Dear Self: I realized that I am in this all alone anyway, meaning that people might give you hints or tips but in the end it’s me that has to work it out. Also wondered a bit about the applicability of what others say. Sometimes it seems that it’s kind of like telling a person who’s stuck in the wheelchair how to walk. What I mean is that it’s not really a method or a path but a description of a way of being, which then isn’t how they got there in the first place.
Cindy: It’s more like, the tool you are using can’t get the job done, and it can’t even see what others are pointing to. The tool is the idea you think you are (a.k.a ego).
What exactly is ego? This has been a hot topic the last week, and I am keen to express it in a way that is useful. It’s hard to pinpoint because it’s not a real thing, but more of a repeating phenomena. So if you are not who you think you are, and the phenomena you are using to solve the problem (identification with thought) is the problem itself, you can see the bind.
The phenomena of ego goes like this: a pure sense of “I” exists. As a child we learn to associate that sense of “I” with the body, and the word “I.” This projection is the first split and the establishment of separation. A thought arises with the word “I” (or implication or reference to the I-thought) and it is not questioned or noticed that the sense of “I” is not the word “I.” (i.e. that you are not the thought/idea “I.”) So then we believe the word “I” to actually be our direct self. Thereafter, all the other words attached to the word “I” in the sentence are taken to pertain to “I,” and to be true and real. Then we collect more thoughts about ourselves, and they get stored on the hard-drive called memory.
Because thought is pure imagination, those words can be any thing (and can have nothing to do with truth, reality, or our true Self), we can suffer severely, and we can even feel dead. Living as a thought it not living. Because thought is pure imagination, our idea of ourselves changes from moment to moment. That is revealing in itself.
This is missed of course because we don’t know and can’t see that we are believing ourselves to be a thought phenomena. Ego is a hybrid, a combination of the sense of I plus the I-thought, the thoughts that come with or refer to the I-thought, and the feelings those thoughts create when given attention…mingled together. It is a tainted, false sense of self.
You are right when you say you are on your own; others can only point to this, but you have to do the differentiation, the sorting out, the looking, the seeing. However because you don’t know what you don’t know, you do need help along the way.
The path leading to the “how” this is exposed and realized by anyone is different for everyone. Insights, suffering, awakening experiences, reading, listening, all give clues and create cracks and openings. However, one way or another, the ego must be seen through by each individual.
It’s like a bird in an egg; they don’t know truth or what needs to be done or why, or how, or what lies beyond, but they keep pecking away anyway. All pecks are equally important, although there is a final one that appears to have done the job. You never know when that one will happen. It could be the next peck. Though it looks dark, the shell is thin. Keep going.
The phenomenal “i” idea and thoughts and feelings that pertain to it, co-exist and intermingle with your true Self. Since you have confused your Self with phenomena that arise as known objects in your awareness, who you think you are must disappear. However this happens, it seems to be the final blow. You must give up yourself; give up “the one who” is striving and doing. This can only be done by you, and either via surrender (to yourself, a teacher, or God), or through self-inquiry. When you begin to breakthrough, it may feel like your world is ending, and fear may arise that you will die. It is only the false idea of who you are that will die. The falling away of the non-existent ego, the illusion of who you are not, reveals That which cannot fall away: your true Self.
>Thank you for this and this is easily understood, however the final step has to be taken by oneself, but if I don’t know what I don’t know, I do need help because I don’t know what the final step is?
>I suppose I just need to keep pecking! peck,peck,peck. Hahaha
Cindy: hehe yes yes yes. The “I” will never know. Ego can only go so far. There will come a point and it is no longer that “I” that takes the final, final step, and “you” will be taken over, usurped, de-throned.
>One thing is for sure, the mind has to be dropped with all of the thought and feelings, actually all of the senses because they all come and go.
Cindy: Senses cannot be dropped. Should not be dropped. Neither thought! Remain aware of everything (attached to nothing), otherwise it is just another contraction of ego. What is dropped is the false idea of me. True humility unfolds when the “I” gives itself up.
> Anyway, stay tuned, still at it, if I can say that!
>Mind is quietening down, or is it that I am not being interested in some things?
Cindy: Ah ha, I thought I sensed a recent shift. 😉
>I am carrying on with this, because I do not know another way besides what you have taught me. So I am still questioning who am I? what am I? Who is typing this e-mail? What am I doing today?
Cindy: Very good. The only question of value is… “Who am I?” Stick with it. You can, now that you are losing interest in everything else.
Cindy: Further to my comment, “As a child we learn to associate that sense of “I” with the body, and the word “I.” This projection is the first split and the establishment of separation.” …Most animals do not self-recognize themselves in a mirror. In humans it happens at about age 1.5 years. If this projection and split and did not happen, self-recognition would not be possible, and neither would Self-Realization. A human birth provides the possibility to awaken to who we really are. Make good use of it.
Cindy helps people Expose the ego.