Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Ego’s Ego

When a person attains a certain level of enlightened thinking, this is a sign that the personal ego has been transcended.  In this mental state, the person’s ability to think will be improved, due to the removal of the effect of the ego, which tries to control and limit our thoughts to only those which support the ego identity.  It does this primarily through emotional control, leaving us feeling as though we are being battered about by our emotions.  As we feel out of control emotionally , we try to change our personal circumstances to change our emotional state.  This is the original. state with the ego in charge.  The desire to be free of this pattern is what makes many people seek the spiritual path. This egoless state is the goal of many practices.  There are many people who are able to attain this level of awareness.   They may then stay there because they do not think there is any further to go.

Once this has been attained, the brain can stay in a calm state for a long time, but at some time emotions will occur, if that transformation has occurred, then the emotional state will be selected as the most appropriate under the circumstances, with the intent being the best resolution possible.

So all this is great, right!  What we all hope for.  Our transformation was profound enough and our wisdom deep enough that others will notice and start to change and learn as we had hoped.  Perhaps there are followers, there can be gatherings and teachings.  Sometimes a title is adopted guruji, punditji, swamiji, master.  When this happens one can become an influential and well known person, able to influence many lives.  This is both a powerful place and a very dangerous one.

When the enlightened person has reached this point, how do they react to it internally?  Although the ego may be surpassed (this is our original child ego), there is still a drive in our brains to establish an ego identity.  A new ego will start to develop around the new personality traits.  It will not be the old ego, which no longer exists, but new, more mature and wiser ego than our original child ego.   The new ego uses all the new ideas and takes them for its own.  Even though many of the ideas occurred before the new ego formed, it will take full credit for everything.  All the progress that has been made, all the ideas that have been shared, are its alone, and become the core of the new ego identity.

The more enlightened one becomes, the more wise and compassionate, the more danger there is that a new ego will develop.  If this does happen, who will see it and call it out?

It may be very difficult for the enlightened person to see because of the special nature of this new ego.  Unlike our original childish ego, this one was formed by a mature mind with a lot more experience and wisdom.  As it is wiser, more mature and more subtle, it is much harder to observe than our original ego.  An advanced state of self observation is necessary.

For those who may by followers of the enlightened one, it is even more difficult  They may benefit from the wisdom and even find their lives improving.  So what could be wrong?  They see a person who has transcended the personal ego and is able to transmit, joy, happiness and wisdom to others.  Maybe this will take me to where she/he is.  So they come along for the ride, and may indeed learn and grow through the process.

But in any audience, there will be a few people who sense a wrongness in the master though they may not be able to vocalize it.  They may leave and seek another path, or simply give up, having decided that every human process is either corrupted or corruptible.

As the enlightened person matures, the power and wisdom grow, and so the ego , which attaches all perceived accomplishments to itself to strengthen its self-identity.  As the ego grows in power and influence, both internally and externally, this can lead to disaster.  I’m  sure we are all aware of some fallen gurus.  We should recognize that though they ultimately fell, they also brought a lot of wisdom.  Indeed, the strength of the wisdom may be proportional to depth of the fall.

Does this mean the journey toward enlightenment is futile?  I think not, but it is more difficult and involved that many have been led to believe.  Rather than seeing the journey as a boat trip to unknown territory, from which you may or may be able to return, see it as a long set of stages, with incremental improvement at each stage.  Each stage of improvement is followed by observing the formation a new ego identity, examining it in detail so that you fully grasp everything that it has, making all of that fully a part of your awareness and then dismiss the new ego.  This is not as hard as it sounds, because these new egos, though smart and subtle, never have the kind of power you original ego had, so they can be surpassed just by observation and study.  This is because you unconsciousness is stronger than before.

Does this process ever end?  Are there an infinite number of new egos waiting for you to run into them so they can prevent from ever attaining your goal?

I think the process is more like this, each new ego that forms as a result of a step change in consciousness is smarter, stronger and more subtle than the last.  Each is also more spiritually advanced and less controlling than the earlier versions.  As long as you continue the process,each new ego will be closer in its properties to you goal, and at some point they will be indistinguishable.  At that point you have travelled through all the levels of consciousness and reached the realm of pure thought, devoid of words and feelings.  Containing only knowledge.  Stripped of its cultural, sexual and even anthropomorphic taints.

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