Some relevant new questions regarding the topic of dealing with the ego (please see my previous Blog on the subject, here >>) have arisen and I am grateful for it. It is a very serious and important topic for me and I am more than happy to write about it.
OK, here we go:
Q: In your Blog you say that there is no real need to renounce the ego. Most spiritual masters claim quite the opposite. Why do you think that is?
A: Well, thank you for reading my Blog. You rise a very good question. Thank you. I will try to explain my understanding of this important topic in as few words as possible.
Dealing with personal aspects of spiritual development is a matter of choice, in my opinion. It is all about the levels of psychological-spiritual identity development, you see. Some deal with personal levels and some do not.
Most truly liberated spiritual masters (say, Ramana Maharshi or Anandamayi Ma) are conveying their teachings from the level which they attained (the Causal or Nondual, both Vedanta nondual and the Buddhist one). And in most cases, the level which spiritual masters speak from is faaaaaaar above any personal level (Mental ego and Authentic levels). For example, my dear Anandamayi Ma is reported to have laughed when one of Her devotees came to Her in distress due to a death in his family.
In practice that may mean that a simple guy from the street will have a very hard time both understanding and implementing such teachings. An average level of attainment on this planet is not even the Authentic level, what to speak of the transpersonal ones, in my estimation. So go figure.
So, while from the highly liberated states of awareness (the Causal and Nondual) ego indeed seems like an illusion, from personal levels this can not be the case. Well, at least not for me. What it comes down to, in my experience, is what path one took to reach the purely transpersonal states of awareness.
I can not speak about the others, nor do I want to, and as far as I am concerned, my path is the Tantric one. That means, in real practice, not only in theory or on the intellectual level, that I deny nothing. In other words, the Tantric path is all about accepting, embracing and tolerating, well, everything.
Q: What do you mean by “accepting, embracing and tolerating, well, everything”? I don’t understand.
In practice, what does that relate to, please?
Yes. Again, excellent question. 🙂
Well, in practice that means that I am open to every single thought and emotion in my awareness. I resist or deny no troublesome experience from the past, for example. And, above all, I do not involve others in my dramas. I know perfectly clear that it is neuro-biologically impossible for others to directly trigger anything in my inner climate. So I do not bother with others in this regard.
There is only One Life for me, only One Living Consciousness that is simultaneously the Source or the Witness and the manifestation.
Well, there is only One Life, meaning that there is only One Being breathing in me. And my thoughts, emotions, intentions, fears, hopes, pain, regrets and aspirations are His thoughts, emotions, intentions, fears, hopes etc. There is no duality involved here. No separateness.
In fact, the ego is as real as it can get. It is no illusion, nothing is. All is Radiant, Alive and Eternal continuous Flow of Life. All is Divine, nothing is non-divine.
And that being the case, why on Earth would I want to deny anything? Everything is part and particle of the One Whole.
There is none else besides Him/Her.
Q: Well, on the intellectual level, I get it.
In practice I think I am very much used to focus on the positive side in my life.
Yes, I hear you. I can relate, for I have been there. I was in self denial for the longest time, rejecting the personal aspects of my life. Basically that means that I was in relative pain most of the time.
Anyway…I do realize that the notion of embracing the pain, sadness, regrets etc. is a radical paradigm change for most of us. It is not a newly fresh notion, though. Tantra has been teaching this for thousands of years.
When the sadness (or any kind of “negative” emotion) arises, a “normal” and habitual reaction is to divert the attention to something else, or to seek out help with the aim of getting rid of it.
Well, what I am talking about here is that embracing the sadness, taking time to assimilate it, to integrate it into awareness is so much more effective in the long run. Human awareness is transpersonal, transcendental and has an enormous power and potential.
There is a source, a cause for all emotions and thoughts in our lives. And contrary to the popular opinion, that source is in our hearts. Humanistic psychology has labeled this, the needs or potentials.
From the Authentic level, I might say that our transpersonal nature wants to express itself, the Soul is trying to flow the Life into our lives and we can become aware of this Life by becoming aware of our innermost needs/potentials. When the needs or potentials are not really expressed, negative emotions manifest from within.
So the strategy I employ is to embrace all emotions and by embracing them, I can penetrate deeper into the Heart by becoming aware of the potentials or needs in my Heart.
And the Heart is not any heart, it is the Source of everything, it is the Causal self, the Eternal Being, which is only playing. It is all Lila, a play. And most of us seem to suffer because we are aware of neither the Player nor of the Play.
And the path, my path, to becoming and staying aware of the Player and the Play is to embrace the Play, to embrace and emphatically relate to the every single element of my inner life. And it works.
I would also like to invite you all to watch Wilber explain the Ego development. Some really good and important points he makes in this interview.
Here we go: