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In philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, the golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. For example courage, a virtue, if taken to excess would manifest as recklessness and if deficient as cowardice.
To the Greek mentality, it was an attribute of beauty. Both ancients and moderns realized that there is a close association in mathematics between beauty and truth. The poet John Keats, in his Ode on a Grecian Urn, put it this way:
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," -- that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
The Greeks believed there to be three 'ingredients' to beauty: symmetry, proportion, and harmony. This triad of principles infused their life. They were very much attuned to beauty as an object of love and something that was to be imitated and reproduced in their lives, architecture, education (Paideia) and politics. They judged life by this mentality.
The term 'ego' is used to refer to our identification with the physical body. It is that which desires, wishes, hates, envies, dreams, regrets, and, in the big picture, hides our true selves. To claim that you are the ego is extremely ignorant, and even nonsensical. The ego, as said in the OP, is just an amalgamation of abstract ideas. It does not truly exist.
One does not have a choice in the contents of the ego (thoughts, feelings, etc.). They are all ideas implanted by external sources. The true 'you' is pure, thoughtless, desireless, beliefless consciousness. Pure knowing of What Is. And this knowingness, this beingness, is infinite bliss.
Those who seek to blame the ego are doing so with the ego, because to blame a thing is to acknowledge that it exists in the first place, and the ego does not exist.
Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by HarryTZ
What is the ego an abstraction of? The same as everything we call ourselves. It's just another abstraction of the self. When you call yourself "knowingness" or "beingness", and insinuate the untrue-ness of the "physical body", another abstraction of the self, you are still really talking about abstractions of yourself, and choosing one abstraction over another, simply because it sounds cooler or more pious or something.
This is simply untrue and make-believe—all ideas implanted from external sources.
There is no "true you" but what you already are every waking moment. What you're describing is someone in a coma. Comatose humans are not "true humans".
Do you not exist? I exist. I am what the ego, the body, the soul, the mind, "consciousness", "beingness" and other such terminology, are abstractions of.
Originally posted by HarryTZ
The delusions that contribute to the feeling that one is separate from existence. That is the ego. It is very abstract because it does not truly exist.
Originally posted by swanne
"Ego" is latin for "Myself". I cannot be separated from existence, because I exist. Thus, if my existence is true, then so is myself - thus so is the Ego. The Ego is not all the bad things. It's also all the good inside of you. It's what makes you want to evolve. Removing, or vilifying that, will result in devolution - the loss of values, of self-esteem - and then one would be no different than animals, which lacks self-recognition.
Selfishness but also selflessness are BOTH present in the Ego. Many animals lack Ego but are still selfish nevertheless. That's because one isn't the other. One is our complete self-image striving for evolution, the other is our primitive side only.
Originally posted by AfterInfinity
So you are not your body? How does rejecting the individual nature of your existence improve your existential experience? Suddenly, everything you need to continue existing becomes an absolute pain. Suddenly, you are no longer satisfied with being inside your own head and you suffer chronic depression as a result of your individualized awareness.
That's if you don't just stop functioning period.
Was the Buddha in 'absolute pain'? Was Jesus 'chronically depressed'? Are you suggesting that the enlightened Masters that walk the planet are anything less than blissful? Sure, they still must feed the body, take care of the body. But they chose to stay with it, so that they may teach others how to liberate themselves from theirs. They are not 'bound' to the body. They may leave it whenever they wish. Their consciousness expands far beyond the physical, even as they go about their days.
Having a body does not make you individual. You simply have a body, as well as the rest of existence. You are one with existence. You are not a 'part' of it, you are it.