Peace is the End of the Ego

To create suffering without recognising what it is doing is unconsciousness.  The ego will do exactly what it condemns others for.

THE PATHOLOGICAL EGO In a wider sense of the word, the ego itself is pathological, no matter what form it takes. When we look at the ancient Greek root of the word pathological, we discover just how appropriate that term is when applied to the ego. Although the word is normally used to describe a condition of disease, it is derived from pathos, which means suffering. This is, of course, exactly   what   the   Buddha   already   discovered   2,600   years   ago   as   a characteristic of the human condition.

A person in the grip of ego, however, does not recognize suffering as suffering, but will look upon it as the only appropriate response in any given situation. The ego in is blindness is incapable of seeing the suffering it inflicts   on   itself   and   on   others.   Unhappiness   is   an   ego ¬created   mental emotional disease that has  reached epidemic proportions. It is the  inner equivalent of the environmental pollution of our planet. Negative states, such as anger, anxiety, hatred, resentment, discontent, envy, jealousy, and so on, are   not   recognized   as   negative   but   as   totally   justified   and   are   further misperceived not as self¬created but as caused by someone else or some external factor. “I am holding you responsible for my pain.” This is what by implication the ego is saying.  The ego cannot distinguish between a situation and its interpretation of and reaction to that situation. You might say, “What a dreadful day,” without realizing that the cold, the wind, and the rain or whatever condition you react to are not dreadful. They are as they are. What is dreadful is your reaction, your inner resistance to it, and the emotion that is created by That resistance. In Shakespeare’s words, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking   makes   it   so.”2  What   is   more,   suffering   or   negativity   is   often misperceived   by   the   ego   as   pleasure   because   up   t   the   point   the   ego strengthens itself through it. For example, anger or resentment strengthen the ego enormously by increasing the sense of separateness, emphasizing the otherness of others and   creating   a   seemingly   unassailable   fortress¬like   mental   position   of “rightness.” If you were able to observe the physiological changes that take place inside your body when possessed by such negative states, how they adversely   affect   the   functioning   of   the   heart,   the   digestive   and   immune systems, and countless other bodily functions, it would become abundantly clear that such states are indeed pathological, are forms of suffering and not pleasure. Whenever you are in a negative state, there is something in you that wants the negativity, that perceives it as pleasurable, or that believes it will get you what you want. Otherwise, who would want to hang on to negativity, make themselves and others miserable, and create disease in the body? So, whenever there is negativity n you, if you can be aware at that moment that there is something in you that takes pleasure in it or believes it has a useful purpose   you   are   becoming   aware   of   the   ego   directly.   The   moment   this happens, your identity has shifted from ego to awareness. This means the ego is shrinking and awareness is growing.

If in the midst of negativity you are able to realize “At this moment I am creating suffering form myself” it will be enough to raise you above the limitations of conditioned egoic states and reactions. It will open up infinite possibilities which come to you when there is awareness ¬ other vastly more intelligent ways of dealing with any situation. You will be free to let go of your unhappiness the moment you recognize it as unintelligent. Negativity is not intelligent. It is always of the ego. The ego may be clever, but it is not intelligent. Cleverness pursues its own little aims. Intelligence sees the larger whole in which all things are connected. Cleverness is motivated y selfinterest,   and   it   is  extremely  short¬sighted.  

Most   politicians   and business people are clever. Very few are  intelligent. Whatever is attained through cleverness is short¬lived and always turns out to be eventually self defeating. Cleverness divides; intelligence unites.

Mohandas Gandhi

“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.”