Ego as Problem or Solution ? Flashlight or Selfish Hunger
Jul 23, 1997 02:53 PM
by JOSEPH PRICE
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
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