The spiritual path has only one function, to dismantle our identification with the ego sufficiently to know we are the eternal self-existent reality. We are the SAT, the stuff of consciousness itself. This is actually who we are. It is the origin of our sense of ‘’self’’, ‘I’ or ‘me’. It is the origin of our capacity to ‘be’, ‘know’ and ‘experience’. This is our ‘being’, our essential Self. It is our primal condition. It is not dependent on anything else to exist. It exists independent of our body or mind. It is beyond any sensation, feeling or thought.
Our ego based self is not real; it is a temporary construct that allows us to exist in this dimension with a body and mind. It gives a structure for consciousness to operate in this dimension. Its purpose is to protect, and preserve our separate sense of self, giving us the ability to think, feel and act. But ‘we’ the essential being does not need our ego to ‘be’. Being is our original condition…it needs no body or mind to exist. Existence is only possible because of this essential condition of our selves. We come first, existence next.
Ego is a habit, a construct that only continues with our unwitting consent. It takes constant effort to maintain this ego habit. Once you get this, withdraw our consent it looses its momentum and fades away…until only ‘you’ remain. This is the essential work of the spiritual path, to withdraw our consent, to let go and surrender our old habitual sense of self.
It is not correct to say we have ‘forgotten’ who we are since it is not so simple. Consciousness has no way to know itself until it became associated with a body capable of holding it. Over time this interplay between bodies and consciousness created what we call ‘self-awareness’. This allows one to be aware of itself in space and time as a separate self. Ego is the by-product of this process.
Dismantling the ego starts with finding it in ourselves. The ego has many sub egos or sub personalities. Finding these is the first step to dismantling our ego. Once we have found them the next step is to begin the process of dis-identifying, of separating our identification with them and the third step is to withdraw our consent to allow them to run our lives. This we do by not taking action based on their promptings.
The fourth step is concurrent with the previous steps; we put our attention on the being, that essential pure, uncontaminated part of us and build a relationship with it. This strengthens our true identity and builds a new ego, one aligned with the truth of what we are. Building a relationship between the being and the ego creates the true Self. This is the paradox of our situation. There is the conditioned self, a temporary construct that arises from our early adaptations to this world, the surface self, what we call our personality. It is this little self that builds a relationship with the being creating a new Self. In this process the consciousness learns to let go of its identification with its old self and to become identified with its true Self. This is bounded consciousness getting to know itself as the unbounded consciousness.
Ego is thus transformed and becomes a tool for the manifestation of truth, consciousness and bliss into the existence.
Last night, during meditation, I heard, “We’re afraid to let go”. All these little “i’s” shivering in fear of their demise. I told them gently, there is no death. They would just go home and be happy. Hopefully, they believed me.