In Defense of the Ego

Posted: November 5, 2013 in Philosophy
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
OpenMindCenter

The ego is a much maligned aspect of  our selves.  The ego has been the target of the best
and worst intentioned of individuals and groups.  On one hand we have governments and
organizations  that insist on ego annihilation and subjugation of individual will for the "good
of the state" or some other group.  Because the ego questions, the ego insists on its
individual freedom, the ego does not willingly submit to the unreasonable, destructive
demands of a totalitarian government or organization such as the military or some
religious groups, that set out to destroy any semblance of  individual will.

Then there are those who espouse destruction of the ego as a means of, or enroute to,
enlightenment.  The view here is that the ego is somehow evil or somehow separate from
the total being. Although no one could question the desirability of achieving a higher state
of awareness, one might question ego annihilation as a means to that end.

The ego is one aspect of the total self.  The ego is the aspect that the higher self, God, the
Divine Master, the Tao, the One Mind, or whatever you wish to call it, created to interact
with all other aspects of the physical universe. Its task is to survive these interactions and
thrive.  The ego takes its task seriously.  It looks after its various individual selves and
thrives, and forgets.   In forgetting, the ego may become so self centered in accomplishing
its assigned tasks that it acts in ways detrimental to other individuals and its environment
and it is out of balance with the universe and its purpose.

  Somewhere along the line though, the questions always return; the who, why , or what
am I ?  And what is it that asks the question?  What is it that struggles to find the answer;
that builds temples when it thinks its found an answer.  What is it that contemplates the
possibility of eternity and a universe of unlimited possibilities?  It is not the higher self, or
the god within, because it knows!  It is the ego that struggles to awareness.  It is the ego
that becomes enlightened.  It is the ego that continues to interact on the physical plane
even as the answers become clear.  But, once enlightened, aware of who and what it is, it
acts and reacts in a totally new way.  It knows that its individual  well being is connected at
the very deepest and highest level  with its environment and all other entities in this
creation.

The goal then, should not be to destroy the ego(unless you're planning on disappearing in
some spectacular pyrotechnic display upon achieving satori) but to bring it into balance
with the rest of  your individual aspects and the aspects of all the other entities manifest in
this timespace construct.   I propose that our purpose in being here is not, as the Buddha
said, "to suffer",  or as others say, to learn.   Considering the all knowing nature of the one
mind it would be a dismally short play and boring to boot...."let me tell you about suffering". 
Rather, I believe we are here to experience this creation, both its joys and sorrows.  The
ego in balance can appreciate the joy and the sorrow without becoming 
attached to them because it knows they only have meaning in the duality of the physical
universe.   The ego in balance, the aware ego, that aspect of the all that makes you you, will 
graciously give up its attachment to this world when it is time. There is nothing you have to
do to the ego but remember who and what you are.

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