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Ego as Problem or Solution ? Flashlight or Selfish Hunger

Jul 23, 1997 02:53 PM

ARTHUR YOUNG: Hello, Jeff. 

<Picture>MISHLOVE: You know, many spiritual teachers suggest that it's the ego 
that limits us -- that we get locked into the small, separate self, and if we 
could only get rid of our egos and experience the great oneness of the 
universe, that we would be enlightened. Yet this seems to go against the whole 
grain of Western thought. I wonder what you think about it. 

<Picture>YOUNG: Well, I think the ego is essential, and it ultimately can 
flower into what you could call, what Jung calls, the personality -- you have 
these terrific personalities like movie stars and so on, after you've evolved 
sufficiently. But you first have to have a thing before you can give it up. So 
as I read nature, ego is our little ship or vehicle for experiencing the 
universe, and there's no point in giving it up until we've had the experiences 
it affords, and which only it affords. 

<Picture>MISHLOVE: When does that point occur? 

<Picture>YOUNG: I think it's way beyond most people today. So rather than give 
up their ego, they would do better to get the benefits of what the ego 
provides. Without the ego, all this connectedness is a confused mass. It's 
like having a flashlight in a cave. If you want to throw away the flashlight, 
you can experience the cave much better, but you won't really learn anything. 
Rather than get along in total darkness, you use the flashlight to examine as 
much as you can. Now this expands and expands if you use it; but it won't 
expand if you throw it away. 

<Picture>MISHLOVE: It's as if the universe created us humans as separate 
entities for a purpose. 

Keith:  I found this discussion on the net and it brought to mind that a lot 
terminolgy east and west are not really talking about the same thing.  
Psychology has a diffferent definition of ego from spiritual traditions such 
as theosophy.  Thus when we are told to give up 
our ego in order to experience the Real or the Voice of the Silence, we fly in 
the face on all the tortuous advancement that we have made using our egos.

Arthur Young is another one of these closet theosophist like Ken Wilber and 
Jean Houston et al.  He relates that in this stage of our evolution over half 
way through the fourth round (ie the fifth root race-he doesn't call it this)  
we need our egos to know ourselves as being on the path.  You can't give up 
something you don't have developed.

He also echoes the notion that the universe isn't a bunch of colliding 
billiard balls called atoms that are in an entropic system that is running 
down to zero, but in a sea of endless energic entities with the potential for 
evolutionary phase after evolutionary phase.   Like I said:   a closet 

Keith Price

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