I talk a lot does it make me a fool? I am saying silence by itself isn’t wisdom. A man of few words can just be dull.
There are a lot of very strong opinions on ego. From what exactly it is, to how important it is, to what it means if anything, and how to deal with it.
We have a “self”. When you take a moment, and aren’t giving your attention to anything or anyone else at that moment, you are aware of being present. But how connected is this presence?
Who knows? Ah, there is no who to know, but there is knowing, and that’s where things get convoluted. People are fixed in their thinking of who, and putting the cart before the horse. Now this issue of who seems to be quite challenging, and people spend a lot of time, energy, thought and even resources on “finding themselves”. They pay therapists to help them get in touch with who they are. This is a regrettable condition in my view. This “who”. I once after a long period of isolation was asked my name, and I found it actually took mental effort to answer, because I knew “who” I was, but the word didn’t really apply. The name, even the idea of role or what I was supposed to be doing, just didn’t apply.
But that’s in a way conditioning? Yes, conditioning conditions. We seek who, because we want. Even according to Maslow’s model of self actualization we need a sense of our own power.
You’re told who you are, right, and wrong, etc, and that in a sense gives you a sense of “who” you are. True, but despite this need of self direction (that’s what the instinctive need is, self direction), we are conditioned.
And we find presence and that is a bit upsetting. Indeed, presence is upsetting. Presence makes us very aware of the instability of our condition/conditioning. Very insecure, because our thinking wasn’t taught to function outside of that context. We didn’t learn to do what is typically called “think” on our own. Before that we were aware, and we were self aware, as in we were aware of our presence, but the conditioning wasn’t there. Having the “language” by which things are conditional, and being conditional we’re not fully available to our experience.
Our mind conditions the inner self? Our mind has no such power, and since it doesn’t, it conditions our pattern of attention. The inner self follows its own nature, so since the mind/thinking cannot defy that nature, it instead ignores it.
But we believe our mind’s illusions. Oh yes, we do. We are told it’s very important to heed the mind, because that’s how the system (we are told is so very important) works. It’s mental, and it is illusion. Now is the mind worthless? No, not in any way, but it has been attributed value and a central place it doesn’t naturally have and cannot have.
Which causes it to be even more calculating and then it runs amuck. Oh, indeed. It does go into over drive. People think the answer to anything we fail at is do it more. It leads to mental break down, just as bashing your skull against a brick wall leads to cranial break down. It has limits, and we aren’t taught to accept the minds limits, and that’s how the mind works. It’s always finding another way. Now the problem with the mind always finding another way, another thing to do or be, is it has no center. Everything seems like it could be a center and nothing is, so it’s forever inventing what was already there.
Not even self? The mind cannot “have” self, and the mind works on holding, grasping. Self has it if that’s allowed, but mind never has self.
The mind creates an imaginary self. Yes, when presence already has a self, but one that mental obsession doesn’t let us experience.
We create an imaginary self as a substitute and separate from our Real Self. Yes, and our real self arises from all being. It’s huge, so it is maybe intimidating to the mind which by its nature doesn’t and can’t handle huge things. Nor can it really handle paradoxical things, though life seems to welcome paradox quite readily on its own. We speak of life as if it were a separate being, as if it can and does do things separate from us. This is a half truth, if it’s any truth at all.
Our real self is life. That life we talk about, it’s us. The conditions we complain about, they aren’t the condition of the world. “The way the world is”… they are our own conditioning. We understand in general if we are functioning as we were taught. Well… We actually understand very little. There is a big movement in spiritual circles toward detachment, and it is in a way a big step up from conditioned thinking, but has it been anyone else’s experience that it just sort of leaves you there? Leaves you floating and twisting in the wind?
When you are detached, where do you float? Hmm, you float in your own being, but how many living things float for no purpose around you? Floating serves a purpose, but the floating seed does have to come back down to earth. So many transcendence seekers crash hard when their fervour can’t sustain them. It has been my experience we are a part of life, and we do have a self. Ego is a struggle that we don’t have to engage in, but it isn’t enough to just stop that struggle, or you will take it up just to have something to do. Has this been anyone else’s experience?
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.One World class participants. Thank you!)