There’s much said about ego, but I really like this Buddhist take on it.
“The ego needs activity in order to exist. Like and dislike, attachment, aversion, greed and hatred are the main overt activities of the ego. The more desire and aversion we have the more alive we feel, the more real and concrete the ego seems. In reality, the ego depends on desire, its life-blood is desire. The ego and desire are like the two sides of a coin — one cannot exist without the other. The ego is projected desire, and desire is projected ego.”
I supposed, with the above, I can’t really delve into ego until I jump into desire. Desire has many levels of intensity but it’s always about the abandonment issues of ego-identified self. A grasping for something that will always, more than likely, be just outside attaining. If it is attained, well, there will be other desires to drive us to the facade of purpose. Who am I if I am not my desires? After all, it is desire that pierces through the chatter of the crowded mind and once its gone can you live with the echo?
I’ve been told, on several occasions, that I write a lot about the past and the future. Certainly, I’ve been known to hide away in those places observing their contrast. Something as fleeting as a smell can project the liveliest of person from my past onto the white-wall of my mind leaving me to rewrite a riding-into-the-sunset moment where the future is more aligned to the happy ending of today. The problem becomes that no matter how I approach time with the knowledge that it is not, in fact, linear, my ego constructs linearly against me. For an intelligent person, I’ve got an ignorant ego. The strength of that ignorance is quite astounding at times, but luckily for me I’m not really the clingy type, which allows me to break free – even for a short while – from the stronghold of “I”. But, the realization of this division leaves me weak and wanting to prevent ego-death. Who am “I” without the illusion of “me”?
Even in scanning this post the paragraphs – separation of thoughts and ideas – begin with “I” and ends with “me”. The muck I must go through on my journey won’t be easy to clean off my boots, but there is a soul at the door of delight that begs to be touched standing on a humorous welcome mat.
“It follows that in this surface or desire-soul there is no true soul-life, but a psychic deformation and wrong reception of the touch of things. The malady of the world is that the individual cannot find his real soul….” -Sri Aurobindo “The Life Divine“