Why does the EGO exist?

This is the place to post whatever questions you have related to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The rest of us will do whatever we can to help you achieve a better understanding :)
18andlife
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by 18andlife » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:42 am

unbornawakened wrote:Who knows ?
Now THAT is what I'd call a good question!

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Donna
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by Donna » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:37 pm

18andlife wrote:
unbornawakened wrote:Who knows ?
Now THAT is what I'd call a good question!
There once was a man who said though,
It seems that I know that I know,
What I'd like to see,
Is the I that knows me,
When I know that I know that I know.

~ Alan Watts

I read Alan Watts a number of years ago but I was introduced to this limerick by a song from Capsula.
~*~*~*~* I love to live and live to love. *~*~*~*~

snowheight
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by snowheight » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:46 pm

nanashi wrote: For lack of a better example, take the hit MTV series, Jersey Shore. An array of ego-centric personalities/characters come together and engage in mindless (or should I say 'mindful'?)
Yeah, isn't that funny how this expression (mindful/mindless) can pivot around this fulcrum that way?
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

strali
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by strali » Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:46 am

I've wondered a lot about this too. I think you can see how it may have come about from an evolutionary perspective. It's easy to see how a stronger ego would have given you a better chance of survival back in the caveman days. The ego is all about being conscious of oneself, and thinking that you're separate from the rest of the world, that you are most important, that you have to stay alive. Trying to control the world and have it fit into your plan was probably a good thing for a caveman to do. Being able to manipulate others into thinking you were awesome or strong would definitely give you a better survival advantage than a caveman who didn't care as much about himself vs others, or having life go his way. Thinking that it was you against the world and developing a paranoia about it could have been the difference between you getting eating by a sabre tooth tiger or not one day. A caveman who was not so self-oriented may not be so quick to distrust that sound in the trees. So the paranoid caveman lives to pass on his ego genes to his cavechildren. I can see how it would be good for us when it came to pure survival but in today's world it just makes us miserable.

I don't know but I feel like the ego must have helped us to survive at one point or else it wouldn't have developed, I'm a pretty firm believer in evolution tho so who knows.

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Natalie
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by Natalie » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:19 pm

Hey Cosmic thanks for starting this great thread.

Here is a very funny video describing some of the things the ego is great at.

Great use of humor to teach a la Dr. Seuss.

Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbWUEzCh ... r_embedded#!

Natalie

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Donna
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by Donna » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:34 pm

Natalie wrote:Hey Cosmic thanks for starting this great thread.

Here is a very funny video describing some of the things the ego is great at.

Great use of humor to teach a la Dr. Seuss.

Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbWUEzCh ... r_embedded#!

Natalie
Awesome, Natalie! Thanks for finding and sharing this!
~*~*~*~* I love to live and live to love. *~*~*~*~

Quinn
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by Quinn » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:06 am

That was fun, Natalie - thanks. I've been clicking on some of his other stuff on YouTube. I love his lighthearted way. :)

If anyone wants to watch, his name is Scott Kalechstein Grace.

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Natalie
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by Natalie » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:11 am

Glad you liked the video ladies. I didn’t know who he was Quinn. Thanks for the info.

Amazing how we learn from virtually everybody. I have facebook ‘friends’ who share the most incredible stuff with me. Check out the yoga class I’ve been invited to. What do you think? :oops:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnhppfcM ... r_embedded

Natalie

snowheight
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by snowheight » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:47 pm

Thanks Nat'! ... always love a good yoga video. Physical activity is important for overall health you know :!:
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

Poet
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by Poet » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:12 pm

Thought is necessary
to describe itself
and the emotions it feeds on;
and thus, it is necessary
for its own transcendence

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SandyJoy
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by SandyJoy » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:27 pm

.."You know that very well, only you don't have to remember the past in the same way you don't have to think about how you work your thyroid gland, or whatever else it is in your organism. You don't have to know how to shine the sun. You just do it, like you breath. Doesn't it really astonish you that you are this fantastically complex thing, and that you're doing all this and you never had any education in how to do it? Never learned, but you're this miracle? The point of it is, from a strictly physical, scientific standpoint, this organism is a continuous energy with everything else that's going on. And if I am my foot, I am the sun. Only we've got this little partial view. We've got the idea that 'No, I'm something IN this body.' The ego. That's a joke. The ego is nothing other than the focus of conscious attention. It's like the radar on a ship. The radar on a ship is a troubleshooter. Is there anything in the way? And conscious attention is a designed function of the brain to scan the environment, like a radar does, and note for any troublemaking changes. But if you identify yourself with your troubleshooter, then naturally you define yourself as being in a perpetual state of anxiety. And the moment we cease to identify with the ego and become aware that we are the whole organism, we realize first thing how harmonious it all is." ~Alan Watts...
You are not finished, until you play in that meadow and live there. You can, you know. But only you can take yourself there.

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Sighclone
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by Sighclone » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:13 pm

Thanks for that from AW, Sandy - he was a true Western pioneer.

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

Maire
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by Maire » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:34 pm

The ego is a false self. It doesn't exist at all except as a concept. Humans have evolved and become intelligent. The ego is the intelligent human mind seeing itself as a separate "self". When you say "I" who is talking? The ego is you assuming that the thoughts going through your mind are an individual "I".

We are taught from birth to cultivate this "I". It is a sign of normal development and intelligence when the child knows who he/she is, knows their name, their age, their family and their story. It is considered good mental health to have a developed sense of self - who you are, where you come from, likes, dislikes, etc. Then there is good self-esteem and confidence and trying to develop yourself, your talents, your hobbies, your goals. Then finding the career path that suits you. All these things are adding to the egoic "self". Negative experiences too create your sense of self. So its the evolution of humans to a state of intelligence that brought us to the state of ego. The universe evolves as it does because that's how it is. And we are one with it.

But here, we are learning about spiritual awakening - the next step for intelligence is to just look back and notice we have created a "false self". So Eckhart asked - is there two of me - the "I" and the "self" I cannot live with? - realized one must be false and this was the turning point for him. It has not stopped Eckhart from thinking, having ideas, being intelligent, writing books, making a living and helping people through his teachings.

Reading about it and intellectually understanding it still is not enlightenment - you have to see that one "self" is false, not only that but the one seeing has to be the real one. That's why the focus is on absorbing it through Being and not just understanding because of course it is the mind that is understanding - the ego self.

The intelligent mind is a good thing. We live our lives through the ego in our current state of evolution, it is not possible to get rid of it as such. I think we are just hoping to evolve to a higher state - where we realize there is a higher self. We label the false self the ego, we need some way to refer to it. I don't think it is something living inside you as such.
I have lived with several zen masters - all of them cats. - Eckhart Tolle

Starseed
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by Starseed » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:01 pm

It may just be a new game that consciousness is playing with itself. Got tired with animal consciousness ? Create a human ego, and see where it leads. If it is not working, try to fix it. If it can't be fixed, consciousness might get stuck, or maybe not. In reality, it is just a little story, we just don't know.

peas
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Re: Why does the EGO exist?

Post by peas » Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:39 am

Here's my summary notes from a Q & A Eckhart did on why the ego exists:

---

Q/ Did the universe make a mistake with the ego?
  • The ego is a necessary part of the stages in human evolution. On the surface, it looks like a mistake, but from a higher perspective, it is no more than a part of the evolutionary process of the species.
  • We are now approaching the next stage in human evolution. This is when we notice the insanity of the ego and move beyond it. It's a very natural and necessary step for humanity.
  • Before we reached this part of evolution, nobody could see that the ego was insane. Except for a few very rare people, such as The Buddha and Jesus. The Buddha said it's an illusion. Jesus said, "Deny tyself", which means recognise the unreality of the ego. But not many people understood what they said. They were pointing to it before there was an awakening on the planet.
  • Once you see what it is, and what havoc it has created, you can move beyond it. You know who you really are. The ego ceases to exist for you.
  • In moving beyond the ego, you recognise that it was necessary. You had to mistaken the ego as your identity. You had to make so many mistakes. You had to go through ignorance. If you didn't, there would be no awakening, no enlightenment.
  • There was once, most likely, no ego in humanity. This is often referred to in mythology, across many cultures, as the 'Golden Age'. Even though the cultures did not have any contact with one another, they shared the same underlying myth. Life was easy. Humans lived in harmony with one another and with nature. The myth points to humans being connected to oneness. The memory of that survived as the myth of the golden age.
  • Then there was 'The Fall'. Something happened, ugliness came in. It was the beginning of the human ability to think, which at first was a very big surprise. Some anthropologists are telling us that when humans started experiencing thought, they mistook it for a god speaking to them. And they often acted on it. When a thought came, they did it.
  • The 'voice in the head' also made many things possible - sharing knowledge, working out problems and material innovation. These things would not have been possible without the evolution of thought.
  • But over time, humans started to identify strongly with thought, including many negative thoughts and collective thoughts. Over millenium, the voice started to get all pervasive. That was the birth, and development of, the ego.
  • Whereas before this stage, for a long time probably, even after the arising of thinking, humans still had a sense of rootedness in being.
  • The next stage, which we are approaching now, is a return to the pre-egoic state, with the added dimension of consciously knowing your connectedness with being. Before, in the golden age, they were connected with being without even knowing it. Now, when we reconnect with being, we experience a deeper connection.
  • This deeper connection is expressed in the parable in the Bible of the prodigal son, who leaves his fathers home with his inheritence, only to squander it. Then, a message is sent to him, from his father, saying, "Return home to me". The son begins to remember who he is. When he returns to the father's home he is loved more deeply than before. First you lose it, not completely but substantially, and then you return to it, and there is a new depth of knowing. That is where we are destined to go. Once we realise that depth of knowing, we end up being grateful to the ego, because it was a vital part of the journey.

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