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→ The Ego
→ What Am I
3 Oct 2011
That element in his consciousness which enables him to understand that he exists, which causes him to pronounce the words, “I Am,” is the spiritual element, here called Overself. It is really his basic self for the three activities of thinking feeling and willing are derived from it, are ripples spreading out of it, are attributes and functions which belong to it. But as we ordinarily think feel and act, these activities do not express the Overself because they are under the control of a different entity, the personal ego.
5 Sep 2016
The source of wisdom and power, of love and beauty, is within ourselves, but not within our egos. It is within our consciousness. Indeed, its presence provides us with a conscious contrast which enables us to speak of the ego as if it were something different and apart: it is the true Self whereas the ego is only an illusion of the mind.
1 May 2013
Is it true that most men suffer from mistaken identity?
22 Oct 2010
The ego self is the creature born out of man's own doing and thinking, slowly changing and growing. The Overself is the image of God, perfect, finished, and changeless. What he has to do, if he is to fulfil himself, is to let the one shine through the other.
8 Feb 2011
The ego is after all only an idea. It derives its seeming actuality from a higher source. If we make the inner effort to search for its origin we shall eventually find the Mind in which this idea originated. That mind is the Overself. This search is the Quest. The self-separation of the idea from the mind which makes its existence possible, is egoism.
3 Feb 2012
What he takes to be his true identity is only a dream that separates him from it. He has become a curious creature which eagerly accepts the confining darkness of the ego's life and turns its back on the blazing light of the soul's life.
5 Jun 2011
This is the amazing contradiction of man's life, that although bearing the divine within himself, he is aware only of, and pursues unabated, its very opposite.
10 Mar 2013
”I am not I.” These words are nonsensical to the intellect, which can make nothing of them. But to awakened intuition they are perfectly comprehensible.
16 May 2011
The personal ego derives its own light of consciousness and power of activity from the Overself.
26 Oct 2010
The ego borrows its reality, its power of perception, its very capacity to be aware, from its association with the Overself.
28 Nov 2019
The ego is a passing thing, but its source is not.
28 Oct 2010
Keep on thinking about the difference between the personal ego and the impersonal Overself until you become thoroughly familiar with them.
10 Mar 2014
The true self of man is hidden in a central core of stillness, a central vacuum of silence. This core, this vacuum occupies only a pinpoint in dimension. All around it there is ring of thoughts and desires constituting the imagined self, the ego. This ring is constantly fermenting with fresh thoughts, constantly changing with fresh desires, and alternately bubbling with joy or heaving with grief. Whereas the centre is forever at rest, the ring around it is never at rest; whereas the centre bestows peace, the ring destroys it.
25 Nov 2012
The Overself-consciousness is reflected into the ego, which then imagines that it has its own original, and not derived awareness.
20 Jul 2013
The answer to the question What am I? is A divine Soul. This soul is related to, and rooted in, God. But that does not make us equivalent to God. Those who say so are using language carelessly.
26 Apr 2017
The ego must be there, for it is needed to be active in this world; but it need not take sole charge of the man. There is this other, this higher Self too.
8 Nov 2010
Man is like an actor who has become so involved in the interpretation of his role that he has forgotten his original identity. It effectively prevents him from remembering who and what he is.
8 Mar 2014
Not Descartes' formula I think, therefore I am but the mystic's The Soul is within me, therefore I am. For Descartes' I is relative and changeful, whereas the mystic's is absolute and permanent.
28 Mar 2014
... Is it not logical that when a man's mind is full of his ”I” to overflowing, there can be no room for that which transcends it, the Overself?
14 Feb 2018
There is the personal self within me. There is the impersonal Self or Overself also within me. We can react wrongly through the ego's limited outlook--or recognize the Overself.
2 Jun 2018
Those who give too few minutes during the day to thought about, remembrance of, or meditation on the higher self cannot justly demand a spiritual return out of all proportion to what they have given.
28 Oct 2019
Our real Self is not in movement or change or form. We have to identify with this unseen Self.
4 Jun 2013
The first great error to be thrown away is a common one--acceptance of the physical body as the real self when it is only an expression and channel, instrument and vehicle of the self.
24 Oct 2010
You have a body but the real you is not physical. You have an intellect but the real you is not intellectual. You have emotions but the real you is not emotional. What then are you? You are the infinite consciousness of the Overself.
5 Oct 2015
There is something in each man which says ”I.” Is it the body? Usually he thinks so. But if he could set up a deeper analysis, he would find that consciousness would carry him away from the body-thought into itself. There, in its own pure existence, he would find the answer to his question, ”Who am I?”
6 Mar 2018
This sense, force, or feeling within him, which calls itself I, has its innermost part in that which observes it, the Overself.
3 Sep 2017
Everyone can give his assent to the statement that his physical environment is not himself, but it requires great penetration to give his assent to the equally true statement that his thoughts are not himself.
4 May 2011
We all think, experience, feel, and identify with the ”I.” But who really knows what it is? To do this we need to look inside the mind, not at what it contains, as psychologists do, but at what it is in itself. If we persevere, we may find the ”I” behind the ”I.”
2 Mar 2016
It would be wrong to believe that there are two separate minds, two independent consciousnesses within us--one the lower ego-mind, and the other, the higher Overself-mind--with one, itself unwatched, watching the other. There is but one independent illuminating mind and everything else is only a limited and reflected image within it. The ego is a thought-series dependent on it.
19 Aug 2013
How is it that I am--and know that I am--substantially the same man today as yesterday, that I remember the happenings of a year ago? The answer must be that there is a continuous self, or being, or mind, in me, distinct from its thoughts or experiences.
4 Oct 2013
Neither deep sleep nor brain concussion prevents us from recovering the sense of I when they end.
19 Nov 2013
If we look for the self in this jumble of contradictory instincts and changing tendencies, we find only a jumble. These things are the content of awareness, not the faculty of awareness.
25 Aug 2013
Even the shell-shocked soldier who suffers from an almost total amnesia, forgetting his personal identity and personal history, does not suffer from any loss of the consciousness that he exists. Its old ideas and images may have temporarily or even permanently vanished, but the mind itself carries on.
22 Mar 2014
The personal ego of man forms itself out of the impersonal life of the universe like a wave forming itself out of the ocean. It constricts, confines, restricts, and limits that infinite life to a small finite area. The wave does just the same to the water of the ocean. The ego shuts out so much of the power and intelligence contained in the universal being that it seems to belong to an entirely different and utterly inferior order of existence. The wave, too, since it forms itself only on the surface of the water gives no indication in its tiny stature of the tremendous depth and breadth and volume of water beneath it…
11 Dec 2013
It is ludicrous if that part of the mind which is only within the personal consciousness, the ego, sets itself up to deny the Mind-in-itself--its own very Source. For the ego is shut in what it experiences and knows--a much limited area.
1 Oct 2015
When it is said that separateness is the great sin, this does not refer to one's relation with other human beings. It refers to having separated oneself in thought from one's higher self.
13 Apr 2012
We draw the very capacity to live from the Overself, the very power to think from the same source. But we confine both the capacity and the power to a small, fragmentary, and mostly physical sphere. Within this confinement the ego sits enthroned, served by our senses and pandered by our thoughts.
27 Jan 2017
This narrow fragment of consciousness which is the person that I am hides the great secret of life at its core.
8 Jun 2011
Thoughts rise and fall on the surface of consciousness just like waves on the ocean. Both thoughts and waves disappear again into their source. The ego is a totality of strongly held thoughts with a long ancestry behind them. So it too dissolves into the universal mind...
15 Mar 2016
... The personal self did not emerge from nothing and therefore cannot go back into nothing when it dies; it dies into this living Universal Mind, is absorbed by it.
12 Aug 2016
The lower part of man's mind which calculates, analyses, criticizes, blames, and organizes is the part which has no understanding of divine principles, and therefore its plannings are frequently futile. Man has no business to limit himself to the lower mind, and when he understands this he will leave his future in the hands of God, and then his real needs will be met.
27 Aug 2013
It is an irony of life that a man can plainly see the physical ego, but that on which it depends for existence, the Overself, he does not see. Therefore he neglects or ignores the attention it needs and misses much of the opportunity that a reincarnation offers to further his inner unfoldment.
5 Apr 2018
The egocentric view of ordinary men is not final. One day they will evolve to the cosmic view.
3 Nov 2012
What we find as the attributes of the ego are a reflected image, limited and changing, of what we find in the Overself. They ultimately depend on the Overself both for their own existence and their own nature.
8 May 2016
However badly we all reflect the Overself in the personality, however tiny broken and distorted the reflected image usually is, still it is a reflection. It is within the capacity of all to make it a better one, and within the capacity of a few to make it a perfect one.
30 Mar 2014
If we could pin down this sense of I-ness which is behind all we think, say, and do, and if we could part it from the thoughts, feelings, and physical body by doing so, we would find it to be rooted in and linked with the higher Power behind the whole world.
26 May 2013
The ego's consciousness is a vastly reduced, immeasurably weakened echo of the Overself-Consciousness. It is always changing and dissipates in the end whereas the Other is ever the same and undying. But the ego is drawn out of the Other and must return to it, so the link is there. What is more, the possibility of returning voluntarily and deliberately is also there.
7 Sep 2015
Unless the human ego were itself an emanation of the Overself it would be quite unable to identify itself with the sensation of severance from the body during the process we call dying.
24 Apr 2019
Just as a shadow bespeaks a light, so the ego bespeaks its source in the Overself.
21 Feb 2018
The personality is rooted in the Overself. Hence its own power and movement do reflect, albeit minutely, slightly, and distortedly, some of the Overself's own attributes.
7 Aug 2011
Expressed in more familiar religious language, it may be said that God has put something of Himself into each one of us. But it is there only as a potential; we must make the necessary effort to make ourselves more and more conscious of it.
11 Jul 2015
The ”I” of the ego is supported by the ”I” of the spiritual being, the spiritual self. Indeed the first derives its reality from the second and the second survives when the first passes away.
15 Aug 2013
... Sometimes men catch a glimpse of this other self which is really their own best self and which is not something to be attained by a progression since it is forever present…
20 Sep 2012
As egos they are certainly individual lives and beings. Their separateness is unquestionable. But as manifestations of the One Infinite Life-Power, their separateness from It is a great illusion.
17 Oct 2019
It is what stands behind the individual, and not the individual himself, that really matters.
17 Sep 2020
That which separates a man from others, which makes him a person, an individual being, is his ego.
16 Jul 2013
... Outwardly all differ but in the deepest root of consciousness all are the same.
14 Mar 2012
How can man fully express himself unless he fully develops himself? The spiritual evolution which requires him to abandon the ego runs parallel to the mental evolution which requires him to perfect it.
31 Oct 2013
Despite all the talk disparaging the ego, it is not wrong but praiseworthy to develop the best personality one can and then use it. Its character can be purified, its passions controlled, its weaknesses overcome, its ignorance dispelled. New virtues can be introduced and new power developed. One can then make better use of such a personality--for one's own advantage and for service of others--and one should.
8 Apr 2015
We came to this earth to understand ourselves, bit by bit.
12 Jan 2013
This is the paradox, or irony, of evolution: that first the ego grows into full being through plant, animal, and human form; then it reverses the objective and assents to its own alteration and death.
12 Jun 2018
If he will stop looking at his own life from the shut-in standpoint of his little ego and instead look at it from the wide-angle standpoint of its place in the reincarnationary cycle of development, it will become filled with new meanings, rich with higher significances. To bring his personal idea into alignment with the World-Idea will then become both his duty and his happiness.
4 Aug 2013
Is it not ironical that the Overself projects the ego so far that it denies its source, and then waits indefinitely for the ego to give itself back?
24 May 2018
After the physical, intellectual, aesthetic, and spiritual capacities of the ego have been developed, then it is the correct time to renounce, not before. But the selfishness and indiscipline of the ego may and should be renounced at any time.
28 May 2013
When the ego discovers that it is a part of the whole, it will naturally cease to live only for its own good and begin to live for the general good also.
14 Oct 2015
If the earlier experiences of life are intended to develop the ego from the primitive animalistic to the fully humanistic stage, the later experiences are intended to induce the man to give the ego as an offering to the Overself.
2 May 2019
Nothing can annihilate the ego during the body's lifetime, but its function can be reduced to one of mere subservience to the Overself.
25 Oct 2011
The highest goal of the quest is not illumination gained by destruction of the ego but rather by perfection of the ego. It is the function of egoism which is to be destroyed, not that which functions. The ego’s rulership is to go, not the ego itself.
20 Dec 2019
… We are told to kill out the ego; we are also told that the ego does not exist. The fact is it must exist if activity exists. What then is to be done by the spiritual aspirant? He can bring and eventually must bring the ego into subjection to the higher Power. It is still there, but it is put in its proper place…
27 Jul 2020
… some of the confusion is due to the fact that the ego is a changing thing; it changes with time and experience, whereas the Infinite Being, the Ultimate, is changeless …
25 Dec 2019
… This is the tragedy, that the powers, talents, and consciousness of man are spent so often in hatred and war when they could work harmoniously for the World-Idea, that his own disharmony brings his own suffering and involves others. But each wave of development must take its course, and each ego must submit in the end…
2 Oct 2017
… When examined, the ego is found to be a complex of body and thought, physical senses and mental tendencies…
25 Jun 2013
... To destroy the ego completely would necessarily mean to destroy the physical body, which is a part of it, and to remove his particular individuality which sets him apart from others. This cannot be done, but what can be done is to render the ego subservient to the higher self, an obedient instrument of the higher will.
4 Feb 2014
Perhaps one day some bright mind will write a book entitled Inspired Egoism to bring people into the understanding that the ego too has its place in the scheme of things. It is the little circle within the larger one of the Overself, and if it remains conscious of its true relationship to the Overself, it may still rest there and carry on with its functions.
27 Oct 2010
It is both true and untrue that we cannot take up the ego with us into the life of mystical illumination. The ego is after all only a reflection, extremely limited and often distorted, of the Higher Self... But still it is a reflection. If we could bring it into correct alignment with, and submission to, the Higher Self, it would then be no hindrance to the illumined life. The ego cannot, indeed, be destroyed so long as we need its services while in the flesh; but it can be subjugated and turned into a servant instead of permitting it to remain a master. When this is understood, the philosophical ideal of a fully developed, mastered, and richly rounded ego acting as a channel for the inspiration and guidance of the Higher Self will be better appreciated. A poverty-stricken ego will naturally form a more limited channel for the expression of the Higher Self than would a more evolved one. The real enemy to be overcome is not the entity ego, but the function of egoism.
4 Apr 2012
... The ego cannot, indeed, be destroyed so long as we need its services while in the flesh; but it can be subjugated and turned into a servant instead of permitting it to remain a master... The real enemy to be overcome is not the entity ego, but the function of egoism.
11 Oct 2017
… For the ego and the Overself fuse and unite, yet the union does not destroy the ego's capacity to express itself or to be active in the world…
28 Aug 2020
If a man could withdraw sufficiently from his ego to stop letting its interests and desires overpower him, he would thereby let peace come to triumph in his heart …
29 Mar 2013
If the ego continues to perform its functions, as it needs must even after Fulfilment, it no longer does so as his master, no longer as his very self. For henceforth it obeys the Overself.
26 Nov 2013
For the man in that high consciousness and identified with it, the ego is simply an open channel through which his being may flow into the world of time and space. It is not himself, as it is for the unenlightened man, but an adjunct to himself, obeying and expressing his will.
23 Jun 2019
Yes the ego is there and must be there if we are to live on this plane. But it can undergo a spiritual rebirth and no longer be a tyrant who denies us our spiritual birthright and our spiritual consciousness but rather a channel serving that consciousness.
8 Jul 2015
That part of man which is within the physical world, the ego, must in the end come to recognize and revere his higher individuality, unseen and unknown though it may be. This requires a growth through time, through many rebirths.
19 Nov 2015
It would be an error to believe that it is the Overself which reincarnates. It does not. But its offspring--the ego--does.
26 Feb 2011
This is the ego that we falsely think of as being our real self. This is the ego to which memory ties us. This is the illusive part of our dual personality; this is the known part of our being, a mere shadow thrown by the unknown part which is infinitely greater. This moves from one earthly body to another, from one dream to another through the phantasmagoria of existence without awakening to reality.
30 Apr 2012
The entity which lives in the spirit world after death is the same ego that dwelt on earth, emanating from and sustained by the same Overself. In this relationship, they are still distinct and separate entities, even though as intimately connected as parent and offspring.