Why is the ego not who we are?

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Admiral Akmir
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Why is the ego not who we are?

Post by Admiral Akmir » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:22 pm

I've come back to this, and still don't really understand it. It seems like the argument is that because we cannot point to or directly identify to the thing we identify as ourselves, it cannot really be us. The thing that I think of as me, is a collection of thoughts and beliefs, but just because they can change, or have not always been there, does that really mean they aren't me? My physical body also changes, everything changes or ceases to exist eventually, are those things not real either? There are certain elements of the teachings that I can understand, but this has continued to be troublesome for me.

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Webwanderer
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Re: Why is the ego not who we are?

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:15 pm

Here's how I perceive it: There is experience and there is that which experiences. The 'stuff' of experience - the internal beliefs that create a context of 'me', plus the interaction with external stuff such as others and life conditions - is temporary and exists for the purpose of exploration of the experience of those conditions.

As conscious being, experience is forever. It is the basis for the evolution/expansion of consciousness. That consciousness which experiences is forever. The conditions however - including the beliefs in a context of self built of physical and mental structures is temporary. Ego, or a mental concept of self identification, is real as an experience but not as a true self. It is a real experience of an imagined self.

That said, what is imagining, and lost in the dream it has created, is still present. (That is why exercises to gain clear presence is so important. The True Self, the Greater Self, lives in presence - and alignment with presence is alignment with True Self.) True Self is simply living through an identification adopted since physical birth based on beliefs born of the environment in which it lives. Knowing the difference can make a big difference in the experience of this physical life.

WW

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Admiral Akmir
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Re: Why is the ego not who we are?

Post by Admiral Akmir » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:30 pm

Webwanderer wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:15 pm
Here's how I perceive it: There is experience and there is that which experiences. The 'stuff' of experience - the internal beliefs that create a context of 'me', plus the interaction with external stuff such as others and life conditions - is temporary and exists for the purpose of exploration of the experience of those conditions.

As conscious being, experience is forever. It is the basis for the evolution/expansion of consciousness. That consciousness which experiences is forever. The conditions however - including the beliefs in a context of self built of physical and mental structures is temporary. Ego, or a mental concept of self identification, is real as an experience but not as a true self. It is a real experience of an imagined self.

That said, what is imagining, and lost in the dream it has created, is still present. (That is why exercises to gain clear presence is so important. The True Self, the Greater Self, lives in presence - and alignment with presence is alignment with True Self.) True Self is simply living through an identification adopted since physical birth based on beliefs born of the environment in which it lives. Knowing the difference can make a big difference in the experience of this physical life.

WW
The more I think about it, the more convoluted it becomes. I wondered why it is so important for me to obtain some kind of "proof" that the ego isn't the real me. There is some part of me that clearly does not want that to be true. The doubt is so strong, that it continuously pulls me away from believing such a thing. But it goes further than that even. It's not that I don't want to believe that the ego is not who I am, but more specifically, I don't want to let go of the belief that I am all of the terrible things that I believe myself to be. When I ask myself why it is so important to accept these negative thoughts as truth, I am left with nothing, there does not seem to be an answer.

It gets stranger, because there is also a part of me that does want the teachings to be true. It wants all of the drama and stress to be over with. It realizes that the turbulent past that created all of these beliefs is long gone. It's ready to move on, but the other part is not. Just the thought of such a thing brings forth a sense of fear, and a sense of sadness, as if I'm trying to cut ties with an old friend.

Why are there two? And are there more? Is any one of them more real than the other, and does it even matter? There is the desire to change, there is the desire to suffer, and there is the desire to understand why. I wonder if there is a grand, unifying point at which all of these desires meet.

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Re: Why is the ego not who we are?

Post by Webwanderer » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:28 pm

Admiral Akmir wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:30 pm
Why are there two? And are there more? Is any one of them more real than the other, and does it even matter? There is the desire to change, there is the desire to suffer, and there is the desire to understand why. I wonder if there is a grand, unifying point at which all of these desires meet.
What do you think? What 'feels' right beyond the words? While logical inquiry is valuable, it can also twist us into knots. Clarity grows in the silence of thought more so than the abundance of it. Hold a wordless curiosity and feel your way to its depths. Do this frequently and insight will come and it will grow. Make no judgments about it.

Insight will come in its own time as the conditions within you grow in harmony with your greater nature. Allow your consciousness to expand into the curiosity. Insight may come then, or it may come unexpected in daily routine. Be patient. LoA will respond in kind to a genuine curiosity.

WW

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Re: Why is the ego not who we are?

Post by turiya » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:14 am

Webwanderer wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:28 pm
Hold a wordless curiosity and feel your way to its depths.
Beautiful pointer! :D
“We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather are we Reality itself illusorily conceived.” - Wei Wu Wei

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Re: Why is the ego not who we are?

Post by eputkonen » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:53 am

Admiral Akmir wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:22 pm
The thing that I think of as me, is a collection of thoughts and beliefs, but just because they can change, or have not always been there, does that really mean they aren't me?
When there are no thoughts or beliefs...who are you?
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
Blog at http://www.EngagedNonduality.com - Insights into Nondualism and Living Awake & Engaged

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Admiral Akmir
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Re: Why is the ego not who we are?

Post by Admiral Akmir » Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:05 am

eputkonen wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:53 am
Admiral Akmir wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:22 pm
The thing that I think of as me, is a collection of thoughts and beliefs, but just because they can change, or have not always been there, does that really mean they aren't me?
When there are no thoughts or beliefs...who are you?
I am 8)

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eputkonen
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Re: Why is the ego not who we are?

Post by eputkonen » Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:39 pm

Admiral Akmir wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:05 am
eputkonen wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:53 am
Admiral Akmir wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:22 pm
The thing that I think of as me, is a collection of thoughts and beliefs, but just because they can change, or have not always been there, does that really mean they aren't me?
When there are no thoughts or beliefs...who are you?
I am 8)
Deeper still...follow the I to its source. What is before even "I am"?
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
Blog at http://www.EngagedNonduality.com - Insights into Nondualism and Living Awake & Engaged

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