A Critique of "Kill The Ego"

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posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 03:41 AM
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I relate most to Freuds analysis- that the personality has three parts- the Id, the Ego, and the Super Ego.

I feel I can observe, or objectify, any one of these parts of self, by identiying with another part.
In cases of imbalance or conflict between them, yes, I do think that one part can desire and clamor for "killing" or eliminating another part.

People clamoring that the ego is the part that is driven by selfish desire for immediate pleasure gratification , and fear of death, seem to be standing in the shoes of their Super Ego, and pointing the finger at the Id.

Those claiming the ego is the part that is concerned about what others think of them, the image of self they project, or concern about virtuous, enlightened, superior behavior seem to be in the shoes of the Id, and pointing at the Super Ego


It just kind of sounds, to me, like the Ego (the observer) can sometimes be "siding" with one of the other; pointing out which one is being too overwhelming or forceful. Trying to find a way of balancing the two out, so they can be creative and balanced.

(and the selfless, who push forward an experience with no identification, no choices or purposeful thought, detachment, sound like Egos that have given up and decided not to do their role of mediator at all. Like the Super Ego and the Id were just too difficult and strongly opposing each other to deal with. Usually they just had a severely dominating and abusive father figure )

But that is just my own perception, based on my internal experience, and I am aware it is specific to me.


edit on 6-11-2013 by coquine because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 09:48 AM
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reply to post by coquine
 


You are right. I tried to steer clear of Freud as to not drag him into the Western Buddhism idea of ego, the ego that applies to Ego Death, and the one that the spiritual try to paint as a demon.



I feel I can observe, or objectify, any one of these parts of self, by identifying with another part.
In cases of imbalance or conflict between them, yes, I do think that one part can desire and clamor for "killing" or eliminating another part.


It's just so difficult for me to wrap my head around. I cannot, or am unable to observe any of these entities. They are less than wraiths to me.

Maybe the idea of an ego does have application. But nowadays, as I have become more and more nominalist, more and more reductionist, the ideas just escape me. That is my curse. I no longer understand what it is that we're talking about. "Personalities", "minds", "egos"—these are ideas that are so ingrained in our speak that one might almost believe them to be real. Then, when we get arrogant, we sometimes desire to change these nothings, or blame these nothings or destroy them, and superstition rears its head.

To destroy them, all we have to do is stop using those words. But it is a step, I fear, that none will be willing to take, as in doing so, they lose their scapegoats.



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 

Just want to add, I hope we can make this discussion very civil, equal, honest, and respectful.



To talk with any authority about the ego, one must know what an ego is. Therein lies the difficulty.

There is no difficulty. There are branches of thought, philosophy, esoteric religions which are experts in matters of the ego. We can always start with authority on the subject.

A monk who has spent the last 30 years observing and knowing the ego and all of its aspects will be much more of an authority than you or I. Just like an accredited doctor, scientists, mechanic with 30+ years of experienced in their own fields are much more experts in their chosen field of expertise than either one of us.

So we start there.


Discovering the ego for the sake of examination is actually quite impossible.

Not according to all the branches of thought I mentioned above. In my own practice, it has been quite easy to observe, examine, and learn about my own ego after reading the right materials that point out what to do and how to do it.


At least to my knowledge, nothing called an ego has ever been witnessed, and I would wager that no such entity or substance exists to be discovered. Yet, perhaps I am blind, because there is quite the dogma surrounding the idea that everyone, including myself, is endowed with this entity or substance, and that we should go to great lengths to suppress, and sometimes kill, this illusive spirit.

You refer to yourself as "I" and witness how your very own ego superimposes ideas and concepts over reality, labeling things with conceptual thought. That is the ego and now that it has been pointed out, you can now witness it.



What is it that we label “ego”?

It is that which thinks, thinker of thoughts, labeler of things, concepts, day dreamer, illusions, self reference mechanism, etc. Its actually agreed upon by most schools of thought that I mentioned in the beginning of this thread, so there is very little disagreement about what it is, other than from those who have no idea.


The only thing we ever point at in regards to an ego is to ourselves. This can be proven by trying to point out one’s own ego. Even when we think about our ego, we are really only thinking about ourselves. When we think of a friend’s ego, we really only think of that friend, or at least, the experiences we’ve had of them. We have yet to behold or perceive anything other than these beings.

I don't perceive myself as one whole complete entity. I perceive a body, an ego, a witness, 5 senses, a subconscious, various connections to an Absolute reality which I am also part of, and many other aspects. When I perceive "friends", I see them as a conglomerate of these aspects as well, that's why when they do/say something stupid, I can forgive, because I know the genuine part of them, not the ego or things done when drunk, mad, sad, jealous, etc


Souls, selves, egos, bodies, spirits, minds, consciousnesses, humans, Homo Erectus, I, me, she, we—there is really only one entity found beneath these labels at all times. However, what we choose to call this being is entirely up to the one speaking.

What is this One entity beneath all these labels then?


The ego is also synonymous with personal identity, which really amounts to no more than how we look, how we talk, how we dress and, sometimes, how we think. When we are speaking about identity, we are once again only really talking about ourselves, our clothes, our names and whatever other baubles and fancies we’ve gathered along the course of our lives. Is the ego our clothing? Is the ego our name?

Ego is only the self referenced thinker of thoughts. Whatever you think of your self image, clothing, looks, names is all ego.


Suppose one wanted to do away with the “ego”, and in doing so changed his name, chose to wore rags, grew a beard and began to wander the earth as a sage. Has he killed or in any harmed an ego? He hasn’t.

How do you know? Have you found somebody like this, were able to crawl inside their subjective experience, and see for yourself if their ego has really died? No you haven't, and therefore you are announcing a relative opinion.


The sage merely looks different and chooses, by the power of his own faculties, to think of certain things and act a certain way. If anything, the ego in this instance has triumphed, as only egotism would inspire one to change his appearance.

There are literally thousands of testimonies on the internet of people experiencing ego death, temporarily, and maybe a hundred or few dozen who testify that there is a permanent ego death based on various systems and blueprints that allow you to do this.


When one tells me I should check my ego, I get the odd feeling that they don’t like the way I act, and they would rather see that I instead act like them, as their "ego" would.

I've told plenty of people to check their ego, and check on mine daily. That doesn't mean that I want you to "act" like me. I simply say this because know that there is a real you that is prior to the ego that is loving, caring, brilliant, spacious, expansive, and has access to its Source.



When one tells me to kill my ego, they must offend themselves by my very sight, enough so to want to see me remove my clothes, my name, and my identity, my "ego", so that I may instead, once again, act like them

Some People say this, because they know that the cause of all wars, rapes, murders, pillage, corruption, thievery, and all the worlds ills is due to the ego. IF you get rid of your own by using one of or a combo of the 100's of methods tht are out there, then you find peace, Love, Contentment, compassion, and no longer have the need to say anything cause its all seen and figured out.


They therefore must hold themselves in higher regard than I to state this with such conviction. Well...isn't that a glaring instance of egotism?

Someone who has figured out the ego and had ego death, knows that holding themselves in higher regard is of the ego, and therefore it is not a view that is held. Wha comes with ego death is seeing equality, nonjudgment, compassion, Love, etc.



Sadly, I cannot find any ego to critique, as end up only critiquing myself, and others.

Perhaps you haven't looked in the correct place. I found that I can be with ego, or be with no ego (especially in meditation when there is no thought), and remember as a child when there was still no Ego in me. Clearly it is something that forms eventually and is added unto you, a thing which was not there before.

In me there is not only a distance between ME as witness, and the Ego that I witness, but I also see it is attached to a rich subconscious, and also the ego has a source from which it comes from. I've found the inner chnanel the ego uses to travel through the body, where it goes when deep sleep arrives, have found my own soul in the heart, rich with memories of my life prior to being born on earth, and have rich/deep knowledge of myself which most don't have.

So it seems you are coming from a place of not knowing, therefore assuming and projecting. Am I wrong?



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 03:03 PM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 


I don't hear these terms as refering to "entities". I consider them parts of self.

The way a lot of gurus and cults use the term makes me very uncomfortable, because it seems to be a slightly covert way of brainwashing. I can get into a choice to install a new super ego, and 'kill off' the previous one, but I'd like us to be up front about what we're doing.



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 10:19 PM
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reply to post by dominicus
 



Just want to add, I hope we can make this discussion very civil, equal, honest, and respectful.


As always. I wouldn't have it any other way.




There is no difficulty. There are branches of thought, philosophy, esoteric religions which are experts in matters of the ego. We can always start with authority on the subject.

A monk who has spent the last 30 years observing and knowing the ego and all of its aspects will be much more of an authority than you or I. Just like an accredited doctor, scientists, mechanic with 30+ years of experienced in their own fields are much more experts in their chosen field of expertise than either one of us.


Appealing to authority is somewhat of a fallacy. Because someone who believes they know more than I does not negate my arguments. I see no problem, however, if you were to use their arguments against mine.



Not according to all the branches of thought I mentioned above. In my own practice, it has been quite easy to observe, examine, and learn about my own ego after reading the right materials that point out what to do and how to do it.


According to me it is. I still believe there is nothing inside or outside of us that we can call an ego. These materials, I think, are lacking in anything concrete, and are entirely riddled with verbal swindles and fantasy. Of course, this is opinion, but so is the opposite.


You refer to yourself as "I" and witness how your very own ego superimposes ideas and concepts over reality, labeling things with conceptual thought. That is the ego and now that it has been pointed out, you can now witness it.


Every human does this. I mentioned in the OP that when we try to point out an ego, we merely point to ourselves. Yes, it is true that humans conceive, refer to themselves through the use of pronouns, that I agree. But to say that it is an ego, and not this being refering to itself, is to label a reality with conceptual thought. Egos don't have thoughts, nor can they say words for they do not possess a mouth. Or human an ego are one and the same.


It is that which thinks, thinker of thoughts, labeler of things, concepts, day dreamer, illusions, self reference mechanism, etc.


Yes, a human being does do this; but it is the human being, and not anything called an ego that operates in this manner. Egos could only do this if they had thoughts, a mouth, a brain. If they do, then ego and human are one and the same.


I don't perceive myself as one whole complete entity. I perceive a body, an ego, a witness, 5 senses, a subconscious, various connections to an Absolute reality which I am also part of, and many other aspects. When I perceive "friends", I see them as a conglomerate of these aspects as well, that's why when they do/say something stupid, I can forgive, because I know the genuine part of them, not the ego or things done when drunk, mad, sad, jealous, etc


Maybe that is where we differ. I see myself as a complete being and others as complete beings. I can confirm this with both my thoughts and my senses. Nothing but books and words have tried to say otherwise.



What is this One entity beneath all these labels then?


For me, it is this complete being, the human being, that is the entity beneath all of these labels. Whatever we call it, whether human or ego, is entirely up to the one talking about it.


Ego is only the self referenced thinker of thoughts. Whatever you think of your self image, clothing, looks, names is all ego.


The one that thinks thoughts is the human being. To say that it is an ego that thinks, and not this human being, is to say egos think thoughts. If egos think thoughts, the ego and human are one and the same.


How do you know? Have you found somebody like this, were able to crawl inside their subjective experience, and see for yourself if their ego has really died? No you haven't, and therefore you are announcing a relative opinion.


Well, as I have understood the ego, this is merely another word and concept for the being that utters these words and concepts, as you yourself pointed out. This being, is still alive, and therefore we can still call him "ego", and whatever other names we wish.


There are literally thousands of testimonies on the internet of people experiencing ego death, temporarily, and maybe a hundred or few dozen who testify that there is a permanent ego death based on various systems and blueprints that allow you to do this.


There are also thousands of testimonies on the internet of people seeing Jesus in a peice of toast.


I've told plenty of people to check their ego, and check on mine daily. That doesn't mean that I want you to "act" like me. I simply say this because know that there is a real you that is prior to the ego that is loving, caring, brilliant, spacious, expansive, and has access to its Source.


This is assuming that I am not loving, caring, and brilliant right now. Such an assumption is merely conception, perhaps by an ego, but let's be honest, most likely by you.


Some People say this, because they know that the cause of all wars, rapes, murders, pillage, corruption, thievery, and all the worlds ills is due to the ego. IF you get rid of your own by using one of or a combo of the 100's of methods tht are out there, then you find peace, Love, Contentment, compassion, and no longer have the need to say anything cause its all seen and figured out.


Only the human being is capable of war, rape and murder. Consquently, only the human being is capable of love, contentment and compassion. No ego is capable of raising a finger, for it has none. If it does, then human and ego are one and the same. What name shall we choose today?



Perhaps you haven't looked in the correct place. I found that I can be with ego, or be with no ego (especially in meditation when there is no thought), and remember as a child when there was still no Ego in me. Clearly it is something that forms eventually and is added unto you, a thing which was not there before.

In me there is not only a distance between ME as witness, and the Ego that I witness, but I also see it is attached to a rich subconscious, and also the ego has a source from which it comes from. I've found the inner chnanel the ego uses to travel through the body, where it goes when deep sleep arrives, have found my own soul in the heart, rich with memories of my life prior to being born on earth, and have rich/deep knowledge of myself which most don't have.

So it seems you are coming from a place of not knowing, therefore assuming and projecting. Am I wrong?


As a being with eyes and capable of thought and judgement, I have completely observed myself for a long number of years. Where else should I look?

I hear you call yourself I, ego, soul, Me, witness, subconscious, source, the body, soul, myself, and still I can only imagine one thing saying these words. I am also reminded of your earlier statement:

"You refer to yourself as "I" and witness how your very own ego superimposes ideas and concepts over reality, labeling things with conceptual thought. That is the ego and now that it has been pointed out, you can now witness it. "



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 12:17 AM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 



Appealing to authority is somewhat of a fallacy. Because someone who believes they know more than I does not negate my arguments.

There is no fallacy if we exchange "authority of a subject" with "expert". Which was my initial intention. I've realized most people have problems with acknowledging authority, but not so much "expert."

Its really quite simple. There are experts out there throughout history, whom by various means, have found ways around the ego, found that there is an ego death, and that there is a real you that is prior to it.

It does negate your argument because those "experts" who have found this "ego death" have left behind blueprints on how they got there, saying: "Don't merely believe it, go see and check for yourself if it is real as a direct living experience beyond mere belief, opinion, ideas, concepts."

I have experienced myself may of these things, so direct experience most definitely defies and in many ways negates your critique. Now we can turn the question around and ask, have you studied these blueprints and found the same thing as these other experts have found?

If the answer is "no, I've never followed these blueprints," then we can conclude that you are coming from a place of assumptions and projections.


I see no problem, however, if you were to use their arguments against mine.

Yes, that's what I'm doing. Are you anger? Or does anger arise, stay for a while, then eventually subside? Are you lust? Or does lust arise, stay for a while until something is done about it, then subside?


According to me it is. I still believe there is nothing inside or outside of us that we can call an ego. These materials, I think, are lacking in anything concrete, and are entirely riddled with verbal swindles and fantasy. Of course, this is opinion, but so is the opposite.

Perhaps the material that's out there has flown entirely over your head and you just don't get it.

For me, personally, I can give you my own example. In my circle of friends, family, etc I am known as someone who has a very well formed and articulate intellect, but it still took me roughly 10 years of study and practice to comprehend the depths of the ego.

And I have experienced Ego death and separation from it 3 ways:
1. Got deep into Christianity, practiced the precepts, got Baptised, and then eventually a Mystical Grace visited me and shattered me, killed me, and it was as if I was born again with higher spiritual faculties and my old self reference had died.
2. Some fragments of ego remained, then years later read a Zen Koan, wrestled with it, and within 20 minutes shifted into the Observer/Witnessed state which is prior to ego/mind/thinker of thoughts/self reference. A direct experience of a shift occured, but did not stabilize nor remain that way.
3. Became friends with a Buddhist who is stabilized in the Witness and detached from Ego, and he merely leaned over to me to say something, his consciousness effected mine, and immediately I shifted again into Witness and stayed there this time, stabilizing the state.

IF you have no idea or never had any of these experiences, how can I possibly even continue to have this conversation with you? Whereas I have met maybe roughly 50 or more people in my life on retreat, in certain circles, all of who have also experienced these things.


I mentioned in the OP that when we try to point out an ego, we merely point to ourselves.

WHat is "ourselves"? Are you thoughts? Anger? Happiness? The Debater of this thread? Or does these aspects arise then fall away?


Yes, it is true that humans conceive, refer to themselves through the use of pronouns, that I agree. But to say that it is an ego, and not this being refering to itself, is to label a reality with conceptual thought.

YEs we are both "labeling reality with conceptual thought" for the sake of debate. But what I am saying, is that there is a real you prior to an ego that does exist, and when you find that real you, it will lead you to an experiential absolute reality prior to all conceptual thought.


Egos don't have thoughts, nor can they say words for they do not possess a mouth. Or human an ego are one and the same.

When you look at a tree there is a number of items happening. There is a tree, there is you, there is eyes that are seeing, then the ego labels that image that eyes see and digs into memory to retrieve the word for it, called "tree", thinks the word, can add more to it like nice, or big, or green tree, and can even decide to say the word "tree". There is a number of processes going on here. Behind all of these processes, if you learn to be mindful, is a witness who is aware of these processes, but is not itself a process.


Yes, a human being does do this; but it is the human being, and not anything called an ego that operates in this manner. Egos could only do this if they had thoughts, a mouth, a brain. If they do, then ego and human are one and the same.

When there is an urge that arises to urinate, is it you that has to pee, or is the bladder sending a signal using the nervous system, up to the brain, letting the brain know that it has a feeling of fullness and needs expelling? Which one is it?

Are you your limbs? Or do you refer to them as yours? "My leg itches." My arm hurts." Note how veterans come back without limbs, yet still exist. We can take this further to discussing the thinking mind.

Sit there, for example for an our straight in one position, trying not to think. Guess what happens? A flood of thoughts continues to emerge and you have absolutely no control what-so-ever to stop any of it. If you do, you'll be lucky to get a second of no-thought in, if even that.



Maybe that is where we differ. I see myself as a complete being and others as complete beings. I can confirm this with both my thoughts and my senses.

Ask 100 people if they feel complete, and to be honest, and chances are the majority will say no.

Do you feel complete, do you desire anything, do you want, are you a master of yourself, can you stop the mind from thinking, withstand 5 days with no food, have you found the source of thought within, are you content?


Nothing but books and words have tried to say otherwise.

Yet you yourself have used books and words via education, are the key things that allow you to formulate this very thread.


For me, it is this complete being, the human being, that is the entity beneath all of these labels. Whatever we call it, whether human or ego, is entirely up to the one talking about it.

I remember before I was born, existing as consciousness, without a body, without an ego, and know a handful of people, some here on ATS as well, who also remember prior to being born. So yes, perhaps we are human beings, here, now. But we have a past that comes before being human, and will have a future that transcends it as well.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 12:17 AM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 



The one that thinks thoughts is the human being. To say that it is an ego that thinks, and not this human being, is to say egos think thoughts. If egos think thoughts, the ego and human are one and the same.

But didn't you just say:


Whatever we call it, whether human or ego, is entirely up to the one talking about it.

Therefore according to you your thread is an opinion piece. I am looking for answers, absolutes, facts. Not opinions.

I am not my arm. I can lose it and still exist. I am not my thoughts, I can be in a state of no-thought, and still exist. We can take this further.

You once did not have an ego, but now according to (science, psychology, psychiatry, mysticism, semantics, theology, philosophy, etc) now do have one.

Its quite simple. The thought of something, say a rock, is not the same as an actual rock. The first is an illusion of the actual, which is the latter. So too, whoever you think you are, is not who you are, it is illusion, and not the actual. That illusion creator, is the ego.


The one that thinks thoughts is the human being. To say that it is an ego that thinks, and not this human being, is to say egos think thoughts. If egos think thoughts, the ego and human are one and the same.

When a human is 1 day old, it is not thinking. When a human is in deep sleep, it is not thinking. There is a choice to think or not to think. Just like there is a choice whether to leave a arm with gangrene attached to the rest of the body, or have it cut.

Are you then saying, if someone gets gangrene in their arm, that it is part of them being human, and should be left alone?


Well, as I have understood the ego, this is merely another word and concept for the being that utters these words and concepts, as you yourself pointed out. This being, is still alive, and therefore we can still call him "ego", and whatever other names we wish.

If I am in deep sleep, there is no ego there. If I am in meditation with no thought, there is no ego there. If I am speaking from the heart/soul, where there is Love, Bliss, connection to the Source, then I am transcending the ego and speaking from somewhere else.

If ego is just another word/concept, then everything is just words and concepts and therefore nothing is real. Human being is just word/concept.


There are also thousands of testimonies on the internet of people seeing Jesus in a peice of toast.

Apples & oranges.

I can experience ego death, write down how it happen, then you can go check and see if it happens to you.

What that has anything to do with Jesus Image in toast, well then I must as well say raccoons, turtle doves, grey skies, pink heart, yellow moons, green clovers, green diamonds


This is assuming that I am not loving, caring, and brilliant right now. Such an assumption is merely conception, perhaps by an ego, but let's be honest, most likely by you.

Do you love others, strangers, as much as you love yourself?
Do you have a concept of how much time has passed?
Are you attached to life, those you know, to your body?
Would you sacrifice yourself to save a stranger?
Do you fear death?
Have you transcended this world and everything it has to offer?
Do you desire and want anything, if so, what?


Only the human being is capable of war, rape and murder. Consquently, only the human being is capable of love, contentment and compassion. No ego is capable of raising a finger, for it has none. If it does, then human and ego are one and the same. What name shall we choose today?

So it seems, all of this is completely above your head. IF it took me a good 8-10 years, I can imagine the possibilities of levels of misunderstanding in others.



As a being with eyes and capable of thought and judgement, I have completely observed myself for a long number of years. Where else should I look?

And what have you found? Did you eventually find the source of all thought, and if so, can please pinpoint the physical location?

Have you found the source of all emotion, and if so, can you please pinpoint the physical location?

Have you found the Source of Beingness, and can pinpoint a location?

Have you dove deep into the subconscious, seen whats there at all the various degrees and levels, found the source of the subconscious, and can pinpoint a location?

Have you found the soul? Did you retrieve the souls memories of pre-existing prior to earth life? Can you pinpoint a physical location within that correlates to this?


I hear you call yourself I, ego, soul, Me, witness, subconscious, source, the body, soul, myself, and still I can only imagine one thing saying these words.

Well then its a good thing your not an expert nor have any published books on these philosophies, for if you did, it would merely be: "There is no Ego, nothing to see here, continue doing what your doing, we'll solve the worlds problems some other way once we figure out how."



I am also reminded of your earlier statement: "You refer to yourself as "I" and witness how your very own ego superimposes ideas and concepts over reality, labeling things with conceptual thought. That is the ego and now that it has been pointed out, you can now witness it. "

My life/reality are quite different from yours.

When this body wakes up in the morning, there is only awareness, mindfulness, unknowingness. Then, from the source of thought, The inner awareness watches the ego emerge from a certain location, and take its place in the head for the sake of filtering reality and doing everything else it does. There is an awareness and distance between Awareness and the rest of the body and the ego itself as well.

This Awareness has the knowledge that is has existed prior to being born and that it is prior to the Ego. It also has access to inner depths, sources, points within that most others, when asked, do not have.

So who knows what then? When in "my" experience this is my reality and I've correlated it with a small number of others, while most others have no idea about these things?

The opinion here is that its completely above your head.

My solution is Simple: There is an ego, and an Ego death, which results in Spiritual Awakening and Spiritual Evolution. This the cure for the worlds ills, and we are heading there regardless, though it may take til the year 5000 to do so. We come from a Source, to that Source we all return. The next step in Human Evolution is Spiritual



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 12:57 AM
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reply to post by dominicus
 


So......to summarize , you are spiritually superior to Ninja here? And it is important to you that he understand that, as well as any other people who might be reading along?



This topic always ends up in the same place. ..



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 02:03 AM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 


You must read this conversation Krishnamurti had with Sidney Field after the death of Field's brother. It is absolutely fascinating!

www.katinkahesselink.net...



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 03:25 AM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 



There is no ego. End of story. If there was, I'm sure we could find out what it is and discuss its properties. But what is it we are actually talking about?

It is tied to nothing because it is nothing. Egos, being nothing, are incapable of deciding, or serving itself, because there is nothing there to serve. It is nothing but a bogey man, ....


There is a lot of truth in your statements here. There is no ego, yet there is an illusion that it does exist. It appears to me that the ego follows the same principal as the body, i.e. the body itself is a collection of processes which appear as one functional process. The body can be seen in one respect as similar to any machine, i.e. a collection of parts and processes. The motor vehicle does not really exist as a whole entity and all the parts and processes are interchangeable. Of course a motor vehicle differs from a human body in one important respect which is that the human body is not independent of the environment that supports its biological systems.

What I mean when I say that the ego follows the same principal as the body is in psychological terms, the consciousness identifies with many various psychological processes which it regards as it's self. Many of these processes are always in a state of evolution as the consciousness (being blind somehow to its own nature) searches for an identity and perhaps perfection.

Buddha himself was teaching that all processes (physical and psychological) are actually empty of self (or ego) i.e. that there is only the process of walking, but there is no actual walker. Or the process of thinking exists but yet there is no thinker.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 12:04 PM
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reply to post by kaiapathy
 



So......to summarize , you are spiritually superior to Ninja here? And it is important to you that he understand that, as well as any other people who might be reading along?

If you go back to any of my threads, note that not one time did I say anything about superiority, as claiming so is egotistical and is the trap of spiritual pride. Sorry, but I'm taking the bait if your offering.

By the way, I'm sure you know and have experienced things that I never have, do those experiences and knowledge that you have, which I may not, make you superior to me?

We all have souls, bleed red blood, and all face death just the same. Or as a Doctor once wrote, who took care of both the rich and the poor, when you put on that opened back hospital gown during your last days, everyone becomes equal.



This topic always ends up in the same place. .

It does? WHat place is that? If you take note, I have note once claimed to be better or superior. Have only claimed to posses knowledge & experiences which most people do not have. Just like a master mechanic possesses knowledge/experiences which I also do not have. No biggie



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 12:54 PM
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dominicus

It does? WHat place is that? If you take note, I have note once claimed to be better or superior. Have only claimed to posses knowledge & experiences which most people do not have. Just like a master mechanic possesses knowledge/experiences which I also do not have. No biggie


To claim possess knowledge which most people do not have is to claim superiority over said "most people" in that specific area.

Your posts claim spiritual superiority.

But that is where discussions about ego usually end up- spiritual dick measuring matches.

One of the things I personally like about ego? The ability to say "this is mine, not anyone elses." That allows one to remain loyal to their specific perception of reality , while also not imposing it on others!
Just less complicated that way.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 01:43 PM
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reply to post by coquine
 



To claim possess knowledge which most people do not have is to claim superiority over said "most people" in that specific area.

So by this very argument, what your saying is that it is an absolute fact, that anyone who possesses knowledge and experience, which others don't have, will make them always, every single time, 100% of the time make them see themselves as superior over others?

Or is this just a projected assumption/opinion?

I can find quite a few people who hold specific expertise in various fields, who do not view themselves as superior to others. It seems that you are viewing me that way and thinking/projecting that I view myself that way, when it fact I know that superiority is a relative opinion and an illusion.

To be as honest as I possibly can, I would sacrifice my own life, everyone I know I would let go of, and turn in everything I own for you yourself to know and experience the spiritual realities that I have.


Your posts claim spiritual superiority.

Please do show me where. All I did, was state that I have experienced things, and know things, which most others don't. That is an entirely separate statement than my saying that I am superior to anyone, which I didn't, so your argument is null & void and has turned to projections and assumptions.


But that is where discussions about ego usually end up- spiritual dick measuring matches.

Its a good thing I have better sense then to take it there. That's sounds like the stupidest thing ever



One of the things I personally like about ego? The ability to say "this is mine, not anyone elses." That allows one to remain loyal to their specific perception of reality , while also not imposing it on others!

The ego is inherently neutral, but eventually becomes the master, hence the reason for various ways of disciplining it or undergoing an ego-death. Underneath that ego death, is a reality and direct experience of an Absolute naked reality that we are all One with, prior to all thought, filters, perceptions. But I've found over the last 10 years, that very few care about Enlightenment. Only a small tiny fraction go for it, and yet it is the answer to all the worlds ills.

Oh well, I still love you & everyone else regardless



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 04:11 PM
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reply to post by dominicus
 





It does negate your argument because those "experts" who have found this "ego death" have left behind blueprints on how they got there, saying: "Don't merely believe it, go see and check for yourself if it is real as a direct living experience beyond mere belief, opinion, ideas, concepts."


Within those "blueprints" must be some sort of proof that what these experts are finding ways around actually exists. Please bring it forward if you wish. But saying I am wrong because others claim they are right do not negate my arguments.


I have experienced myself may of these things, so direct experience most definitely defies and in many ways negates your critique. Now we can turn the question around and ask, have you studied these blueprints and found the same thing as these other experts have found?

If the answer is "no, I've never followed these blueprints," then we can conclude that you are coming from a place of assumptions and projections.


As I've said, I directly experience myself every minute of every day. Out of that experience I have never found an ego. All you've been able to do is assert, without argument or reason, that there is one. Blueprints are not required in order to experience oneself.


Yes, that's what I'm doing. Are you anger? Or does anger arise, stay for a while, then eventually subside? Are you lust? Or does lust arise, stay for a while until something is done about it, then subside?


Like everyone, I am capable of anger and lust, yes. Do I consist of anger and lust? No.


Perhaps the material that's out there has flown entirely over your head and you just don't get it.

Or perhaps it is void of meaning.



For me, personally, I can give you my own example. In my circle of friends, family, etc I am known as someone who has a very well formed and articulate intellect, but it still took me roughly 10 years of study and practice to comprehend the depths of the ego.

And I have experienced Ego death and separation from it 3 ways:
1. Got deep into Christianity, practiced the precepts, got Baptised, and then eventually a Mystical Grace visited me and shattered me, killed me, and it was as if I was born again with higher spiritual faculties and my old self reference had died.
2. Some fragments of ego remained, then years later read a Zen Koan, wrestled with it, and within 20 minutes shifted into the Observer/Witnessed state which is prior to ego/mind/thinker of thoughts/self reference. A direct experience of a shift occured, but did not stabilize nor remain that way.
3. Became friends with a Buddhist who is stabilized in the Witness and detached from Ego, and he merely leaned over to me to say something, his consciousness effected mine, and immediately I shifted again into Witness and stayed there this time, stabilizing the state.

IF you have no idea or never had any of these experiences, how can I possibly even continue to have this conversation with you? Whereas I have met maybe roughly 50 or more people in my life on retreat, in certain circles, all of who have also experienced these things.


I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that this actually happened as you relate. But anecdotal evidence of these strange entities proves nothing of their existence.


WHat is "ourselves"? Are you thoughts? Anger? Happiness? The Debater of this thread? Or does these aspects arise then fall away?


These aren't aspects. They are instances, images and articulations of me functioning in different ways. You've simply called me different names. It is word-salad, used to garnish the main course.


YEs we are both "labeling reality with conceptual thought" for the sake of debate. But what I am saying, is that there is a real you prior to an ego that does exist, and when you find that real you, it will lead you to an experiential absolute reality prior to all conceptual thought.


Then where? Yes I was once a child but no longer. Where is this "prior" me? Are newborns and the yet-to-be-alive our prior selves?


When you look at a tree there is a number of items happening. There is a tree, there is you, there is eyes that are seeing, then the ego labels that image that eyes see and digs into memory to retrieve the word for it, called "tree", thinks the word, can add more to it like nice, or big, or green tree, and can even decide to say the word "tree". There is a number of processes going on here. Behind all of these processes, if you learn to be mindful, is a witness who is aware of these processes, but is not itself a process.


Once again, you are describing a human being. Sooner or later we might have to be honest and relate what it actually is we're talking about.


When there is an urge that arises to urinate, is it you that has to pee, or is the bladder sending a signal using the nervous system, up to the brain, letting the brain know that it has a feeling of fullness and needs expelling? Which one is it?

Are you your limbs? Or do you refer to them as yours? "My leg itches." My arm hurts." Note how veterans come back without limbs, yet still exist. We can take this further to discussing the thinking mind.


I am a complete being, so I am that which composes this being. The limbs are a part of me yes. Once they are removed, they are no longer. Hands do grasp once removed from this being; they turn to dust.


Sit there, for example for an our straight in one position, trying not to think. Guess what happens? A flood of thoughts continues to emerge and you have absolutely no control what-so-ever to stop any of it. If you do, you'll be lucky to get a second of no-thought in, if even that.


Only the dead do not think.


Ask 100 people if they feel complete, and to be honest, and chances are the majority will say no.

Do you feel complete, do you desire anything, do you want, are you a master of yourself, can you stop the mind from thinking, withstand 5 days with no food, have you found the source of thought within, are you content?


I am not the majority of people. Why would one want to stop thinking and stop eating? What benefit is to gain from these vain desires?


Yet you yourself have used books and words via education, are the key things that allow you to formulate this very thread.


I never denied this. I am not the one claiming I am without ego. I am claiming that there is no ego there to be without.


I remember before I was born, existing as consciousness, without a body, without an ego, and know a handful of people, some here on ATS as well, who also remember prior to being born. So yes, perhaps we are human beings, here, now. But we have a past that comes before being human, and will have a future that transcends it as well.


Once again I will afford you the benefit of the doubt. But the same things have been said by the mentally disturbed and charlatans alike.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 05:51 PM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 



Within those "blueprints" must be some sort of proof that what these experts are finding ways around actually exists.

The proof is you following the blueprints and finding out for yourself through direct experience if what they say is true. I can't put "ego death" in your hand so you can hold it and put it on a pedestal for examination


Please bring it forward if you wish. But saying I am wrong because others claim they are right do not negate my arguments.

Well someone is most definitely wrong. You are saying there is no ego death, while many others, huge branches of thought, philosophy, religion, and people who have experienced it for themselves are saying it is a real deal. I myself have also experienced degrees of this as well.

So yes, I am saying you are wrong because you haven't experienced it for yourself, therefore you don't really know, and are thus assuming it is not real. There are even MRI's that show that those who have transcended ego and have Enlightenment, have areas of the brain lit up which other people (who do not have these things) do not have lit up.

So we can even bring physiology into the argument if you wish.


As I've said, I directly experience myself every minute of every day. Out of that experience I have never found an ego. All you've been able to do is assert, without argument or reason, that there is one. Blueprints are not required in order to experience oneself.

Do you think? Yes? Okay, the thinker of thoughts is the ego......its not the body thinking, its not the eyes thinking, nor is it your limbs, tongue, skin, or hair that's thinking.

Its quite simple.

On top of that, those who experience ego death directly, don't experience themselves as bodies. They actually experience the loss of all borders and an expansive consciousness. It feels like there is a body in me, instead of me being a body or in a body. Its night and day


Like everyone, I am capable of anger and lust, yes. Do I consist of anger and lust? No.

Thinking, is also like anger, and lust. It arises, subsists for a while, then falls away. If you do not consist of anger and lust, then so too you do not consist of thought.


I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that this actually happened as you relate. But anecdotal evidence of these strange entities proves nothing of their existence.

Well then everything is anecdotal evidence and nothing can be proven.

Prove to me, for example, that you experienced reading this sentence. By the time your done, the moment is gone, and you can never get it back to prove it, and therefore all you have is hearsay.

If you want to remain in hardened skepticism, then nothing is possible with that sort of view.


These aren't aspects. They are instances, images and articulations of me functioning in different ways.

Whatever u feel like calling them, are any of those "instances, images and articulations" specifically you?


You've simply called me different names. It is word-salad, used to garnish the main course.

But you just said earlier that:



They are instances, images and articulations of me functioning in different ways.

Whatever you want to see it as, good for you.


Or perhaps it is void of meaning.

Okay, let's see. I can make 2 choices.
1. Take your word for it, some random forum stranger, that all the stuff regarding ego death/enlightenment is void of meaning word salad.
2. Or I can take the opinions of Socrates, Plato, Theology, Buddhism, Christ, Freud, Jung, psychology, Philosophy and highly regarded historical figures/minds/persons all of whom are in agreement that there is such a thing as ego death and they even point the way for you to see for yourself if it is true.

If I made this offer to 100 people, I think you'd be lucky to find a handful to pick # 1


Then where? Yes I was once a child but no longer. Where is this "prior" me? Are newborns and the yet-to-be-alive our prior selves?

A child is born, and is merely aware non-conceptually. There is no ego/mind forming concepts, thoughts, illusions. So non-conceptual Awareness is the original you.

But in most people, Non-conceptual Awareness is locked into and imprisoned by conceptual thought.

So there are a variety of methods, to unlock this original Awareness out of conceptual thought, and remain as the witness of the ego/mind, with a space/distance that separates the two.

There are 100's of methods out there. If you don't work this out for yourself, then you remain imprisoned by conceptual thought.


Once again, you are describing a human being. Sooner or later we might have to be honest and relate what it actually is we're talking about.

But you just said earlier that:


They are instances, images and articulations of me functioning in different ways.

So according to you, a human being has various "instances, images and articulations".

My point exactly!!!! In all of these "instances, images and articulations", who are you. You once could not do these things. They were learned. So who's to say you haven't learned ego death yet, and therefore don't know anything about it?


I am a complete being, so I am that which composes this being. The limbs are a part of me yes. Once they are removed, they are no longer.

Cool!!! SO remove the thinker of thoughts, and it is no longer. Yet there will still remain a "you" which is aware.


Only the dead do not think.

Untrue. There are MRI studies on advanced meditators who stop all thinking, and it shows so on mri's, yet they still continue to breath. I can also enter into no thought, for a good hour, and yet am still aware, proving to me that I am not the mind/thinker of thoughts.


I am not the majority of people. Why would one want to stop thinking and stop eating? What benefit is to gain from these vain desires?

You missed my point. To learn to stop thinking, means you gain new faculties which transcend the mind, logic, reason. You can stop all worries, stress, projections, assumptions. Having control over thought is part of self mastery.

I'm sure plenty of your desires are just as vain.


I never denied this. I am not the one claiming I am without ego. I am claiming that there is no ego there to be without.

The fact that you think these words prior to typing them shows you are using ego. When you are in dreamless sleep, then you are without ego. We can bring out all the mri studies to back this very easily, unless science is now a bunch of word salad


Once again I will afford you the benefit of the doubt. But the same things have been said by the mentally disturbed and charlatans alike.

Perhaps it is the skeptics that are the mentally disturbed charlatans. Perhaps you got it upside down



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 10:02 PM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 


i don't think you know what your talking about.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 10:36 PM
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AsherahoftheSea
reply to post by KellyPrettyBear
 


KPB, I know real evil exists, as I have encountered it. It will not change and it will not stop until it has achieved what it wants. You cannot fight it by submitting to the universe or giving it love. Love is but a weakness to it. It's either it or us.


AsherahoftheSea, I am not here to demean what you say, but it seems your understanding is maybe incorrect. Evil is as Evil does, the choice is yours, as for myself I hold a Shield called Wisdom, a Lance called Truth, no false thing can withstand either.
You need to understand the Law of This Creation, Universe, to make things simple The One Created duality, multiplicity, regardless the Truth bares the essence of the answers to all of Creation.
Good, bad, hot , cold, male , female, at the the Godhead, these things have little or no meaning.

As for this ego thing, sorry to say but most in this thread do not have a real concept of what is being spoken of or referenced to, a ego can be a very bad thing. Hitler for example, some thought he was the second coming of The Christ, got that one kind of wrong.

As we all are aware we have two brains in the skull, not one, the reference to the left and right hemispheres, a mood swing as we all know is when the one brain tires and the other brain takes control. In most cases it is just a smooth transition, in other cases it is like night and day.

The Christ was to of said we must be of one mind, I would guess this would be a person without mental conflict. The Christ gave His Will to the Creator, to do with as would. This is submission to a Greater Divine Power, once this is done, there is no ego, ego is conflict within ones self.

I have tried for along time to destroy my ego, and there is not just one, but many, you get rid one and another pops up.
This is kind of like being lost, but when you submit and give yourself up to the Divine, you are in your perfect place, all your problems are solved.
Do, be what is right in your heart, no ego, no conflict, problem solved.

One more thing, about ego's someone said when you sleep your ego is gone, I would say possibly gone wild.
When the Disciple's of The Christ , were in prison, they said they no longer need to sleep, or did they mean no longer need not be aware, even in the appearance of what would be seen to be sleep. The mind, the I, was aware.

What needs to be done now its to Save the Earth, the Earth is in need of it's beings to help it live and fulfill the Prophesies of The Christ, for peace to rein on Earth for a 1000 years. We must stop what is being done and fix this place now. The Earth is a sick , foul, putrid, place, the time is at hand.

The Pure Truth is poking out from behind the Veil of ignorance, it's time to wake up people.


edit on 7-11-2013 by OOOOOO because: Earth



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 02:31 AM
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reply to post by dominicus
 


It's difficult for me to follow this format of picking apart each's posts. I like to read and think for pleasure. So for the sake of our readers (if there are any left), and my sanity, I will continue in essay form.

So let's try to reconcile our ideas and maybe come to an understanding. I think our differences lie only in language, and I will try my best to explain where I'm coming from, in common language, to seek the root of what it is we are talking about, what you call an ego, and the act of killing it.

***


I trust the combination of my senses and my mind. I require both in order to grasp something fully. So therefor, anything that doesn't come to my senses, but strictly through mind, I suspend judgement on until I have sensual confirmation. This to me is an open system of learning suitable for growth, for the sake of not having to get trapped in vicious circles of reason and imagination.

In regards to the ego, the sensual confirmation I have available to me is the use of the word "ego" in psychoanalysis, eastern religions and philosophy. It seems natural for me to want to seek out what it is that we put this label upon.

If I was to try to see the ego, feel the ego, smell the ego, hear the ego, I would be seeing, feeling, smelling and hearing myself. This is all I have available of me to contemplate when I search for this ego. Yes I have the stories of many people discussing this word, true enough, except there is no account of its properties, what its made of, and what it is that I am supposed to kill. Because it doesn't have any properties, I must deduce that it is not an entity, nor an organ, but instead an abstract idea.

I accept that the ego exists insofar as it is a word and idea. Some, such as yourself, seem to get a use out of it, and there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever. Everyone gets use of ideas and abstractions. It is the nature of language. Yet I get a foul taste in my mouth when I speak of killing the ego, or blaming the ego, for actions that I myself have done. I will take full responsibility for my actions, my words and my thoughts; I do not wish to evoke aspects of me to stand in my place for judgement.

I believe I am my arms, my eyes, my legs, my feet, until they are no more. If I lose an arm, I can no longer grasp. If I lose my sight, I can no longer see. The veteran who comes back without legs is not the same man because he has no legs where he used to. We change continuously, even into beings without legs, or sight. I am that which says and thinks "I" when speaking about himself. There is nothing but this being that is capable of doing that.

However, what I wear, what I name myself, what I consider myself, how I manage my appearance, is my art and of my creation. Those that don't appreciate my art would perhaps call it an ego. I don't see it as a part of me because I created it, and is more-so a result of me instead of an aspect.

Why anyone would want to kill that is beyond fathoming for me at this point, as being God over one's ego is as easy as being creative. I don't think removing a part of oneself, whether concrete or abstract, could do any good. I am comfortable enough in my faculties; and remaining with an ego seems innocent enough.

I'm also fairly certain that many great, noble and compassionate individuals never needed to destroy this aspect of themselves to be good humans, nor did they need to stop thinking or return to their prior selves, so I will try my best to maintain my ego in the hopes that it will add to myself, rather than try to subtract from myself.



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 02:33 AM
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reply to post by duesprimusvictorimmortali
 





i don't think you know what your talking about.


That has been the underlying theme of this whole thread. "What is it we are actually talking about?" I still have yet to receive anything concrete enough to call an answer.



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 02:46 AM
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The argument that « ego death » exists because many have experienced it, does not hold up for me.
In terms of internal events, anything is possible- so an individual can create any kind of internal experience, whether it be one many have done in the past, or not.

People can have internal confrontations with Jesus or Mary, ghosts, or aliens- because many have, does that prove this is an objective reality for all ?

I do not think so. On the other hand, I don’t think it is important that that be proven.
It does prove that those experiences are possible.

Internal reality is subjective, and of an infiinite creativity, and all these sorts of experiences become valuable and meaningful for the individual, and also influencial in their behaviors, choices and actions.

The more important question becomes then- this experience of ego death, does it give forth behaviors and reactions to the exterior objective world that you desire to have ?

Does someone who has experienced an « ego death » behavior and interact with others and the world in a way you want to experience and be ?

If so, then read up on their teachings, listen to them, follow the path they have constructed to form this internal event.

If not, then it is not for you, right ?

I personally experience what I call ego death- and in fact, have experienced it many times ! I do not see this as something that once crossed, means you are now « special » or ascended.
I experience unending process, of ego forming, growing, manifesting, then dying, as another it born. A spiral sort of vision, not a linear line of an ultimate begining and ultimate end.

I may now be reprimanded by the self proclaimed experts on my spirituality, claiming that I do not know what « ego death » is then, I am mistaken and lost, and if I have any brains, I will listen and follow their lead.

To that, I smile affectionately and say no thanks. Glad you are enjoying your internal voyage, but so am I- as different as they might be.





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