Author Topic: A perspective of ego  (Read 3408 times)

silentgreen

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A perspective of ego
« on: March 24, 2010, 01:23:03 PM »
Different persons often have different understanding of ego.

At the grossest level, ego is considered synonymous with pride.
When a person has pride, he is said to be egoistic.
If a person is decent and humble, he is not considered as not having ego.

At a subtle level, ego is considered synonymous to the sense of "I" which is identified with the body and mind.
(This is more common in spiritual parlance where analysis of mind/self is involved.)

Ego can be looked at from another perspective also.
The higher self is infinite and infinite has to express itself as finite. So the entire infinity has expressed itself as the ego in the individual. Like a flag representing the entire country. The ego is then like a gate. On one side is the world and on the other side is the cave of the heart. The gate is common. Facing the side of the world, the gate is wide. Facing the side of the cave (of the heart) the gate is narrow. The ego interfaces between the infinite inner world and the infinite outer world. The ego can thus represent both the higher self and individual self depending on the "direction".
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Akira

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Re: A perspective of ego
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2010, 03:29:12 PM »
The word 'ego' itself is confusing.
Originally it only means 'I' (first person pronoun) in Latin.

It means pride, arrogance in common English usage.
Again psychiatrists use ego under their own difinitions.
And in advaita philosophy it means I-thought.

I do not see it as the matter of 'gross' or 'subtle'.
I see it as the matter of definition of the word.

Why don't we use Sanskrit or Tamil term instead?

This is only my opinion.

Subramanian.R

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Re: A perspective of ego
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2010, 11:03:30 AM »
Aganthai (ego in English) means only I-thought.  It does not mean pride, jealousy
and other emotions.  These are all auxillaries to the mind where the I thought is
the first. If aganthai is taken to mean mind then, there is sukshuma, subtle mind,
which operates in the dream state.  In Tamil or Sankskrit, there are four words,
Manas, mind, buddhi, intellect, agankaram, aganthai or ego, and chittam, the mind
stuff.  The Chittam is the pure mind, or suddha manas.

Arunachala Siva.   

silentgreen

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Re: A perspective of ego
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2010, 03:40:20 PM »
Why don't we use Sanskrit or Tamil term instead?

Dear Akira,

As you said, it is sometimes better to use Sanskrit and Tamil words.

For example, the word Sraddha, as Swami Vivekananda has said has no English equivalent.
Swami Ranganathananda explains:
This word sraddha has no exact equivalent in English; it is usually translated as faith; but it is not faith in a creed or dogma but faith in oneself, faith in the infinite power lodged in every soul; it is also faith in the power of truth & goodness, a firm conviction of the ultimate meaningfulness of the universe. It is the totality of positive attitudes, astikya buddhi, as Shankara defines it. It is the impelling force behind man’s efforts at character development, his civic virtues & social graces, his search for truth in science & religion. Its total absence from the heart marks the complete cynical attitude.

However when I said looking at the ego from a different perspective, I did not mean giving the exact definition of ego but a way of looking at it in a different way; in the opposite direction; self-wards, instead of world-wards.
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Akira

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Re: A perspective of ego
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2010, 07:05:19 PM »
Subramanian is an expert of Tamil.
silentgreen is an expert of Sanskrit.
I hope both of you can give us some Tamil and Sanskrit lessons here on the board.
I am eager to listen.

silentgreen

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Re: A perspective of ego
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2010, 09:09:03 AM »
Dear Akira,

I am not an expert in Sanskrit, but a learner.
However I would be glad to start a thread on some basic concepts in Sanskrit grammer in simple terms which I learned with some effort. This is not for teaching but learning. Experts in the forum can then clarify required points.
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Akira

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Re: A perspective of ego
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2010, 01:41:59 PM »
I think that is a good idea.
It would be very helpful to us.

Vladimir

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Re: A perspective of ego
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2010, 12:18:22 PM »
Quote
Ego can be looked at from another perspective also.
The higher self is infinite and infinite has to express itself as finite. So the entire infinity has expressed itself as the ego in the individual. Like a flag representing the entire country. The ego is then like a gate. On one side is the world and on the other side is the cave of the heart. The gate is common. Facing the side of the world, the gate is wide. Facing the side of the cave (of the heart) the gate is narrow. The ego interfaces between the infinite inner world and the infinite outer world. The ego can thus represent both the higher self and individual self depending on the "direction".

Dear Silentgreen,

Perhaps, the 'higher self' need not express itself as finite, but somehow it happenes it does. As a "cosmic joke": self-restriction for some time.
But this 'self-restricted object' always feels unhappy about it's finity. Fortunately, this object has been created flammable and can be burned in certain cecumstances. And anyway this self-restriction will be burned up after deth. :)

Subramanian.R

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Re: A perspective of ego
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2010, 12:22:55 PM »
There are no two selves.  There is only the Self.  At the same time,
the usage of higher Self and lower selves or Paramatma and Jeevatma, the Soul and the individual soul -- are quite common
among the Vedanta teachers and there is nothing wrong in
silentgreen or someone using that two words.  But Bhagavan Ramana said only the Self.  He even went to the extent of saying that there is only one mind, only vasanas are of two types.  (Who am I?).

Aham Vritti -  "I" thought -  The mind jumping out of the Self.
Aham bodha - I Consciousness or Awareness, the mind curled
                     up in the Self.
In between when the mind curls up temporarily in a thoughtless
state for 'some time' one gets the experience of dance of I.
This is called Chit-Sakti Natanam, the dance of Sakti, guiding you
into Sivam.

Arunachala Siva.

silentgreen

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Re: A perspective of ego
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2010, 04:37:28 PM »
There are no two selves.
However the Infinite Self with the aspect of Shakti can express itself as finite selves for its own leela (play).
When a person gets a little joy, he tries to express himself in so many ways. The joy of Sat-Chid-Ananda is an ocean. So It also expresses itself as the finite world.

I feel the aspect of Shiva and Shakti together expresses the harmony of the finite and the infinite.
There are some who tries to go to the extreme and say there is only infinite and no finite.
There are others who go to the other extreme and say stick to the dualistic views only.

But I feel the combination expresses the creation appropriately. One should be as comfortable with the dualistic attitude as the non-dual attitude and any combination in between. The finite and the infinite will interplay with smoothness.

Sri Ramakrishna was described as bhava-sagara, whose spiritual moods changed between finite and infinite as if God is playing the divine music through him, striking notes from the lowest in scale to the highest.

When we see from the ego towards the world (without abiding in self), it is the worldly outlook.
By self-enquiry, the ego turns back towards its own source and gets lost in pure space.
So it is as if the infinite has expressed Itself as the finite through the ego (individual "I" sense).
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Paintbrush

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Re: A perspective of ego
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2010, 09:28:29 PM »
The ego is the source of much unhappiness, what a relief to realise that when it tells me I'm rubbish, it holds no water. When it tells me I'm great - it holds no water - how nice to just be, without this worry or the need to be something else, or to worry about tomorrow.