THE CORE OF EGO
September 6, 2013 Comments Off on THE CORE OF EGO
Most people are so completely identified with the voice in the head –
the incessant stream of involuntary and compulsive thinking and the
emotions that accompany it – that we may describe them as being
possessed by their mind.
As long as you are completely unaware of this you take the thinker to
be who you are.
This is the egoic mind. We call it egoic because there is a sense of
self, of I (ego), in every thought – every memory, every
interpretation, opinion, viewpoint, reaction, emotion.
This is unconsciousness, spiritually speaking.
Your thinking, the content of your mind, is of course conditioned by
the past: your upbringing, culture, family background, and so on.
The central core of all your mind activity consists of certain
repetitive and persistent thoughts, emotions, and reactive patterns
that you identify with most strongly.
This entity is the ego itself.
In most cases, when you say “I,” it is the ego speaking, not you, as
we have seen.
It consists of thought and emotion, of a bundle of memories you
identify with as “me and my story,” of habitual roles you play without
knowing it, of collective identifications such as nationality,
religion, race, social class, or political allegiance.
It also contains personal identifications, not only with possessions,
but also with opinions, external appearance, longstanding resentments,
or concepts of yourself as better than or not as good as others, as a
success or failure.
The content of the ego varies from person to person, but in every ego
the same structure operates.
In other words: Egos only differ on the surface.
Deep down they are all the same.
In what way are they the same?
They live on identification and separation.
When you live through the mindmade self comprised of thought and
emotion that is the ego, the basis for your identity is precarious
because thought and emotion are by their very nature ephemeral,
So every ego is continuously struggling for survival, trying to
protect and enlarge itself.
To uphold the thought, it needs the opposite thought of “the other.”
The conceptual “I” cannot survive without the conceptual “other.”
The others are most other when I see them as my enemies.
At one end of this scale of this unconscious egoic pattern lies the
egoic compulsive habit of faultfinding and complaining about others.
Jesus referred to it when he said, “Why do you see the speck that is in your
brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”
At the other end of the scale, there is physical violence between
individuals and warfare between nations.
In the Bible, Jesus’ question remains unanswered, but the answer is,
of course: Because when I criticize or condemn another, it makes me
feel bigger, superior.
— ECKHART TOLLE
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