Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take several days. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

The ego and illusion

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran

I was just reading a bit about egoic behaviour and the mental complex that we call the ego. After some introspection it seemed to me that what we call the ego is mostly defensive reactions when we feel that some part of what we think are things important to us are threatened. This can be things like our reputation, or our guru, or some other thought of which we have taken ownership.

The whole process of my-making, of extending our sense of self towards other thoughts, feelings, or physical things, is pernicious. It may have served us well when we were monkeys in the forest and our only possession was a knobbly piece of wood which was our club, but these days it is terribly outmoded.


  • personperson Don't believe everything you think The liminal space Veteran

    I think I half agree with your take. I'm largely in agreement on the my-making, but I think you lose me on the labels of pernicious and outmoded. Those descriptors seem to put the problem at the external, social level rather than the psychological/spiritual.

    Maybe I'm partial at the moment watching Brave New World, but the idea of individuality as an immoral, thing of the past leaves me cold. In the show privacy, personal feelings, interests, etc. are seen as selfish. What matters is the social body, how everyone fits into the collective. Its true, no one suffers or is hungry, everyone knows their place and is happy there. But much is lost.

    Plus, in this world we still need to accomplish things. Food needs to be grown, buildings maintained, etc. I'm glad on a societal level people still think things are important to them.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    Interesting! So we see, life mimics art and art mimics life.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    At this moment......perhaps the....
    Ego is a word to describe all that one clings to, rejects or ignores of the phenomena that we come in contact with. Not being subject to attachments does not limit our ability to respond appropriately in our contact with phenomena, rather it frees us from reacting to such contacts in a predetermined or habituated manner.

    The ego is a dream lived within to cope with the inanities of the human condition.
    Egolessness is simply an awakening and a freedom found beyond this dream.

    I think it is all the Buddha entreated each of us to do.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited June 2023

    The ego/self arises whenever there is a grasping of objects as self or belonging to self. There is no security or refuge to be found in this world of form.
    Suffering doesn't arise if you don't cling unnecessarily to the objects of awareness.

    The core of the Buddha's teaching is suffering and the cessation of suffering. Using Phra Ajaan Dune Atulo's formulation of the four noble truths, suffering results when the mind goes outside the mind. That is, when we identify with the movement of mind, thought, moods. The antidote to this suffering is to know each phenomena as it arises in the present and to be ready to release our attachment to it. The path of understanding leads to knowing and letting go.

    Experience is one thing. Commentary is another. Knowing of both is yet another.

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    Would ego be the clinging, self important aspect of our individuality and not necessarily the whole of the individual being?

    I think most of us know of the Two Truths even if identifying as Therevada. The Middle Way, it seems to me, would be knowing the illusion but using it as a tool for looking deeply together from varied perspectives.

    If there was a way we could make it so future generations instinctively know that we are not really separate from each other, we would thrive because we all have unique views and talents beneficial to the rest.

Sign In or Register to comment.