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Thread: Taming the Ego

  1. #1 Taming the Ego 
    Quite possibly one of the most important pieces I've read yet.
    From Inayat Khan,
    1. The Training of the Ego:
    Necessity and Avidity
    In the satisfaction of bodily appetites there are two things: necessity and avidity. A satisfaction which is necessary for existence is one thing, and ever-increasing joy in the satisfaction of bodily appetites is another thing. When man acts regardless of this, in either way, in satisfying the appetites or in abstaining from satisfaction, he makes a mistake. In order to train the ego it is not necessary that cruelty be done to nature; discrimination is necessary, to understand how far one should satisfy the appetites and how far one should refrain from being addicted to such satisfactions.

    Intense desire for bodily satisfaction has a bad influence on one's mentality, which acts, psychically, unfavorably on oneself and one's surroundings. It produces jealousy, envy, and greed in the nature, and if the thought-currents are strong, it produces psychically poisonous effects. There is a belief in the East which is know by the name Nazr, a belief that any food or drink can have a poisonous effect upon the one who eats or drinks it if it has been exposed to an evil eye. This superstition is known in almost all parts of the East in some form or other, and the psychical idea behind it is that the intense feeling of envy produces a thought-current which must surely spread its poison, which causes harm to the one against whom the feeling works.

    When we consider the whole unrest of the present time in the world, we find that it is caused by the physical ego. The wars and revolutions seem to have the desire for comfort and pleasure and for more earthly gain behind them. And, since the happiness of the world depends upon the moral standard of the majority, it is upon the education of the human being in the psychic law of happiness that the peace of the world depends.


    3. The Training of the Ego:
    The Two Sides of the Human Ego
    The human ego has two sides to its nature; one side is to strive for its nature's demands, and that side of the ego may be classed as the animal ego; but there is another side which manifests when the ego shows its agitations for no other reason than intolerance. This feeling is a kind of blindness, or intoxication, and it arises from an excess of energy coming out from the soul quite unrestrained; it covers, so to speak, the light of the soul as the smoke may cover the light that comes from a flame. In order to allow the Divine spirit to guide one's life one must clear the soul of its smoke part, leaving there only the flame to illuminate one's life. It is the nature of the ego during its period of ignorance that all that is very beautiful or powerful and all that is below the standard of its ideal agitates it. This sensitiveness may increase to such an extent that all that does not bring any comfort or joy or happiness to the ego may become repugnant to it. It is this ignorant stage of the ego which in the Sanskrit language is called by the wise Ahamkara, and the whole method that the wise have taught in any age and in any part of the world has been for recognizing and understanding this ignorance which is the primary nature of the ego, and then for purifying one's ego from this, by gentleness, humility, by self-control, by tolerance and by forgiveness.

    Man can dissimulate this ignorance, but that is not enough; often, outward manner may become a mask over something ugly hidden behind. There is only one thing that can free the ego from this ignorance and that is the love of God, the contemplation of God and the knowledge of God. Love of God comes from belief in God. Belief is the first thing necessary, but belief needs support. It can be kept up by the belief of others around one or by learning or study which will strengthen it. But he to whom the love of humanity is unknown can never know the love of God; as you can see the painter in his picture, the poet in his poem, the musician in his music, so in humanity you can see God.

    4. The Training of the Ego:
    Training Is As Well a Science As an Art
    It is a science and an art to understand the nature of the human ego and to train it. One can understand the nature of the human ego by a study of human nature; but one can learn the way of training it by training one's own ego. Man can train his ego by being patient with all around him that has a jarring effect upon him. For every jar upon the soul irritates the ego. When man expresses his irritation he develops a disagreeable nature; when he controls it and does not express it, then he becomes crushed inwardly. The idea is to rise above all such irritations.

    Life has a jarring effect by its very nature which every sensitive soul can feel. If a person wishes to keep away from all jarring influences, he had better not try to live, for life is a constant jarring. Life is motion, and it is the nature of motion to strike against something. It does not require strength to stand against the jarring influences of life – there is no wall of stone or of iron that can always stand against the waves of the ocean – but a small piece of wood, little and light, can always rise and fall with the waves, yet always above them, uninjured and safe. The lighter and the littler man's ego becomes, the more power of endurance he has. It is two strong egos that strike against one another. The little ego, the light ego, just slips over when a powerful wave of a strong ego comes for it to knock over itself against a stronger wall that may throw it over.

    The art of dealing with egos of different grades of evolution is to learn gentleness, tolerance, and forgiveness, which all come from charity of heart. When man stands on the same plane as the other, then he is subject to the influence of the other ego. But if he rises above it, then every effort of the other ego falls flat. There is a poem in Hindustani, the verse of Ghalib: 'the world seems to me a playground of children. How constantly busy the infants seem with their toys!'

    Verily the secret of peace is hidden under the cover of the ego.


    For the entire transcript please click the link

    It is certainly worth the read.
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  2. #2  
    Well that's a great offering, Eric. It prompted several actions. I went to the site you linked and read the full Training of the Ego series. I snagged 9.The Training of the Ego: Forgiveness to add to a collection of thoughts on Forgiveness I'm assembling. I signed up for the Daily Bowl of Saki.

    Finally I ran into this excellent article on the nature of the Ego... very synchronous. It is complementary to that provided by the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan.

    Wake Me Up Before Ego: Masterfully Managing Our Most Stubborn Mind Tool — by Tamara Rant

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  3. #3  
    I am so happy you are receiving the inspiration from Inayat Khan daily now. I will read on~

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  4. #4  
    Thank you for the post. With each breath I am trying to dissolve these idea's of Self that I see stem from fear or worry- anticipation or regret. Yet there are idea's too that cater to narcissism or grandeur that also seem illusory in the pursuit of Gods Radiance. Then there's a folly to logic or reason when the wonders of God are greater than any belief system derived from limited understanding. Each day, each prayer and each meditation is an effort to break these things down so I may reside in the unshakable Peace that is God. The infinite Love, wisdom and compassion. True the Ego requires acknowledgement, there are ancient practices however for removing the veil and remaining in the state that see's God before him and Lives a life unwavering.
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