Transcendence Of The Ego
(Cape Town, South Africa)
People talk about the death of the ego, or transcendence of the ego, and so on, as if the ego is some bad thing or concept that must be overcome. So, when I saw a post on a friend's meditation forum this morning, I thought I'd respond with how I see it. So here is what I wrote...
I'd like to chirp in with some of my own views on the ever-ongoing and widespread debate about the ego.
I agree with what David has said. My own 'ego' gets quite frustrated at times when teachers of life teach that the ego must be subdued, overcome, and such-like. To me that is simply nonsense and has caused a lot of wasted time and energy for people trying to subdue this evil monster called 'ego'. In my view, that is all totally misguided philosophy ... well, at least that is what my ego is saying.
There are many other examples of trite statements from the modern-day (and even the older-day) gurus that cause confusion in the minds of seekers of a better quality of life, and an expansion of consciousness. As examples, 'this is all an illusion', it's just 'maya'; we are all one; there are no 'others'.
Those kinds of statements are only relevant when one is in a different state of consciousness in which that is the real experience and reality. Reality is different in different states of consciousness, and different states of mind functioning. And as David says, stress is what reduces our ability to 'see' things from a broader perspective.
The ego is as important a part of human life as is the human body. It is what helps us survive on this planet. It is the self-identity that causes adrenalin to rush when the ego senses a threat to a human's very existence. In this phase of existence we would not survive human life without ego. So to try to subdue and kill it off is not only misguided; it is impossible ... while we are in a human body with a human nervous system. So why try to overcome the ego. It is a fruitless exercise and an energy drainer.
The problem with the ego is that, due to stresses, the flow of consciousness through the nervous system is stifled to some or other degree. It is like a water pipe with blockages in it. If we remove the blockages, and release them from the human mind-body system, then we enjoy the free-flow of pure
consciousness and intelligence from within ourselves. That in turn widens our perception so that we progressively see life from a different perspective - a 'higher' state of consciousness. As that happens, our thoughts and actions take on a new energy, so to speak, and are not so much dictated by an ego left to fend for itself with limited support from pure intelligence.
The most natural way to bring that state of living about is to 'transcend' thought regularly and experience that inner consciousness, as we can do during a transcending method of meditation such as NSR. This regular experience releases stresses (as has been said so often on this forum) and at the same time the limitations of ego are melted away -- not the ego itself, but the limitations it suffers due to stress.
We progressively and subtly move into a state of living where the ego has access to a deeper bank of consciousness and intelligence resources, and it can play its role in a more effective way. It no longer feels the need to function from a misguided state of fear and restricted perception of life and self. It is as if the egoic self and the broader Self have joined hands to express our own individual humanity from a much 'higher' level.
To me, as I see ego, just let it be, stay regular in the practice of transcending with NSR, and get on with life. Transcendence of the ego (edit: during an effective method of deep meditation
) will enhance the state of the ego for us. How can the egoic self subdue its own ego anyway. That alone is a contradiction perpetuated by mind-philosophy. The solution to all these mind 'problems' is to allow the mind to go beyond itself to a state of pure 'being', where thoughts and thinking subside. And NSR is an effective way to help bring this about, (edit: and so is Conscious Mental Rest
That's my penny's worth for the day. :-)
This site is about happiness and how to be happy
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