Ego & Consciousness – Can The Individual Ego Affect The Functioning of Pure (Non-Dual) Consciousness?

Q.: You say that the intelligent action comes from the Source and not from the individual with the belief in personal violation, how can there be two? I thought it was only the source that exists and functions … that individual ego cannot do anything. I do understand how it works when you are completely focused on something, but then … how can an Individual ego affect the functioning of the Source? There seems to be a contraction in what you’ve said.

J.: Of course, every action is from the Source. If that is totally accepted, then there is no further scope for any more explanations. Remember that this communication is happening in the waking (relative) dream between the Egos. Therefore, sometimes, the concept has to be explained in the relative context by creating a dualistic split of the Ego and the Source.

When Ramana Maharshi says, “Drop and be!” Or when Maharaj says, “Abide in your being,” Who is that instruction for? Is it for the Source? Are there two? No, it is for the Ego only. It is the Ego that does the investigation and comes to the final understanding.

The Ego cannot affect the functioning of the Source as it itself is the Source manifested. However, till the Ego lives with the idea of separation, its existence (along with free will) is very real for itself. Therefore, sometimes teachers speak from the relative perspective where they create this dualistic split to explain the concept. There is no other way. Whereas, other times, they will speak from the absolute perspective. If the teachers have to clarify, every time, what perspective they are using, it will become more confusing.

This is something that only the seeker has to examine himself. As the understanding within us deepens, the recognition of the right perspective begins to emerge. One approach that may reduce this confusion is to ask two questions: 1.) Why did the teacher say what he said? 2.) Why did he (or she) say it like that? We generally get stuck on the first question. However, all that still may not suffice.

You know, Ramesh says clearly, “Consciousness is all there is.” That should be the end of it. But then, the individual comes up with, “But I have a doubt …” Therefore, he has to now explain things in a way the Ego can relate to (dualistically). This is the limitation of the intellect. It’s all okay … this is the way it has been always.

The word intelligent action is not meant in the worldly sense of the way we see intelligence. The natural spontaneous action arising from the organism is the most intelligent and creative.

Q.: So it’s only the source that uses our mind and body to act. The ego rises later to claim ownership. An enlightened person has a silent ego that lets things happen spontaneously regardless of anything because it knows that it can’t hurt someone who is destined to be hurt by it…and it can’t escape hurt (or happiness) if it’s destined to get it. Supposing you hesitate before an action…you think and decide not to do it… How would you explain that? You might say that’s also destined.

J.: Everything is destined. The hesitation comes up because somewhere deep there is an identification with some thought. It’s hard to explain but when you’ve fully recognized the “being” the mind-body aspect of consciousness doesn’t hold that much intensity. You don’t mind thinking, doubting, and confusion, for it is seen as happening. In other words, the involvement with what’s happening reduces significantly. However, the individual cannot dictate, how and when, and at what pace this process happens.

One mind is seen to be the cause of an event (hurt-creator) and another is seen as the effect of that (hurt-receiver). They are not really separate (the oppressor is the oppressed). You cannot escape the suffering of hurts that you’re destined to receive or give. It doesn’t matter whether they happen through thinking or spontaneously (this is again to explain the concept – from the absolute perspective, everything is spontaneous – from Source, including thinking). The ego having realized the illusion of doership does not get involved in horizontal time. For it knows, that it never initiated an action. The action happened because of certain conditions over which it had no control. 

When we are introduced to this teaching, and the realization is not deep, one has to begin with the faith that there is truth in what the sages have said. Even science is based on faith. While it is relatively easy to derive a mathematical formula, but when you build an advanced machine like a rocket, you begin with the faith that the formulas will work. A majority of times projects fail, but we don’t lose faith in the formula … we keep experimenting until things work out. The same is true with life and relationships, the mind keeps experimenting through examining, reflecting, thinking, and doubting; let it happen.

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Jagjot Singh
Jagjot Singh

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