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Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 21:40:21 +1000
From: Bala Pillai <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Below's Dr Loganathan's response.
I, me and my ego
The problem with ego is its fragmented view of the world. That's it. There is no other problem, whatsoever. The usual complaints against the ego being selfish, proud, etc. don't matter.
This is not the central problem. The problem
with Ego is its reluctance to face its own death, it's continuous DESIRE
to be ASSERTIVE and in that producing various views of its own construction
called ThaRpootham in Tamil. The DEATH we talk about is actually the BACKGROUNDING
of the ego functioning of the self and FOREGROUNDING
the BEING (God) functioning which can be real only if ego functioning
is withdrawn. The views are not simply fragmented, they are asaththu, .i.e.
always pointing towards something other than itself and possibly
HIGHER like a step while climbing up on a hill. Each step while providing
a vision of its own, also shows there are the YET TO BE SEEN
waiting yonder as a possibility for oneself to SEE . The Asaththu- the
changeable, points towards the Saththu- the relatively permanent,
and both together the SIVASATHTHU, the ABSOLUTE that's eternal and chngeless.
Hindu writings, mostly, as well as most other religions, in general,
frequently speak of the folly of ego.
But why on earth should we get rid of it? Unless you seek the truth of everything around you, the true truth and no less, we don't have to concern ourselves with the so-called problems caused by the ego.
The truths found with ego functioning of the
anma can NEVER be absolutistic for they always come with CUTTU, referentiality,
always within a " this" or "that". Hence always with some kind of TIME
consciousness either in the form Physical Time or Temporality, the Psychological
Time. Whatever understanding that churns out notions within TEMPORALITY
can never be the absolute but only something that can be displaced
and subverted, the asaththu. This is the problem caused by the Ego---
a strong desire to function within spatiotemporal notions. To be without
TIME is NOT easy at all but this is the MEANING of all our struggles
specially the religious.
If we do seek the truth of everything however, the ego is undesirable
in the most unequivocal terms. It interferes, and clouds the
issues involved by participating in the investigations into truth and having
its own puny demands on the results of the discoveries of our investigations.
What really interferes and cloudies the understansding is MAALAM and its derivatives maayaa maalam and kanma maalam. These are extrapersonal but within all interfering continuously with the cognitive functioning of self. These are the agents of DISTORTION, of EVIL and DEATH. The self that is assertive functions with these cloudying or fogging elements that distort the SEEING and generating understanding that can be wrong, misleading , prejudiced etc.
Mostly, the true truth is revolting to our ego and mind (which in man in general is no more and no less than the workhorse of the ego.) To presumethat we can reason with our mind, and that we can disengage our ego from our mental deliberations is incorrect. The first order of the day is to struggle with the mind, understand its nature (not its thinking processes, ideas, etc.) and come to a realization that the mind as we perceive it is a projection of the ego; the master of the mind always remains the ego.
The " mind" is not the projection of the Ego.
The self funtions with the Ego-sense producing psychic structures: manam,
buddhi ahangkaaram and siththam. Here manam is the self functioning one-with
the sense organs of the eyes etc.The reasoning and refelective acts
sets in when the self functions with Buddhi and which happens when the
senses provide enormous amount of informatiom. Then arises The 'I"ness
i.e. "I see " I like" "I don't like". When the self functions with
Siththam, the I'ness is lost and the self functions as dictated by
the Unconscious. When it dislodges even this Siththam, the self is with
BEING and is motivated to act further only because of Thirothakam, BEING
concealing itself in order to initiate the genuinely metaphysical developments.
The 'mind" fabricating structures manam etc are always there but only that
self dislodges itself from functioning with them gradually.
We've got be real vigilant that our reasoning and deliberations of the mind do not nullify or reduce the importance of the ego. The consequences of the ego turning its fury on its disobedient servant, the mind can be horrendous. How often have we known and heard of men and women entrusted with high office very suddenly and unexpectedly turning around and committing a crime that is so very poignant in its clash of opposites?
Need not be horrendous provided there is philosophical
education of the right kind and the genuinely religious life is followed
in existence. There will be pain and sorrow but the religious kind of life
is such that there is always HELP o fa kind that avoids personal
disasters that are serious . We must also realize that development follows
the SObAnamuRai,i.e. something that takes place in slow stages .
One cannot simply LEAP towards the higher just like that.
The mind taking on a struggle against the ego has 2 requirements.
On the one hand, the person attempting this has to be a very strong
individual who is highly evolved mentally and already struggling very hard
in the battle to dethrone the ego and put the universal spirit in its place.
Secondly, the mind has to be already evolved sufficiently to perceive that
there is a universal higher mind far different in nature from the sense-mind,
a derivative of the ego.
Agreed. Only that I wouldn't call the higher as a universal mind though universality is an essential ingredient. I use the term BEING which is the real meaning of SIVA, that which provides beings variuos kinds of Being-in-the-World as such.
Any attempt with less than these requisites will create a backlash from the ego so horrendous, it could lead to eventual insanity, pure and simple
Caution is necessary but NOT fear. A simple
unassumimg RELIGIUOS LIFE avoids all such fears. Allow BEING to instruct
you , take you along and you are very safe.
Our deliberations could lead us to believe that man is wrong in everything today. We could will ourselves and struggle to rid ourselves of undesirable habits, characteristics, etc. Unless our nature is already highly evolved and consequently ready to shrink and eventually topple the ego from its alter, the ego will demand its full pound of flesh and more, and reduce each and every one of our principles, premises, thoughts and deliberations to less than zero. The convoluted reactions of the affected person will be totally along the original demands of the ego, and with the mind now totally defeated, could well be the action of the devil.
We cannot avoid thinking and constructing. But when we are OPEN and ready to allow the NEW to shape our understanding and assume the HERMENEUTICAL attitude and LIVE by the UNDERSTANDING that is generated as we go along, we shall go deeper and deeper, discard the previous and reformulate it and at the end LEARN that it is not necessary to do that anymore. The intellectual struggles come to a natural cessation when the PEAK is reached.