What is the Ego, Nukunu?
What is the Ego, Nukunu?
There is a presence in everyone that is always the same. Everything you feel and think is constantly changing, but “you” as that unchanging sense of presence never changes. We can say; “I am the same now as I was two years ago; or even ten years ago”. It is a deep feeling of being. Because it has nothing to do with thinking; it is always the same. It is sometimes called the “I am” and in the Indian tradition of Advaita Vedanta it is called “Atman”. If we ask ourselves, “who am I?” the mind will give us many answers, but we can always continue and ask “who is aware of this answer?” When we reply “I am” we will return to the question “but who am I?” So we can very easily see that the thinking mind cannot give us an answer, because the answer to this question is actually a “no-answer” – it is just pure silent existing.
Whatever characteristics you assign to this pure “I am” makes up the ego. “I am a man, I am Danish, I am a soul, I am this or that”. None of these answers are of course “the answer”. So the ego is a product of the pure “I am” and a set of mental definitions that we identify with.
In our meditation we practice to silence our thoughts and just rest in pure being. We know from experience that it is not easy to just be totally silent. But when all tendencies to label this silent state of being stop, suddenly the “I am” explodes and becomes boundless; the absolute or pure consciousness. This is experienced as being everything, because we are the very nature of consciousness, whatever form it takes. Now we know that all there is is consciousness and that we are the very nature of this consciousness. This gives us a deep feeling of being one with everything. Other people are experiences – consciousness, trees are also experiences – consciousness. All experiences are consciousness! It is marvellous. There is no objective world, just experiences – consciousness. Suddenly we realise that everything is impersonal – what a relief!
So you can say that life is really impersonal. “That”, which you truly are, takes form of all experiences”.
In Advaita Vedanta they say “Only Brahman (God or the absolute) is real, everything else is an illusion” When you realise your true nature – God or Brahman – you will know that you are one with the Divine and one with every appearance. I call it “appearance” because it is not real. It is “Maya” (the veil).
See if you can gather so much trust that you can be without thinking for just half a second, then you will realise that there really is no ego. Yes it appears as a collection of thoughts, but just thoughts. Then you will feel a freedom you could never have dreamed about.