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Switch to Forum Live View The idea of "Ego Death" is a hinderance.
3 years ago  ::  Oct 18, 2011 - 12:46AM #1
Neomonist
Posts: 2,705

The biggest hindrance to spiritual progress, from my point of view, is this idea that without an ego (“Death of the ego” or “Dying to the ego”), we would have no sense of identity. Nothing could be further from the truth; the enlightened person still knows who she is. She still has bad hair days, she still has joyful days, she can still function in society, all that. What happens is more like a Copernican Revolution in that the ego is moved from the center of the psychological universe much like the sun was moved from the center of the geophysical universe.


The Sun is still there even though we no longer image it as that which the universe revolves around, and in the same manner, the ego is still there. Rather than identify with being an isolated and separate thing, one comes to realize that one’s identity is the whole shebang. It is not that the ego dies, it transforms much as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.
Standard Disclaimer: This is just my 2cents worth.
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2011 - 3:22AM #2
Namchuck
Posts: 11,698

Oct 18, 2011 -- 12:46AM, Neomonist wrote:


The biggest hindrance to spiritual progress, from my point of view, is this idea that without an ego (“Death of the ego” or “Dying to the ego”), we would have no sense of identity. Nothing could be further from the truth; the enlightened person still knows who she is. She still has bad hair days, she still has joyful days, she can still function in society, all that. What happens is more like a Copernican Revolution in that the ego is moved from the center of the psychological universe much like the sun was moved from the center of the geophysical universe.


The Sun is still there even though we no longer image it as that which the universe revolves around, and in the same manner, the ego is still there. Rather than identify with being an isolated and separate thing, one comes to realize that one’s identity is the whole shebang. It is not that the ego dies, it transforms much as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.




 


"...one's identity is the whole shebang.'?


How so?

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2011 - 3:29AM #3
Neomonist
Posts: 2,705

Oct 19, 2011 -- 3:22AM, Namchuck wrote:


Oct 18, 2011 -- 12:46AM, Neomonist wrote:


The biggest hindrance to spiritual progress, from my point of view, is this idea that without an ego (“Death of the ego” or “Dying to the ego”), we would have no sense of identity. Nothing could be further from the truth; the enlightened person still knows who she is. She still has bad hair days, she still has joyful days, she can still function in society, all that. What happens is more like a Copernican Revolution in that the ego is moved from the center of the psychological universe much like the sun was moved from the center of the geophysical universe.


The Sun is still there even though we no longer image it as that which the universe revolves around, and in the same manner, the ego is still there. Rather than identify with being an isolated and separate thing, one comes to realize that one’s identity is the whole shebang. It is not that the ego dies, it transforms much as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.




 


"...one's identity is the whole shebang.'?


How so?





We are the universe become alive and aware, how can it not be so?


 

Standard Disclaimer: This is just my 2cents worth.
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2011 - 8:32PM #4
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,318

Oct 19, 2011 -- 3:22AM, Namchuck wrote:


Oct 18, 2011 -- 12:46AM, Neomonist wrote:


The biggest hindrance to spiritual progress, from my point of view, is this idea that without an ego (“Death of the ego” or “Dying to the ego”), we would have no sense of identity. Nothing could be further from the truth; the enlightened person still knows who she is. She still has bad hair days, she still has joyful days, she can still function in society, all that. What happens is more like a Copernican Revolution in that the ego is moved from the center of the psychological universe much like the sun was moved from the center of the geophysical universe.


The Sun is still there even though we no longer image it as that which the universe revolves around, and in the same manner, the ego is still there. Rather than identify with being an isolated and separate thing, one comes to realize that one’s identity is the whole shebang. It is not that the ego dies, it transforms much as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.




 


"...one's identity is the whole shebang.'?


How so?




Think of it this way.......... When you eat, you are taking in energy so as to be able to function, but you are also replacing the structure of your cells with new protein building blocks, and minerals etc.... So your body boundary extends to what farmers grow. OK, animals eat either other animals or plants. But where does the energy from plants come from? It comes from the sun. Plants convert photons from the sun into chemical energy through photosynthesis. So now we have extended the boundary of the body to the sun.


But our sun is mostly hydrogen and helium, where do the higher elements come from that our body is formed from? They get "baked" up in the life span of stars. And the elements higher than iron must be created in supernovas. So it actually takes many stars to make our life possible, and even second generation stars. So we could effectively say that our body extends to the entire galaxy.


Chuang Tzu put it this way....... We don't merely walk on the few inches of soil under our feet, this soil is supported buy more soil under it, to such an extent that the whole planet is necessary.


sdp

The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.
The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton

A map is not the territory. Alfred Korzybski
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2011 - 8:53PM #5
Neomonist
Posts: 2,705

Oct 19, 2011 -- 8:32PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


Think of it this way.......... When you eat, you are taking in energy so as to be able to function, but you are also replacing the structure of your cells with new protein building blocks, and minerals etc.... So your body boundary extends to what farmers grow. OK, animals eat either other animals or plants. But where does the energy from plants come from? It comes from the sun. Plants convert photons from the sun into chemical energy through photosynthesis. So now we have extended the boundary of the body to the sun.


But our sun is mostly hydrogen and helium, where do the higher elements come from that our body is formed from? They get "baked" up in the life span of stars. And the elements higher than iron must be created in supernovas. So it actually takes many stars to make our life possible, and even second generation stars. So we could effectively say that our body extends to the entire galaxy.





I would change the last word you wrote to "universe". If one had the patience, one could trace our heritage back to the Big Bang,


 

Standard Disclaimer: This is just my 2cents worth.
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2011 - 12:56AM #6
Namchuck
Posts: 11,698

Oct 19, 2011 -- 3:29AM, Neomonist wrote:


Oct 19, 2011 -- 3:22AM, Namchuck wrote:


Oct 18, 2011 -- 12:46AM, Neomonist wrote:


The biggest hindrance to spiritual progress, from my point of view, is this idea that without an ego (“Death of the ego” or “Dying to the ego”), we would have no sense of identity. Nothing could be further from the truth; the enlightened person still knows who she is. She still has bad hair days, she still has joyful days, she can still function in society, all that. What happens is more like a Copernican Revolution in that the ego is moved from the center of the psychological universe much like the sun was moved from the center of the geophysical universe.


The Sun is still there even though we no longer image it as that which the universe revolves around, and in the same manner, the ego is still there. Rather than identify with being an isolated and separate thing, one comes to realize that one’s identity is the whole shebang. It is not that the ego dies, it transforms much as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.




 


"...one's identity is the whole shebang.'?


How so?





We are the universe become alive and aware, how can it not be so?


 




Well, yes, we are a part of the universe that has become alive and aware.

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2011 - 12:59AM #7
Namchuck
Posts: 11,698

Oct 19, 2011 -- 8:32PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


Oct 19, 2011 -- 3:22AM, Namchuck wrote:


Oct 18, 2011 -- 12:46AM, Neomonist wrote:


The biggest hindrance to spiritual progress, from my point of view, is this idea that without an ego (“Death of the ego” or “Dying to the ego”), we would have no sense of identity. Nothing could be further from the truth; the enlightened person still knows who she is. She still has bad hair days, she still has joyful days, she can still function in society, all that. What happens is more like a Copernican Revolution in that the ego is moved from the center of the psychological universe much like the sun was moved from the center of the geophysical universe.


The Sun is still there even though we no longer image it as that which the universe revolves around, and in the same manner, the ego is still there. Rather than identify with being an isolated and separate thing, one comes to realize that one’s identity is the whole shebang. It is not that the ego dies, it transforms much as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.




 


"...one's identity is the whole shebang.'?


How so?




Think of it this way.......... When you eat, you are taking in energy so as to be able to function, but you are also replacing the structure of your cells with new protein building blocks, and minerals etc.... So your body boundary extends to what farmers grow. OK, animals eat either other animals or plants. But where does the energy from plants come from? It comes from the sun. Plants convert photons from the sun into chemical energy through photosynthesis. So now we have extended the boundary of the body to the sun.


But our sun is mostly hydrogen and helium, where do the higher elements come from that our body is formed from? They get "baked" up in the life span of stars. And the elements higher than iron must be created in supernovas. So it actually takes many stars to make our life possible, and even second generation stars. So we could effectively say that our body extends to the entire galaxy.


Chuang Tzu put it this way....... We don't merely walk on the few inches of soil under our feet, this soil is supported buy more soil under it, to such an extent that the whole planet is necessary.


sdp





"We could effectively say that our body extends to the entire galaxy."


One could hold to that in a poetic sense.

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 21, 2011 - 10:44AM #8
Seefan
Posts: 3,969

Oct 20, 2011 -- 12:59AM, Namchuck wrote:


Oct 19, 2011 -- 8:32PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


Oct 19, 2011 -- 3:22AM, Namchuck wrote:


Oct 18, 2011 -- 12:46AM, Neomonist wrote:


The biggest hindrance to spiritual progress, from my point of view, is this idea that without an ego (“Death of the ego” or “Dying to the ego”), we would have no sense of identity. Nothing could be further from the truth; the enlightened person still knows who she is. She still has bad hair days, she still has joyful days, she can still function in society, all that. What happens is more like a Copernican Revolution in that the ego is moved from the center of the psychological universe much like the sun was moved from the center of the geophysical universe.


The Sun is still there even though we no longer image it as that which the universe revolves around, and in the same manner, the ego is still there. Rather than identify with being an isolated and separate thing, one comes to realize that one’s identity is the whole shebang. It is not that the ego dies, it transforms much as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.




 


"...one's identity is the whole shebang.'?


How so?




Think of it this way.......... When you eat, you are taking in energy so as to be able to function, but you are also replacing the structure of your cells with new protein building blocks, and minerals etc.... So your body boundary extends to what farmers grow. OK, animals eat either other animals or plants. But where does the energy from plants come from? It comes from the sun. Plants convert photons from the sun into chemical energy through photosynthesis. So now we have extended the boundary of the body to the sun.


But our sun is mostly hydrogen and helium, where do the higher elements come from that our body is formed from? They get "baked" up in the life span of stars. And the elements higher than iron must be created in supernovas. So it actually takes many stars to make our life possible, and even second generation stars. So we could effectively say that our body extends to the entire galaxy.


Chuang Tzu put it this way....... We don't merely walk on the few inches of soil under our feet, this soil is supported buy more soil under it, to such an extent that the whole planet is necessary.


sdp





"We could effectively say that our body extends to the entire galaxy."


One could hold to that in a poetic sense.





While all of this may relate to the physical man through the 'stuff' that made/make up the universe how does this relate to the spiritual man and the physical universe?  Is there a difference between the spiritual and the material? 


I contend that the material universe is more like our playground or school yard and a physical manifestation of his consciousness (whatever that may mean).  It just may be that our body extends throughout the cosmos and finds its origins within it material development.  But what of man's spirit?  It seems to be left out to some degree!  What of the actual spiritual substance of man, his consciousness, his creativity, his acquired spiritual attributes, is that too part of the physical reality or is it separate and distinctly different in essence while in one sense still a unifying force with that same reality  ...


 

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 21, 2011 - 10:45AM #9
Seefan
Posts: 3,969

As long as man is a captive of habit, pursuing the dictates of self and desire, he is vanquished and defeated. This passionate personal ego takes the reins from his hands, crowds out the qualities of the divine ego and changes him into an animal, a creature unable to judge good from evil, or to distinguish light from darkness. He becomes blind to divine attributes, for this acquired individuality, the result of an evil routine of thought becomes the dominant note of his life.


 (Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 133)


 


What does this say about ego?  Does it agree with your philosophy or not?  How would you define ego?

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 22, 2011 - 2:13AM #10
Namchuck
Posts: 11,698

Oct 21, 2011 -- 10:44AM, Seefan wrote:


Oct 20, 2011 -- 12:59AM, Namchuck wrote:


Oct 19, 2011 -- 8:32PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


Oct 19, 2011 -- 3:22AM, Namchuck wrote:


Oct 18, 2011 -- 12:46AM, Neomonist wrote:


The biggest hindrance to spiritual progress, from my point of view, is this idea that without an ego (“Death of the ego” or “Dying to the ego”), we would have no sense of identity. Nothing could be further from the truth; the enlightened person still knows who she is. She still has bad hair days, she still has joyful days, she can still function in society, all that. What happens is more like a Copernican Revolution in that the ego is moved from the center of the psychological universe much like the sun was moved from the center of the geophysical universe.


The Sun is still there even though we no longer image it as that which the universe revolves around, and in the same manner, the ego is still there. Rather than identify with being an isolated and separate thing, one comes to realize that one’s identity is the whole shebang. It is not that the ego dies, it transforms much as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.




 


"...one's identity is the whole shebang.'?


How so?




Think of it this way.......... When you eat, you are taking in energy so as to be able to function, but you are also replacing the structure of your cells with new protein building blocks, and minerals etc.... So your body boundary extends to what farmers grow. OK, animals eat either other animals or plants. But where does the energy from plants come from? It comes from the sun. Plants convert photons from the sun into chemical energy through photosynthesis. So now we have extended the boundary of the body to the sun.


But our sun is mostly hydrogen and helium, where do the higher elements come from that our body is formed from? They get "baked" up in the life span of stars. And the elements higher than iron must be created in supernovas. So it actually takes many stars to make our life possible, and even second generation stars. So we could effectively say that our body extends to the entire galaxy.


Chuang Tzu put it this way....... We don't merely walk on the few inches of soil under our feet, this soil is supported buy more soil under it, to such an extent that the whole planet is necessary.


sdp





"We could effectively say that our body extends to the entire galaxy."


One could hold to that in a poetic sense.





While all of this may relate to the physical man through the 'stuff' that made/make up the universe how does this relate to the spiritual man and the physical universe?  Is there a difference between the spiritual and the material? 


I don't think we have to tie ourselves up in knots over this issue, Seefan.


I don't think anyone would doubt that matter is part of our makeup. The question is, what is the compelling evidence that it is not all?


For me, the 'spiritual ' is simply our ability to respond to the universe with, along with much else, awe and wonder.


I contend that the material universe is more like our playground or school yard and a physical manifestation of his consciousness (whatever that may mean).  It just may be that our body extends throughout the cosmos and finds its origins within it material development.  But what of man's spirit?  It seems to be left out to some degree!  What of the actual spiritual substance of man, his consciousness, his creativity, his acquired spiritual attributes, is that too part of the physical reality or is it separate and distinctly different in essence while in one sense still a unifying force with that same reality  ...


Again, there is no compelling evidence that man's spiritual faculties, i.e., his consciousness, his creativity, his sense of awe and wonder at the universe, etc, doesn't arise from his material existence. 


It is far too early, considering that we have yet to plumb the depths of material existence, to start contending that man is constituted of some other 'substance'. 


Consciousness is not a subtance. It is not something that can sustain itself in existence by its own power once the physical organism vanishes.


 





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