In today’s now spirituality or religion (they may be different) the Ego is a thing, a personal thing or problem we believe we have to get rid of or get over. And other’s have an Ego too that is our problem. He’s Ego is too big. So the Ego guy is either too big or not big enough. You need a big ego to be a politician, we might say. No Ego, you are wall paper. To much Ego you are abusive and aggressive. Pushy. We take either our own Ego or other’s personally as a problem. So what does Tolle mean?
Is Ego a thing, a noun? Or….is Ego a verb? First of all, one can’t see Ego as an object of consciousness. But we know something is there, mainly because others point it out. If Ego is not a thing, a particial, an object that can be named….Hey wait. Are we talking about the electron in Quantum Physics that, depending on the experiment is either a partical or a wave?
A partical is a. thing located in time/space. A wave has no location. It’s a pattern. Particle is a noun; wave is a verb (to use our grammatical logic). A Particle is something that does something. It fits classical logic. X = A and cannot be Not-A. A particle is a particle and can’t at the same time be a wave.
BAM…but according to QP it is both, but depending on the observer (experiment). So what does this have to do with Ego.
What if Ego is both something and not something? A thing an/or a wave or pattern. Will the real Ego stand up. Which are. you? Are you a thing or a pattern. How can I see you. How can I be aware of you?
If I look for you as a subject looking for an object, something to be conscious of, I can’t find you. Tolle says that is just Ego looking for Ego, and Ego can’t see itself as something separate from itself. But…maybe I (Ego) can see Ego as a pattern. If Ego is stealing cookies but denies it, maybe I can catch Ego with its hand in the cookie jar by flipping on the light in the kitchen.
I felt I didn’t do the subject justice as what can you explain or investigate in 30 minutes. But I hope the idea that the Ego is a patten got through. The Ego is caught on the horns of a dilemma because it sees itself as a thing that is a problem which it must get rid of. Okay, very good. However, the Ego is also a wave which it can’t see. So in trying to get rid of the pain of the particle it creates the wave which it can’t see. And…as it invests in the wave to get of the pain of the particle, the wave gets stronger from its own energy investment. Pain begets pain.
Seeing the particle Ego. caught in the Wave Ego, unites the two faces of Ego, and the split in unity dissolves through the Seeing that heals.
Ego, therefore, is not a bad thing, a problem thing that has to be fixed or removed, operated on like cancer…No….Ego is awareness divided against itself because of faulty logic, through the logic of thinking. Ego is a logical problem that says I can’t be a thing and a wave (pattern) both at the same time. If I see the thing (me) I don’t see the pattern, and I’m caught. If I see the pattern, I don’t see Me in it, and I’m caught. When I see both at the same time…BAM…I’m free from the horns of this ancient dilemma. And this, BTW, is Zen.
Catching the Ego Live means Seeing with a whole eye, for Life is a whole seeing. I am the Ego. No way to escape that. When Tolle says I am not the Ego, while that is true it is also not true. To say I am not the Ego is to divide myself into Ego and not Ego, and then try to eliminate the Ego so that only Not Ego remains. This dilemma goes back to the beginning of man and yoga in ancient India where the goal was to free the soul or Atman from the snares of the body and ego. It continues in new forms today.
The basic formula is: I hurt; something or someone is to blame; I must get rid of the cause. When we stop blaming the world, we shift blame to Ego, but the logic is the same and the failure is the same. This failure creates history and karma. The knot just gets moved down the rope. We never cut the rope.
What is a little madness in this Zorba quote? Madness is seeing two opposites as One. Madness is not logical. A is A and A is not A at the same time. Madness is…..wait for it…..Seeing with a whole Eye.
Yes…the Ego does need constant reminders that it exists. And the reminder the Ego loves is the reminder that it is trying to get rid of itself, or fix itself. The Ego is the Thinker. Thinking can’t get rid of thinking; thinking creates thinking in the effort to get rid of thinking.
When the Ego says it must be aware….we can’t get out of this perfect trap. The Ego is a pattern in time, so there is always tomorrow. But again, here’s where the Logic of Thinking fails us. Ego is time; awareness is timeless. We can only think of choosing one or the other but not both at the same time. Ego is choice in time, so ambiguity is not an option.
The Logic of Life is not the Logic of choice. Choice is like the Zen Koan; If you say it is a stick, you are wrong; if you say it isn’t a stick, you are wrong; now which is it? Choose or I’l hit you with it. The Logic of either/or is stuck.
Life says in an exclamation. I am. Both! The Ego sees: I am both something and not something. I am both Time and Timeless. I am both guilty and innocent. I am both two (me and the world) and I am One, I am the world and the world is me. Thus…the rope is cut.