It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Myth of Ego Destruction

page: 1
5
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 14 2008 @ 11:14 PM
link   
It appears to be one of the most widely spread beliefs that spiritual ascension hinges on the permanent destruction of the ego. But what good is a part to the whole if it doesn't play its part? And how do we know our part without knowing our self? So as I see it the ego is not only central but essential to our spiritual growth. Not something to be eliminated but recognized. Without self we are nothing, therefore dispensable. That's fine if you intend to pass from this world, but if you plan on sticking around it's useful to have some sense of identity.

If there is a problem with the ego it's that for most of us it exists based on how others see us rather than on a healthy opinion of ourselves. But that isn't as simple as it seems since most of us are exposed to the emotional whims of our fellow humans on a daily basis, and emotion is the ego's favorite food. We first learn to feed it the moment we realize we are not alone, in the arms of another human being. From there we are fed at the whim of our caretakers until adulthood where we often busy ourselves with our next move in the game rather than worrying about how we're playing it. Concerns about managing our emotional well-being fall by the wayside often along with concerns about our physical well-being as the comfort of familiarity becomes a static existence. And I'll be the first to admit that this is quite an attractive alternative to such an incomprehensible and frightening idea as "ego death".

What I found is that I didn't have to kill my ego, just remove its life support. To find a way to remove the urges that instigated the emotional scenarios I'd always fed off of. In other words, I stopped depending on others to provide my emotional support and worked to find ways to support myself responsibly. There are any number of ways to do this, and I believe everyone needs to find the path that works best for them, but I also know that you can pray, meditate or wish your entire life and get nowhere if you don't understand why you're doing it. As for me, it's still a work in progress. At times difficult, painful and consuming, but if I say that self-sufficiency is one of the true keys to a satisfying life it doesn't sound too far-fetched. Maybe its even worth it in the end.




posted on Sep, 14 2008 @ 11:30 PM
link   
I agree.

I experienced the "death" of my ego several years ago, and it knocked me off my feet for several months while I struggled to rebuild the barriers to protect my id.

Perhaps the "ego death" is not meant to be a prolonged state of being - perhaps it is merely advised to begin a new phase in ones life journey.

A chance to start over and rebuild with direct and controlled intent, as oppossed to pure circumstance?



posted on Sep, 14 2008 @ 11:37 PM
link   
Who wants to destroy the ego or "I"? That is the true self and amounts to self-annihilation. The ego, as the "me" is erronously referred to in pessimistic circles cannot be destroyed or else you will cease to exist in this realm since it consists of everything that is objective to the true self (namely your identity as Mr. Mrs. Ms. XXXXX). These get easily confused and the least enlightened consider them equivalent.

The "me" can be constructively used by subjugating it to the "I". It is merely a vehicle for driving around in "this reality".

I guess that's the best I can do here especially without getting all spiritual-ee. Actually it wouldn't really proceed in that direction at all.

[edit on 9/14/2008 by EnlightenUp]



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 12:05 AM
link   
I experienced "ego death" about 6 or 7 years ago [snip], a lot of them. It was one of the most profound experiences of my life and I won't ever forget what it taught me.

Do you need to lose it? I'm not sure, I've only had one side of the coin. I'm not sure I want to try again either. I think keeping it intact would make things confusing, once it's gone it's like everything is so clear and makes so much sense.

 


Removed discussion of drug use

[edit on 20/9/09 by masqua]



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 06:02 AM
link   
Simply trying to kill the ego is only the ego playing out.

Regardless of what definition we use for ego, trying to trump one's own ego is just the action of ego trying to defeat itself, which in turn means that one can only be left with ego, because the ego is fighting itself. The ego is understood and molded. The ego is where we draw our strength from.



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 06:27 AM
link   
reply to post by LastOutfiniteVoiceEternal
 


I like this thread. But I'll argue against your statement "the ego is where we draw our strength from". I think it more true that the ego acts as a focal point for strength: that which affects persistent change to reality. Think of our individual egos like the dust particles high in the atmosphere, around which water vapor condenses. Those particles might be the heart of every raindrop, but it is the water that is the rain.

Spot on, OP, about the 'battle against the ego' being counter-productive. In a wider view, the ego is an active localization of the mind, neither antithetical or separate. And, as it is an act of ego to struggle, 'fighting against ego' is inherently contradictory. It is the ego itself that enables the fight.

But there is value in a struggle. What a struggle like that means, is that an individual, intellectually or spiritually, is getting 'too big for their britches'. When one brings enough new concepts and ideas into a world-view, one of two things must happen: the boundaries and scope of that world-view must expand, or conceptual contradictions and paradox 'encode and compress' the concepts within a more-limited scope. This 'contradiction' creates struggle, the expression of which creates new experience that eventually results in growth.

Thus the 'struggle against ego', rather than being uselessly self-destructive, can be considered the 'birth pangs' of spiritual growth.



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 06:43 AM
link   

Originally posted by Ian McLean
I think it more true that the ego acts as a focal point for strength: that which affects persistent change to reality.


What reality are you talking about? Subjective or objective? Change is persistent regardless of ego, although ego is a part of reality. It's not ego alone that brings about change, change is a constant, it can't be stopped. Change is the result of interaction, all things will always interact.


Think of our individual egos like the dust particles high in the atmosphere, around which water vapor condenses. Those particles might be the heart of every raindrop, but it is the water that is the rain.


So what is the dust and what is the water vapor?


Spot on, OP, about the 'battle against the ego' being counter-productive.


It varies on what weapons are brought into the battle. If our ego is conducting espionage on itself then it is not counter-productive at all. There is a lesson in everything, unfortunately some people don't always learn. This statement also depends on what you mean by counter-productive. It seems as if you have a preconception already on what productive means in regards to one's own experience with one's ego. The aftermath of battling one's ego may be the most productive and eye opening experience in one's life, that's not to say that it can't also be counter-productive to growth, or neutral to growth.



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 07:23 AM
link   

Originally posted by LastOutfiniteVoiceEternal
What reality are you talking about? Subjective or objective? Change is persistent regardless of ego, although ego is a part of reality.

Well I wouldn't draw a hard-and-fast line between 'subjective' and 'objective' reality. Consider two examples of change: first, choosing to perceive and define the world differently, and second, choosing to physically change your environment, such as moving to a new location. I'd say that in both of those examples, the change effected by us is via action expressed through ego.


It's not ego alone that brings about change, change is a constant, it can't be stopped. Change is the result of interaction, all things will always interact.

Good point; the term 'change' then, is perhaps too broad to apply to my meaning. It can indeed be applied to all forms of cause-and-effect or interaction, even hypothetical. What would be a clarification? Perhaps 'personal change' or 'human-effecting change'? Hmm, not entirely accurate either. To use the dichotomy of subjective/objective realities, I'm referring to change that is not entirely limited to 'objective reality' (external events), but rather change that is subjective or blends objective/subjective perception. I guess I labeled that 'affecting' change. And ego is a focal-point, or mediator, of the possibility of such change.



Spot on, OP, about the 'battle against the ego' being counter-productive.

It varies on what weapons are brought into the battle. If our ego is conducting espionage on itself then it is not counter-productive at all. There is a lesson in everything, unfortunately some people don't always learn. This statement also depends on what you mean by counter-productive.

Another excellent point; static definitions of 'counter-productive', or 'productive' can be dangerous. Yet I feel we should never be afraid to say 'these are currently my goals'! I guess such considerations themselves are an expression of the ego. Where it leads, to 'growth' or 'happy stagnant contentment', or 'miserable subjugation'; who's to prove what's what and what's 'better'? I know I have my opinion. Never afraid to reexamine it, though.

But, larger scope of 'general rules of life' aside, I think there's certain patterns that we as humans tend to follow in spiritual explorations, although everyone is somewhat unique. That was my point, with 'counter-productive'. I've observed, like the OP, that often when people on a 'spiritual journey' begin to rail against the ego, decry the individual as an 'illusion', they find some truth by so doing -- but then, more truth can be found by realizing that some battles cannot or should not be 'won', and that such a war is in many ways counter-productive and contradictory.

That may be subjective, and just what I happen to consider 'wise' right now, but I don't think it's unique to me, and I'm glad that other seem to have noticed the same thing.



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 07:48 AM
link   

Originally posted by Ian McLean
Well I wouldn't draw a hard-and-fast line between 'subjective' and 'objective' reality.


Once objective reality is subjectively (understood in the mind of the individual creature) reached and understood though, there must be a line drawn, there automatically is a line drawn. A solely subjective reality then becomes ignorance of the objective. If it's only in your mind it really doesn't mean anything until you can prove without a doubt why it's there and how it relates to or has a place in objective reality. When people don't do this they become schizophrenic and irresponsible.


Consider two examples of change: first, choosing to perceive and define the world differently, and second, choosing to physically change your environment, such as moving to a new location. I'd say that in both of those examples, the change effected by us is via action expressed through ego.


I don't understand this. Although I will go on to say that thinking that one is actually physically changing their environment instead of realizing that they are merely the physical change taking place, is a direct result of a self-conceited mind, not to say that it's a bad thing or a good thing, that's just what it is. Furthermore, it is much more insightful and balanced to see one's self as the change taking place and the change being made by one's self.


And ego is a focal-point, or mediator, of the possibility of such change.


I agree. A self perception coming from a point of view of self conceit would by default render one's self into believing that they are making the change, rather than seeing the objective reality as the change happening because it does. (action/reaction/interaction)


Yet I feel we should never be afraid to say 'these are currently my goals'! I guess such considerations themselves are an expression of the ego.


I agree. For me it is more of accepting what my goals are through recognizing what will happen to me, not necessarily creating my goals, rather allowing them to create theirselves... watching as they play out and seeing what they are. At points I do feel as though I must take control though, however I feel that this will soon go away and I will simply experience life as if I am a leaf blowing because of the wind, because of the tree, because of the soil, and so on. Here doing what I am doing because it is how it is.


Where it leads, to 'growth' or 'happy stagnant contentment', or 'miserable subjugation'; who's to prove what's what and what's 'better'? I know I have my opinion.


Well, it's all the same for all of us although many of us experience it is different forms. For example: some people love getting tattoos, or pleasure from pain, but either way, it's still pleasure, even though the methods that each of us as individuals take to achieve it is different, it's the same fulfilling desire and result for all of us.

I enjoy discussion with you, you're cool. Made my headache go away a bit from the monkeys I was dealing with in the other thread.


[edit on 15-9-2008 by LastOutfiniteVoiceEternal]



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 08:00 AM
link   
reply to post by TravelerintheDark
 


I share your skepticism of these doctrines.

Some say to exorcise the ego, others say to exercise the ego


For me the "I", the ego, is merely a tool used to keep focus on this reality, to keep focus and to temporarily experience oneself as seperate from all-that-is.

A radio-dial tunes into different programs. In between those programs is a static nothingness which some confuse with identityless enlightenment.



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 08:28 AM
link   

Originally posted by Ian McLean
...the 'struggle against ego', rather than being uselessly self-destructive, can be considered the 'birth pangs' of spiritual growth.


That's how I've found it, and it was one of my inspirations for this post.

In my own journey I've been disturbed by the fluctuations I've felt as I move through states of awareness, analysis and assimilation. And in my short time here I've noticed others experiencing the same disturbances. What I've found, and hoped to get across, is that this normal and transitional. That it isn't the ego's death, or the need for it, that causes these fluctuations. And that it isn't necessary to deny the self. I see the disturbances now as an attempt to harmonize with a greater whole, and it seems to try a lot of different frequencies before it finds the that fits it.

In short, the ego can not be destroyed. Like the concept of soul, it is our potential for immortality, real or not. It is our personal truth and the only truth that needs to have any meaning to us. Because, while I know it's a difficult concept for some to swallow, there is room in infinity for all points of view. Through the ego we hear the voice that says, "I am", and to deny that is to deny everything.



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 08:37 AM
link   

Originally posted by Skyfloating

A radio-dial tunes into different programs. In between those programs is a static nothingness which some confuse with identityless enlightenment.



I find it the same. And these are the points where we can choose to broadcast our own "message". At least that's what I believe has been told to us through the ages. The confusion of the world as I find it lies in so many people trying to broadcast on the same channel, channel's often someone else started, because so many seem to believe they're not good enough, smart enough, wise enough to add anything of value on their own. But that's what we are given, and so how can it be so useless.



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 08:44 AM
link   
Every time I embark on a spiritual journey (induced by things I may not mention here), ego death is my primary goal, or hope.

I have experienced it multiple times, and emerging from this state is like an emotional rebirth, while retaining the knowledge of the previous life.

Many people fight against the sansation, having fallen for the MSM construct: "the bad trip". IMO there is no such thing, rather what people call a bad trip is an educational trip.

Too many people ingest "things" for a good time. This does not always happen, and should not be counted on. Entheogens are not party drugs, although they sometimes can work that way. Primarily they are mirrors, allowing the traveller to see deep within his/herself, including EVERYTHING they subconsciously HATE about themselves.

This can be very traumatic for those not prepared for it. For those that ARE prepared, however, it can be the most profound and life-changing experience they ever have.



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 08:53 AM
link   
In my opinion destroying the ego is code for transcending our animal instincts and coming to a deeper understanding of our immortal souls. One cannot kill the ego without killing the organism, so the real point of Jesus and of spirituality is coming to understand the impermanence of the ego and the difference of the ego and the true self, and to begin to incorporate higher principles into this life.

This does not require drugs, meditation, or whatever. It is the acceptance of universal love and living this life as if one were bathing in the sweet nectar of the universe itself.



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 09:32 AM
link   



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 10:26 AM
link   
To me, ego:

I.

^^proper self realization when caught up, but actually it's some other non-individual because their is conflict in the 'here and now' in the different realizations in the world.

To me, too high ego:

I stand.

^^The "I" buys that it itself stands.

Lose the too high ego:

I stand.

The "I" stands etc. outside itself or before itself or after itself without implying it stands itself.

Ha!

When you read the bible it's in layers with the ego, with the too high ego, and without the ego period.



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 10:51 AM
link   
A conversation I had once.

"If one is who, who is one?"

"I."

"And who are you?"

"I am..."

"No you're not."



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 01:41 PM
link   

Originally posted by TravelerintheDark
A conversation I had once.
"If one is who, who is one?"
"I."
"And who are you?"
"I am..."
"No you're not."


I don't like this conversation. If you know at first that one is who, why then would you ask who is one? It becomes a statement. "Who is one." Because one is who. What you need to ask is who is who?

You've already concluded that one is who. So, if one is who, then who is one. It's not a question anymore, we know that who is one and one is who.

Eventually you do ask who is who by asking who are you? Who then becomes a personality and a character, you then deny "I am...". Why do you do this?

Do you not trust what one tells you?



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 02:27 PM
link   
As I understand it...

"If one is who, who is one?" is both a statement and a question because it must be in expressing the duality inherent in all communication. No truth without fallacy. No answer without a question.

The denial of "I am" is the denial of the self's sense of being. "Am" implies being. "I" alone has no tense. If we are all and all is one then you are you but not the you that is/was/will be. Rather all those things. But all existence is duality so to deny one is to define the other.

[edit on 15-9-2008 by TravelerintheDark]



posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 06:40 PM
link   

Originally posted by TravelerintheDark
"If one is who, who is one?" is both a statement and a question because it must be in expressing the duality inherent in all communication.


Okay, I can see it that like that. You know there is also a triality, right? There is action, reaction, and interaction. Positive, negative and neutral. Existence is really a trichotomy. However, nothing's eternity is a dichotomy.

Height, width and depth. Etc. There's three to the eternal one.


No truth without fallacy. No answer without a question.


What about observing and receiving without question? Without the bias of the inquisition? There is also observing and receiving without question, that is where pure truth is found.


The denial of "I am" is the denial of the self's sense of being. "Am" implies being.


What doesn't imply Being? Grass implies Being. Any word implies Being because they are explaining concepts that are fractions of the Being.


"I" alone has no tense.


Agreed. It's certainly finite though.


If we are all and all is one then you are you but not the you that is/was/will be.


Yeah I am. I am me right now (that is constantly changing, since now is always being reborn), a result of the me that was, and in every moment that passes becoming the me that "will be".

You can't tell me that I'm not those things and then say that I am all of those things, make up your mind. I'm either not or I am. Geez.

I'm the same individual creature that I was when I was 6. I've just grown.


But all existence is duality so to deny one is to define the other.


This isn't absolute. One doesn't have to be denied to define anything. Things are defined as they are. If you subjectively deny one, then would there be another? Are we assuming that there are more ones, or are we denying the concept of one? Denying the concept of one would mean that there are no others that would be known, because others are ones and one is being denied.

[edit on 15-9-2008 by LastOutfiniteVoiceEternal]




top topics



 
5
<<   2 >>

log in

join