"Vision of A New Culture"
The Great Learning

Q & A 1
"Ego"

Q: Dear HMS, what is ego?
A: Ego is a concept, once you drop it it doesn’t exist.

Q: If it is only a concept, why are so many people hanging on to it?
A: Because it serves their attitude of non-acceptance, their (unconscious) defense mechanisms.

Q: That means...
A: It gives their non-acceptance a meaning, an explanation, a justification. Rather than going through the (painful) process of becoming aware of yourself, your I, your „negative" parts, you project them into an „entity" - the „ego" - a tool for the mind to play with.

Q: But what about my selfish desires which again and again disturb my inner peace?
A: As long as you think your desires are selfish, as long as you think they are disturbing your inner peace, they will. From the first moment you become aware of them, embracing them as part of yourself, they will not disturb you anymore.

Q: So there is nothing wrong with desires?
A: You say it.

Q: Say it again, please (tears appeared in her eyes)
A: Desires are part of the self, the self is your natural substance, selfish desires are a function of your survival mechanism. Observe them, and you will experience a great relief. Loving yourself - especially the suppressed parts - rather than rejecting, that’s where it is all about.

Q: So, there is a difference between self and ego?
A: In order to understand clearly about the confusion some philosophies are creating, it would be good to distinguish for a moment the difference between I, the self, the true Self and the ego.

Q: Can you explain?
A: Explaining is one thing, becoming aware is another. Please, close your eyes for a while, relax and watch the inside of your eyelids.(Everybody is doing it. After a few minutes:)...

Q: What did you experience?
A: I was watching my eyelids.

Q: Good, what did you see?
A: After a few minutes I realized that I was here and my eyelids were there. There was a kind of clarity in my watching, awareness maybe?

Q: So, in only a few moments your identity had shifted from the periphery to the „center"?
A: I have never thought to see it like this, but yeah, you might call it like that.

Q: Dear HMS, what are you trying to tell us?
A: To take your own experience seriously, rather than immediately following your thinking processes once again. You just made the most crucial shift possible, that from the state of (unconscious) identification towards awareness, from ignorance towards inner freedom. And you are still asking me to explain it?

A: Okay, I will explain. The question „Who Am I" had just been answered and you didn’t realize it. It is because your awareness has no substance. You only grasp which is tangible. It is the way you have been conditioned. Your true Self is like water containing the fishes of thought, emotion and desire. You see the fishes, but fail to realize that they are swimming in your water.

Q: I like the image, but I still suffer from my ego-feelings. I feel guilty about myself.
A: Exactly, you feel guilty about your very existence, the fact that you are. You don’t allow yourself to live. You are afraid of it. So you use the concept of the ego to suppress yourself. The ego is an instrument in punishing yourself for being here. (And some are punishing others with it...).

Q: My God...
A: Yes, it has everything to do with „God". In fact ego is the condition of separateness from the Divine, it is the state of ignorance, being unaware. Therefore it doesn’t exist, it has no substance of its own. The paradox is, that because it doesn’t exist it is massive. In the state of ignorance you are overflowed with everything unaware, suppressed and rejected, aren’t you?

Q: How to get out of this mess?
A: Not by calling it „ego". The irony is by doing so you externalize once again what has been previously rejected. It is a double rejection. By calling your unconscious e.g. rejected parts „ego" and then again fighting them, you create a vicious circle. It serves your continuous battle against yourself. The solution is simple: simply become aware, first of yourself, then of ITself...

Q: What could be the conclusion of this?
A: That awareness and „ego" are excluding each other. The ego is a shadow, which disappears in the selfsame moment you have become the observer. In watching yourself the I of common identification „I am", is no more there. It has been replaced by the I of awareness. This awareness is your true Self, creating an inner distance between You and your small self: your thoughts, emotions and desires. The small self is the storehouse of the past, the accumulation of experience. It appears to be the objects in your inner space. There is nothing wrong with them. Once you are free they are freed too. They are the dance of life in the space which you are yourSelf. Even a very selfish desire, provided you are aware of it has nothing to do with "ego".

Q: Some teachings say that the mind is the greatest obstacle towards liberation. Could you explain?
A: This is big non-sense. These teachings involve you in their mindgame. Once you are caught, they then suggest that they have a „solution to your problem". The purpose is obvious: they want clients rather than to liberate you. The point is, that liberation is so simple, you cannot collect followers through it. These teachings are based on duality, rather than non-duality. The blind are leading the blind here.

Q: So?
A: The mind is just a function of Self, a useful tool. You don’t have to reject „this" in order to become „that". Simply shifting yourself from your periphery to the center, that is where it is all about. If the question „Who Am I „ doesn’t quickly lead you to the goal, the danger is a mind-game without end. The road from the periphery towards the center runs through the layers of the mind, after all. The chance that you get stuck there, is almost unavoidable. Many teachers derive their employment from it. Better is the easy way: to immediately be where you want to be. There is no road towards awareness, awareness is the road.

Q: How can we distinguish between a good and a bad teacher?
A: There are no bad teachers, only bad students (laughed).

Q: You say you're from the lineage of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Are you also affiliated to Ramana Maharshi and the Advaita?
A: Not only Enlightened teachers, but everybody is in Essence identical, we are all the One Mind. I am You and You are Me. No need for a rope between us (laughed).The only difference is, that Enlightened Ones know and you don't. By the way, teachers should never teach anything they have not realized themselves, they should not pretend, never fill in their gap with borrowed wisdom.Goethe said: "Da eben wo Erleuchtung fehlt, da stellt zur rechten Zeit eine Philosophie sich ein".  

Q: What about the suppressed parts: my pain, anger and hatred?
A: Because they were once rejected and banned from consciousness they keep knocking on your door. They are your stepchildren desperately begging for love and acceptance. Be a loving mother or father to them. Embrace them, invite them to your inner space, celebrate a homecoming to them. By becoming part of the Whole again their original „negativity" will disappear. Instead, their transformed energies will be at your disposal, enriching your life. And by the way: how can you love others, if you aren’t able to love your own rejected parts?

Q: Could you give a final word about the problem of selfishness?
A: What is mixed up here is the object with your unconscious identification with it. There is nothing wrong with desire (emotion, the mind etc.) as such. The problem starts, when desire is unconsciously dominating you, when desire has a grip on you. This is the only problem. Rather than blaming desire, one should blame one’s ignorance - which is ego - and become aware. Once aware you discover that you are here and the desire is there.

Q: So you may enjoy it?
A: Love, embrace it. You appear not to be your desires (emotion, the mind etc.), reason why you allow them to be. You start enjoying rather than condemning them. They are all part of - objects in - your space.The „purpose of life" is, that you live life to the fullest, both in its Essence and periphery. It liberates you not only from your false identity, but also from guilt. Eventually your inner space may transcend your individuality and become one with the One.

Enough fuss about nothing?

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Last revising: 08/15/04