Jesus and the egoic mind

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Jesus and the egoic mind

Postby BillyPLed » Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:33 am

I am really loving ET's new book. I am currently sick -- some kind of inner ear problem -- so I am spending most of my time this weekend sitting around the house reading. This book is really affecting me in a deep level. I can feel it. Maybe it is just my sickness, but I do not think so. This book is powerful.

As I was reading, I had an insight into Jesus that I wanted to share here. I do not think there is an original thought, so this is probably not one either. As a matter of fact I got out my copy of Andrew Harvey's book Son of Man: The Mystical Path to Christ and found a paragraph that basically says the same thing as my "insight." I will share it here as well.

My insight:

Most of you are probably familiar with the story of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness. This occured after he was Baptised by John and had the experience of the Holy Spirit decending into him in the form of a white dove and hearing the voice that said, "You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests." He went out into the wildreness for 40 days and had a vision of the devil. The devil tempted him three times. First he asked him to turn stone into bread, then he asked him to throw himself from the Temple so that God could send his angels to save him, and finally he offered wealth, fame and power. Each time Jesus responded with a saying from his tradition: "It is written: A person is not to live only from bread." "It is written: Do not put to the test the Lord your God." "It is written: Bow down to the Lord your God, and serve only him."

This story came to my mind as I was reading the second and third chapters of ET's book. I realized that the devil in this story represents the personification of the egoic mind-set. It tempts us with wealth, power, prestige and "specialness." It is the false self. Jesus was able to say "no" to this false self. This is similar to the Buddha when he was tempted by Mara while sitting under the Bodhi tree. Their allegiance was to Truth when the egoic self was tempting them with falsehood.

Here is what Andrew Harvey has to say about this Temptation that he states all of us go through on our journey to Christ-consciousness:

"The ego and false self is still present in everyone at this stage. The false self is wily and manipulative and can appropriate even the most glorious experiences of divine beauty and divine being for itself. If it does it becomes not divine but demonic; it says 'yes' to miracle-mongering and using God-given powers not to serve God but to dominate the world. The Christ cannot be born fully in anyone who still wants anything for himself or herself and who does not want to give everything away to and for others. Any movement of any kind to appropriate the powers of the divine awakening for the false self will end in disaster."

Any thoughts?
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Postby heidi » Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:13 am

Thanks, Billy. Your insights are hitting home with me right now as I deal with lots of family drama and I speak my truth, suffer the consequences, and watch my ego rise up amidst the drama. And here I am; I see it, and I am letting it go. Your post is walking along beside me. So, thanks so much. Even my ego feels validated by it! :)
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Postby spatialbean » Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:19 am

Hi Billy,

I agree the book is very powerful. So clear!

Your insight was also very powerful and I think you are absolutely on the money in your interpretation.

Thanks so much for sharing your ideas.

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Postby lakeswimr » Sun Oct 23, 2005 4:55 am

Hi Billy,

I actually only knew of the tempting in the wilderness from that Temptation of Christ movie from years ago and I didn't understand most of the references at the time and didn't remember it now. I'm obviously not Christian. I have always felt turned off by the concept of "devil" and liked your take on it. I just can't relate to an external devil or hell but can to your post.

I am also reading the book and liked the 2nd and 3rd chapters and could recognize having been there, done that. :) At least now I don't have as much ego as I used to have and I think it seems usually pretty obvious when it does appear.

I have *many* times wanted to feel special. I had a big super ego (Gangaji's definition of super ego) and that was the part of me which most recently was into being special via spiritual growth. I remember realizing this a few years ago and resisting giving it up. 'Can't I be spiritual and special?' lol I think my superego is still there a bit. I smile at it now, though rather than buy into what it says.

Thank you for your post!
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Postby arnie » Mon Oct 31, 2005 12:29 am

Yes our need to be special. Our need to be right. Our need to make a point. All these things feed the ego. I love the new Book. I am almost done with it. I like where Eckhart talks about our need to always repair the ego when it is diminshed, such as someone insulting us or someone not treating us the way we feel we need to be treated. If we can allow the ego to stay diminished ,then an oppening occurs where the perfume of who we truly are can enter.
I was talking with a good friend today and we discussed how the concept of being a spiritual seeker or having any ideas about what it means to be spirtual is a hindrance of us just opening to this moment. I used the anaolgy of a little kid riding in his mom's shopping cart and feverishly turning the little toy steering wheel as it goes through the supermarket. He really thinks the steering wheel is doing something just like we believe our ego is doing something. :-) Is not the devil our need to be important? Our need to be captain of the ship of life. Our need to know more than the next person? I don't know. Who am I. I don't know. Who am I?
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Postby BillyPLed » Mon Oct 31, 2005 2:35 am

lakeswimr wrote:I am also reading the book and liked the 2nd and 3rd chapters and could recognize having been there, done that. :) At least now I don't have as much ego as I used to have and I think it seems usually pretty obvious when it does appear.

I have *many* times wanted to feel special. I had a big super ego (Gangaji's definition of super ego) and that was the part of me which most recently was into being special via spiritual growth. I remember realizing this a few years ago and resisting giving it up. 'Can't I be spiritual and special?' lol I think my superego is still there a bit. I smile at it now, though rather than buy into what it says.


I am finding the ego creeping in at times when I read the chapters of A New Earth that deal with the ego. I find that I think things like, "Oh, that person at work does that all the time. I don't do that. They have so much ego. I don't." These thoughts of how different I am from them are thoughts from the ego that wants me to be different, better than, special. At lest now I am recognizing them more the moment they arise. This recognition is awarness. I am becoming less inclined to think such thoughts now. This is one area that I stuggle with. The tendency to want to compare is strong in me as I am sure it is in others as well.
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Postby spatialbean » Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:56 am

Arnie, that's really a good analogy of the child steering like crazy but nothing real happens.

Billy, that's what I notice too, that I am noticing that I notice! Very different from before and a step toward not having those thoughts that feed the ego in the first place.

Cool beans,
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Postby kiki » Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:47 pm

BillyPLed said, "At lest now I am recognizing them more the moment they arise. This recognition is awarness."

Good for you. This recognition becomes ever more clear.

"I am becoming less inclined to think such thoughts now."

That's right. As the recognition quickens there comes the simultaneous releasing of following thoughts.

"This is one area that I stuggle with. The tendency to want to compare is strong in me as I am sure it is in others as well."

Just recognize this as more thought; this is thought/ego in response to "other's" thoughts/emotions/actions. When such thoughts occur you can ask, "Who is having these thoughts?" Looking for the ego entity which has such thoughts redirects you to the awareness that you are.

Arnie,

I loved the story about the child thinking he is steering the shopping cart - it's very apt to what awakening is about. Letting go of the ego entity means that there is no attempt at all to steer life in one direction or another, because it is discovered that You are life itself. There is a resting/relaxing as the expression of life/You flows this way and that.

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Postby AndyD » Mon Oct 31, 2005 6:56 pm

BillyPLed wrote:I find that I think things like, "Oh, that person at work does that all the time. I don't do that. They have so much ego. I don't." These thoughts of how different I am from them are thoughts from the ego that wants me to be different, better than, special. At lest now I am recognizing them more the moment they arise. This recognition is awarness. I am becoming less inclined to think such thoughts now. This is one area that I stuggle with. The tendency to want to compare is strong in me as I am sure it is in others as well.


These 'negative' qualities that you see in other people can almost always be found in yourself when you look deep enough. When you see them in yourself this reduces the compulsion to criticise others or feel that you are above them.
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Postby erict » Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:59 pm

AndyD wrote:These 'negative' qualities that you see in other people can almost always be found in yourself when you look deep enough. When you see them in yourself this reduces the compulsion to criticise others or feel that you are above them.


Yes! I've started doing that quite spontanously, and sure enough, it really helps. And it helps to forgive other people when you explore your own behavior, being totally honest with yourself, and you see that whatever was done to you, you most likely have also done to other people. And you feel more understanding and compassion, and less negativity.
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Postby lakeswimr » Tue Nov 01, 2005 6:06 am

[quote="BillyPLed"]I find that I think things like, "Oh, that person at work does that all the time. I don't do that. They have so much ego. I don't." /quote]

Yup! :lol: Had a few of those thoughts, myself. :)
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Postby ruhl2001 » Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:52 pm

This discussion has significance in that it is the Lenten season for many Christians at this time. I use this season to reflect on my life .... sort of a spiritual retreat time.

For me, the devil is my selfish self. A self that wants to control rather than allow and flow with Truth. We are One in our essence as spirit. We only want to love and share the gift of ourselves. The "devil" is that we have not accepted that we are loved and are love. We continue to try to change ourselves, others, our situations.

My prayer is that I grow in love and see the beauty of the true self of every human being. We truly are in Union.

Jesus put aside the weakness of self serving to make the sacrifice of his life and mission out of his love for the true self of each of us. We too can discover the Christ .... Buddha .... Divine Self within in this life.

Blessings
BLESSINGS, PEACE, JOY
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