By Jai Maha Dev

What is Ego?

Ego is the idea of separate existence, separate selfhood, i.e., the idea that one exists independent of the Absolute (whereas, in fact, our existence is totally dependent on the Absolute). This idea (of ego) is born (and dies) in the mind.

What is Personality?

Personality is the flavoring of ego; it is the expression of ego. The flavoring is according to what one has in mind. That is, the manifestation is based on the condition of the mind.

The mind is conditioned by three three qualities: Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. Or, rather, the state of mind is a combination of the conditions of Sattva (Protonic), Rajas (Electronic), and Tamas (Neutronic).

Where Do Thoughts Come From?

Most of the thoughts that arise in the mind are nothing but afterthoughts.That is, they appear as a result of our actions (i.e., after we have done something). For example, if you go to the cinema and watch a movie, the following day, or during sleep, thoughts about the movie might arise in the mind. Most of the thoughts that we entertain are simply afterthoughts that seem to arise in the mind of their own, without any effort on our part. If one does not keep these thoughts in check it is very easy to get lost in the maze of thoughts. What is lost? Consciousness is lost; that is, we become unconscious of the True Self because we get caught up in our images and mental impressions.

Mind Is Like a Computer

In many ways, the functioning of the mind can be compared to a computer. For example, like a computer, the mind is an inert thing: it has no consciousness, and it has no power of its own. However, once it is powered-on and programmed, it will continue to output data so long as instructions and data are fed into it. If we give the mind the wrong instructions or we feed it the wrong data, then the mind is going to produce useless thoughts. In computer parlance it is called "garbage in, garbage out."

We need to put a stop to our mental garbage. We need to put positive affirmations into our mind and instruct our mind to think good thoughts and to do good deeds. Otherwise, we will get caught up in our ego.

Ego Is Your Self-Image

Ego is an image of yourself. That is, ego is your self-image. But in truth the Self is imageless, that is why ego has no validity. We can say that ego has no substance and is essenceless. It is like a phantom and has no real existence. That is, the ego is not some conscious entity that we must fight off. It is simply something we have imagined in our mind.

Who creates this image in the mind? Some people say that this self-image (ego) is non-created and does not even exist. The neo-vedantists refer to this self-image as CHIDABHASA and say that it is the intervening medium that obstructs the experience of oneself as GOD. They say, "I am God, but due to chidabhasa I have forgotten my real nature." They continue . . . "But this whole thing is just a dream anyway. So I haven't really forgotten my real nature and there are really no obstructions; it is just the Lord's Maya (illusory power) that makes it appear so." These persons would have us believe that they themselves are God, and that everyone and everything else including rapists, and child molesters, and murderers and mosquitoes, and statues and toilet seats are also God. They say that nothing but GOD exists, that everything is God, that the world is an illusion. By stating that this world and all our experiences are just a dream and are unreal, they are also able to brush away all the evils and sufferings of the world, and can even excuse themselves of all wrong doing, since, according to them, everything is being done by God. (But this is not true.)

Be Humble, and Take Responsibility

To admit our own existence and take responsibility for our actions requires great humility and courage. Our ego is our own creation, it is not God's. When ego is dissolved, it is our ego that is dissolved, not God's. When our ignorance is removed, it is our ignorance that is removed, not God's. When we are enlightened, it is we that are enlightened, not God. God has no ego and is never subjected to ignorance. God is ever-awake and never ignorant or unenlightened even in the form of a dream. God is eternally and infinitely pure and wise. His nature is All-Good and all-powerful. (Foolish persons argue that since He is all-powerful it means He can do anything. Does that mean He could even make Himself ignorant, or wicked, or evil, or maybe He could even create another God just like Himself? Of course not! We need to understand His Nature: that He is All-Good, All Knowing, Omnipotent and Omnipresent.) If we accept that God is One Without a Second, then we should stop trying to set ourselves up as His equals.

Our Real Self is Always Pure, Always Free

It is true that our Real Self is ever-pure and ever-free. Ego, ignorance and pain exist in the mind and body only. But who or what is that which embodied?—it is we, the countless souls, who are invested with minds and bodies through which we think thoughts and perform actions (it is not GOD doing these things). So long as we are caught up in our mind and body we feel as though we are confined—i.e., not free. We want to experience our essence—which is GOD—and to do this we need to free our mind from ego and ignorance. When we stop the preoccupation with our mind and body, our soul stands clear of all images. Then, in that pristine state, we, the soul (ATMAN), experience our (ATMAN's) own essence—which is the all pervading Supreme Self (PARAM-ATMAN).

The Supreme Self is the Absolute

PARAMATMAN, the Supreme Self, is never subjected to the round of births, lives, and deaths. The Supreme Self (the Absolute) never reaps the fruit of any action. The Supreme Self is the very Heart and Soul of the embodied soul. The embodied souls (you, I, and everyone else that has lived, is living, or will ever live in the future) can only experience the Supreme State when we get off our ego trip and stop superimposing ourselves on GOD. (Of course, all superimposition is in the mind only, because GOD—the ABSOLUTE—can never be superimposed upon.) In fact, we superimpose mental images upon ourselves only, and this obstructs our vision; hence, we do not see ourselves as we are, but instead we see ourselves as we imagine ourselves to be. We even imagine GOD to be something He is not. All the images of God in the churches and temples are not God's images at all—because God has no image. They are only our images. All images are man-made. All religions are man-made. All sufferings are man-made.

Nature of Existance

God created this universe, He sustains it, and will eventually dissolve it. No soul (and no prophet, guru, or holy man) can claim to perform these functions. Even when the individual soul is liberated from it's own individuality (as neo-vedantists might say), even then, it cannot be said that the whole universe is dissolved—it is dissolved for that individual soul only. Eventually, the entire Creation is dissolved—but this is God's function only—no soul is capable of this, and neither can any soul stop it. This cycle has been going on forever and will continue to go on forever. We, the innumerable souls, should perform actions in this creation for the sake of liberation. Whether we are freeing ourselves from the mother's womb, or we are struggling to be free from dependence on our body, or we are making efforts to free ourselves from pain, or we are trying to free ourselves from our own ego and selfishness—everyone is performing actions and reaping the results of those actions. But the Supreme Self—the All Pervading, Absolute Consciousness—remains present with us at all times and in all places, and is completely unaffected by what we are doing, or have done, or will do. Only by coming in contact with the Supreme Truth can we become free from all pain and suffering.

We MUST Let Go All Our Images

"So long as we have a body, some amount of pain is inevitable—but suffering is always optional." People have mental pains because they have allowed themselves the option of relative happiness. People do not grasp the Truth because they are clinging to their images of truth. We can only grasp the Truth when we let go of all our images. Similarly, we can free ourselves from all suffering only when we renounce all duality.

  • God / image of God —this is called duality.
  • Truth / my idea of truth —this is called duality.

The Truth is not an idea. The truth has no relationship to any idea, to any religion, to any person. The Truth is Absolute, it is not relative. Similarly God is not an image, has no image, and cannot be imagined. God has no relation to any image, to any religion, to any person. God is the Absolute. Many people have ideas and images about God, but all these ideas and images are man-made and have no relationship to God—they only have relation to man. Man fills his mind with ideas and images, with opinions and mental formations, but all of these things are only his own shadow. Our essence, our real substance is none other than the Absolute, but we never realize That until we go beyond all the duality—until we let go of all our ideas and images.

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