Friday, January 25, 2013

ENQUIRY INTO THE NATURE OF EGO Part II / THE LAYERS OF ILLUSION- by Nityananda Atman



ENQUIRY INTO THE NATURE OF EGO Part II
THE LAYERS OF ILLUSION
by Nityananda Atman

What creates the illusion

Ego, identification, projection, association, superimposition, imagination, rajas, tamas, lack of discerment and inattention are the main factors that create the illusion that we are a limited body-mind entity and all other illusions which hypnotize us. 

Ego, desires, pain-body

All illusions that have been developed in our psych cause innumerable suffering individually and collectivly. Desire for pleasure is the origin of all illusions and the origin of all other desires such as desire for fame, name, money, superiority etc.

The hypnotic power of desire makes us consider that the ego* (the sense 'the body is me') and the desire** are two different things while in reality they are one and the same energy which assumes these two different expressions.

  *ego or Iness: the sense ‘I am the body’ or the body is me’.
**desire : the impulse to pocess and entertain something. 




Desire by modification takes also the form of like-dislike, attraction-repulsion and becomes the pain-body which includes all negative expressions of anger, fear, greed, depression, hatred, jeloushy, selfissness, gluttony, etc. All above negative emotions are only modifications of desire.

All the above together constitute the egoic mechanism which like a virus has occupy our psychology and uses mind, body, energy and senses indepentetly of our conscious will and reason for its own superficial goals.

The ego-virus misuses and overuses body, mind, vital energy and senses and creates unbalances, disharmonies and diseases. Moreover the ego drives us to do sinful actions which create painful karma for the future. Because of this karma we can reincarnate with a sick body or mind or to find our selves born in a highly problematic family or country.

THE LAYERS OF ILLUSION

As I said in the beginning the ego has a miraculus capacity to identify with everything. With the aim of tamas (which veils the truth in every situation) and rajas (which is the quality that enables projection to happen) the ego creates all illusory identifications and projections.
 

The tamasic nature of ego   obscures and dulls our intellect and our ability to discern the false and the true. Without the proper function of our Buddhi (intellect) the ego very easily identifies with everything. 

Identifications and projections of the ego

The ego by identifiacation, projection, superimpotition and imagination borrows the qualities which belong to that which identifies and consider them as its own. 
For example the ego identifies with consciousness, superimpose on itself the light of consciousness and creates the illusion that is self-conscious. 

The ego does the opposite too. Idetifies with the objects and people and projects on tem its own qualities (such as lust, pleasure, anger, etc.) and creates the illusion that these qualities belong to them.
Ego's Illusions

First illusion which is very delusive is that the ego-virus makes us sense and believe that we are that, that we are the ego itself.

Second illusion: The ego due to identification with the body, creates to us the illusion that we are the body which has a mind to think and a heart to feel.
Moreover the ego makes us consider our body as real and our real identity which is pure Awareness or Consciousness as not existent at all.

I want here to mention that only consciousness is real and everything that is manifested in tis universe subtle or gross is unreal. Intellect, mind, prana and body which are all manifestations are unreal (or insentient) because they are not self consious and their existence depends on something else (Consciousness).

Real is what exists by itself (it is self-existent) and is conscious by itself. More over real is what never dies, exists in all periods of time (past, present and future,) undergoes no changes or modifications and exists in all states of consciousness (viz. awake- dream sleep, deep sleep states).

Body, mind and prana are temporal and subjective to change and death. They do not appear in all periods of time and the three states of consciousness. They are experienced only when the light of consciousness (attention or awareness) is focused on them. Therefore they are unreal.  They appear as real because they are permeated and animated by consciousness. They borrow their reality from consciousness; they also are not self-luminous as consciousness is. Like the moon which has not light by itself and shines only because the light of sun reflects on it, similarly body, mind and prana they are not self-conscious but they appear to be so because the light of consciousness reflects on them.

Ego does a mutual identification and superimposition with the body and consciousness. Ego identifies simultaneously with the body and consciousness and projects the aliveness and presence of consciousness to the body and the qualties of the body to consciousness. Thus the ego makes us sense that we are the body and as a body-me we are self-conscious. Simultaneously the ego superimpose to our real Self (consciousness) qualities that belong to the body or to the mind. So we think: I am hungry, I am tired, I will die, I am sick, I am clever, I am stupid etc.

The illusory identifications related to the body, mind etc.

Ego identifying with the body creates the sense 'the body is me' ('Iness') and takes the potition of the agent of all actions done by the body. Thus creates the illusory sense 'I am the doer'.

Ego identifying with the thinking mind creates to us the illusory sense 'I am the thinker'.

Ego identifying with the emotional mind creates to us the illusory sense 'I am the feeler'.

Ego identifying with the vital creates to us the illusory sense 'I am the enjoyer'.

Ego identifying ewith the sensory mind creates to us the illusory sense 'I am the perceiver'.

Ego identifying with the intellect creates to us the illusory sense 'I am the knower'.

Identifying the ego with the externals objects and persons 'Mineness' is developed. Thus we say my car, my wife, my ...... We consider them a an extension of our selves. When we lose them we experience a lot of unnecessary suffering.

Third illusion: The ego identifies with thoughts and projects on them the reality of consciousness. That's why we experience our thoughts as real. The same does with the emotions. We are deluded that our emotions are real because the ego projects on them the reality of consciousness.

Fourth illusion: Ego projects itself and identifies with thoughts and emotions and makes us consider them us our selves.


Fifth illusion: The ego together with the mind and with the aid of rajas projects the sensorial stimulus or sense perceptions which create thought forms in our mind as an external world while in reality this seemingly external world is our mind itself. The tamas veils this process of projection and prevents us to realize this illusion; viz. that the so called external world or 3D reality is only our thought forms projected in the mind-space.

Sixth illusion: The ego with the aid of the mind and rajas projects on the seemingly external objects qualities that they have not. They make us believe that they are solid and real while they are only a flux of energy and unreal.

Moreover the ego projects on the objects pleasure and happiness while in reality the objects do not contain neither happiness nor pleasure. The sense objects together with the mind can only create pleasant or unpleasant
sensations under certain circumstances.

1. Happiness is the essential nature or quality of our true self or consciousness. 

  
2.  Pleasure that apparently we get from objects is only sexual pleasure which is crystallized in our body, mind and vital and which is projeced by the ego on the objects.

Only the sexual energy can give us pleasure. But for some reason sexual plesaure has been crystallized in our psych and took the form of lust, desire and passion. Through identification and projection this crystyllized pleasure in our system is projected on various objects (food, drinks etc.) and creates the illusion that we take pleasure from the objects. Thus lust or desire for sex, for food (gluttony), for money (avarice), for fame and name (ambition) are only sexual pleasure that has been crystallized in our psych and is modified also as lust and passion.

Seventh illusion: The ego projects on 'others' its qualities and creates the illusion that these qualities belong to them.
For example the ego projects its lust and passion to a woman or man in order to excite the sexual energy and experience pleasure.
Another reason that the ego projects its qualities to 'others' is that it wants to be hinted from our conscious mind.
Ego doesn’t like to be recognized by our conscious mind or intelligence because the time we will be conscious of the ego and disidentify our selves from it, the ego will lose the control and sovereignty on us.

Because of these projections we do not see 'others' as they are but as the ego wants to see them. The ‘others’ are only mirrors that reflect our mental and emotional qualities. So we can
very easily know the qualities we carry in our subconscious by seeing them on 'others'. For example we may think that we have no lust while we see lust on others. This lust we see on them is only our lust projected on them.

Eighth illusion: The ego focus only on a small part of a situation ignores the rest and makes us believe that the part is the whole.

Ninth illusion: The ego unites and combines thoughts according its own ‘sweet’ will and creates an illusory reality. Ego also by adding or removing something from what has happened, by exaggeration or underestimation modifies what really has happened and creates its own illusory reality.

The defensive mechanisms

Except of these illusions, the ego also creates some defensive mechanisms in our psych, in order to protect itself and sustain a superficial psychological balance so as to be able to function in the daily activities of life. Sigmund Freud have discovered some of the defensive mechanisms. (Read more about it at  the end of this article).


Ego's resiststance and reaction

Ego doesn't like to abandon our psych because like all other parasites is feeded by our energy. It wants to perpetuate its existence and protect itself by many different ways. When we try by spiritual practices to eliminate it, the ego resists and reacts strongly in order to obstruct us and make us abandon our efforts. That's why many aspirants who were very enthusiastic at the begininng of their spiritual journey after some time they abandoned the spiritual path.

The way towards freedom

If we want to live in peace love, harmony, freedom and real happiness within and create a world of peace, love and harmony without we have to eliminate the ego root and branches and realize our true nature. There is no other way. All other ways for personal and collective peace and happiness have failed repeatedly.

The only way to succed is the trasformation of our consciousness and the realization that everything is the one nondual consciousness and ‘We are that’; that all we are one substance, one life, one consciousness.

So long as we do not realize this and consider ourselves as a body mind entity (which is of course an illusion created by the ego) we will continue living a very limited and contidioned life. As a ‘body-me’ entity we try mainly to fulfil our instictive needs and the pleasures which are based on these insticts. Passionate sex, gluttony, sense stimulation, ambitions for name and fame which are the foundation of this modern way of living give us fleeting illusory satisfaction and moments of happiness together with enormous suffering, disharmony, contradictions and disorder.

If we really want to be free from this virus of ego we can do it. By diligence efforts, steady determination, preseverance, patience, discrimination and dispassion
we can dissolve the ego and be free, peaceful and blissful for ever.

This is our destiny and the eternal abode of immortality.
        


APPENDIX

EGO'S DEFENSE MECHANISMS
                
The egoic self does not want to give up its sovereignty on us because he lives and feeds itself using our body, mind and energy.

The ego uses various tricks and mechanisms in order to prevent the conscious mind (intellect) realize that the ego is something alien and parasitic in our psych. Ego tries its best to be hidden from the conscious mind because if the mind realizes its illusory nature, the ego will lose its power and dominion over it and could no longer use our mind and energy for its own desires and satisfactions.

Some of the ego’s mechanisms are known to the public by Dr. Freud as defense mechanisms.

All the ego’s mechanisms have the following purposes: 

1. Ego uses body, mind, senses, vital energy, sexual energy in order to experience again and again sensual pleasures, to feel superior, special and secure.

2. Ego due to various defense mechanisms do not allow us be conscious of it because ego wants to continue live in our psych. Ego wants to live in eternity having more, different and better pleasures and of course to feel superior, special and secure. 


3. Ego creates various defense mechanisms in order to maintain an illusory and superficial balance in the psych aiming to continue live in our psych and have pleasures, to feel superior, special and secure.

4. Ego creates various defense mechanisms to avoid the suffering created by inner conflicts (due to contradictory egoic tendencies) and the painful or unpleasant feelings from things or situations that ego considers being so.


Ego is like a virus who has been crystallized in our psych thousand of years ago uses our body, mind and intellect like a puppet for its own superficial desires and pleasures.
    Here I will mention some of the main mechanisms of ego:

    The ego makes us feel and believe that we are the ego itself.

    The ego keeps us in a state of non acceptance and resistance to what happens in the moment.

    The ego uses the thinking mind and modifies, removes or adds and misinterprets what is happening or what we feel. Thus makes us not to be aware of the real cause of our suffering and thus we are not capable to find the right solution. While in reality our ego is almost always the real cause of our problems and suffering the ego doesn’t allow us to be aware of it. 

    The ego projects itself to other persons, objects and situations; projects on them its illusions and fantasies and identifies with them. Thus we do not see things and persons as they are but as the ego wants to see them. Thus we create wrong relations with them which finally create pain and suffering.

    The ego makes us feel fear and guilt creating a very strong identification with our body and egoic mind; thus ego keeps our consciousness and concious mind more trapped in it.

    The ego projects to other people its mental or emotional state. Thus we create wrong relations with them which finally create pain and suffering.

    The ego makes us criticize or blame to others in order to feel superior. Thus the ego experiences an illusory pleasure and strengthen itself.

    The ego makes us complain to others or compare ourselves with others.

    The ego makes us believe that we cannot do anything to eliminate it. By doing nothing we remain in his dominion.

    The ego makes us feel unsatisfied, anxious, inadequate or incomplete; this way ego make us feel a kind of suffering. In order to get rid of this the ego drive us towards sensual, external success, competition etc.. But by doing this we feed only the ego which becomes stronger.

    The ego makes us do not admit that we have a negative attribute or defect

    The ego makes us postpone what we have to do now.

    The ego makes us not want to be aware of the defect or be afraid to be aware of the defect. 

    The ego makes us blame or justify our self. Thus the ego becomes stronger

    The ego makes us consider responsible the others or life for what we are experiencing.

    The ego makes us say that others do the same thing we do or they have the same defect.

    The ego makes us feel despair.

    The ego makes us think that we are weak and incapable to eliminate the ego 

    The ego makes us believe that it is not for us the spiritual practices

    The ego makes us believe that what we say or do is something good, viz. that what we do or say is for our own good or for the good of others, while in reality it is not. 

         Read more about ego:

    Peace love harmony

    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    How the ego deludes us by Nityananda Atman





    How the ego deludes us

    by Nityananda Atman


    Ego makes us live always in separation from others, life and God.

    Ego makes us live always in a state of discontentment, uneasiness, incompleteness, neediness, boredom, lacking of something, seeking some kind of pleasure, in a state of anger, bad temperament or irritation (which are subtle anger), fear, anxiety (which is subtle fear), and various degrees of sadness or depression.

    Ego every moment make us to want or don't want something, like or dislike something, to be pleasant or unpleasant with something. Mentally and emotionally we are almost always agitated and restless. We are up and down like the waves of the sea and almost never in equilibrium, balance, peace, harmony, joyfulness and contentment.
     
    Ego creates first an unpleasant mental and emotional state in us (discontentment, uneasiness, incompleteness, neediness, boredom, a sense of lacking),and then impels us to find some pleasure in order to overcome that unpleasant state. Ego does this because above of all it loves to experience again and again the same pleasures in a different, better and more intense way, especially food, sex, drink and entertainment.



    The ego can more easily manipulate and drive us towards the pleasurable objects if initially creates in us an unpleasant state. Nobody likes to remain for a long time in an unpleasant mood or emotion. What is the easiest way to overcome this unbearable painful state? Of course it is to find something that can give us some kind of pleasure. With some pleasure we can, at least for a while, to overcome the painful or unpleasant situation. 


     The ego makes us also believe that the seeking of the pleasurable experience is our conscious choice. By playing this psychological game the ego hypnotizes and control us and very easily direct us towards pleasurable experiences.

     
    Ego drives always our awareness to the external world of forms so as to make us forget our Divine nature within, which is eternally free, content, peaceful and blissful. If we are conscious of the bliss which is always present within us and free from all kinds of suffering why to seek fleeting illusory pleasures which are mixed with innumerable ways of suffering?

    Ego does not want us neither to be conscious of the psychological conditioning nor to be aware of our Divine blissful nature, because the time we will be become aware of them the ego will lose its sovereignty upon us.



    More about ego read:
    What really ego is
    Enquiry into the nature of ego
    Vital, emotions and compulsive thinking
    FREEDOM from DESIRE the origin of ego
    The pairs of opposites
    Conscious freedom from Pleasure & Pain



    Peace love harmony