments

"One may see that as an ignorance on her part and one could see that as a product of true humility by one who is capable of such while performing the duties they were given of that life."

You have a way of seeing things from many angles. It's admirable. I have not thought of looking at things this way, that perhaps one ( let's say, Theresa) is simply good at playing out the role in their play.

"I felt he is not a complete realized. "

Mind sharing what it is that gives you that feeling? I've read another comment somewhere from someone else who seemed to share that same sentiment. In fact, I read through another "gurus" writings, and I can't seem to shake a similar "feeling."

"On Present Moment Awareness-

It confuses me how it is taught as something to be experienced by emulation. The Present Moment is Reality is Self. Maybe there is merit in that practice. Don't know."

This sounds interesting but I do not understand the comment.

"I like your previous definition better..."Bah!" "

Yeah. LOL! I should have quit while I was ahead. I need stay grounded.

Some other books, don't need to read them, but I've read some offshoot books on "Zen and Art of Archery" (???).

I won't mention them by name specifically, so I don't impose anymore on the reading list, but in practice, the fellow (any fellow) kept his mind occupied on an "idiot task" like counting breathes, or focusing all his attention on the seams of the tennis ball, and when he did this succussfully his tennis serve improved. Then the minute he thinks about it, or the minute his mind/ego claims credit for it, his awesome serve goes away. He called this "higher power" a "Bastid." He said, "The 'Bastid' would only manifest itself during practice, but wouldn't play with any of my friends."

In practice particularly at work, I focus keep my mind occupied on an idiot task. I keep all my attention focused on my drone (i.e. for me, the feeling of each single footstep as I walk). And "TO THE EXTENT" that my mind can stay focused on this and stay out of the way, things seem to work out well in the office.

Quantum | Mon, 03/08/2010 - 18:30
B-friend's picture

you too

>>>"One may see that as an ignorance on her part and one could see that as a product of true humility by one who is capable of such while performing the duties they were given of that life."

You have a way of seeing things from many angles. It's admirable. I have not thought of looking at things this way, that perhaps one ( let's say, Theresa) is simply good at playing out the role in their play.<<<

Hinduism has a term it uses for this known as own's "parabdha" karma.

>>>"I felt he is not a complete realized. "

Mind sharing what it is that gives you that feeling? I've read another comment somewhere from someone else who seemed to share that same sentiment. In fact, I read through another "gurus" writings, and I can't seem to shake a similar "feeling." <<<

For me to limit Tolle with my perspective seems entirely incorrect and silly. He is what he is which I'm sure is wonderful.

>>>"On Present Moment Awareness-

It confuses me how it is taught as something to be experienced by emulation. The Present Moment is Reality is Self. Maybe there is merit in that practice. Don't know."

This sounds interesting but I do not understand the comment.<<<

By "emulation" I mean, to imitate the function of awareness by having the mind practice awareness.

>>"I like your previous definition better..."Bah!" "

Yeah. LOL! I should have quit while I was ahead. I need stay grounded.<<

There is so much more to the mind than normal consciousness. There are so many enlightenments and paths of enlightenment that it can experience. This is why enlightenment has become such a meaningless word for me(not that the enlightenments have no meaning for others). I've only heard Rhada Ma mention this about the mind but perhaps it is somewhere in advaitic teaching. I do like the word realization still..But who knows for how long.

B-friend | Tue, 03/09/2010 - 08:57
Quantum's picture

it's become meaningless for me too..

Hey..these last few exchanges we've shared had me thinking and reevaluating certain things. Maybe I'll share sometime. But in short, I'm glad we had these past few exchanges on this post. I am happy to be where I am at this moment, based on a "revaluation" of certain things I'm been wrapping my mind/ego around.

For now...thanks. See you in around the forum. I may change my name. You'll recognize it.

Quantum | Wed, 03/10/2010 - 01:30
B-friend's picture

My apologies

"these last few exchanges we've shared had me thinking and reevaluating certain things"

I really don't mean to run my mouth so much! (or fingers)

I enjoy finding pearls in various exchanges myself even though the rest may be garbage.

See ya around

B-friend | Wed, 03/10/2010 - 02:46
Quantum's picture

Nothing to apologize for...

You helped me out. I came to a point where I want to be after churning around "the ideas behind" the ideas you shared. I've been wrapping my head/mind/intellect/ego around some concepts for a long time, but your post was sort of what pushed me past the plateau I was stagnating on. I'm happy. And you had a hand in that. I want this to be my last post here on this post, because I hold this thread sacred. I don't want to tarnish it with any more of my mental ramblings, because that is all I am...the mind, the intellect, the ego...that which cuase my own problems.

Would like to see you in othyer posts and chat there. But I want to leave this post clean as it is.

Take care.. See you in other threads. Very good post.

Regards,
Quantum's Ego

Quantum | Wed, 03/10/2010 - 03:50
Quantum's picture

Yeah.......

Sounds that way.

Quantum | Sun, 03/07/2010 - 07:53