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Ego and Self . . . Login/Join 
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For those who might have missed this post by w.c. on another thread, I call it to your attention, as it demonstrates very well what I've been referring to as Self and even indicates the movement of Self unto Ego. What he's calling the "witness" is what I've been referring to as Self:
- non-reflective, observational awareness;
- spiritual consciousness of the soul;
- the "I"
quote:
The sucker's always there looking, and you can't look at "him" looking at you because you can't make him an object of consciounsess.
Exactly!

But Self is not content to merely "see." It is naturally oriented toward embodiment, which is the context in which its potential is developed.
quote:
Now, what is more that just fascinating to me is how the "witness," which seems to have no alliance or preference re: emotional content, would be embodied via the intuitive faculties through the heart where more refined or subtle feeling awareness is experienced, such as praise, gratitude, and love. In fact, in the HeartMath studies, "appreciation" is the state of being that most activates the heart's capacity to access the pre-cognitive domain of non-local awareness.
It does seem that Self-incarnation/embodiment most naturally proceeds through the heart, and that the capacity for loving and evaluating coming through the heart (the mind's attentiveness to impressions arising from this area) is what shame and fear have negated. So we might say that healthy Egoic life is heart-centered, or at least heart-awake, as it seems the heart is the center capable of harmoniously balancing and integrating the spiritual and material aspects of our being.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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w.c., I've been away for awhile and appreciate your May 12 responses above. Thank you for the Marion thread suggestion.

Regarding:

w.c.: "Logos, or the "Word" was understood by the early church quite differently than the way you are suggesting."

MM2: Yes, I understand that you believe that to be true. I am only suggesting that you - and others before you - may be entirely wrong.

w.c.: "The idea that human beings aren't the Creator shouldn't be difficult to see: we don't create out of nothing, don't share omnipresence or omniscience, and have absolutely no mastery over death. Our minds, even where non-dual awareness and kundalini are cultivated to a high degree, are nevertheless bound in internal dialogue and incapable of permanent unification."

MM2: Regarding the omnipresence/omniscience reference - couldn't this contradict what you've shared in your posts regarding the "unconscious." (Another thread) And only, if "mastery over death" is understood as literal, you are undoubtedly correct. But, death metaphors are mythic, psychological and spiritual as well. Also, using the term "Creator" in this way (personified deity creating the material world out of nothing?) need not be the only interpretation of what results from unity with the Creator. As regards to being "bound in internal dialogue and incapable of permanent unification," while I firmly agree with you, those momentary fragile states of unity that are achieved have material results that could be described as "something out of nothing."

To anyone. I have always found the following perspective intriguing. Why would one hope to be resurrected with a risen body ... in eternity? Any serious responses would be appreciated.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Phil:

"Christ's risen body and sacred humanity are the source and foundation of our life on earth, and the basis for our hope to be resurrected with a risen body (not just a spiritual consciousness) like his in eternity."

MM2: And, regarding:

Phil: ..." After all, Ego is Self-incarnate and, simultaneously, a conditioned identity. So at least in terms of spirituality, the critical issue is just how attached Ego is to its conditioned identity (self-image) and how open to the freedom and intelligence of Self."

MM2: Having just buried a sister - very religious and ferociously attached to a conditioned identity - I have not been persuaded by anything I've read in the posts - regarding ego - that the approaches outlined/or the "ego as self-incarnate" could have any efficacy for such a person. Those attempting to help her spiritually were always blocked by her attachment to her identity.

When there is no 'I" or sense of "Self resting in God," one is unable to question one's beliefs about identity and relation to others. Hell, is real, but you cannot grasp that there is a way out. In such a case, only questioning one's assumption about identity, observing the ego "life patterns" as a separate conditioned identity, opens the possibility of reconnecting to the "freedom and intelligence of Self." Jesus' every word points to this.

Although Phil's May 13 post was lovely to read, I wonder.... Perhaps only those with a moderately functional ego and easily defined calling can be reached and assisted through this type of understanding.

Anyone. Please suggest other threads discussing this issue.
 
Posts: 12 | Location: Traveling | Registered: 30 April 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Welcome back, MM2. Condolences re. the loss of your sister. May she rest in peace.

That people can be attached to an identity fabricated out of fear-based conditioning ought to be a sobering prospect for all of us, for we all do struggle with this. As you note, one can indeed choose to perpetuate the false identity instead of opening to discovery of their true Self. Indeed, as Jesus noted, it is possible to gain the whole world, and lose one's very soul/Self (both words are used in different translations). The potential of Self is never exhausted by the Ego, however, so there is always the possibility that a chink in the armor of such a sick Ego might be found, in which the freedom and spaciousness of Self can break through. The working of the Holy Spirit in our souls is also a hopeful prospect. . . along with God's mercy, of course. Who knows what attached Egos really do experience at death?

What is your understanding of Logos/Word? Earlier, you mentioned a "concept." That's not the meaning in John 1 and other places, which was the implied reference in some of our posts.

quote:
Why would one hope to be resurrected with a risen body ... in eternity? Any serious responses would be appreciated.
It's more that this is what Christ has revealed, which is the basis of our hope. I would just as soon be resurrected as a pure spirit, but that's not what human beings are. To be human means to live in a body, so much so that the Church considers disincarnate souls (the dead) to be living in a state of metaphysical deficiency.

1 Cor. 15 has some very cool things to say about resurrected bodies, as did St. Thomas Aquinas. Google "resurrected body" and you'll find lots of sites reflecting on this.

For an additional resource on Ego and Self, you might check out my doctoral dissertation, which I've drawn from somewhat on this thread.
- http://shalomplace.com/view/godselfego.html
If you're interested in the whole manuscript, let me know.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<w.c.>
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MM2:

Sorry to hear about the death of your sister. While doing hospice work I've seen many people struggle, but as they are drawn inward they seem to eventually open out into the unfamiliar and the grace hidden from us via those attachments we all have. All seem to struggle with this letting go, but there seems to be a bigger process at work where eventually we become more inclined to the invisible world than to this one, but the timing on that is unpredictable, and the signs not usually clear or obvious.


As for "Logos," the early church is simply expressing its experience of the resurrected Jesus being God incarnate; its understanding of that term is really no more difficult than that, although the early church communities seemed to be struggling with an experience of Him that had little precedent by which to explain the enormity of that event. You can see this for yourself by reading John's gospel and Paul's letters. Whether or not they were ontologically/metaphysically correct is another issue.


I never said the unconscious was empowered to the degree of omnipresence or omnipotence or omniscience, but that its participation via the soul in the created order gives it certain capacities limited by its bodily nature/mortality, and by the soul being immortal, not eternal. Were the soul eternal, it could create out of nothing. And so unity with the Creator, as you speak of it, is for Christians a relationship of contingency, where that which doesn't create itself and cannot avoid its own death cleaves to that which is uncreated and beyond death; this cleaving for Christians is considered a response to an ultimate Love by the Creator already given in incarnating as Jesus Christ, fulfilling all the archetypal mythologies that reflect this human longing for a unity the soul cannot realize of its own accord.

As for states of unity, yes they produce changes in the human mind and heart, but we remain creatures subject to decay and death and ultimately dependent upon something quite beyond our own doing.
 
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Here are a couple of meditations from my book, "The Logic of Happiness" (I still have a few copies if anyone is interested.) These were written around 1987 or so, when this Ego - Self stuff was becoming clarified, to some extent. It's interesting to read them now in light of the above discussion.

- - -

The Self

"I" am a light shining brightly
- a here/now presence
- indivisible into parts
- an energy animating a body
- a body emanating spiritual energy
- a living intelligence
- a freedom amidst conditioning
- the one who sees through these eyes.

And God: where is God?
- God is within and beyond the Self.
- the Self is in God.

And yet, the Self is not-God:
- it knows not the secrets of the universe;
- it creates not its own existence;
- it has no power beyond its own freedom and knowledge;
- it exists only in a limited sphere.

"God is," "I am," "We are."

(The eyes are windows. Who is peering out of them? Experience this, but do not try to define it.)

- - -

Enlightenment

This is the natural, awakened state of a person. It happens of its own accord when one lives un-intentionally in the NOW.

Non-intentional living happens when the disturbance of judgmental thinking is dropped.

Judgmental thinking is dropped when the past is healed through forgiveness and, after prudent planning, the future is left to itself. One must also make many decisions to drop unnecessary thinking, and to never indulge judging as good or bad that which is neither good nor bad--except in reference to the Ego.

All this may be done outside of the context of formal religious practices. Formal religious practices might even serve to negate this liberation.

Enlightenment is not love, nor is it mystical contemplation, for these are experienced in relationship. But enlightenment is the perfect context for relationship since self-centered projections and demands are out of the way. Love flowers most beautifully in the good soils of an enlightened soul!

Be ye enlightened, O Christian brothers and sisters! Accept the gift of the East. Be-here/now, and love will be born.

Just be here now, in the body, from the heart, without needing to "get" anything, and you will know the True Self.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What a glorious meditation from your book, Phil. Very inspiring!

Do you ever video your classes or readings? I wouldn't mind seeing something of that!
 
Posts: 538 | Registered: 24 June 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks, Stephen.

I haven't done reading from any of my books, but have done lots of teaching on a wide range of topics through the years. Some of these are available through the shalomplace.com site via the Retreats and Workshops link.
 
Posts: 3748 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 27 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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