Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > ego and transcendence

 
 

I ~ the blessing of ego

Mar 16, 2019

Saying For Today: When the I is fully the I, there is no problem with the I, for the I is not a problem to begin with.


Winter Blues in Maine

*Brian Wilcox. 'Winter Blues in Maine'. Flickr.

We cannot find any stable reality we call ego: or, I, me, my, mine, myself. In sleep, we have times of no-ego. Then, in sleep the ego enters a mode we call dream reality. On waking up, another reality, with its ego, appears. We have no evidence this waking state is anymore real or unreal than the dream state. We simply cannot locate an ego, we cannot identify a state of I-ness more or less real than another. Yet, ego does appear and disappear as an integral modality of our life as human beings. Indeed, that something is relative, does not mean it is not actual. Ego is simply part of the equipment of being human, as, likely, all sentient beings have an I, some more complex, some less, and from most to least instinctual. For example, anyone who has been around animals cannot rightly deny an I of each one, a particularity of self, regardless of how elemental in nature. Ego is part of the amazing, befuddling artistry of Life, being created and uncreated so quickly the mind cannot register it but as a continuous thing or self in itself, a stability and permanency we know to be untrue ~ we, as I, die a myriad times daily, even die between what we call moments. Yet, to live well, I must take seriously this ego, this I, for it is a given, even a gift, to be related to and with and utilized well for the common good.

* * *

Disciple: Teacher, how can I transcend the ego?

Sage: Ego transcending ego. Sounds egoic. Does it not?

*Brian K. Wilcox. Meetings with an Anonymous Sage.

* * *

When I say, "We are not individuals," I mean we are not separate, we are not essentially apart from. I do not mean we are not different, or that the I needs to be obliterated. I do not mean we are not expressions diverse, like the diversity among clouds, fishes, trees, snow flakes, water droplets, numbers, equations, and other aspects of nature. Would the world really be a better place if oneness meant sameness? If the particularity of personalities were negated into some flatland, monochrome mass? We are like a song, where each note and the spaces between notes all work together as one song, one song made possible by the differences that compose the song. If you flip the coin of reality to one side, many, flip to the other side, one. Both true.

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Regardless of persons who claim to have "transcended" I, if anyone of them heard his or her name called in a crowd, that person would recognize and respond, in some manner.

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To talk-down our I-ness is not helpful, for the I is itself here to celebrate itself in all its particularity. In Christianity one could say, rightly, "The death of the self is not the negation of the self, after all, the resurrection of Jesus had continuity with the Jesus before the crucifixion." Likewise, the historical Buddha did not unbecome Guatama after awakening under the bodhi tree. These examples imply transformation of the I is not annihilation of the I. Possibly the best way of seeing this is, in transformation, the I moves to the background, and the Self, True Self, the one I, Christ, Buddha Nature, ... comes to the foreground. The danger here is, however, to impose a duality due to our habitual way of dividing all things into polarities. Truthfully, we simply cannot speak what happens in transformation, we cannot say who we are. Possibly, the most that need be said is, "I am." Still, better, Silence is our natural abode on these matters. I know who I am in not being able to know who I am.

* * *

If we try to negate the I, in some sense of the I not being good, not being enlightened, not being saved, not be holy ... we will only create a subtle facade, an unreality. Ironically, the transcendence of the ego is not a transcendence of ego, at all, but neither is it taking the I to be the ultimate of who we are.

* * *

I would recommend to enjoy the I, and enjoy this life as fully as possible. In an ironic, humorous way, transcendence of I is only by the freedom of the I to be the I, fully. When the I is fully the I, there is no problem with the I, for the I is not a problem to begin with.

* * *

In some way, I think the ancient Indian sages got it right, approximately so, at least. We are in a game of hide-n-seek. The Divine is hiding from the Divine, looking for the Divine, all a game, even if not always a fun game. If this is somewhat true, then, not to play is a denial of life, not an affirmation of life. So, living fully the I is to go along with the play gladly, and enjoy it as much as possible, and to the end.

* * *

One of the reasons we cannot know who we are is comparable to an eye trying to see itself or a piece of food trying to taste itself. We can intuit, or have insight into, who we are. When we do, as possibly all of us have had, the knowing is too intimate for us to sustain it as our principal mode of life, unless we understand ''principal'' as the forthcoming of the power of Truth inspiring the I living, now. Still, the I sleeps, eats, drives, defecates, ... The pure knowing of the non-I is, indeed, a pure subjectivity to the mind. Simply put, we each, in our particularity, express Love and create relationship, as well as fulfill the daily needs of being a human being, through our singular I. We do this regardless of how much insight we have gained that this I is a relative modality.

* * *

So, as in the opening tale, do not seek to transcend the ego. Trying to un-ego is a subtle trap in much religion and spirituality. Simply let the ego be the ego. You, aware of the ego, can enjoy observing how the I expresses itself, rather than making the I an enemy or something too unholy or too unenlightened to receive wholly as an expression of Life.

* * *

Seeker: Sir, is the ego real or not?

Sage: Yes and Yes.

*Brian K. Wilcox. Meetings with an Anonymous Sage.

Epiphany in winter attire

*Brian Wilcox. 'Epiphany in winter attire'. Flickr.

(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2019


 

Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > ego and transcendence

©Brian Wilcox 2019