I want to talk about the ego. It’s a term we frequently hear in psychology and various contexts. However, the ego is not often defined, and I believe it’s important to establish a clearer definition. So, let me define the ego as I understand it today. The ego refers to the false, mind-made self. It is the “me” that is identified with the center of perception and acts as the witness, thinker, feeler, and doer. The ego represents a sense of self centeredness and having a distinct center of existence.

The Formation of the Ego

Being self-centered is often seen as egotistic, but it’s important to note that having an ego simply means having a self-centered perspective. The ego, however, is just a concept and a thought. The thought of “I am” or “I me” represents the ego. It is not an inherent entity in itself but rather a self-concept or self-image.

As newborns, we do not possess an ego. We experience a sense of oceanic feeling and have no concept of separation. But as we grow, we learn about things that are beyond our control and become aware of a separate “me.” This process starts with our name and gradually expands as we develop our life story. We identify ourselves with various attributes, such as wealth, gender, morality, and so on. These additions contribute to our ego and self-image.

Non-Duality and the Illusion of Egoic Separation

It’s important to understand that the ego is not something separate from us. When someone claims to have separated from their ego, it is somewhat amusing because the act of separation is itself a conceptual idea generated by the ego. There is no actual separation from the ego or anything else since non-duality implies that the self is all-encompassing. There is no inherent separation or way to separate.

Deconstructing the Illusion: The Ego as a Mind-Created Fiction

The ego is a fictitious, mind-created self. It is subject to change, as can be seen in dreams where our sense of self differs from waking life. However, since the ego is a mere thought and concept, it doesn’t truly exist. When the mind is silent and in a state of emptiness, there is no ego. There is awareness, existence, and something happening, but there is no identity or identification with it. In that state, there is no thinker, only thought. There is no feeler, only feeling. Similarly, there is no doer; the notion of an agent who performs thoughts, feelings, and actions is the ego.

Therefore, when I refer to the ego, I mean this illusory and fundamentally nonexistent concept. It is a product of imagination and persists due to self-reflective thoughts. Understanding this concept may provide some clarity. I hope this explanation helps shed light on the topic of the ego.

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