Hinduism Spirituality

The Ego and the Myth of Me and Mine

The Ego and the Myth of Me and Mine

The ego is the sum total of the experiences, perceptions, memories, knowledge and relationships gathered by each being in the course of its existence upon earth. It is an illusion created by their aggregation. It does not actually exist except as a notion in the consciousness of each being. You will not find the ego in its parts, but only in the association of things and experiences. The ego thus survives by attachments and relationships. You remove them from the equation and the ego disappears instantly. Your individuality is a myth, which you create and perpetuate for a lifetime. You defend it, uphold it and promote it as if it is all that matters. In the end, you pay the price. When the diverse components of your individuality disperse or return to their sources, your ego vanishes. What is left after that is a mystery, which we have been trying to understand since the dawn of our civilization. Is there anything beyond it?

“Yes,” say the Hindus; and “No,” say the Buddhists. You do not have to agree with either of them. You have a choice. You can wait until Nature disintegrates and disperses your ego and all that you build in the vain hope of surviving death; or you can do it yourself through yoga and self-transformation and see what happens. The yogis do it. Painstakingly, they remove the threads that keep their egos intact. When they do it, they fall into silence. They become the silent ones (munis) because their egos die before their bodies. They have no interest to tell you what is happening to them. They have no being in them to tell you what is going on.

~ From the Essays on the Bhagavadgita