Excerpts About Ego Activity
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 179 • discuss »
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 20 • discuss »
Facets of Unity, p. 129 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book II, p. 140 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 197 • discuss »
The perspective of each aspect is seen as a way of freedom from the self of ego. Each aspect becomes understood in its relation to the self, and to the experience of dissolution of this self. This is a wide and deep level of essential experience, which ultimately leads to the experience of ego death, or the annihilation of the self. This happens through the detailed, specific, and objective understanding of the identity of ego. The work is deep and profound, involving realizations that are shattering to one’s identity with ego. The gist of the understanding has to do with what is called ego activity. This is the inner activity, psychic activity, which is the life of the ego self, which cannot exist without this activity. This realization crystallizes in a direct, experiential understanding of hope and desire, which are the main activities of ego. The ego activity is fueled by hope and desire for the good, the pleasurable and the safe, along with movement away from the bad, the painful and the frightening. To hope is to hope for something in the future that is not present in the now. This implies that the now is not completely accepted. It is judged as not good enough, if not actually bad. It indicates the absence of complete acceptance of one’s experience. Since Essence is Being, it is always in the now. So the movement of hope is automatically a rejection of the now, and a rejection of Being.
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 389 • discuss »
Yes. Rejection is also based on memories. Not only is there activity in going after what you hope for, but there is also activity in avoiding or rejecting something.This pattern involves an alternation between pleasure and pain. There is something that we call pleasure and something that we call pain. From this distinction comes rejection, hope and desire. But you can see that when you’re rejecting the present, you’re pushing against it, you’re rejecting it. That very action is a contraction. At the deepest level, that action is a frustration. The heart of contraction is always a state of frustration. And the more you reject, the more you feel the frustration. And the more you reject, the more you feel the frustration. The more you feel the frustration, the more desire you have to release the frustration. But it’s a vicious cycle, as you can see. The more you reject, the more there is contraction, the more frustrated you become. Then you want to do something that will release the frustration. But you do this by hoping for something in the future and rejecting the present, which creates more frustration, which makes you hope even more to release it. So you hope some more, you push, and more frustration is created. This cycle generates the personality, and it is the experience of the personality itself. This cycle is what we call ego activity. When you really feel it, the actual substance of the personality is a feverishness, a lack of stillness, a lack of contentment. When you feel desire, it’s that frustration, too. Part of the desire that we feel is a rejection of the present and a hope for something else, which brings frustration. The very movement of the personality is frustration, and the existence of the personality is that movement. The very existence of the personality is that reactivity. It’s a reaction, not a spontaneous action, which I will talk about when I discuss doing.
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 179 • discuss »
We have seen that inquiry is based on remaining open and without positions. It is guided by the true knowingness of what is happening in our experience, and it is not goal-oriented. Its only interest is the revelation of the truth. You could say that inquiry is the aesthetic appreciation of what our Being reveals. So in some sense, as we learn to do it, we reclaim our free dynamism. In fact, inquiry is an expression of that dynamism. It coincides with the true unfoldment of our Being, which we call understanding. Learning the open attitude of inquiry counteracts our tendency to limit and subvert the free dynamism. With practice, inquiry becomes a mode of inner life that replaces the inner manipulation of ego activity. So instead of trying to do something about a particular state or feeling, for example, we open ourselves to find out and understand it. This changes the whole orientation of our psyche, because ego activity tends to limit true openness. In fact, ego activity blocks the dynamism from its natural freedom and spontaneity because it is based on what we believe is true. In ego activity, we take for granted the knowledge we have accumulated, without questioning it. We take our learning to be conclusive, while inquiry is based on recognizing what is possible and not taking anything as final. That is because its kernel, which is a question, is openness, an openness that wants to find out. We choose to invite Being to freely display its richness.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 324 • discuss »