When the ego speaks...

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soapbox
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When the ego speaks...

Post by soapbox » Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:27 am

Something that kinda confuses me: when you see or experience something that makes you angry, why does it seem more like THAT's making you angry instead of the ego? Where does the ego fall into place here?

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Re: When the ego speaks...

Post by kiki » Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:47 am

when you see or experience something that makes you angry, why does it seem more like THAT's making you angry instead of the ego? Where does the ego fall into place here?
That anger IS the ego, and that ego is assumed to be real, to be separate from what is labeled as "other than me". It is just one way of ego making its presence felt, and it arises due to the unique conditioning of a particular mind/body mechanism.

But when that assumption of "me" is challenged through honest investigation it will not be found. All that will be found is a unique conditioning within a particular mind/body mechanism that expresses its conditioning as "anger". Aside from the conditioning there is no ego as a real and separate entity - in other words, it's only an appearance within the mind arising out of awareness. That's why it is often said to ask, "Who gets angry?" when anger arises - this acts as a reminder to see the conditioning for what it is and return to conscious awareness of one's true nature, to turn awareness back onto itself. That which sees (one's true nature) judges nothing, labels nothing, compares nothing, and reacts to nothing. In other words, without the conditioning arising there will be no anger.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: When the ego speaks...

Post by domokato » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:49 pm

Yes. This is your ego's reaction to some event. "You", the awareness, cannot get angry. Next time, observe the triggering event and do not judge it. Allow it to be. Just watch it happen. If it is another person making you angry, realize that it is just their ego, not them, and that your anger is your ego's reaction to his/her ego. And if you find that you are still/present yet you still feel the need to change something about the situation, that is okay since it has not arisen out of anger/emotion/ego :)
~housecat

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Re: When the ego speaks...

Post by soapbox » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:11 am

It feels like me and the ego are the same person. I don't know why I can't see which one is me and which one is the mind. The best thing that I can do is to tell myself that it's just ego's reaction, but I can never really set that logic into motion. There is a deep fear inside of me that I have trouble with, and I don't know how to not take it seriously.

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Re: When the ego speaks...

Post by Sighclone » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:15 am

I sound like a broken record these days, but my understanding of the word "ego" was expanded considerably by John Welwood's fine book "Toward a Psychology of Awakening." He agrees with kiki that the ego is not really you, although in our youth (like before about age 30, according to Eckhart) it serves as an "interim caretaker" - a "fabricated control structure". Also, he asks: "if the ego is not ultimately real, how is it that I continue to feel that I am the same "me?" His answer is from Buddhist thought, Willilam James and Ramana Maharshi and includes that our egoic sense of self is formed early in life, mainly thanks to our parents. It is a "self-representational structure" of images and conditioned, habitual behaviors. We will often "build our character" based on images we see in others, and our ego gains what Eckhart calls structure and content. But it is a false self. And we can begin to recognize the charade as we step apart from our conditioned behavior and observe it. We can ask "who am I" and one answer is "I am the guy who thinks real hard about stuff and does pretty well in algebra and French." Well...that is what you do. But when you just "Be", who are you?

Read the book - you will enjoy it, and have a broader, clearer definition of ego.

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: When the ego speaks...

Post by Webwanderer » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:22 am

soapbox wrote:It feels like me and the ego are the same person. I don't know why I can't see which one is me and which one is the mind. The best thing that I can do is to tell myself that it's just ego's reaction, but I can never really set that logic into motion. There is a deep fear inside of me that I have trouble with, and I don't know how to not take it seriously.
"Me" and the "ego" are the same person. They represent a thought identity that believes itself living separately in a world of form and "others". These are creations built upon a body of thought (memories, beliefs, concepts, hopes, attachments etc.) and emotions that are accepted as proof of personal being. Essential Being however, is undefinable in words or thought. It is known in silent presence when all thought and belief is suspended and awareness is sharp and clear. It is the conscious field in which all form (including thought and identity) is percieved. You are the present moment.

WW

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Re: When the ego speaks...

Post by domokato » Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:46 am

soapbox wrote:I don't know why I can't see which one is me and which one is the mind.
The ego and the mind are closely related. The mind creates the ego and the ego exists in the mind. The "real you" is neither one of these. The real you is, as WW said, the present moment, presence, awareness, or stillness (all words for the same thing). Realize that the real you cannot get angry because anger exists in your body and mind. Observe the anger without judging it. Feel your "anger-body". Observe your mind's reaction to it. In doing so you realize that you, the observer, is not angry, and that the anger is not you. It feels like taking a step back from the anger. Anger usually disappears when you do this, too :)
~housecat

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Re: When the ego speaks...

Post by the key master » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:33 am

Something that kinda confuses me: when you see or experience something that makes you angry, why does it seem more like THAT's making you angry instead of the ego? Where does the ego fall into place here?
I do like Kiki's response.

Who is it that even asks these questions? Ultimately all is Self, even the "THAT" which provokes anger. Perception of the material world by an individual ignorant of Self, ignorant of true nature, creates the split between "me" and "other". This duality causes the sense of separation at the heart of all fear. Only by knowing the Self, which in essence correlates to Being Self, will the illusion of duality evaporate. The "I am the body" idea, formulated in mind, forms the backbone of the illusion of separation. Abandon it. To the extent the individual allows conditioned mind, through experience of past pain and pleasure, to dictate present action, the illusion continues. To silence the mind, to remove the ignorance of Self, awareness of Self must be maintained or at least enquired into with earnest vigilance in the timeless Now.

If the pleasures of this illusory world, perceived by the individual ignorant of Self, warrant propagation of illusion, they ultimately determine the vitality of illusion. Do not allow pleasurable experiences to perpetuate this illusion of the "little me". To achieve liberation one must remain aware of Self through all experience, regardless of how mind may label. Eventually mental labelling subsides, and a felt oneness with Being emanates with increasing regularity. To truly step outside samsara, outside the pain pleasure cycle, detachment from both pain and pleasure are necessary. To the extent the latter is lacking, enquiry into Self can only go so far before conditioning reemerges. Realize all causes of a restless mind. Then go beyond.

Best,
Jason

(modest typo and syntax edits by moderator - also added a paragraph break - content, however is intact and excellent)

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Re: When the ego speaks...

Post by soapbox » Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:30 am

domokato wrote:
soapbox wrote:I don't know why I can't see which one is me and which one is the mind.
The ego and the mind are closely related. The mind creates the ego and the ego exists in the mind. The "real you" is neither one of these. The real you is, as WW said, the present moment, presence, awareness, or stillness (all words for the same thing). Realize that the real you cannot get angry because anger exists in your body and mind. Observe the anger without judging it. Feel your "anger-body". Observe your mind's reaction to it. In doing so you realize that you, the observer, is not angry, and that the anger is not you. It feels like taking a step back from the anger. Anger usually disappears when you do this, too :)
Guys, thanks for all the comments. I really appreciate it.

It's extremely hard for me to remember all this information and try to comprehend it into something that works. It's confusing to me, really. The painbody does something along the lines of feeding off of your negative emotions, but then it will dig deeper past my understanding of it and it will feed there, and it often feeds on the stress of me trying to understand it. Am I supposed to perceive it as another being inside of me or what?

And the ego is a bunch of images made up through the mind. It's like we're all born insane, which makes almost no sense because what kind of creature is born insane? The image of "me" in anger situations appears a stronger picture than my will to break free because I'm still afraid of the familiar feelings I get when I don't protect "myself", and even then, I still don't when I wanna. I don't know if I can explain my negative emotions with words; they seem almost too hard to explain. I feel like this is holding me back because I don't know how to explain what I'm feeling all that well and it's becoming my identity, to not be able to understand what this negative energy field is. It's the veil over my eyes, the belief that I cannot let these things happen to me, but funnily enough, when I put my negative feelings into words, it's like the words make it seem less meaningful than what it actually is. It makes it seem like an ordinary problem that can be dealt with ease.

When I think about how much pain I feel, I get this overwhelming feeling of being unable to leave behind my false self. Of course, that's ego talking, but then I begin to believe it because of how hard this process is becoming. I read The Power of Now in June and have been recently reading A New Earth(which seems to be more helpful) and here I am, still wondering why I can't understand. I may have some kind of a learning disability, but I don't know.

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Re: When the ego speaks...

Post by Sighclone » Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:44 am

The painbody and ego are linked...the painbody is like the shadow of the ego. It can lay dormant for hours, days, months. But feelings are all around, and important. Joy is a feeling - really more of an experience, or a really deep feeling. But so is livid anger, resentment, deep grudges, etc.

Feelings can be accepted and should be...fully. Let these feelings in - acknowledge them. Witness them. It is in the experience of them that we see we are not them. As soon as you spot a feeling response to a stimulus, observe it. You can choose to express the feeling or let it be. The painbody is energized by arguments and fed by repeated thoughts. But you choose those events...or not.

Young people naturally have a strong ego. It is closesly linked to the body in many people. Eckhart was quite clear in the Oprah webinars that he was very egoic until he was 29. It is part of the self-preservation system of the bodies we inhabit.

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: When the ego speaks...

Post by the key master » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:47 am

It's extremely hard for me to remember all this information and try to comprehend it into something that works. It's confusing to me, really.
Yes, words are limiting. Don't get bogged down. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You are whole, you are the eternal Self, you alone are the immutable Reality. The current manifestation of Self you identify with is currently run by the egoic mode of consciousness. In essence, you cannot change, only remove the obstacles to Self-awareness and Be. There is nothing to understand. Indeed You cannot be understood. The limited human mind cannot grasp that which is altogether beyond it.
It's the veil over my eyes, the belief that I cannot let these things happen to me, but funnily enough, when I put my negative feelings into words, it's like the words make it seem less meaningful than what it actually is. It makes it seem like an ordinary problem that can be dealt with ease.
Emotions are funny like that. Emotional involvement stems from some form of attachment. In your case, as far as I can tell, your attachment is to your body. See that you are not the body. Don't just say "I am not the body". You have to mean it. See with conviction. Investigate. Question everything. Have no beliefs. Accept that your true nature cannot be understood. You are the divine mystery. Nothing that happens in this world can touch you. You are not in the world, the world is in you. Your addiction to thought keeps you trapped in illusion. Initially an intellectual understanding of ego aids in realization. Realize though an understanding of ego merely helps one see the false as false. That is the only true knowledge. Understanding the pain-body, egoic structure, and the mechanics of ego generally are useful to the extent they allow the individual to go beyond them. Your true nature already is beyond them. Grasp that Truth with your entire Being. Realize the implications of what this means.


-Jason

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Re: When the ego speaks...

Post by tod » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:59 am

Thank you for your fine words Jason.
Nothing that happens in this world can touch you. You are not in the world,
The way I first realised this intellectually was by realising that the now cannot possibly be in time as if there was any time now this could not be now.

So I realised that I must be in another dimension altogether.

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Re: When the ego speaks...

Post by domokato » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:07 pm

Soapbox,

Forget about the words and concepts. Forget about what you think you can or cannot do. Just BE. Period. It is this glimpse into presence that gives you the insight to regain the power over your ego and pain-body. No amount of conceptualization or self-punishment will help. Just be, and you will know.
~housecat

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Re: When the ego speaks...

Post by soapbox » Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:37 am

Sighclone wrote: Feelings can be accepted and should be...fully. Let these feelings in - acknowledge them. Witness them. It is in the experience of them that we see we are not them. As soon as you spot a feeling response to a stimulus, observe it. You can choose to express the feeling or let it be. The painbody is energized by arguments and fed by repeated thoughts. But you choose those events...or not.
Namaste, Andy
Well, I do horrible at this. I can't even pay attention to my anger before I just let it take me over. It's like I really don't know what to do. Yeah, I'm aware of it after all is said and done, but it's only to when I start reacting to angry events again. I can't BE because I barely know how, and I've been trying to figure out how for a long time now. Don't think, yeah, and I have experienced it somewhat because I have felt this "nothingness" which is supposed to be who I actually am. It still doesn't make me realize what my anger really is, and I'm supposed to feel...something, when I'm experiencing this nothingness. I DO need to stop thinking so much, but it's just so hard to keep with it and NOT start thinking again.

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Re: When the ego speaks...

Post by domokato » Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:55 pm

Your anger is your body's reaction to your mind. Your mind says something angry, and your body reacts with anger, which causes your mind to think more angry thoughts. It may be part of your pain body too if your anger is especially out of proportion to the triggering event. Anyway, I guess my advice would be to try to notice any thought patterns that may trigger your anger. Maybe they'd be something like "That guy just cut me off! What an asshole!" This is your ego feeling injured to which your body reacts with anger. For other people, it might be embarrassment or the feeling of being a victim. The key element here is the ego feeling injured, but if you realize the ego is not you then there's no reason to be angry about it :). On a more practical level, you may realize that your anger doesn't actually achieve anything useful and only drains you of energy, and so you may stop getting angry. If you realize that your ego is only reacting to something that doesn't actually have anything to do with you, the ego may stop feeling injured in the first place (i.e. stop taking things personally), or disappear altogether :)

I'm not sure what your situation is since I couldn't understand a couple of your sentences there...But I hope that helped.
~housecat

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