I and ego

I and Ego, Not Perfect, But Necessary

“Let us then begin at the beginning and remind ourselves of a few of the trite and primary facts which all practical persons agree to ignore. That beginning, for human thought, is of course the I, the Ego, the self-conscious subject which is writing this book, or the other self-conscious subject which is reading it; and which declares, in the teeth of all arguments, I AM. Here is a point as to which we all feel quite sure. No metaphysician has yet shaken the ordinary individual’s belief in his own existence. The uncertainties only begin for most of us when when we ask what else is.

“To this ‘I,’ this conscious self ‘imprisoned in the body like an oyster in his shell,’ come, as we know, a constant stream of messages and experiences. Chief among these are the stimulation of the tactile nerves whose result we call touch, the vibrations taken up by the optic nerve which we call light, and those taken up by the ear and perceived as sound.

“What do these experiences mean? The first answer of the unsophisticated Self is, that they indicative of the nature of the external world. …It is immediately apparent, however, that this sense-world, this seemingly real external universe, –though it may be useful and valid in other respects—cannot be the external world, but only the Self’s projected picture of it.” ~Evelyn Underhill

The I and Ego

Underhill has it correct. At least when it comes to physical life on earth. Our first hint of conscious thought is always I. That is to say that when we first start thinking, everything is seen and felt as it relates to us. We have no other point of reference but Self. That ego, which so many silly schools have deemed something superfluous that needs to be destroyed, is something we are born with. It is also something we will die with. It cannot be totally destroyed, and those who waste much time trying to will make little spiritual progress. Yet this concept continues to be promoted. Why? Because it benefits the government, that’s why. It doesn’t benefit the individual who loses all interest in accomplishment of any sort. It doesn’t benefit his spirit and soul if he becomes indifferent to what happens to him. But it does benefit governments. It makes sheep out of people, the so-called sheeple. Governments love sheeple. They don’t rock the boat. They don’t protest. They do what the government tells them to do. They do what the corporations who own the government tell them to do. That is why the destruction of the ego is promoted. It is not a spiritual thing at all.

The World of Senses

Yes, the world of the physical senses is the world of I and Ego. But Ego is more than just interpreting the information coming from the senses. It is also the desire to know, to learn, to grow. Take away ego, or greatly suppress it, and you have no desire to grow, to change yourself, or to make the world a better place.

The world of the physical senses may be limited, yet important. We may not like it, but we do live in the physical world, and we must function in it. That means we have to use the physical senses, even if they are limited. Of course, what we know of the physical world doesn’t come primarily from those senses. It comes from the brain’s interpretation of the senses. It is in those interpretations that many fantasies become reality to us.

Beyond Ego and Senses

But the physical senses are not the only we have. We are also equipped with spiritual senses, though we rarely use them. That is because they don’t communicate with the brain, but with the soul instead. If the soul has not been awakened, then those senses are unused. Even when awakened, what they experience may not be communicated to the conscious mind. Exceptions sometimes occur through intuition. But the development of our spiritual faculties can increase the level of that communication. Of course, it does need that much-maligned ego to communicate with.

I and Ego Summary

I and Ego may be all about the physical world, but in a sense, our spirit and soul live in our physical body. So while we dwell here, I and Ego are necessary. You might be able to do without them if you completely withdraw and become a hermit or a monk. Otherwise, you have to function in the material world as well as the physical. I and Ego make it possible to do so. The ego must be controlled—preferably by your own soul—but it is needed.

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ego

Ego and Soul Work Miracles Together

“Regard not any scorn of the world, as considering that it doth but scorn thy enemy, and that it become a fool to it. Nay, do thou thyself account it thy fool, which Adam caused thee to possess,and made to be thy false heir. Cast out of thy house the Son of the Bond-Woman, that strange child which God did not give to be in the house of life in Adam in the beginning; for the son of the Bond-Woman must not inherit with the son of the Free-Woman.

“The earthly will is but the son of the Bond-Woman. For the four elements should have been man’s servants, but Adam hath brought them into himself, therefore God said to Abraham when He had opened the Covenant of the promise to him, cast out the son of the bond-woman, for he shall not inherit with the son of the free. This son of the free is Christ, which God of His grace hath brought again into flesh for us, namely, a new or renewed mind, wherein … the eternal will of the soul may draw and drink in the water of life, of which Christ speaks. … It shall spring up in him and be a fountain of eternal life. This fountain is the renovation of the mind or will of the Soul.” ~Jacob Boehme

Scorn of the World

This is far more of a problem today than it was in the time of Boehme, several hundred years ago. In those days, people had respect for religion and for those who practiced it fervently. Some may have been unfriendly towards spiritual people who didn’t follow the accepted religious practices, however. We know that Boehme had to be careful with what he wrote because he could have been accused of blasphemy and imprisoned for it.

Today the problem is nearly the reverse, but even more of a problem. It is religious people who are shunned or laughed at, to a large degree. On the other side, those who do follow the major churches laugh at those following more spiritual practices rather than churches. In some cases, it is justified. So many follow self-appointed gurus who make up their teachings with no authority at all. Many of them are only interested in selling books, not saving souls. Still, we all should have the right to follow the path we choose.

Then there are those who call themselves spiritual simply because they are against religion of any sort. This further confuses matter for those who truly are awakening their spiritual selves and are looking for guidance. They won’t find it in the atheists who call themselves spiritual.

Thy Fool Called Ego

What Boehme is calling Adam’s fool is the ego or materialistic mind. The earthly mind concerns itself only with matters of the physical world. Some spiritual writers claim, with ridiculously excessive simplicity, that the path to spiritual truth is to destroy this ego. Yet those authors have not done so themselves or they would never have been able to write a book. Ego gives us drive, the desire to accomplish. It needs to be controlled, not destroyed. We need to continue to function in the physical world at the same time that we develop our spiritual faculties. We can’t do that without ego.

Son of the Bond-Woman

Once again Boehme is talking about the ego. A bond-woman is a slave or indentured servant. This seems to be saying that ego is a slave, but I think it really means to say that we are slaves of ego. Boehme continues on to say that the four elements should have been the servants of man. That is, man should be fully in charge of the physical elements of the planet. I truth, we are, we just don’t know it. Because of our ignorance, we don’t exercise that control of the planet as we should. We fill with angry and violent thoughts. Nature responds with hurricanes and earthquakes. We are jealous of our neighbor’s success, so nature responds with droughts and plagues. We think we have nothing to do with such things, but collectively, we are making them happen. But we are sons of slaves because we don’t know it and don’t control it. Once again, the solution is not to destroy the ego. That would only leave the planet in control of others who still have an ego. The solution is to control the ego and use the powers of the mind wisely.

Will of the Soul

How do we control the Ego? We do it with the will of the soul. The soul is like a spiritual mind. It is superior to the physical brain-mind in many ways. That doesn’t mean it should replace it. It only means that the soul should be controlling the brain-mind. But a sleeping soul can’t do that.

When we are born into the material world, our spirit and soul are with us, but in a dormant state. That is probably because falling into matter is a traumatic experience for our spirit and soul. So they arrive here in a kind of coma. Awakening them is the first and foremost duty of the spiritual student. Only then, can the veil be lifted from the Great illusion that surrounds us. Only then can the soul take control of the ego and keep it in check. The ego and the soul are the yin-yang of humanity. We need both to fully function in this world.

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Hubris, pride

Pride and Ego Let the Devils In

“The Pride of Nature indeed inclines one man more strongly than another, but it forces none that they must be proud; and if there be a force [or strong compulsion upon any,] then it is when man willingly for temporary honor and pleasure sale lets the Devil into his eternal essences; and then the Devil sees presently how that man is inclined by the Spirit of the World, and in that way tempts him accordingly. If man lets him but in, he is then a guest very hard to be driven out again; yet it is possible, if the man entirely and sincerely purposes to turn, and to live according to the Will of God.” ~Jacob Boehme

Pride of Nature

What Boehme is calling “the Pride of Nature” is not natural pride, or being proud of the accomplishments of Mother Nature. He is talking about ego. Specifically, a puffed-up ego caught up is materialistic desires. A person to whom the word “treasure” means a pile of temporary money rather than the eternal treasure of an immortal spirit and soul.

Need for Ego

Ego is necessary. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t have one. But any tool can be harmful when misused and ego is probably the most misused tool we humans have to work with.

Without ego, we have no drive, no passion, no desire to accomplish. This may stop you from doing evil deeds, but it also stops you from doing good ones. You become like a piece of driftwood floating on the tides. Some governments promote the destruction of ego since it makes their people into sheeple—people who behave like sheep or contented cows.

God has little use for those people. He needs people who can accomplish things for the good of humanity and the universe. He needs people who want to help and be co-creators. Sheeple can’t do that. The key is to let the spiritual faculties control the ego, not destroy it. First, of course, those spiritual faculties have to be awakened. Continue reading “Pride and Ego Let the Devils In”

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rise above, Creature evolving, integrated being, purification, spiritual evolution, abstract transformation

Creature Man of Ego can be Saved by Divine Light

“The subtle Devil insinuates himself into the Creature, and shifts the Center of Nature, and brings evil or false desires into it, so that a man becomes as it were drunken in SELF, and still persuades himself that he is driven by God… and so the Light of God departs from him.

“Yet the outward Light of the outward Nature still remains shining in the Creature; for its own SELF throws itself thereinto, and supposes that it is still the first Light of God; but it is not. And into this SELF-Exaltation in the light of its outward Reason, the Devil throws himself again, (though in the first Light, which was Divine, he had been forced to depart) now returning with the seven-fold desire.” ~Jacob Boehme

Drunk on SELF

Boehm says “SELF” in all caps where we today would say ego. So he is talking about those who are drunk on ego. Those who allow ego to control their thinking and behavior. A true blind leading the blind adventure. The “Creature” thinking it is king.

It isn’t that the ego is evil and needs to be destroyed. The ego is very useful—if controlled. The ego understands only the universe of matter. It can’t understand spirit. If you try to understand spiritual things using the ego-mind, you will get a highly distorted understanding that does more harm than good. And, as Boehme says, a person who is ruled by ego will not have the Light of God in him.

The Creature

This is another term Boehme uses that can be confusing. What he calls the Creature is the man of matter, the person of ego. It is the fallen man who has lost his connection to God and cannot understand spiritual things. It is the lost man in Plato’s cave. it  isn’t necessarily that he is  primitive like a caveman. He might wear a suit and drive a luxury car. He can understand computers, lasers, and cell phones. The spiritual, however, eludes him. He either disbelieves in spiritual worlds completely, or thinks of them as some variation of the realm of matter.

This “Creature” can be changed and educated. That is the purpose of spiritual development. Sadly, many would rather remain a simple animal, a “Creature”. But as we began the final age of man, we must all become spiritual beings, or die. The choice is ours. Continue reading “Creature Man of Ego can be Saved by Divine Light”

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