Prescheduled. Steve is recovering from surgery at the moment.
“Ego” in Latin means “I.”
The sense of ourselves as a being separate from others – but also, alas, separate from God – is what is meant by the particular “body” we call the “ego.”
Without our ego, we wouldn’t be aware of ourselves. If we weren’t aware of ourselves, we wouldn’t move up Jacob’s Ladder from simple self-consciousness to Self-Consciousness to consciousness of Oneness at journey’s end.
According to Sri Ramakrishna:
“The ego is like a pitcher, and Brahman [God] like the ocean — an infinite expanse of water on all sides.
“The pitcher is set in the ocean. The water is both inside and out; the water is everywhere; yet the pitcher remains. … As long as the ego remains, ‘you’ and ‘I’ remain.” (1)
That having been said, “egoism” is different. As Sri Yukteswar Giri has said, “egoism results from a lack of discrimination between the physical body and the real Self.” (2) We think of our body as all there is and focus on its survival in a seemingly-competitive world .
The philosophy that arises from a dense sense of separation I’ve called “social Darwinism” elsewhere. (3) It’s the self-serving bias writ large.
You must be tired of hearing me refer to it, but the out-of-body experience I had in 1977 gave me the experience and (minor) realization that “I” was not my physical body.
In an instant, I passed over from “a lack of discrimination between the physical body and the real Self” to certainty that I was not the physical body.
I did not pass over to discernment of “the real Self” (a major realization), but I moved away from considering myself to be the physical body.
Sri Shankara tells us that:
“He who believes himself to be acting or experiencing is known as the ego, the individual man. … When the objects of experience are pleasant, he is happy. When they are unpleasant, he is unhappy.
“Pleasure and pain are characteristics of the individual — not of the Atman, which is forever blissful.” (4)
Our lives are spent seeking pleasure and avoiding pain … well, when we can! (5) The Buddha called this a life of craving and aversion.
Our pleasures come from achieving power, seeking the bliss of orgasm (i.e., sexuality), acquiring wealth, feeling inspired by a landscape, painting, or music, feeling validated, and so on. Our lives are spent pursuing these and avoiding their opposites.
Sri Ramana tells us that the ego is “the root of all thought.” “The ego rising all else will arise.” (6) This whole world arises with the sense of our small self or ego. Without the ego arising this world would vanish – or so the theory goes.
What the terrestrial sages don’t tell us is that we’d then be in a higher dimension of consciousness from this Third-Dimensional sense we have now; we’d be in at least a Fifth-Dimensional experience of life.
The Third Dimension vibrating more slugglishly than the Fifth would disappear from view, as it does when we transition and pass into the Fourth Dimension or astral world. The “Earth plane” vanishes.
Whence arises the sense of ego? Bhagwan Rajneesh tells us it arises from memory, the accumulated and stored thoughts of events that have happened to us:
“From where does this ego come which thinks, ‘I am. I am doing’? It comes through memory. Your memory goes on recording happenings: you are born, you are a child; then youth comes, then you are old.
“Things happen: love happens, hatred happens, and the memory goes on recording it. When you look at the past, the whole accumulated memory becomes your ‘I.'” (7)
Krishnamurti expands on this interpretation:
“YOU are this knowledge, you are the things that you have accumulated; you are the gramophone record that is ever repeating what is impressed on it. You are the song, the noise, the chatter of society, of your culture.
“Is there an uncorrupted ‘you’ apart from all this clatter? This self-centre is now anxious to free itself from the things it has gathered; but the effort it makes to free itself is part of the accumulative process. You have a new record to play, with new words, but your mind is still dull, insensitive.” (8)
We try to grasp the objects of pleasure and move away from the objects of pain, Adyashanti tells us.
“Ego is the movement of the mind toward objects of perception, in the form of grasping; and, away from objects, in the form of aversion. This fundamentally is all the ego is.
“This movement of grasping and aversion gives rise to a sense of a separate ‘me,’ and in turn the sense of ‘me’ strengthens itself this way. It is this continuous loop of causation that tricks consciousness into a trance of identification.
“Identification with what? Identification with the continuous loop of suffering. After all, who is suffering? The ‘me’ is suffering. And ‘who’ is this me? It is nothing more than a sense of self caused by identification with grasping and aversion.
“You see, it’s all a creation of the mind, an endless movie, a terrible dream.” (9)
What can we do about our situation? Sri Ramakrishna offers one approach:
“You may reason a thousand times, but you cannot get rid of the ego. … so let the rascal remain as the servant of God, the devotee of God.” (10)
Adyashanti offers another:
“Don’t try to change the dream, because trying to change it is just another movement in the dream. Look at the dream. Be aware of the dream. That awareness is It.
“Become more interested in the awareness of the dream than in the dream itself. What is that awareness? Who is that awareness? Don’t go spouting out an answer, just be the answer. Be It.” (11)
I like to think of the two answers as being complementary. The first addresses our relationship with the outside world: If we cannot get rid of the ego, make it the servant of God. Serve God in all we do.
The second addresses our relationship with ourselves and our “inner world.” Watch and observe the workings of the ego without changing it, deflecting it, denying it, etc.
That’s my native tendency anyways. But the first approach offers us a way of being in the world.
Applying this first approach to post-Reval affairs, for instance, I become a steward of the Mother’s wealth. I am in co-creative partnership with Archangel Michael (as are millions of others), by his declaration, although I personally prefer to see myself as his servant. (12)
Someone will point out that I’m taking a dualistic position. This is a time of building Nova Earth and not of my personal realization. If I were to sink into non-dualism, I’d be unable to function in that creative work. So I adopt the dualistic stance of the servant in this lifetime.
You and I and all other lightworkers have come from a higher dimension and will return to it so there is no need for me to scale Jacob’s Ladder of consciousness in this lifetime. I’ll return to my native dimension later.
But there is a need to serve.
(1) Sri Ramakrishna in Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 708. [Hereafter GSR.]
(2) Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, The Holy Science. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1984, 48.
(3) “Basic Third-Dimensional Illusion: Separate Selves Struggling for Survival amid Seeming Scarcity,” at https://goldenageofgaia.com/?p=296418
(4) Shankara in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher lsherwood, Shankara’s Crest-Jewel of Discrimination. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1975; c1947, 48.
(5) Life can intervene and we find ourselves in a hospital, unable to avoid pain.
(6) Ramana Maharshi in Sadhu Arunachala (A.W. Chadwick), A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1961, 38.
(7) Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, I am the Gate. The Meaning of Initiation and Discipleship. New York, etc.: Harper Colophon, 1977; c1975, 8
(8) Krishnamurti, J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Livinq. Third Series. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1970; c1960, 86.
(9) Adyashanti, “Selling Water by the River,” Inner Directions Journal, Fall/Winter, 1999, downloaded from www.adyashanti.org, 2004.
(10) Sri Ramakrishna in GSR, 708.
(11) Adyashanti, “Selling Water by the River,” Inner Directions Journal, Fall/Winter, 1999, downloaded from www.adyashanti.org, 2004.
(12) I’m not trying to be arrogant. Michael actually wants us to relate to him in the fullest possible partnership. The Company of Heaven generally request that humans take a leadership role in events on Earth.
“ We are helping you to co-create in full partnership,” he told me in 2013. (Archangel Michael in a personal reading with Steve Beckow, March 8, 2013. Hereafter AAM.) “Let me be very clear. Decisions and choices are yours. That is what this partnership is about. And you are on Gaia in the physical reality.” (AAM, Oct. 2, 2013.)
“The Galactics have no shortage of money and so there will be some very massive projects and the funds will be made available but they will really ask for human leadership in order to not be seen as trying in any way to assume control.” (AAM in a personal reading with Kathleen Mary Willis through Linda Dillon, Nov. 13, 2012.)
And my favorite quote for its endearing humor: “We step forward in the fulfilment, you on Earth, on this beloved planet called Gaia, I as your wingman, quite literally.” (March 10, 2017.)
Therefore I call myself Michael’s partner, rather than his servant, although, again, my native tendency and default would be to consider myself his servant, which of course I am.