Guru George <firstname.lastname@example.org> added:
>I agree. This is a subject that has fascinated me enormously since I
>had 'mystical experiences' as a child. Several times I remember thinking
>"Who am I?" so intensely and concentratedly, that my sense of 'self'
>suddenly disappeared, and in its place was ... (what? I could say
>something like 'God' consciousness, because that's what it felt like in
>a sense, but really I suppose it was just 'pure' consciousness without a
>reflexive component). You could say that 'I' didn't experience it at
>all, or you could say 'I' wasn't even there; yet the experience was
>perfectly lucid and normal, nothing *looked* any different, but the *
>meaning* of it all had undergone a revolution.
"First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is."
--Donnovan (?) paraphrasing a Zen saying.
>Looking back at that paragraph, I should note that my sense of self
>didn't disappear exactly, but was, so to speak, *seen through*. I still
>knew who was who, and what was what in relative terms, but I wasn't*identified
>* with anything less than existence, the universe itself.
Funny, I just read these, but I had written the following for my diary
your ego is your idea of yourself.
and while you want to leave your idea of yourself
subject to doubt and revision,
you still need to be as true to yourself--your actual self--
as you know how to be.
and your ego is your own judgement--so far--about that.
so the idea is not to fight or oppose or ignore or belittle the ego,
but to realize that it is an idea, a judgement, and that it's necessary.
you don't want to be ego-centric--enslaved to one of your own ideas,
but you do want to be self-centered--speaking and acting from your
own center as best you know how--and that know-how is your ego.
it is possible to be more true to yourself than you *know* how to
be, just because it's possible to have resources or luck that you
didn't know you had. in fact it's possible to know *that*, to count
on it, make provision for it, choose it as a way of life--that is, to
incorporate knowlege of your ego's incompleteness into your ego.
but maybe what some people mean by ego is your self-image's tendency
to distort to serve *itself*.
I follow Fritz Perls' line in most things, and he noted that your "self" is
just yourself. You are your body, there is no "self" inside you. But the
ego, in Perls' terms, is the aspect of you that is trying to determine
what's you and what's not-you. Perls thought that most neuroses were
problems of incorrect identification, treating self as nonself or vice-
versa. And he seemed both fascinated by "satori" (awakening) experiences,
and scornful of the idea of "oneness with everything." I still worship the
guy but I think he was difficult sometimes. I mean difficult to worship.
Maybe he was saying what I was saying (or vice-versa): that are you and
have to be you.
I hope I made clear the three levels I was talking about above:
actual self, idea/image of self, and the tendency of the idea to distort
so as to become entrenched. Only the last one of the three is something to
>>Some religions claim that this [letting go of ego] is letting in "god".
Another way to look at it is to define "God" as all the stuff one's
ideas and habits of perception don't account for. So to let go [of
preconceptions] is to "let [in] God." I think a lot of what religions say
is useful--even vital--when you interpret it in that way. Ideas and
habits have a tendency to close in on themselves tighter and tighter, and
it's important to have a compass that keeps pointing you in the opposite
-- email@example.com Steve Witham web page under reconsideration "At the latter I was informal, at the former I wore my suit, I wore my swimming suit." --Kate & Anna McGarrigle