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The Ego Illusion

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The Ego Illusion

Post by Freya on Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:06 am

Found this lovely article from Alan Watts: http://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=312

This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated “egos” inside bags of skin.

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Re: The Ego Illusion

Post by Freya on Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:15 pm

The meaning of being alive is just being alive.

But we all feel this concept of ourself which we call our personality or ego to really do something, WE think it really exists, and I’ll tell you why we think it exists. What happens if I were to say to you, now look hard at the television screen, really look at it! What do you do instead of watching it in the ordinary way. What do you do? Notice that you tighten muscles all around here, that you frown a little, you clench your teeth perhaps. What has that got to do with seeing anything clearly? Absolutely nothing to do with it. Same thing when you listen carefully, catch everything that’s said, and you start tightening up around your ears. That has nothing to do with hearing clearly. Now from the moment when we were little children, teachers in class screamed at us, Pay Attention! We go tight in either way, either to see or hear more clearly, to concentrate, or to will something, which is supposed to be difficult to do. And that constitutes a habitual tension over the whole body, which is there all the time. That feeling of unnecessary tension is at it were the material on which we fashion this concept of ‘I’. We hang it on to that feeling. That concept is not us, the feeling of tension completely phony. It has nothing to do with success, in seeing, hearing, or acting. So we get the marriage of an illusion with a falsehood, and that we call ourselves. No wonder we feel cut off from everything, alienated, frightened of death.

So what has to happen is that we have to come back to a saying, view of our own life, which is the way we really are: an organism functioning in terms of the whole environment, with the whole environment, instead of this funny little separate personality. You can’t change human nature over night. You’re asking us to give up the ego, and that’s the most difficult of all things to do. Actually, it isn’t, because the ego doesn’t exist. But of course if you try to give up your ego with your ego, then it will take you to the end of time. Because this is the point: you can’t transform yourself. You can’t make yourself sane, you can’t make yourself loving, you can’t make yourself unselfish. And yet it’s absolutely necessary that we be that way. It’s absolutely necessary if we are going to hand over the direction of nature to nature, which is what it comes to. It’s absolutely necessary that we let go of ourselves, and it can’t be done. Not by anything that we call doing it, acting it, willing, or even just accepting things. You can’t do it. Why? Because you don’t really exist as that kind of separate ego or personality. Because you don’t really exist as that separate ego or personality. It’s just an idea, based on a phony feeling.


-Alan Watts


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