Tag Archives: ego

The Presence of the Absence of Ego


There is much going on in the world with the ego.

People with ego are supposedly a nuisance. People without ego are supposed to be saints. Some people are seeking to destroy their own ego. Some are engaged in destroying other people’s ego. What is this ego? Does it really exist?

We can all agree that the ego cannot be seen directly. You cannot look at a person & know whether he has ego or not. Ego is supposed to be seen in action. It is implied to exist in a person when you observe his behavior or reactions to other people. Pride, Anger, Jealousy & other outward expressions are taken to be the result of having an ego. But the ego is never seen directly.

With so much talk about the ego, people already believe they have a personal ego. Not just that, egos are measured in sizes. There are tiny egos; there are small egos; there are large egos & there are gigantic egos. Egos are also measured in the amount of possessions one has, the type of car one drives, the type of house one lives in, and even the size of body parts.

There is much going on in the world with the ego.

Some people are not ashamed of their egos & are happy to increase it everyday. They believe ego is the source of their happiness. Some others who believe or are told that ego is the source of their suffering start to follow practices to destroy their ego. They understand that to be free of anger, hatred & other unwanted emotions, their ego must be destroyed. There is no dearth of teachers or ego fumigation experts who come up with meditation practices & other therapies to help their disciples to get free from ego.

Some wise men even point out that the whole attempt to get rid of the ego is an action of the ego itself so you are only boosting it in the process of eliminating it.

There is much going on in the world with the ego.

The point to realize is that the ego is just a name given to certain outward expressions of people or their behavior. These expressions are usually reactions to circumstances or to other people. And reactions are a natural process. When it rains, clothes get wet. When your car hits something, it gets scratches. Now scratches do not exist. There is only the car & its metal body which is disfigured. Scratch is the name given to that disfigurement or the removed paint. But a scratch does not exist by itself. But if you see around, you will find so many solutions to remove scratches. You cannot remove scratches. You can only try to re-form the metal shape to its original form or paint the surface.

Similarly there is no ego entity. You can neither increase or decrease your ego. You can only watch your behavior & correct it. Do not go on the invisible witch hunt of eliminating the ego.

There is much going on in the world with the ego.

Beware of Your Self

When we see a warning like “Beware of Dog”, we are instantly alert and look around for any dangerous dogs. In the same way, the warning “Beware of Your Self” should make us alert and watch our dangerous selves.

Am I really saying that our self is dangerous? Yes, quite true. Not just dangerous but deadly and poisonous and can lead to death.

The self which is also called ego is a fictional notion. It does not exist apart from the notion of ego or self. It is neither body nor mind. It comes into its notional existence when others start calling it by its name and start talking about it.

As a child, its parents and relatives start calling it by a name and over a period of time, the child starts believing that he/she is that name. With the name the whole story starts building around it – what I do, what I wear, what I eat, where I go, what happens to me and so on.

With the self comes the other automatically. The self likes or dislikes others, loves or hates others, plays with other people and things and so on. Everything he/she does strengthens the notion of the self. In fact, the world, the society, the culture and the education are all engaged in building up a better, stronger, independent self.

The self then creates, builds, kills and destroys. It continues the sustenance of itself and other selves. The self, with science, makes medicines to prolong itself and also bombs to destroy other selves.

This illusion of self is dangerous. Because of its assumption of separateness, it creates division and conflict between one self and another. It can know no peace of mind and is always acting to sustain itself, always in the race to making itself bigger, better, smarter and wealthier than others. Slowing down creates panic in the self and it starts to engage in more and more activity.

The self feels it is alone and has to stand up against the whole world. So it forms groups of like-minded selves and fights other groups. The groups can be religion, companies, countries and you name it.

The self is the source of all the confusion, conflict and sadness in the world. Ironically, the self does everything in order to attain happiness but ends up doing the exact opposite. Where there is the self, there is danger – grave danger.

That is why I say – beware of your self.