Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Ego

The ego is the dark spot where the rays of the intellect fail to penetrate; it is the last hiding-lair of Ignorance, where the latter serenely keeps itself from the light. When this lair is laid bare and turned inside out, Ignorance vanishes like frost on the sun. In fact, these two ideas are the same thing, Ignorance and the idea of ego. We are apt to think that when Ignorance is driven out and the ego loses its hold on us, we have nothing to lean against and we are left to the fate of a dead leaf blown away hither and thither as the wind listeth.

D.T. Suzuki wrote those thoughts in his 1949 book, Essays in Zen Buddhism. The ego is a word that seems to contain both a negative, as well as positive meaning. The ego is an aspect of consciousness. It is a pliable and a moldable aspect of the self. It plays different roles as we move through different realities.

Ignorance is an essential aspect of our ego. We tend to be ignorant of when and how we use this quality of consciousness. The power of ego is greater than the power of the atom bomb.

But, that energy is only a pittance of the energy that is a quality of our inner consciousness. When we turn our ego inward, as Suzuki mentions, we connect with that power.

No comments: