Re: [Meditation Society of America] Ego and Guru
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Bruce Morgen
> Since my words are paraphrasedThanks, Bruce. Enjoyed the read.
> out of context here by Jeff, I
> figured it might be helpful to
> link to a more extensive
> exposition on the (seemingly
> eternal) topic of "ego":
- "Jeff Belyea" <jeff@s...> wrote:
> --- In email@example.com, Bruce MorgenAnd to save you guys a click, here's the text being referred to (one
> <editor@j...> wrote:
> > Since my words are paraphrased
> > out of context here by Jeff, I
> > figured it might be helpful to
> > link to a more extensive
> > exposition on the (seemingly
> > eternal) topic of "ego":
> > <http://www.atman.net/realization/chapter2/2-11.html>
> Thanks, Bruce. Enjoyed the read.
of many at Bruceji's brillant site http://come.to/realization ):
A Pointing On "Ego"
In is common in yoga and meditation circles to assume that it is
possible to kill, subjugate, throttle, or otherwise control an entity
called the "ego," also known as the "small self." In meditation, it
has become clear that "ego" is not actually the ongoing, persistent
entity depicted in the annals of psychiatry and psychology, but rather
a movement or pattern of thought(s) -- a transient, passing phenomenon
that creates the impression of continuity by virtue of deriving its
pattern from a template stored in memory. Each occurrence of the
pattern records itself back into memory and provides the template for
the next occurrence, ad infinitum unto the physical death of the
The ability to form an ego was originally a survival trait -- a sense
of individuality with an accompanying nominal identity serves the
survival needs of its host human organism. For example, one must
manifest an ego to haggle with the fruit vendor, or to complain to the
bank manager when the ATM has dispensed one too few $20 bills. This is
the rightful role of the ego, a tool wielded in the same sense that
one uses foot speed to escape a predator or manual dexterity to peel a
fruit for eating -- it is a gift of human incarnation that helps us
physically survive in the world.
Ego becomes troublesome when it becomes taken with its own success and
fears its own extinction. Having had notable success -- we receive
much praise and reinforcement when we respond to our names and when we
identify baby toys as "mine" -- ego comes to identify its existence
with that of the host organism, it sees itself as the organism's
essence rather than as a tool or servant of survival. It is an ego
with this "sticky" quality or tendency that is seen as problematic in
our yogas and meditations.
The fact is, my friend, that there has never been a functional human
being who does not manifest ego as required -- all the revered ones
(other than perhaps a few oddities dependent on others for their
survival requirements) show evidence of ego. I would posit that what
distinguishes a truthful one from a "normal," ego-driven person is not
any permanent absence of ego, but rather the falling away of ego when
there is no rightful work for ego to do -- for a truthful one,
meditation is not a practice or routine, but a spontaneous perceptual
shift that occurs naturally as ego falls away in the absence of
anything requiring ego! For the truthful one, ego dies in virtually
every moment, thus making perceptual "room" for the truly sacred.
- Since my words are paraphrased
out of context here by Jeff, I
figured it might be helpful to
link to a more extensive
exposition on the (seemingly
eternal) topic of "ego":
On Wed, 27 Aug 2003 15:35:29 -0000 "Jeff Belyea"
> Recently, someone emailed__________________________________________________
> with a question about the
> guru and ego. Because I've
> mentioned several writers
> on these sites (GR and NDS)
> ...and for the joy of
> espousing...I'm re-posting here:
> Hi ________ -
> Yes, the ego subsides but rises
> again, even in an enlightened one,
> as does the former personality --
> with its impatience, sarcasm and
> other, what we would call negative,
> For those who have tasted the
> realization of enlightenment, the
> ego is at first both relieved that
> it did not expire as it feared, and
> excited with the new clarity of mind
> that enlightenment brings.
> And for a time the enlightened one
> is so awash with peace and love and
> pure joy that the ego and personality
> is softened and sweetened. The feeling
> of confidence and trust in what is
> seen as a benevolent universe once
> again, overrides the former fears and
> doubts. But over time, the ego begins
> its attempt to assert its role as
> master, as it had done before.
> This is a battle that the enlightened
> one sooner or later recognizes, and
> faces without any fear or doubt. The
> realization and enlightenment has become
> the core and center of their being,
> but...and a big but (if you'll pardon
> the expression) is the reality that
> the ego will rise again, as will old
> personality traits.
> Stabilizing in enlightenment, the
> sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi, takes some
> time and experience to mature. As I
> wrote, at first consciousness that
> has been "sweetened" as Mark in
> NDS writes. is absolutely crystal clear,
> and that clarity never leaves.
> However, if an enlightened one either
> does not recognize the wiles of the
> ego (St. Paul said in scripture that
> as long as we are alive, "the flesh
> (our ego and analyzing, critical mind)
> wars with the spirit (our enlightened
> ity) or dismisses what is
> happening, there is soon trouble afoot.
> As Bruce Morgen writes, when the ego
> rises, as it invariably will, the
> question is, will it rise as servant
> or master. Keeping the ego in the
> servant role is one of the great
> values of meditation and spiritual
> practice. The value of holy company,
> the company of seekers and enlightened
> ones is another way to stay in touch
> with our true home, our true Self,
> our Source, from which love and tenderness,
> caring and compassion flow.
> The other area that can create a
> dangerous pitfall is the mythologizing
> of masters, gurus, enlightened ones into
> these "perfect, sinless, impeccable,
> beyond error" beings. This is just not
> so. Enlightened Ones may speak to ideals,
> but to profess that they live them
> perfectly does not square with reality.
> If an enlightened one buys into
> this and begins to present as a
> supernatural being of perfection -
> exit stage left.
> One other "red flag" comes to mind.
> This is one Sarlo is very sharp to
> pick up (and sometimes too quick to
> attribute): the strong attachment
> to a model...at the exclusive of
> others. The old fundamentalist
> view of having an exclusive
> understanding of infallible truth.
> This is found in just about every
> tradition I've looked at, to my
> surprise. I thought it was
> peculiarly to the pop-cultural
> Christian, but there are tight-ass
> fundamentalist in the other major
> religions as well. This is the
> genesis of war and terrorism,
> in great part. One side is
> fighting the infidels on the
> other side, and each side
> uses propaganda to demonize
> their enemy.
> This attachment to a specific
> model even extends to the division
> between those who are comfortable
> with spiritual models and theistic
> language (as I am) and those who
> find spiritual trappings irrelevant.
> Truth is truth, words are words.
> Words cannot express the truth of
> spiritual awakening or nondual
> When your guru goes sour, back away.
> If your resonance with their teaching
> is beautifully attuned, you will allow
> them their humanity and not lose sight
> of the fact that they are "qualified"
> guides to the door of realization. They
> can only bring you to the door. Any
> suggestion of supernatural powers, or
> emotional manipulation are, in my opinion,
> wiles of the ego.
> Osho is an example (reportedly) of a
> beautiful, clear mystic who, for a variety
> of reasons -- many more than I know, I'm sure,
> went sour and became manipulative and...
> well, you can read about him on a variety
> of sites. His early teachings were gorgeous
> and crystal clear.
> OK. I have rambled.
> Hopes this helps,
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- "For the truthful one, ego dies in virtually
every moment, thus making perceptual "room" for the truly sacred."
What a beauty!!!