‘Self Inflicted’ – Counting down.
Dissolving the ego . . .
“Vanity and pride are what most of us tend to think of when we think of ego, but ego is much more than an overinflated sense of self. It can also turn up in feelings of inferiority or self-hatred because ego is any image you have of yourself that gives you a sense of identity—and that identity derives from the things you tell yourself and the things other people have been saying about you that you’ve decided to accept as truth.
One way to think about ego is as a protective heavy shell, such as the kind some animals have, like a big beetle. This protective shell works like armour to cut you off from other people and the outside world. What I mean by shell is a sense of separation: Here’s me and there’s the rest of the universe and other people. The ego likes to emphasize the “otherness” of others.
The ego is a stage in the evolution of human consciousness. It is not your enemy. To perceive somebody or something as an enemy is in fact one of the main misperceptions or delusions of the egoic unconsciousness. So, you cannot fight against the ego and win that fight. If you think you have won the fight against the ego, it is the ego in you that thinks so and it has enlarged itself. So the ego is not an enemy, but a dysfunction.Looked at from one point of view, it is an entity that the mind created. From another perspective, however, it is simply a delusion, resulting in a distorted way of perceiving reality and consequently in dysfunctional behavior.
A delusion dissolves when you recognize it as delusion, and so does the ego. The ego is the by-product, as it were, of the rapid development of our faculty of thought over the past six thousand years. We lost ourselves in thought, that is to say became identified with it to such an extent that we now derive our sense of who we are from thinking. Thought is a particular way for universal intelligence to express itself. It is no more than a tiny aspect of that vast intelligence. Thought, through naming things, analyzes, dissects, and separates reality into bits and pieces. Thinking can be a helpful practical tool, but when you identify with thinking the delusion of separation arises. Your reality becomes fragmented. You lose your original sense of connectedness with Being (“paradise”). You become unhappy, needy, discontented, full of ever unfulfilled desire, and you are always unconsciously attempting to regain your lost sense of being, of who you are.
Life is one and I am one with all life.
When you know this truth, the ego dissolves. To know means to realize. How, then, do you realize this truth?
At this moment – the only moment there is – there are some thoughts moving across your mind (the words you are reading and whatever your mind is adding to them). However, you can also KNOW that these thoughts are moving across your mind. That knowing is the dimension of awareness. It has nothing to do with thinking. While thinking happens, you can know yourself as the awareness behind the thinking, the alert stillness in the background – ungraspable, indefinable, elusive.
When you disidentify from thinking, you may also discover a growing ability within you to perceive things and people without immediately naming them. In this way, the ego, which is the unconscious habit of identifying with every thought that arises, begins to dissolve.”
― Eckhart Tolle
Perhaps the long way about it, but Eckhart is a smart man – bottom line is, our egos get in the way of a lot of every day life and it is that ego that cause friction, tension, wars, divorce, inner struggles, bad decisions and the list goes on. Those of you who are following openly or just reading my little project might think this is a show of my ego – it is not, it is an attempt at growth in myself, my truth and desperately trying not to let my ego get in the way of stopping me. If I did, this project would have been finished on Day 42!! It took me many hours of courage to post that one, thinking that someone would judge me or criticize. This project has made me more vulnerable than ever and I find myself standing up straighter and identifying with people on a non ego based level (on my part anyway) – it is a tough fight to dissolve ones ego, I have been working on mine now for almost 50 years. Old habits dissolve slowly! Being aware is the key. My t-shirt pulled over my head in this photo, represents my ego.
Me – Robert Charles