18 April 2013
What is the true goal of all spiritual practice? It is to bring the ego, with all it's suffering, all it's fear, hatred and delusion, to a final end. Then only the Self remains, who's essential nature is infinite Being-Consciousness-Bliss!
Francis, is it time now to inquire deeply as you suggested we do together yesterday?
I have to disagree that the goal of ALL spiritual practice is to bring the ego to an end.
Nor do I understand what anyone on FB means by the word “ego.” Almost everyone on FB uses the term, but I have never found an ego inside me, nor an I, nor have they offered a definition.
Psychologists have offered incredibly complex theories about the "ego" with includes its executive functioning to coordinate all activities of the person, put things in order, as well as providing the basic abilities to cope in the world. But what do you mean by the term? Mind?
You say the ego suffers, has fear, hatred and delusion. But what is it? Can you define it? I think a lot of people would call it all of our shoulds, oughts, should nots, must do ideas that cause us concern. But these are only thoughts. So by ego, don’t we sometimes mean conscious conflict in our minds, between what we want and what we should do?
Or by ego do we mean the mind that measures, judges, and figures out what clothes to out on in the morning and make a checklist of activities to perform during the day? Again, this is the executive functioning of mind, thoughts, not a separate ego-identity.
Then you state a premise that when the ego dies, Self remains.
How do you know that?
Are you stating your ego has died and only Self Remains, therefore you know from firsthand experience both what the ego is experientially, that it has ended, and now you are the Self?
Or, is that something you have read, that when the ego ends, the Self remains?
Are you stating Self is the totality of our consciousness, both the objects in consciousness as well as that which is aware of the objects, without the conscious presence of thinking, or of an ego entity? And by Consciousness are you suggesting the “here and now” beingness of the neo-Advaitins versus the levels of Consciousness of Ramana and Nisargadatta?
Where to begin?
Could we not say the problem is not the existence of the ego, but our identification with psychological conflicts as they arise rather than an identification with the substrata of consciousness, whether the superficial beingness of here and now, or a deeper awareness of the Subtle, Causal, and deeper levels of Consciousness where the divine might be found?
For me, it was my experience that the longer and lovingly I attended to the sense of I Am, the happier, and in fact more blissful and ecstatic I got. Also, I was able to feel more love and more internal relaxation until at one point there was an explosion of the “divine” within me, that was experienced by a small me as the Other, as God. In other words, the small I, which could be called ego, as sense of personal presence, was suddenly graced by a vision or explosion of God within, which was felt to be an infinite presence, and after a time, both the small and infinite presence merged. And, I no longer identified with the small-shit problems of everyday life because I felt the presence, power and purity of God as myself. I identified with presence, not the body, mind, ego, problems, emotions. They were all still there, but I identified with now with the presence of sentience, of life and Shakti (internal energies, bliss, love).
But is this experience proof that this presence is infinite, and in another post you said it was eternal? But just because it feels that way, how do you know otherwise than this feeling that the Self is eternal?
I have had this experience but I do not know it is eternal. I might have faith that I am eternal, but I have no proof.
Indeed, Nisragdatta and his teacher, Siddharameshwar, state the sense of presence, the so-called self, disappears when you die and only the Absolute is left, which is the unknown, unknowable, unmanifest witness that posseses the power to know Consciousness. Only Consciousness is touched by death, but not the observer, who is unkowable and a vast mystery.