Author Topic: why did ego rise in the first place?  (Read 2943 times)


why did ego rise in the first place?
« on: December 15, 2012, 01:43:21 AM »
Hello, quick question.  My meditation practice is quite irregular but when I do sit and still my mind, I see real results.  The last few times, an overwhelming sense of fear arises.  If I had a teacher, I imagine they'd tell me this is the ego becoming aware of its impending doom and trying to preserve itself.  But I can't help but wonder:  why did ego arise in the first place?  If we are truly one, could it be we are lonely and the rise of duality is the way to combat that loneliness?  I just don't understand if enlightenment is our natural state, why would we place a vale over our own eyes?  Please excuse my ignorance, I don't have a teacher, all of my knowledge of Buddhism, enlightenment, meditation comes from the internet lol..thanks in advance



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Re: why did ego rise in the first place?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2012, 08:35:30 AM »
wow, an answer would take a whole book.

but then, you'd have a book full of words ... more food for the ego, I'm afraid, because true understanding doesn't arise from intellectual knowledge.
I tend to be careful with those questions, mainly because they distract me from finding real answers on the cushion ... it's only the ego trying to understand those concepts on an intellectual level.

all of my knowledge of Buddhism, enlightenment, meditation comes from the internet

It's like studying a map of Africa. You could go on years and years, yet you'd have no clue what Africa is like in reality.
So, all of your real knowledge comes from practicing meditation (or, in a more common sense, from experience).

I just don't understand ...

We'll understand when we achieve Nirvana.
We all want those answers. That's why we meditate.


« Last Edit: December 15, 2012, 08:40:49 AM by Stefan »


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Sitting with the experience that is there.
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 02:08:21 PM »
Liam: : "Hello, quick question.    . . .    "
Stephan: "Wow, an answer would take a whole book.    . . .    "

I love this.  ;)

Liam, you write: "   . . .   when I do sit and still my mind, I see real results.  The last few times, an overwhelming sense of fear arises."
Believe it or not, but yes, sensing fear can be a result of meditation. Fear is something that exists, and with proper training one can sense it. So far so good.

And then you start asking questions bout ego?   ???
In your direct experience there is no ego, there is fear.

We tend to do such a thing: When we want to brush our teeth, we put something form a tube onto a toothbrush and put the brush into our mouth. If at that moment we find out that it is not toothpaste that we taste, but Brylcreem, we cry out: "Who did this?!"  >:(

In meditation practice, we stay close to our experience. So that would be: 'tasting', 'irritation', 'anger', and we would rinse our mouth and toothbrush and start again, with proper attention to take the toothpaste this time.

Sometimes we need a technique not to be overwhelmed by something that makes itself felt as overwhelming. My first teacher said, that one would always want a little distance between oneself and the experience. What helps is naming: "fear, fear". Or, if the sense of fear is really overwhelming: "Being overwhelmed, being overwhelmed". In the last case it is as if you take a step back to be able to see what is happening. What helps me at such a time is feeling my body and feeling the cushion under me. What I am really doing is sitting and experiencing. That is the same, whether I feel blessed or doomed or just follow my breath. Simply sitting that is all.

Well I tied to bring your question back to a question on meditation technique. I am convinced, that that is the most fruitful path to follow.

I hope this helps.



Re: why did ego rise in the first place?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2012, 11:50:22 PM »
Hi Liam welcome to the forum,

When we meditate we begin a process that the mind is not used to, the mind is used to spending its time in the past or the future. When we meditate the mind is asked to remain in the present, the mind is not used to this and always wants to go back to its old ways(past and future) this process brings sankharas(mental formations or ego) to the surface, this is good, but these mental formations are at times unpleasant(fear, pain, lonlyness). Our job as meditators is to simply observe these mental formations as they arise and pass away with equaminity(a calm balanced mind). Observing these mental formations without reacting to them allows them to pass away without multiplying, bit by bit the old stock of ego is removed. An example of this is when a kids wind up toy is released with no tension on the spring it unwinds and the toy bops around until it eventually comes to rest(peace). This is what we must do, simply let the mind and body unwind without constantly rewinding it until it comes to the natural state. Keep practicing properly and realize this natural state for yourself and only then will your questions be truly answered.



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