“You are nothing. You may have your name and title, your property and your bank account, you may have power and be famous; but in spite of all these safeguards, you are as nothing. You may be totally unaware of this emptiness, this nothingness, or you may simply not want to be aware of it; but it is there, do what you will to avoid it. You may try to escape from it in devious ways, through personal or collective violence, through individual or collective worship, through knowledge or amusement; but whether you are asleep or awake, it is always there. You can come upon your relationship to this nothingness and its fear only by being choicelessly aware of the escapes. You are not related to it as a separate, individual entity; you are not the observer watching it; without you, the thinker, the observer, it is not. You and nothingness are one; you and nothingness are a joint phenomenon, not two separate processes. If you, the thinker, are afraid of it and approach it as something contrary and opposed to you, then any action you may take towards it must inevitably lead to illusion and so to further conflict and misery. When there is the discovery, the experiencing of that nothingness as you, then fear — which exists only when the thinker is separate from his thoughts and so tries to establish a relationship with them — completely drops away. Only then is it possible for the mind to be still; and in this tranquility, truth comes into being.” -Krishnamurte
There is no greater release and no deeper laughter than to discover that what I thought I was does not exist.
What you think you are is entirely self-reflecting. This singular point, having no real independent reality, learns what it is by reflection. It reflects back what it sees, what it is told, what it learns from the “external world.” The mind is a mimic. We learn who and what we are via the reflection we see “externally.” Therefore, the mind becomes conditioned, trained, by what it sees and what it is taught. It then merely repeats what it has been taught. It is a monkey, a perfect mimic; “Monkey see, monkey do.” Human free will is a myth. Virtually all self-centered behavior is programmed and imminently predictable. Why else would advertising be so effective? Following the dictates of conditioned mind is, in no way, freedom. It is the most pernicious form of slavery to the past and to the dictates of “society.” Sure, you can choose the color of your car, but can you choose no car? When identified with ego, one has no direct knowledge of himself or even of the totality of options available to him. All he knows is reflected, acquired, second-hand knowledge. This is ignorance indeed and guarantees the past will be repeated despite superficial changes in the form.
The ego is the entire process of name and form. All form implies a separateness one from the other. And language delineates this separation by making distinctions. The Hindus call it nama-rupa, name and form. This is as far as our separate divinity goes — giving things name and form. Man has never made a single living thing. In fact, Man has never truly created anything at all. Anything created must be eternal to be real.
The ego is the entire process of differentiation and distinction. The mind, utilizing the separative tool of language, makes arbitrary classifications and categories. Since we “think” in words or symbols, all linear thought is ego-based. Words are based on fragmentation, differentiation, definition. Therefore, the whole process of talking about (whether internally or verbally) and therefore thought, is separation. The entire process of intellectual “understanding” is based on dissection, breaking apart, attempting to understand the whole through defining it as the sum of its parts. The entire structure of language is subject-action-object. To objectify is to separate from. Objective thinking is separative thinking; the observer is different from the observed.
Once again, it must be emphasized — THERE IS NO EGO separate from your belief in it. It is an empty shell, a lifeless nothing, an inconsistent phantom. Only by your belief in its reality does it have any power at all. The ego does nothing in and of itself. Only your decision to believe in it gives it any existence whatsoever. We are not hapless pawns or unwilling victims of something that happened long, long ago. The Fall of Man did not happen in the far distant past; it is happening now, and now, and now. Like a picture on a TV screen, each and every moment this image is refreshed by our belief in its reality. Moment-to-moment we give this spurious idea new life, new reality, new power.
“You will believe that you are part of where you think you are. That is because you surround yourself with the environment you want. And you want it to protect the image of yourself that you have made. The image is part of this environment. What you see while you believe you are in it is seen through the eyes of the image. This is not vision. Images cannot see. -ACIM
It is both the problem maker and the problem solver. Ego makes a problem out of any situation — too much money/not enough money, relationship/no relationship, etc. Ego prefers drama to silence. Silence and space threaten its existence in that its meaninglessness and powerlessness may become apparent.
“By becoming involved with tangential issues, it hopes to hide the real question and keep it out of mind. The ego’s characteristic busy-ness with nonessentials is for precisely that purpose. Preoccupations with problems set up to be incapable of solution are favorite ego devices for impeding learning progress. In all these diversionary tactics, however, the one question that is never asked by those who pursue them is, ‘What for?’ This is the question that you must learn to ask in connection with everything. What is the purpose? Whatever it is, it will direct your efforts automatically. When you make a decision of purpose, then, you have made a decision about your future effort; a decision that will remain in effect unless you change your mind.”
The ego is unwillingness, nothing more. Are we willing to see that it is our demand for individuation, for uniqueness, which is the source of all of our problems, pain and suffering? The ego-mind, in fact, has a predisposition to see virtually any and all situations as, at least potentially, negative and problematical for itself. It needs problems to solve and “others” to attack in order to make its existence real. And being in constant contradiction, can anything but problems arise? If we see this, radically and profoundly, then we will see that un-Happiness is a constant activity that we are doing to ourselves. And in that realization, we will also see that we have another choice. It’s simple but its not easy.
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