Death of the Ego

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Death of the Ego

The Path to Endless Bliss!

 

IntroductionDeath of the Ego

Dear reader, if you have looked at the title of this book and felt an interest in the subject, you are one of a very small group of people.  Even among spiritual practitioners, we find egos that are heavily defended and fortified with arguments proclaiming the usefulness of the ego. 

Some “teachers” will proclaim that the ego is neither good nor bad which is what you want to say if you are collecting followers.  If there is something which leads us away from the real and into the unreal, then we say it is bad.  This is the nature of the ego and, therefore, the ego is bad.  The ego is delusional madness.

Most everyone sees their ego as their friend and will not tolerate any attack on its right to exist.    Amma comments on the true nature of the ego.

"A true devotee completely surrenders to God. He longs for God to kill his ego. That he will not be able to surrender to God or that God won't destroy his ego is a true seeker's greatest fear. Look at the fierce form of Kali (Hindu goddess). Kali is the destroyer of the ego. Because a true seeker wants to be free from the ego, he will love this aspect of the Divine Mother. Surrendering to Kali or to what she represents, a true devotee will happily offer his head to Her in order to add one more bead to Kali's garland of skulls.”   Amma, Awaken Children

Only those who find a way to remove their ego will discover their true Self (a.k.a. God, Brahman, Buddha Nature, Allah and so on).  There is absolutely no way around this and we will explore the reasons in later chapters.  This perspective gives vibrant meaning to the following saying by Jesus:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.   Jesus, Matthew 7:13-14

Here is a quote from Amma echoing the same truth:

Only a few, very few among the millions who have tried for it, have ever reached the goal.”  Mata Amritanandamayi, Awaken Children, vol. 5

And in the Bhagavad Gita:

“Only one in very many strive for spiritual success and only one in very many of those come to know Me truly.”  Sri Krishna, Bhagavad Gita  7:3

There is really only one fundamental reason why so few arrive at the Truth and that reason is our fear of letting go of the ego.

Most every human being on this planet has never examined their ego and mind.  Not only have they not done any exploration, they have absolutely no inkling that this is something one should do.  It is as if everyone is asleep in a dream.  The dream of being an ego.

The upshot of this is as follows:  We were born into a world in which everyone believes themselves to be an ego and therefore separate from God, Nature and others.  Unless we were very fortunate and born into a family of Self-realized spiritual beings, no one told us the truth about ourselves.  Our parents, teachers, priests, rabbis and yoga instructors were all sound asleep in the dream of the ego.  They should have said to us, “You are not a body and you are not an individual person.  You are free, unbounded and limitless awareness which is the eternal abode of the dance of self-luminous love, peace, happiness and joy!”

In his book The Four Agreements, Dr. Don Miguel Ruiz does a wonderful job of stripping away the illusion of our dream and revealing the true nature of our human experience in the first chapter titled Domestication and the Dream of the Planet.  Here is an excerpt.

“In the dream of the planet it is normal for humans to suffer, to live in fear, and to create emotional dramas.  The outside dream is not a pleasant dream; it is a dream of violence, a dream of fear, a dream of war, a dream of injustice.  The personal dream of humans will vary, but globally it is mostly a nightmare.  If we look at human society we see a place so difficult to live in because it is ruled by fear.  Throughout the world, we see human suffering, anger, revenge, addictions, violence in the street, and tremendous injustice.  It may exist at different levels in different countries around the world, but fear is controlling the outside dream.” 

Every aspect of this world and all cultures fortify the lie of a separate existence.  Advertisements prey upon our ignorance.  Tyrants enslave us because of this.  We are literally living in a cesspool of fear, pain and suffering.  We have become so accustomed to this that we think it is normal.

This brings us to two fundamental reasons why we want to pursue the death of our ego.

Two Reasons to Be Rid of the Ego

1.  The ego is the source of incalculable suffering for ourselves and for the world and, therefore, it behooves us to diminish it as much as possible and then utterly destroy it.

2.  When the ego is gone, our True Nature becomes self-evident and we find ourselves floating in the ocean if eternal bliss and joy.  It is the ego and only the ego that prevents us from realizing and experiencing this.

So, there we have it – the stick and the carrot.

We talk in terms of destroying the ego in order to have a conversation about it.  The truth is, it is not a substantial entity.  It is not a “something.”  It is an illusion conjured in our minds – in our imagination – that has rooted in the fertile soil of our ignorance.  We ourselves have created it just like we might close our eyes and imagine a doll house or a red fire engine.

We have been “imagining” the ego, the “I,” for so long that it has become firmly entrenched in every aspect of our mind and our psyche so that we can no longer see that it is only something we are imagining.  

As long as we live in this confusion and take the imagined “I” to be real, then it will have the reality we give it.  What we are really destroying is the ignorance that allows us to assume the existence of a separate “I.”

This is the path to Self-realization or God realization.  On one hand we are doing spiritual practices and making efforts to move towards the Divine and, on the other hand, we are throwing the heavy sand bags of the ego out of our balloon so that it can soar into the stratosphere of cosmic consciousness.  This book is about sand bag removal. 

The short of it is that we want to read this book because we are not content, not happy, confused and at a loss as to how we might justify the world which is a cesspool of fear, torment and suffering.  This book is a discussion as to why this is true and how to get out of it.

 

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