Saturday, May 6, 2017

Myths of modern nonduality (Neo-advaita) - Ego is a thought or an idea ~ Atman Nityananda

Ego is a thought or an idea

What is ego?

Ego is one of the four aspects of antahkarana (manas, buddhi, chitta, ahamkara-ego).

Ego (its lower rajasotamasic aspect) is what makes us identify with the body and thus we sense 'the body is me'.
The ego makes us sense 'I am the body' (more precise 'the body is me') and due to this strong sense we think and believe that we are the body, not the opposite (i.e. we don't feel or sense that we are the body because we think or believe so). That means that the ego is not a thought, not a belief or an idea but some kind of energy that makes us identify with the body and sense the body as our selves. Then, based on this sense or feeling 'the body is me' all various egoistic mental concepts are added.

Ego is the factor of identification, i,e. ego causes all kinds of identification. Ego identifies with everything. First makes us sense and believe that we are the ego itself and due to its identification with the body that we are the body called so and so, born some years ago. Based on this identification with the body we think: I am tall, fat, nice, American, woman, religious etc. and due to identification with the mind, I am, smart, dull, intelligent, stupid, quick learner, and die to identification with the emotional mind I am angry, depressed, anxious, afraid, etc.

Ego makes us sense that we as body-mind entities and as the ego itself, we are the perceiver, the observer, the doer, the feeler, the experiencer etc. In respect with external objects ego develops as ' Mineness'.

Due to the identification of ego with consciousness (and its identification with the body), the ego creates the false perception that consciousness belongs to the body. That's why ignorant materialists scientists consider that consciousness is a phenomenon created by the brain (I.e. from matter).

But what is this mysterious rajasotamasic lower ego essentially?
 It is a kind of energy (desire energy). 
The lower ego is like a tree with many  branches, of which its primary aspect is desire (mainly for pleasure, power, fame, name, comfort, possessions). The ego-desire tree develops  and assumes various  forms. The main ones are pride, greed, raga-dvesha (i.e., like- dislike, attraction- repulsion or aversion, love- hatred), lasciviousness, gluttony, jealousy, arrogance, fear, agony,  uneasiness, insecurity, vanity, anger, hatred, resentment, disappointment, impatience, depression.

The above are its main forms and all the rest aspects of ego are based on them (are their modifications).

These ego's aspects are primarily vital (psychic prana) and sexual energy formations. These energetic egoic formations are associated or identified ( phenomenon Velcro) with thoughts, imaginations, ideas and beliefs. 

Ego of course has its mental aspect but its more difficult aspect to eradicate is the vital-desire aspect.

In reality all the above egoic forms are only modifications of desire itself. Desire itself, transforms as pride, like, dislike, greed, anger, hatred, jealousy  impatience, resentment etc. As the water assumes the form of steam, ice, snow moisture, etc., similarly desire assumes all other egoistic forms. Negative emotions are only modifications of desire They aren't original feelings. Feelings (empathy, devotion, sympathy, happiness, joyfulness, kindness etc.) are not expressions or aspects of this lower rajasotamasivc ego but expressions of the soul and the sattvic mind.

For most seekers sexual desire and pride are the main obstacles that obscures them to reach liberation or Self- realization.

So, the death of the ego  presupposes the dissolution of this distorted vital energy crystallized in our subtle body which is the lower vital ego (of rajasotamasic nature) and which is the most difficult aspect of ego to dissolve. Once this is made then liberation or Self- realization is very easy. 
As Sankarachatrya said it in his famous text Vivekachudamani Verse 181: " Therefore the seeker after Liberation must carefully purify the mind. When this is purified, Liberation is as easy of access as a fruit on the palm of one's hand."
Quotes about the death of ego 

Sri Ramana Maharshi

"When the ego dies, its base, the supreme Self, shines in all Its fullness. No harm comes to You, Self, when the ego dies. Therefore don’t be afraid. 

"The death of the ego in the unlimited Silence – the non-dual Truth – and the shining forth of Self is the Kaivalya-Siddhi [i.e. the attainment of Oneness]. In that State of Jnana, pure Bliss will gloriously blaze forth as one’s own [true] Nature."

 '...intense effort is necessary until the I-thought disappears completely in the heart (Self) and all the vasanas and samskaras are fried and do not revive again.'

' Knowledge (of the Self or Atman -Jnana) can only remain unshaken after all vasana-s are rooted out.' '... if one has not rooted out the vasanas, he will not attain salvation.'

If the six illusory enemies (desire, anger, greed, delusion, intoxication and envy), beginning with desire, that mingle in your heart are totally destroyed, the extremely clear light of  jnana will shine.’  
‘An unruffled mind established in the heart is the fence that protects the field of liberation.’ 

‘Knowledge (jnana) can only remain unshaken after all vasanas are rooted out.’  
Sri Adi shankaracharya 
299. So long as one has any relation to this wicked ego, there should not be the least talk about Liberation, which is unique.
303. As long as there is a trace of poison left in the body, how can one hope for recovery? Similar is the effect of egoism on the Yogi's Liberation.
317... the destruction of desires is Liberation, and this is considered as Liberation-in-life.
~ (Vivekachudamani)

Read also
Is ego the ’I’ thought’ or the identification with thoughts? Atman Nityananda
Enquiry into the nature of ego - by Nityananda Atman