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Re: Definitions

Oct 20, 1996 03:43 PM
by Dr. A.M.Bain

In message <>, John Straughn
<> writes
>As far as the word "ego" is concerned, in my understanding of the terminology,
>it is the "personal" self.  I.E. the self which serves only the person in whom
>it dwells.  Whereas the atman is the universal self, that which serves
>humanity and nature as a whole.

Ah. Now my understanding is closer to that of C.G.Jung, which describes
"Ego" as a complex within the Personal Unconscious, which abuts upon the
"Self" which is the true I-dentity of the individual and through which
we can relate to and come to terms with the activities of the
"Collective Unconscious" within which we are all connected as part of
the scheme of things.

This definition of "Ego" would accord with your general statements on
its possible dangers, but as all human beings cannot subsist (in
incarnation, anyhow) without the Ego interface with the rest of the
world, it cannot and will not be ignored.  I would argue, for instance,
that every time you make a statement which seems to denigrate the
activity of the human Ego, you have to use your own Ego to make it.

In ancient times, and other modern philosophies, I believe, some have
used the term "Ego" as almost an equivalent to the latter-day
theosophical "Atman."

So, if we are to refer to what seem to me to be doctrinal matters, we
really do need to define our terms beforehand, especially on a list like
this, as people come to it from a number of different and even
apparently contradictory disciplines.

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