5. Ego as a Servant
As we said at the beginning, the mind
operates on two levels: in time and right now.
The mind living in time is our instrument of knowing and feeling. It is anchored on memory and is necessary and vitally important in its own area.
The online mind works in direct nonstop contact with the world. It lives in the heart of everything, in what is really happening. For it, life is not a concept, but a miracle.
Our ego is a concept produced by memory and lives in the midst of the problems it creates. It does not realize its own part in creating the problems but looks outside itself for reasons and culprits. And there they are!
The online mind sees the delusion of the ego and doesn't believe it's bullshit. It uses the ego only in a strictly defined area and in specific tasks. Without memory, we would be lost. We wouldn't understand words, be able to speak, recognize others, or find our way home.
The ego is a creation of the mind, cobbled together from information and experiences. The resulting image feels very real. We think that we are what we think we are.
René Descartes stated in the 17th century that thinking proves the existence of the self: "I think therefore I am". However, he did not say who creates who: does thinking create the self or do I create thinking?
That is the key issue.
The common perception is that the ego is the master and thinking is the servant. This is a mistake. In the factory settings of the mind, there is thinking, but no ego. The sense of ego arises after we start to think.
However, the ego is not satisfied with its role as a servant, it wants to take the lead and be the boss. It wants to decide what is right and what is not, what it wants and what it lacks. In its reflections, it ends up with the most existential problems without realizing that it has created its own world.
The sense of a separate self cuts off the connection to the miracle of life. The ego can imagine or define something as a miracle, but in both cases, it is a concept created by the ego itself.
The ego fights on many fronts and may experience small victories and moments of ecstasy, but lives all the time in a self-contained, divided world. The dividing line runs between the self and "not-self".
Egoism is a disease of our time, a handicap of the mind. Ego isolates people from each other and creates all the problems. That poor person doesn't even realize this but does everything to maintain their life lie.
Checking Your Life
A simple way to connect your mind to the realities of life is to ask yourself: In my life, what is there too much and what is too little?
The effect is enhanced if you write your answer on paper so that you can see it. When you crystallize your thoughts, you get a grip on them.
I suggest you take one minute to answer. It is enough for a perfect answer. The answer is already in your mind, you just have to take it from there.
If you wish, use another minute to think about what you are going to do about your answer. You should write that answer down, too. However, I recommend that you do not show the paper to anyone. That may help you get a more honest answer.
Repeat this every week as long as there is too much or too little of it in your life. You reach your goal when you have eliminated all waste and there is nothing more you need.
If you want to talk about your answers with someone, I recommend choosing a partner who is not too close.
In this exercise, the subconscious part of the mind speaks to the conscious mind. The more direct the speech, the better it works.
It is important that the findings are affirmative, not accusatory or judgmental. The aim is to guide yourself gently, it works better than blaming yourself.
My experience with this exercise is that it works much better than expected. I don't know why, but I think it's because focusing on your own life resonates deeply. The effect is often immediate.
All this influences on a meta level. We put ourselves under observation and you have to be pretty stubborn not to learn something from it.
This task shows most people that their life is after all better than it seems to be. Small changes are good enough.
Once you see yourself
as you are and know what you want, you are ready to take action.