Tag Archives: Ego

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Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi Devi)

The common expression is ‘I love you.’ But instead of ‘I love you,’ it would be better to say, ‘I am love — I am the embodiment of pure love.’ Remove the I and you, and you will find that there is only love. It is as if love is imprisoned between the I and you. Remove the I and you, for they are unreal; they are self-imposed walls that don’t exist. The gulf between I and you is the ego. When the ego is removed the distance disappears and the I and you also disappear. They merge to become one — and that is love. You lend the I and you their reality. Withdraw your support and they will disappear. Then you will realise, not that ‘I love you,’ but that ‘I am that all-embracing love.’

— Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi Devi)

(image source: hinter-den-schlagzeilen.de)

Love

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Krishna and Arjuna

THE BLESSED LORD SAID:

Fearlessness, purity; of heart, persistence in the yoga of knowledge, generosity, self-control, nonviolence, gentleness, candor, integrity, disengagement, joy in the study of the scriptures, compassion for all beings, modesty, patience, a tranquil mind, dignity, kindness, courage, a benevolent, loving heart—these are the qualities of men born with divine traits, Arjuna.

Hypocrisy, insolence, anger, cruelty, ignorance, conceit—these, Arjuna, are the qualities of men with demonic traits.  The divine traits lead to freedom: the demonic, to suffering and bondage.  But do not be concerned, Arjuna: the traits you have are divine.

The demonic and the divine are the two kinds of men in this world.  The divine I have told you about; now learn about the demonic.

Demonic men do not realize what should and what should not be done; there is no purity of heart, no virtue, no truth inside them.  They say that life is an accident caused by sexual desire, that the universe has no moral order, no truth, no God.  Clinging to this stupid belief, drawn into cruelty and malice, they become lost souls and, at last, enemies of the whole world.  Driven by insatiable lusts, drunk on the arrogance of power, hypocritical, deluded, their actions foul with self-seeking.  Tormented by a vast anxiety that continues until their death, convince that the gratification of desire is life’s sole aim, bound by a hundred shackles of hope, enslaved by their greed, they squander their time dishonestly piling up mountains of wealth.

“Today I got this desire, and tomorrow I will get that one; all these riches are mine, and soon I will have even more.  “Already I have killed these enemies, and soon I will kill the rest; I am the lord, the enjoyer, successful, happy, and strong.  “Noble, and rich, and famous.  Who on earth is my equal?  I will worship, give alms, and rejoice.”  Thus think these ignorant fools.  Bewildered by endless thinking, entangled in the net of delusion, addicted to desire, they plunge into the foulest of hells.  Self-centered, stubborn, filled with all the insolence of wealth, they go through the outward forms of worship, but their hearts are elsewhere.  Clinging to the I-sense, to power, to arrogance, lust, and rage, they hate me, denying my presence in their own and in others’ bodies.

Through all the cycles of birth and death, I hurl these depraved, cruel, and hate-filled men into demonic wombs.  Trapped in demonic wombs, deluded in birth after birth, they never reach me, Arjuna, but sink to the lowest state.  This is the soul-destroying threefold entrance to hell: desire, anger, and greed.  Every man should avoid them.  The man who refuses to enter these three gates into darkness does what is best for himself and attains the ultimate goal.

But the man who rejects the scriptures, chasing his own desires, cannot attain the goal of true joy or true success.  Therefore, guided by the scriptures, know what to do and not do; first and understand their injunctions, then act uprightly in the world.

— The Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 16 (transl. Stephen Mitchell)

(image source: Cover illustration of “Bhagavad-Gita as it is”)

Divine traits and Demonic traits

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Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

Can we cover the earth in leather so it’s soft wherever we go? What else can we do? Covering our feet in leather is equal to covering the whole world in leather. Likewise, enemies are as limitless as space. All enemies cannot possibly be overcome, yet if one can just overcome hatred this will be equal to overcoming all enemies. All that is unsatisfactory in this world all the fear and suffering that exists clinging to the “I” has created it. What am I to do with this great demon? To release myself from harm and to free all others from their suffering let me give myself away and love others as I love myself. If a problem can be solved why be unhappy? And if it cannot be solved what is the use of being unhappy?

— Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche – from the movie ‘The Cup’ – Commentary to Verse 6 / Chapter 5 of the Bodhicharyavatara from Shantideva

(image source: wikipedia.org)

Just with the leather of the soles, the whole earth is covered

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Thomas Merton

The mature person realizes that life affirms itself most, not in acquiring things, but in giving time, efforts, strength, intelligence, and love to others. Here a different kind of dialectic of life and death begins to appear. The living drive, the vital satisfaction, by “ending” its trend to self-satisfaction and redirecting itself to and for others, transcends itself. It “dies” insofar as the ego is concerned, for the self is deprived of the immediate satisfactions which it could claim without being contested. Now it renounces these things, in order to give to others. Hence, life “dies” to itself in order to give itself away and thus affirms itself more maturely, more fruitfully, and more completely. We live in order to die to ourselves and give everything to others. …This “dying” to self in order to give to others is nothing more or less than a higher and more special affirmation of life. Such dying is the fruit of life, the evidence of mature and productive living. It is, in fact, the end or the goal of life.

— Thomas Merton – Love and Living (p. 102.)

(image source: http://www.newcastle.anglican.org)

Life Affirms Itself In Giving

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Jiddu Krishnamurti

Can the mind put away all its conditioning so that it is actually, not verbally or theoretically or ideologically, but actually free, completely? That is the only challenge, that is the only issue, now or ever. If you also see the importance of that, then we can go into this question as to whether the mind can uncondition itself. Can we proceed from there? Is it possible? In this question several things are involved. First of all who is the entity who is going to uncondition the conditioned mind? You understand? I want to uncondition myself, being born as a Hindu or brought up in a particular part of the world, with all the impressions, cultures, books, magazines, what people have said and what they have not, such constant pressure has shaped my mind. And I see it must be totally free. Now, how is it to be free? Is there an entity which is going to make it free? Man has said, there is an entity; they call it the Atman in India, the soul or the grace of God in the Occident, or this or that, which, given an opportunity, will bring about this freedom. It is suggested that if I live rightly, if I do certain things, if I follow certain formulas, certain systems, certain beliefs, then I will be free. So, firstly it is posited that there is a superior outer form or agency, that will help me to be free, that will make the mind free if I do these things right? But ‘If you do these things’ is a system, which is going to condition you and that is what has happened. The theologians and the theoreticians and the various religious people have said, ‘do these things, practice, meditate, control, force, suppress, follow, obey’ then at the end, that outer agency will come and bring a certain miracle and you will be free; see how false that is, yet every religion believes in it in a different way. So, if you see the truth of that, that there is no outer agency, God what you will that is going to free the conditioned mind, then the whole organized religious structure, of priests with their rituals, with their mutterings of meaningless words, words, have no meaning any more. Then secondly, if you have actually discarded all that, how is it possible for this conditioning to be dissolved; who is the entity that is going to do it; you have discarded this outer agency, the sacred, the divine, all that, then there must be somebody who is going to dissolve it? Then who is that? The observer? The ‘I’, the ‘me’, which is the observer? Let us stick to that word, ‘observer’; that is good enough. Is it the observer that is going to dissolve it? The observer says; ‘I must be free, therefore I must get rid of all this conditioning’. You have discarded the outer, divine agency, but you have created another agency which is the observer. Now, is the observer different from the thing which he observes? Please do follow this. You understand? We looked to an outer agency to free us God, Saviours, Masters and so on, the gurus if you discard that then you will see that you must also discard the observer, who is another form of an agency. The observer is the result of experience, of knowledge, of the desire to free himself from his own conditioning; he says, ‘I must be free’. The ‘I’ is the observer. The ‘I’ says, ‘I must be free’. But is the ‘I’ different from the thing it observes? It says, ‘I am conditioned, I am a nationalist, I am a Catholic, I am this, I am that’. Is the ‘I’ really different from the thing which he says is separate from him, which he says is his conditioning?

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Talks and Dialogues in Saanen 1968

(image source: krishnamurti.dk)

Who will free the mind?

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Rabindranath Tagore

The ‘I’ that floats along the wave of time,
From a distance I watch him.
With the dust and the water,
With the fruit and the flower,
With the All he is rushing forward.
He is always on the surface,
Tossed by the waves and dancing to the rhythm
Of joy and suffering.
The least loss makes him suffer,
The least wound hurts him–
Him I see from afar.
That ‘I’ is not my real self;
I am still within myself,
I do not float in the stream of death.
I am free, I am desireless,
I am peace, I am illumined–
Him I see from afar.

— Rabindranath Tagore – The Later Poems

(Imagesource: Famous Poets and Poems)

From Afar

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A STILLNESS absolute, incommunicable,
Meets the sheer self-discovery of the soul;
A wall of stillness shuts it from the world,
A gulf of stillness swallows up the sense
And makes unreal all that mind has known,
All that the laboring senses still would weave
Prolonging an imaged unreality.
Self’s vast spiritual silence occupies Space;
Only the Inconceivable is left,
Only the Nameless without space and time:
Abolished is the burdening need of life:
Thought falls from us, we cease from joy and grief;
The ego is dead; we are freed from being and care,
We have done with birth and death and work and fate.
O soul, it is too early to rejoice!
Thou hast reached the boundless silence of the Self,
Thou hast leaped into a glad divine abyss;
But where hast thou thrown Self’s mission and Self’s power?
On what dead bank on the Eternal’s road?
One was within thee who was self and world,
What hast thou done for his purpose in the stars?
Escape brings not the victory and the crown!
Something thou cam’st to do from the Unknown,
But nothing is finished and the world goes on
Because only half God’s cosmic work is done.
Only the everlasting No has neared
And stared into thy eyes and killed thy heart:
But where is the Lover’s everlasting Yes,
And immortality in the secret heart,
The voice that chants to the creator Fire,
The symboled OM, the great assenting Word,
The bridge between the rapture and the calm,
The passion and the beauty of the Bride,
The chamber where the glorious enemies kiss,
The smile that saves, the golden peak of things?
This too is Truth at the mystic fount of Life.

— Sri Aurobindo – Savitri

To realize our true Self, and unify with the One is not the end of the journey!