Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kiling the Ego

I had time to do some serious thinking this weekend as I had a lot of driving to do.

In times past, I've participated in and witnessed many a discussion in various newsgroups regarding killing the ego. What exactly does this mean? I've never really figured that one out. There was a time, and I still believe this is valid for new folks on the path, that I believed the issue was balancing the grandiose self-talk of arrogance with the self-abasing talk of insecurity. I think the balance point of understanding one's 'good' qualities without too much back patting and recognizing one's negative side without too much harsh self chatter is a good thing to shoot for.

Now, I am toying with a different concept. The ego tries to remake the world according to its own self-perceptions. The ego will expect others to be friends with the same people we perceive as good and stay away from folks we see as bad. The ego will try to convince others of religious, political or other viewpoints. The arrogant ego will try to force others to be complimentary. The negative ego will see every bump in life's road as proof of their unworthiness.

Perhaps killing the ego is more along the lines of killing the desire to create 'proof' of personal perceptions. Perhaps it is closer to killing the need to force the world to fit within our parameters.

Of course, there are times where enforcing one's point of view is important and even critical. The owner of a business needs to display the leadership of his or her vision. A mother defending her children from an intruder is another. I am speaking of more subtle things than those.

Obviously, I am still working all this out.


Jason Miller, said...

The concept of killing the ego came into western occult work through the east. In almost all cases, when it is translated from a source at all, the original meaning is to transcend the ego. There is a BIG difference between killing the ego and transcending the ego.

Buddha had an Ego. Christ had an Ego. All great spiritual leaders throughout history had ego. In fact they had huge ego's. Immense world shaking ego's.

The reason that their personal ego was so powerful is that their awareness was not confined to the ego. They transcended it. From the transpersonal perspective, the individual ego is a tool that can be used. Until you physically die you will not "kill" your ego.

The ego is like a cage on a desert island. The first duty is to pick the lock and escape the cage. Once the lock is broke, and you can come and go as you please, you find that the cage is now useful. It is the best shelter on the island, and perhaps can be used as a tool in other ways.

When they talk about killing the ego, they are really talking about attachment to the ego.

Hope that helps

Frater POS said...

Well that is sort of what I was getting at. The need to prove the ego correct, to verify perceptions and the like being dismissed, one would achieve some level of transcendence. I don't think it is the whole picture but it is a more advanced perspective than my previous continuum.

As always your comments are appreciated.

Julie said...

I am not sure if what you are talking about is exactly ego. I think youre talking about the Pygmalion complex, something that i have struggled to understand for many years. You create an expectation for yourself, your family, your co-workers and/or your friends, either good or bad out of disdain for the opposite quality.

In doing so, you become attached to that expectation, the sculpture that you created, and develop a strong desire for it. Afterall, you (ego) invested time, passion and hard work into the sculpture.

Maybe the key is understanding the opposite quality and then building your expectation? Maybe, its understanding the mechanics of desire? Combination of all 3, and if so, in what proportions?

Good luck with that. I am still struggling with it

Frater POS said...

I think that is a another very plausible way of looking at the same issue. The variances in saying the same subjective thing are quite interesting.

Jason Miller, said...

When mystics talk about the EGO they are talking about the whole sense of self. It has nothing to do with being egotistical or anything specific in your personality. It is about transcending the persona completely.

Frater POS said...

Well, at this point, I haven't the foggiest clue of what that means in reality, Jason. I believe you. It is just above my comprehension.

Ken Ferguson said...

I found this blog after doing some serious thinking about my life. I can pin it all down to a single event in May, 1996 where my whole world came crashing down around me.

I have tried to hang onto my ego, those things which I choose to define me as a person with little success. Now I feel a peace and tranquillity when I realise I can never be that person again. We accept the process of initiation as a rebirth and then we expect we can carry our ego into our magickal work. It's my belief that rebirth is as much about the ego as anything else and it's necessary to create a "new" ego. Perhaps this is what is really meant by killing the ego?

Just my thoughts really and I'm not claiming to be right. It's just what I feel.