To be a member of a crowd is an experience closely akin to alcoholic intoxication. Most human beings feel a craving to escape from the cramping limitations of their ego, to take periodical holidays from their all too familiar, all to squalid little selves. As they do not know how to travel upwards from personality into a region of super-personality and as they are unwilling, even if they do know, to fulfill the ethical, psychological and physiological conditions of self-transcendence, they turn naturally to the descending road, the road that leads down from personality to the darkness of subhuman emotionalism and panic animality.
I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive... But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.
The first ego organization comes from the experience of threats of annihilation which do not lead to annihilation and from which, repeatedly, there is recovery
Human reason exhausts itself ceaselessly to explain the inexplicable. Explanation itself is high comedy, as preposterous as trying to see the back of one's own head, but the vanity of the ego is boundless, and it becomes even more overblown by this very attempt to make sense of nonsense. The mind, in its identity with the ego, cannot by definition, comprehend reality; if it could, it would instantly dissolve itself upon recognizing its own illusory nature. It's only beyond the paradox of mind transcending ego that what IS stands forth, self-evident and dazzling in its infinite Absoluteness. And then all of these words are useless.
If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It's very important to be aware of them every time they come up.
Let us examine more closely the significance of this vague word, reality. It may have several meanings, according to the different points of view which one takes. We may regard it as embodied in the physical world, the world of land and sea, of sky and trees, of sunshine and of storm. The real therefore will be to us that which we can touch and see, smell and taste, as one will say, "I know that is real for I can see it with my eyes." Seeing is believing, and the testimony of the senses is the superior court of appeal in controverted questions. But the world of reality may be regarded from quite a different point of view, as the world of consciousness, the mind of man, the experiences of the inner self, the Ego. Here is a world of phenomena interrelated and reciprocally dependent. It is a realm of ideas, of memory images, of fancy, of will, and of desire. The verities in this world cannot be seen, or measured, or weighed, and yet we do not hesitate to speak of them as realities; they are real as the love of friends is real, or the anger of a foe. The passion of a Romeo, the will of a Napoleon, the genius of a Goethe ... these are realities.
Nirvana is a state of pure blissful knowledge... It has nothing to do with the individual. The ego or its separation is an illusion. Indeed in a certain sense two "I"'s are identical namely when one disregards all special contents — their Karma. The goal of man is to preserve his Karma and to develop it further... when man dies his Karma lives and creates for itself another carrier.
This autonomy of man, this attempt of the Ego to understand itself out of itself, is the lie concerning man which we call sin. The truth about man is that his ground is not in himself but in God -- that his essence is not in self sufficient reason but in the Word, in the challenge of God, in responsibility, not in self-sufficiency. The true being of man is realized when he bases himself upon God's Word. Faith is then not an impossibility or a salto mortale [mortal leap], but that which is truly natural; and the real salto mortale (a mortal leap indeed!) is just the assertion of autonomy, self-sufficiency, God-likeness. [It is] through this usurped independence [that] man separates himself from God, and at the same time isolates himself from his fellows. Individualism is the necessary consequence of rational autonomy, just as love is the necessary consequence of faith.
The ego lives by comparisons.
The ego does not want to teach everyone all it has learned, because that would defeat its purpose.
The ego seeks to divide and separate. Spirit seeks to unify and heal.
The ego is goal-oriented. The ego is hankering for the future. It can hanker even for the other life, it can hanker for heaven, it can hanker for nirvana. It doesn't matter what it hankers for -- hankering is what it is, desiring is what it is, projecting into the future is what it is.
The goal is part of the desiring mind and bliss is a state of no-mind. Desiring is a barrier: non-desiring is the bridge. And all goals are egoistic because they are ambitions. Ambitions are shadows of the ego, and wherever ego is bliss is not. When the ego completely disappears, when not even a trace is left behind, bliss is found. Even to say that it is found is not exactly right, because it is our nature; we don't find it because we have never lost it in the first place. We have only become oblivious to it, we have become unconscious about it. We have gone into a deep sleep and we are dreaming all kinds of things. Because of our dreaming and sleep and unconsciousness, the bliss remains unexperienced. Otherwise it surrounds you.
It is my experience that the world itself has a role to play in our liberation. Its very pressures, pains, and risks can wake us up -- release us from the bonds of ego and guide us home to our vast, true nature. For some of us, our love of the world is so passionate that we cannot ask it to wait until we are enlightened.
Because the relationship between self and world is reciprocal, it is not a matter of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the Earth, the Earth heals us. No need to wait. As we care enough to take risks, we loosen the grip of ego and begin to come home to our true nature. For in the co-arising nature of things, the world itself, if we are bold enough to love it, acts through us. It does not ask us to be pure or perfect, or wait until we are detached from all passions, but only to care to harness the sweet, pure intention of our deepest passions...
Only those who have experienced ultimate not-knowing, the voicelessness of a soul struck by wonder, total muteness, are able to enter the meaning of God, a meaning greater than the mind. There is a loneliness in us that hears. When the soul parts from the company of the ego and its retinue of petty concepts; when we cease to exploit all things but instead pray the world’s cry, the world’s sigh, our loneliness may hear the living grace beyond all power.
To me there is in happiness an element of self-forgetfulness. You lose yourself in something outside yourself when you are happy just as when you are desperately miserable you are intensely conscious of yourself, are a solid little lump of ego weighing a ton.
The atheist unequivocally accepts human mortality, with no belief in after-life, reincarnation, or even dissolution of the ego into the world spirit. So, it is thought, if life is short and death is final, what is the point of it all?
For us in the West, it is more important that a new worldly form should emerge from true nature and witness to Being...than that the ego should dissolve in true nature and in Being.
Put bluntly, there is an archaic God, a magic God, a mythic God, a mental God, and an integral God. Which God do you believe in? An archaic God sees divinity in any strong instinctual force. A magic God locates divine power in the human ego and its magical capacity to change the animistic world with rituals and spells. A mythic God is located not on this earth but in a heavenly paradise not of this world, entrance to which is gained by living according to the covenants and rules given by this God to his peoples. A mental God is a rational God, a demythologized Ground of Being that underlies all forms of existence. And an integral God is one that embraces all of the above. Which of those Gods is the most important? According to an integral view, all of them, because each "higher" stage actually builds upon and includes the lower, so the lower stages are more fundamental and the higher stages are more significant, but leave out any one of them and you're in trouble. You are, that is, less than integral, less than comprehensive, less than inclusive in your understanding of God.