EGO

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kdolma
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EGO

Post by kdolma » Wed May 25, 2016 11:09 pm

Is Ego afraid of Emptiness?

What is EGO so afraid of?

What exactly is EGO though?
-"I", "me", ethnicity, culture, rich/poor, social/anti-social, introverted/extroverted....etc...

Are we trying to destroy EGO, or uncover the consciousness/cosmic whatever you call that is always there??

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Ayu
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Re: EGO

Post by Ayu » Wed May 25, 2016 11:23 pm

Ego Is A Filter
In Buddhist psychology, ego is seen as a kind of filter, a network through which energy is constantly being channeled and manipulated rather than being able to flow freely in unrestricted space. It is not a solid entity but a moment-to-moment process of birth, evolution, and death.
Chögyam Trungpa, The Sanity We Are Born With: A Buddhist Approach to Psychology
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

Jeff H
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Re: EGO

Post by Jeff H » Thu May 26, 2016 2:14 pm

I think ego understands emptiness as death. In fact, emptiness is ego death.

We each have a unique conscious perspective on the experience of living and we misinterpret that perspective to be the center of the universe. We solidify that center as “me”, clinging to it for dear life and cherishing it above all.

The ego-grasping process results in isolation, neediness, protectionism, fear, discontent, and anger. All of that is what I understand as “ego”: the pollution of ignorance. Emptiness is the realization that there is no basis for ego-grasping. As we can weaken and destroy the ego we come ever closer to “the bliss of perfect freedom”.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

Simon E.
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Re: EGO

Post by Simon E. » Thu May 26, 2016 2:41 pm

kdolma wrote:Is Ego afraid of Emptiness?

What is EGO so afraid of?

What exactly is EGO though?
-"I", "me", ethnicity, culture, rich/poor, social/anti-social, introverted/extroverted....etc...

Are we trying to destroy EGO, or uncover the consciousness/cosmic whatever you call that is always there??
As CTR says in the passage quoted by Ayu ego is not a 'thing' it is an activity.
Dharma suggests several strategies for dropping that activity. But it's not easy. We are born with that activity already functioning. It needs work. And for most of us, guidance.
“ When the demon is at your door, in the morning it won’t be there no more
Any major dude will tell you”.

kdolma
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Re: EGO

Post by kdolma » Thu May 26, 2016 7:05 pm

Simon E. wrote:
kdolma wrote:Is Ego afraid of Emptiness?

As CTR says in the passage quoted by Ayu ego is not a 'thing' it is an activity.
Dharma suggests several strategies for dropping that activity. But it's not easy. We are born with that activity already functioning. It needs work. And for most of us, guidance.
When you say Activity, what are you referring to?

Also, I am still not grasping what Emptiness actually is. So anyone want to try and help me understand or explain Emptiness to the best of your knowledge/experience??

Simon E.
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Re: EGO

Post by Simon E. » Thu May 26, 2016 8:55 pm

We are conditioned to think of ego as something we possess. And that it is bad, To be got rid of.

What the Vajrayana says (and maybe other schools too) is that rather than trying to be egoless we need to see that the ego is an illusion. A powerful illusion which arises because we identify with what is temporary and passing. So 'fighting' ego simply strengthens our ego sense.
'Ego' is something we do...not something we have. The degree to which we can detach from that activity, is the degree we are free from it.
And we detach by clearly seeing it arising from moment to moment.
“ When the demon is at your door, in the morning it won’t be there no more
Any major dude will tell you”.

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Dan74
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Re: EGO

Post by Dan74 » Fri May 27, 2016 2:23 am

I think Simon has already explained emptiness in his post above. It is basically seeing that reality is not made up of things, but of happenings and doings. And that with our minds, we constantly create this reality, with our narratives, our habitual tendencies, our filtering described above. Understanding this 'reality making' is a big chunk of understanding Emptiness, IMO.

So yes, fear of emptiness is the fear of seeing things as they truly are which is not things. So ego has no reality to it, it is a habit, a doing, empty of inherent existence. This could be a scary proposition!

_/|\_

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Grigoris
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Re: EGO

Post by Grigoris » Fri May 27, 2016 6:49 am

Emptiness is the true nature of all phenomena (including the ego): ie that their arising , existence and disappearance is based on causes and conditions rather than some essential defining characteristic.

For example, this thing we call "self" does not have some truly existent core or essence (like a soul for example), but is composed of five constantly changing and impermanent factors or aggregates (skandha in Sanskrit): form (the physical body), sensations, sensory perceptions, volitions (habits in other words) and conscious discrimination or discernment.

We then project an idea of an independently existing self on these processes (processes which are common to all sentient beings) and then spend our whole life defending and pampering this illusion.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Grigoris
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Re: EGO

Post by Grigoris » Fri May 27, 2016 6:57 am

PS Trying to destroy ego is a waste of time, because it doesn't exist. How can you destroy something that dies not exist?

What we are trying to do is reduce our clinging and grasping to the IDEA of ego.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

SeeLion
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Re: EGO

Post by SeeLion » Fri May 27, 2016 8:10 am

Is Ego afraid of Emptiness?
Ego is not a thing, and emptiness is not a thing.

If you ask the question this way, it may create confusion thinking that the Ego and Emptiness are entities chasing after eachother.

But the Ego is not a thing, and Emptiness is not a thing.

Shortly, Emptiness is the fact that the Ego is not a thing. And not only the Ego, other things are not a thing, like for example your foot.

Ok, so what does this mean ?

Let's try the Elephant story.

There was a village where there were living 7 blind men. And they were curious to see what an elephant is like. So they went to somebody who owns an elephant and wanted to check it out.

And each one was touching a different part of the elephant and they would be arguing and could never agree what the elephant is like.

One was touching the elephant foot and saying that the elephant is like a tree, another one was touching a tusk and said the elephant is like a spear, another one was touching it's tail and said the elephant was like a rope.

Point being that on any thing, there is an infinite number of perspectives. And all of those perspectives are incorrect or "empty", in the sense that neither one fully grasps, comprehends the "thing".

You can put it a different way: you don't have one single Ego, you have many egos and they change depending on the life experiences.

By the way, there is a follow-up to that story.

There were 7 blind elephants, and they heard the above story, and they really couldn't believe it: "What is that a "human". how can a human be so stupid and don't understand what an elephant is" ?

They agreed with eachother: "We must go to the village and check it out for ourselves".

And they rushed stampeding towards the village, quite curious and anxious to meet the humans and learn about them. And they did ...

And after learning about humans, they were discussing between themselves, about how humans are.

And one of them said: "A human is sort of flat, like a pancake". And all other elephants were agreeing: "Yes, humans are like pancakes".

muni
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Re: EGO

Post by muni » Fri May 27, 2016 8:14 am

Ego is idea, idea of being an individual living in its’ outer world (others is the biased perception of ego, Guru Rinpoche) by holding on thoughts by which all deluded action speech and mind flows. It is misperception. This concept is confusion, ignorance. Then there is need to protect, to please. What is misperception cannot be destroyed, knowing misperception is crucial. Since by idea ego every thing can be known (but not this very misperception), while by practices, by inquiry/rushen there is clarity how misperception is. By pointing out/introduction/guidance/insight/practice…. our misperception itself has never been other than a fata morgana in the desert.
In nondual equipoise we experience all is own energy, in confusion we are an individual in its’ outer world.
Oh well! Very easy to say! Easy for misperception itself to say.

"Don’t investigate the root of things,
Investigate the root of Mind!
Once the mind’s root has been found,
You’ll know one thing, yet all is thereby freed.
But if the root of Mind you fail to find,
You will know everything but nothing
understand. Guru Rinpoche."
Which human beings are “fortunate and connected?” They are the ones who generate love, compassion, and devotion, as well as the commitment to remain steadfast on the path until all beings are liberated. Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches.

Examining the faults of others will not benefit anyone and only leads to more disturbing emotions, blocking our path to liberation. Penor Rinpoche

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Grigoris
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Re: EGO

Post by Grigoris » Fri May 27, 2016 8:32 am

SeeLion wrote:Point being that on any thing, there is an infinite number of perspectives. And all of those perspectives are incorrect or "empty", in the sense that neither one fully grasps, comprehends the "thing".
No, this is not what the term "emptiness" describes.

If you want to understand what it describes you can start here Cula-suññata Sutta: The Lesser Discourse on Emptiness and here Maha-suññata Sutta: The Greater Discourse on Emptiness and then move on to try and understand the Mahayana view of emptiness.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

Simon E.
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Re: EGO

Post by Simon E. » Fri May 27, 2016 8:54 am

There is more than model to understand the process by which we 'create' a world with us at its centre.
One model is the push and pull of attraction and aversion.
Things arise in our stream of consciousness..in themselves they are neutral.Stimuli, thoughts, emotions. desires.
But we then as CTR says, filter them. The first division we make is into things that attract us and things we are averse to.
A constant stream of perceptions arise and we say yes to them and grasp them, or no and retreat into aversion which just the inverse of attraction.
It is that push and pull which creates the illusion of a solid unchanging entity.

And it is a trickster which will bend even 'spiritual' thoughts to its own ends. We cant just by an act of will identify with being egoless by grasping at narratives about other people's lack of ego.

We have to see for ourselves where the self sense arises. For most of us that needs an introduction by one who has already seen that process for themselves to at least some degree. Who will usually give us a method which will act as a holding operation..these methods are called 'skillful means' and a good teacher will see what our particular need is.
“ When the demon is at your door, in the morning it won’t be there no more
Any major dude will tell you”.

SeeLion
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Re: EGO

Post by SeeLion » Fri May 27, 2016 11:58 am

Point being that on any thing, there is an infinite number of perspectives. And all of those perspectives are incorrect or "empty", in the sense that neither one fully grasps, comprehends the "thing".

No, this is not what the term "emptiness" describes.
No, I'm not describing emptiness there, but the process of creating an illusory identity for our selves and also for the objects we relate to.

Putting that back into context, my point was that:

1. The ego does not have a separate identity
2. Also, the objects we conceptualize do not have a separate identity


... despite the fact that we are experiencing the ego and also the objects as an infinite number of perspectives that we attribute to the self and the objects as having a separate identity.

Or to put it differently, they way we conceptualize our selves or the objects/people we relate to does not have a match in the true nature/reality of existence.

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Grigoris
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Re: EGO

Post by Grigoris » Fri May 27, 2016 12:34 pm

SeeLion wrote:Putting that back into context, my point was that:

1. The ego does not have a separate identity
Seperate to what?
2. Also, the objects we conceptualize do not have a separate identity
Seperate to what? :smile:
Or to put it differently, they way we conceptualize our selves or the objects/people we relate to does not have a match in the true nature/reality of existence.
Now you are starting to make sense! :twothumbsup:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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