Seeing Ego – The Spiritual Enlightenment Self Destruct Button
Self Inquiry or the process of seeing ego is much like pushing a self destruct button. The self that gets destroyed of course (displaced is a better word but for this post we will stick with the apocalyptic analogy) is the little self of mind/ego and the SELF that takes it’s place is the true self of conscious self-awareness. In order for the self-destruct button to REALLY take effect you have to be pushing it during all moments of your waking life, until the wind has been completely taken out of the sails of ego. This process is no fun. You will not thank me while you are going through this process. When you arrive to the other side of this process you might thank me…or not. Much like the movie The Matrix, waking up is more about the truth than candy coated light infused bubbalicious bliss and happiness. Here’s how you self-destruct:
Probably the easiest method of seeing is ego, rather than trying to understand it from a psycho-analytic-quasi-pseudo-therapeutic perspective, is just to FEEL it- and specifically, to feel how it fails.
Ego fails to bring you lasting fulfillment under all of these conditions:
The things you stick in your mouth: You must see that there is an ego element in all of the things you stick in your mouth. All food, drinks, drugs, cigarettes, bubble gum and lollipops have an element of ego fulfillment in them- even the items that are healthy and nutritious. All activity that goes on around that hole below your nose has been infiltrated by ego. Ego tries to fulfill itself through that hole. In small bits and pieces it succeeds, but as a whole it utterly fails. Be aware of this. Notice this. Witness this with that aspect of yourself which is already whole: conscious self-awareness. Inquire in that moment, when you are sticking something in your mouth: Why am I doing this? What is motivating me? Who am I before this cookie, this cigarette, this bite of fish?
The things you do with your genitalia: You must see that ego has infiltrated your penis/vagina- even under the most loving of circumstances. Sure- it’s easy to see ego-fulfillment during a one night stand, but seeing it while making love to your cosmic soul mate?- now that is another thing. Be consciously aware that ego is trying to fulfill itself in the sex act, whether it be fucking, making love or masturbation. Ego is there. See through it. Ask yourself right in the moment of that sex act- who am I before sex? How is ego/mind trying to fulfill itself? Again, just like food, ego succeeds temporarily but ultimately you need to go back again and again for fulfillment. The sex act is a conditional experience. See this. Feel this.
The verbal expression from your mouth: One must see that ALL talking has been infiltrated by ego. Even your most eloquent high-falutent intellectual philosophical diatribe, relative to ego, ain’t much different than your communication with your pet gerbil. Most people are babbling idiots, talking merely to ease their constant unconscious state of existential discomfort. Well, my friend, so are you- maybe a little more sophisticated, a little more well spoken- but in the end ego/mind is trying to fulfill itself in all moments of talking. Feel into this. See this. Be aware of this. Who are you before you speak? Who is speaking? Why are you speaking?
Your social interaction with family and friends: Ego has infiltrated all of your interaction with family and friends. All social situations are an attempt by ego to fulfill itself. All social interactions have an element of ego seeking in them. Everything from the date on a Friday night with your boyfriend, to Thanksgiving dinner with your family. Going bowling with a group of friends?- ego is there. Out to a movie with your brother?- Ego is there. Hanging out at your parents house this weekend?- Ego is there. Live in a house full of roommates?- Ego is there. Even in moments of conflict, tension, or anger within a social situation- ego is there. Ego doesn’t care if there is a positive or negative spin on any social situation. Any social situation will suffice for ego to attach itself to and attempt to fulfill itself. For a lot of people – the more drama the better. Ego loves drama. See this. Feel this truth. Ego is there with your family, your friends, your loved ones. Align yourself with conscious self-awareness under all of these circumstances and you will expose ego here as well.
The emotions you feel and have: All of your emotions- sadness, anger, joy, happiness, boredom, frustration, etc. have been infiltrated by ego. Ego doesn’t care what the emotion is- as long as there is something to fill the void. Ego would much rather have hate, anger, sadness and depression than nothing at all. Ego revels in emotion – sucks it up like a pig in slop. Emotions are probably the hardest thing to see ego in because they rattle us in so many ways- mentally, physically and energetically- emotions drive right through the heart of our being. Emotions can be earthquakes. That is the challenge- to see ego even during these earthquakes. This requires a very one-pointed will – aligning yourself with conscious self-awareness-even during the most emotional moments. Who are you when you are angry? Who are you when you have been dumped by your girlfriend? Who are you before your father angered you? Who are you when you are elated or high? The answer must always be- Conscious self-awareness. You are the freedom and the spaciousness before any emotion. See this. Feel this. Be this.
Your highest good intentions: Ego has infiltrated even your highest aspirations and do-gooding attempts. Ego-fulfillment is behind your efforts to save the planet, recycle the garbage, save the whales, stopping injustice in Africa, voting for the right politicians, and giving to charity. Mind tries to fulfill itself in saving the world. Mind would rather save the world than give up control. Again, these methods of fulfillment work temporarily but ego has to go back to them over and over. Ego will always see an injustice, an evil, or an unfairness in the world that needs to be fixed, altered, or improved. See this. Feel this. Recognize the truth in this. Who are you before saving the world?
Your spiritual efforts, practices, and methods: Ego loves spiritual seeking. Ego has infiltrated all of your spiritual efforts, actions, and maneuvers- from the pettiest to the most sublime. Ego is there while you read books. Ego is there while you read this blog post. Ego is there when you practice yoga, meditation, breathing, relaxation, satsang and mantras. Ego is there trying to fulfill itself. Mind wants to improve itself, better itself, make itself more sophisticated, purer, and lighter. Ego is there with all of your best or highest religious and spiritual intentions. Fulfillment, fulfillment, fulfillment- ego wants and seeks happiness through spirituality, and just like all other methods, it succeeds for a little while and then is back for more. There is never enough spiritual fulfillment for ego. One must see this, recognize this, and feel this. Why are you doing these things? What are you doing? Who is aware during spiritual seeking? Who are you before spiritual seeking?
Your work, career and survival methods: Ego has infiltrated the thing you do every day to make money. Ego is there trying to fulfill itself through work goals, aspirations, and efforts. That promotion?- ego. That raise?- ego. That bonus?-ego. That change of jobs or career?-ego. Hate that boss?-ego. Love that place you work in?-ego. From the crappiest clerk job at Best Buy to the CEO of Google- all egos attempt to fulfill themselves in work, at work, or around work. There will always be more money, better positions, and better circumstances to be had, but none of it is ever good enough, for long, for ego. See this. Feel this. Discover this about yourself. See how your job or career ultimately fails to give you TRUE fulfillment. See how you must go back over and over to fill that emptiness. See this condition. Be the conscious self-awareness that sees through this.
Your mind, thoughts, and thinking: Ego has infiltrated all mind activity, conscious and unconscious. See that behind every thought that bubbles up is a micro-attempt at ego to fulfill itself. That thought and that one and that one … on and on it goes. Most thinking is automatic, chronic, and habitual- and all of it has been compromised by ego. Ego wants to fulfill itself in thinking- from the lowest most base thoughts to the highest genius creative expressions- all thinking fails to give permanent fulfillment. Thinking fails. Feel this. See this. Who is it that is aware of the thinking? Who is it that notices thought?
Go Ahead – Push that Button:
Pushing the ego self-destruct button is spirituality 101. This is the first thing that must be seen through in order for the awakening process to occur. Spiritual awakening can only be fostered when this button has been pushed over and over. It dismantles the ego. It causes ego to recoil and shrink and ultimately to abdicate its great throne to conscious self-awareness. All of this is old news- you’ve heard it before: Let go and Let God. A true statement, but one not often understood with any depth or effective meaning. Push that button- and you will be surprised at the results.
J. Stewart Dixon was born in 1969. He studied with dozens of awakening /enlightenment teachers for two decades before his own awakening in 2010. He is the author of 21 Days, A Guide for Spiritual Beginners www.21Daysbook.com