This is such a common description of ego that it has become a kind of convention, but ego really truly doesn't exist as it is being described here.RCharles wrote:...Additionally, the ego still comes back and tries its little nefarious tricks to hijack the experience. In many ways, as I said, my ego has been helpful in bringing understanding and balance to the experience. But the ego also tries to get little ego satisfactions, such as "Oh, this is enlightenment! 'I' must be enlightened." Of course, with a new clarity of mind, it's easier to recognize this stuff, and you can return to presence and let go of these little ego thoughts. But the point is they don't go away--you just have more clarity in recognizing and dealing with them because they are such a contrast to the joy of unity.
As another example, the latest ego-happening for me went this way. The joy and fearlessness has brought a new extroversion, and as I mentioned elsewhere, I've been out and about town making new friends. Recently, I had a day at home alone, and it was all I could do not to jump in the car and visit my favorite coffeehouse to be around people. The ego was co-opting the extroversion and turning it into a need! In other words being a "popular extrovert" brought some ego satisfaction that the ego missed when it was not happening.
My higher awareness caught on very quickly and saw that more alone time and more presence were the antidotes to counterbalance the new ego need, but the point is, the ego continues to try to regain control. Maintaining the awakened mind requires a certain vigilance and "self" examination when the ego tries to arise. Perhaps for some there are additional stages where there is less tendency for the ego to return, but that has not yet been my experience.
Other posts in this thread already said most of this, but a lot of it sounded pretty theoretical, so I thought perhaps a real world personal experience might help illustrate what this is like. Hopefully, others will recognize from this that enlightened experiences are not necessarily what we think they are or expect them to be, especially that they do not bring permanent, perfect bliss. They do bring new joy, clarity, and freedom of mind, but they also have to be integrated into a real life and psyche. They also require some "post-experience work" in which we use awareness to defeat the ego's attempts to return and take over.
Illusions are created when concepts are not seen for what they are, but are instead taken for reality.
Ego is a concept, which is often mistaken as reality.
Each and every thought as it arises is a concept. If any thought slips by that is not recognised for what it is, it can then be mistaken as reality.
As in the case of the concept 'ego' if this concept is not seen for what it is, then the idea of ego being real expands. More and more thoughts are added to this and as they too slip through without discrimination the ego illusion gets more and more reinforced.
For many drawn to 'enlightenment' they actually add to their confusion by attempting in some way or other to trancend/defeat/overcome ego.
It is impossible to act upon what does not exist!
The enlightened experiences that you refer to are when an aspect of conditioning (which is basically concepts that are accepted as true) is seen through, then some release and clarity is experienced, but until the central one of thought's very nature is seen then it will always be partial, and will be subsumed by other concepts which have not been revealedHopefully, others will recognize from this that enlightened experiences are not necessarily what we think they are or expect them to be, especially that they do not bring permanent, perfect bliss. They do bring new joy, clarity, and freedom of mind, but they also have to be integrated into a real life and psyche.
True enlightenment is to see clearly, and unless thought is seen clearly each and everytime it arises, then illusion, confusion and suffering follow.
PS. quotes taken from http://eckhart-tolle-forum.inner-growth ... 596#p58962