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What is the ego? Does ego imply identification?


Magdi Badawy, 03-12-2024

Notice the peace.
It’s there available to us.

Which is this ordinary awareness.
It is peaceful.

Whenever I look for the peace,
I always find it as just this simple,
ordinary presence, which is undisturbed.

The childlike innocence of being.

When you look at your experience in this moment,
you find that which appears to you:
various perceptions and thoughts,
various bodily sensations.

But there is also that which is not visible to the senses;
which is this ordinary awareness.

Presence.

There is a an invisible reality to our experience,
where there is
no separation,
no time,
no issues,
no forms.

The undisturbable aspect of our experience.
The mind is quiet and still.

And as that reality, all is one.
We are one.

Meaning,
we are not a separate entity as this reality.

And our experience is always in the now,
the reality of our experience.
And in this now,
I am not a male or female body-mind.

Because the body-mind unfolds in time,
while the now is not in time.

And before the now is a memory,
and after the now is a projection.

Only the now is real and absolute.

And therefore, in the now,
there is no past and future.

And yet we perceive a past
and we perceive a future,
in the now.

And although the past and the future move,
the now does not move.

That which is an absolute non-movement.

So movement is contained in the non-movement.
And the non-movement permeates movement.
Every thought,
every phenomenal experience you have,
refers to reality, the non-movement,
refers to awareness,
to being,
to consciousness,
which is not a movement,
which is not a thought,
not a phenomenal experience.

And no matter how hard you try,
you can never truly leave awareness,
consciousness.
Where would you go?

Being knows it is.
Sat and Chit are not two.

Being-Awareness are one.

And the names and forms, Namarupa,
is not separate from being awareness.

Like, the waveless on the surface of the pond
are not separate from the pond.
Thoughts, sensations, perceptions
are not separate from consciousness.

And as such,
there is no separation,
no duality.
Advaita.

And as your understanding deepens,
it does so of its own,
because you have received the message already.

Otherwise, you would not be here.
And in time the old habits
and the old tendencies,
the ways you perceived the world
and experienced the world
and experienced yourself and others changes.
Your old patterns shift, dissolve.

Your sense of me,
your sense of purpose and meaning
may be replaced by being love, living presence.

Free from the old conditioning.
As you say “yes” to your love and interest in truth,
it’s a done deal.

The ship has sailed.

I wanted to talk today about the ego
and what is the ego.
But I’m not interested in
going into all sorts of theoretical treaters
about what is the ego?

So I look directly at my experience,
and I ask myself in this moment
without referring to past, future,
I ask myself, what is the ego in this moment?

And in this moment,
without referring to the past,
I find perceptions and sensations, thoughts.

The hum of the fan.
The soft light of the desk lamp.
The warmth of the body.
The cream color of the wall.

A bodily sensation
that I have been used to refer to
as the sensation of my feet on the ground.

My back against the chair.

But even the sensation of my feet on the ground
in this moment, experientially,
I don’t find any feet, and I don’t find any ground.

When I look at the sensation
of my back against the chair,
I don’t find the back, and I don’t find the chair.

And yet there is a back and there is a chair
somehow, somewhere.

And I also find in my experience awareness,
meaning this invisible reality which knows itself.

Beyond words, beyond mind.
But I don’t find something called an ego.

So, experientially,
in this moment,
I don’t know what that is.

And every now and then the thought me arise.
It says, oh, you’re doing good, you’re doing bad.
Why did he or she do this to me?
But over years over the years,
I’ve been taking a look at these thoughts,
and I’ve been asking myself,
what is this me or this I
that is appearing within the thought?

Why did he do this to me?
What is this me?
What is going to happen to me tomorrow?
What is this me that is appearing in thought?

And I’ve realized that there is a belief in me.
In other words, there’s a belief
that I am the body-mind,
that I am born, and that I exist in time.

And over the years I’ve realized that’s not true.
The world appears to me.
Time appears to me.
My parents,
my teachers,
thoughts,
memories appear to me.

So this thought that appears,
that says, “you are somebody”,
I no longer believe it.

But that somebody,
that appears in the thought,
could that be what we refer to as the ego?
I don’t know.

Maybe, maybe that’s what we mean
when we say ego.

When I look at my experience,
I noticed that this particular body has certain tendencies,
certain qualities, certain…
It’s designed in a certain way.
In this case, it’s a male body.

Has a sweet tooth,
likes to be silly sometimes.
Enjoys quiet time,
enjoys the company of friends.
Sometimes extrovert, sometimes introvert.

So could it be that these particular characteristics
of the body-mind is what we refer to as ego.

Not so sure. Maybe.
I don’t know.

I know that believing myself to be the body-mind,
a good body-mind, a bad body mind,
whatever, extrovert, introvert, whatever.
That over time, I realize that that’s not true.

That’s a source of great pain and sorrow
to be identified with the body-mind.
And I refer to this identification as ignorance.

Could it be that this identification,
this ignorance is what we refer to as ego?

Maybe.

Do I need to be somebody
in order to engage in life,
in order to relate with family and friends
and people at work and people in the world,
out of a place of understanding, wisdom and kindness
and love for everyone, including myself.

No. I don’t.
I don’t need to be identified in any way.
I don’t need to be any particular somebody.
I don’t even need to be nobody.

Being is.
Life flows out of being
because life and being are not too.

Can I reject or deny my sweet tooth?
It’d be silly.
Of course, I try to manage it as best I can.

Do I need to be less extrovert or more introvert
or less introvert?
Why engage in such thoughts?
Because life is not in your mind.
It’s right there in the moment.
How am I in this moment meeting this current situation.

Am I holding on to the past?
Am I holding on to a certain self definition?
When I am seeking some sort of personal security, somehow.

I take a look at all of that.
Always in the moment.

Why be burdened in the moment?
Something needs to be taken care of…
Can I do my best right now,
whichever way is possible to me,
without being a good ego or a bad ego,
whatever that is?

Without much knowing.

Because in not-knowing
you are available, there is an openness.

There is space.
There is presence.

This not-knowing and being and this effortless listening…
They are all one.

And when you need to know something,
it appears to you.

Somehow, out of the universal mystery,
the thought appears to you:
Oh, it’s time for me to make this phone call.
Or the thought: it would be nice for me to get together
with some friends.
It appears to you out of the universe.

Even the thought: no, I’d rather spend,
you know, the next few days alone
doing some reading.
I’ll get together with some friends next week.

Even that thought appears to you from the universe.
It’s so lovely to be available that way.
It’s not stupidity.
It is availability,
It is openness,
It is presence.
It is not dragging the past along,
trying to make your life fit a certain mold.
No molds.

To be fully available,
unconditionally.

Because that which you are
is this complete availability.

This formless openness,
this huge embrace.

And that’s so beautiful.


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