Thursday, April 2, 2015

For a change, celebrate Ego

Most people on the so called spiritual path have a tendency to fight Ego, to consider it a burden to get rid of. That is not a very wise position. Believing Ego is bad, how can you trust in your self to mature and make progress on the path? If Ego-self were stupid, it wouldn’t consider the effort of change in the first place, so there has to be something precious and valuable in it. Instead of ridiculing Ego as confused and stupid, we are better of being grateful for all the marvelous things it is capable of. Remember that all the suffering and crap you have to put up with is just the flipside of all the joy and accomplishments that is also the work of Ego.
Of course, as the Buddha’s teach, the end of suffering comes with a full understanding of the nature of mind and how Ego is a byproduct of those processes, but up until we reach that profound insight, before we acquire the habit of being not one/not two, Ego is our everyday savior and best friend. It is Ego that can help us evolve, to become more than just Ego. But in order to do that, Ego must consider itself worth the effort and entitled to the teachings and the practice. You see, Ego has no control over this process of change, it has no agency, no matter how strongly that sense of control might be. Ego acts as if in control of what happens, but in reality, that is not so. It just feels that way. So, as the Pure Land path emphasizes, Ego must rely on “other-power” to instigate change. That is to start out with totally accepting the ultimate truth of dependency. There is a very deep understanding within this approach. An understanding that is way too underrated or overlooked. The basic idea of the Pure Land path is to make the Dharma available to those of us having a sense of being fools and unable to attain any deeper understanding. It is for me when I consider myself less worthy, less capable. One might say that this, seemingly simple, path for simple people starts where others end. So when Zen makes a fool out of a sage, Pure Land makes a sage out of a fool. Whatever practice we happen to be doing, it will boil down to this: Sage and Fool are mutually dependent, and when recognized as this, Wisdom unfolds.
So celebrate your Ego as fool, celebrate your Ego as sage, and let your Self be united by the Dharma. Have faith in the Dharma to know You, so You don’t have to know it. Allow your Ego to have some time off from its duty of doing right and understanding correctly. Being stupid and ignorant is hard work, but it can be done. Just accept that you cannot do it by your Self, because Self will not accept such nonsense.
We should be thankful for having this ability to act as if we were knowledgeable agents and Masters of Reality. What we need is not a weak and self loathing Ego crying for help, but a strong and powerful Ego that is ready, willing and able to evolve, to recognize its brilliance and learn how to share its powers in a skillful way. It is easier to let go of something you love and respect than of something you despise and want to correct. Further, no matter how hard you work and how far you travel on the path, Ego will not dissolve completely and disappear forever. In the end, you must make friends with it. You must show compassion for Ego or it will, sooner or later, become self destructive. So keep in mind: Destroying Ego is not the way Knowing Ego is the way Jesus was destroyed so His teaching could be fully recognized. Had he been known for what He was, that would not have been necessary.
The Easter Buddha


  1. "So celebrate your Ego as fool, celebrate your Ego as sage, and let your Self be united by the Dharma."

    Could you please elaborate further. How do you unite with Dharma/yourself?

  2. It can't be done by the single individual you experience as (myself). Imagine leaves on a tree. They express their nature by acting like leaves, but they cannot control their behavior. Nevertheless, no single leaf needs correction to be a "correct" leaf. Now imagine Everything being exactly the same, but add a conscious "Me" to every leaf. They are all the same as Before, but now they seem to know their separate existence. All the "Me's" in the world are like such leaves. We grow from the tree, change colours, fall of "our" tree and eventually become new trees that spawn new leaves. It is like that.
    Without the conscious self, you are the whole Picture, but being self-conscious, you are a leaf. Ego is a wonderful thing, because it is part of the human "colour", of acting human. What spells trouble is when you confuse the experience of separate being with the separate being of experience. Make sense?
    There is separate experience (your experience, different from mine experience) and those "experiences" are parts of the whole "being". Just as leaves are part of the whole tree, which is part of the whole forest, which is part of ....and you end up with Absolute Reality.
    It seems like reality has evolved to a point where it knows itself through its many experiences. Uniting with reality is letting go of trying to control "my" experience. When the leaf realizes the big picture, all is the same as before. Nothing is lost, but the struggle to unite with what it already is, and always has been, part of. Know your Ego/perspective, and there is no problem at all. It is the eyes and ears of existence. You are the universe inside, looking at itself. The light doesn't have to "shine" to enlighten the world. It can relax and just be what it is, light. You are that light, not the holder of a flashlight. Your body is the holder, consciousness is a flash of light.
    Make sense?


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