Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Ego, Identification and Attachment

Psychologically, the lower consciousness of the ego may perhaps be viewed as a learned attitude, an habitual way of thinking that the individual grows into as he or she grows towards adolescence. By adolescence, the vast, vast majority of individuals have taken the stream of thought generated by the ego as their identity.

Wholly identified with this "voice in the head" we are attached to the personas it creates for us, and then seek, in turn, further attachments to objects, conceptual structures, experiences and other people to reinforce this attachment to our egoic "self." This attachment process, robs us of the reality of the higher levels of consciousness which are nascent within us, but which are obscured by the wiles and wants of the ego.

"Whatever the ego seeks and gets attached to are substitutes for the Being that it cannot feel," writes Eckhart Tolle in "A New Earth," his best-selling treatise on higher consciousness. "You can value and care for things," he observes, "but whenever you get attached to them you will know it's the ego. And you are never really attached to a thing but to the thought that has 'I,' 'me,' or 'mine' in it. Whenever you completely accept a loss, you go beyond ego and who your are, the I Am which is consciousness itself, emerges."

"In the end," it has been said," what matters most is how well did you live, how well did you love, and how well did you learn to let go."

Letting go, however, necessitates our letting go of the egoic state, not only of our identification with he ego, but with the never-ending attachments and desires that the ego produces, the subject of the reading by Tolle, below.

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