The Birth of Ego
You have just been born. You see shapes and patterns and hear voices. You will later be told that the shapes are faces and the sounds are voices. The shapes and patterns keep moving and the voices just won’t stop. You have been comfortable in the womb. Now the external environment makes you uncomfortable. All these upset you. You cry. You are aware of what you see and hear but you are not aware of who is aware of those things – you. You perceive what you see, hear, and feel but you do not perceive them as happening to you. You are only aware that they are happening.
Soon you begin making associations. X makes you expect Y. Before long, X begins to symbolize Y. Eventually over time, you may not be able to distinguish X and Y. You make many associations like this growing up.
The biggest association happens when your parent points at your image in the mirror, with you in front of it, and tells you, “That is you.” You are told that your image is you. This is probably the worst association.
You grow older and you associate many worldly things with yourself – your family, your toys, your room, your car, your friends, your clothes, your house. What you do not realize is that you have invested part of yourself in all these. So part of you seem to be invested everywhere. You try to control all of the things you have associated with yourself. That is really out of your control. This makes you worry. You have a lot of things to worry about. No peace.
Remember what I said earlier, “You are aware of what you see and hear but you are not aware of who is aware of those things – you. You perceive what you see, hear, and feel, but you do not perceive them as happening to you.” When you were born, you were egoless. Now you have a false sense of self – ego. You think you are this and that but you really are not what you think you are. Who you are is beyond your thought because it is beyond your mind, and your thought is a product of your mind. You do not think who you are; you know who you are. You know who you are by experiencing your Being.
The ego is a false identity which is a construction of the mind. For people who are not aware, the ego is difficult to see. Ego hides behind thoughts that appear true: “I am ugly,” “I am not smart,” “I am smart,” “I am better than him.” One who has not practiced watching may not see or catch the ego. Ego usually ends up creating emotional drama in your life. It generates emotional reactions like anger, jealousy, and feeling of insecurity. The emotion is as a result of the agreement with the false beliefs that comprise the ego. One sees the emotions and drama but does not see the ego that caused them.