Musings About The Ego – Or, What Is Ego? Arpana reflects…


Arpana offers some reflections on what is thought by many to be ‘the enemy’ of  spiritual growth…

It seems to me that ego is made up of all those unconscious ideas any given individual has about themselves which make him/her believe they are set apart from the rest of humanity, in a very special way; which can be positive or negative.

Further, for example, I for years believed to say anything positive about myself/oneself was egotistical; and then some individuals have egos based on their negative ideas about themselves, although this is uncommon in my experience; then others, so many, see themselves as victims, their egos are connected to their sense of victimhood; although of course there are real victims rather than ‘glass is half empty’ victims.

Seems to me, ego resides in that place between how any given individual sees him/herself and what they actually are, and so the bigger the gap between those two, the harder work the individual has to deal with. (So, for example, someone who believes him/herself to be exceptionally talented, and is the opposite, is hard work, but equally, someone who is exceptionally talented and believes him/herself to be talentless is also hard work, although differently so).

Seeing ego in others seems pretty common, accompanied by blissful unawareness of that state in the perceiver, and in fact they are, in my experience, those with the biggest egos; regardless of whether they are sannyasins or not, meditators or not; as they have yet to reach that liberating place where they realise there is nothing special about ego and no need to make so much fuss about it.

But, occasionally, when I come across someone who is monstrously self-important I realise that is ego at its worst, although I generally don’t use the word much, and try to avoid such people.

I regularly heard Osho over the years talk about dropping the ego, but haven’t heard him say that for a long time, which I assume indicates the issue has become a non-issue for me these days. Yet  I came to wonder if what he meant by dropping the ego was to stop making so much fuss about it; because by doing so ego seems much more important than it is. And then I have definitely come across individuals who are so unconscious they have a big head about not having a big head.

Personally, I see ego as a ladder to be climbed, the meditation journey if you will, and the only ego problem there is, is remaining stuck in an ego place, as it’s the clinging which is the cause of personal misery, and also makes the lives of others a misery.

Hence the need to constantly move into ever more refined states of ego, which actually can be very painful, as this usually involves the end of certainly some relationships, in my experience, and not just with other individuals. For example, regarding the latter, I had a relationship with a local art centre to which I became very attached, unwittingly, where I had a studio in which I painted, but I outgrew the situation and, believe you me, I floundered for a while, almost as badly as after Poona 1.

Moving on, in my opinion, can’t happen without the help of meditation – and then some obviously develop ego about meditating, if they don’t stick at it, hence it’s very helpful to have a master working with you, and on you; through you even, and to keep meditating until you just can’t any more!!


I’ve wondered if Osho works on those who come to him, to get them moving and keep them moving, in conjunction with meditation and working on themselves in other ways, rather than working to get people to that fixed place which is referred to as “enlightened” ..


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289 Responses to Musings About The Ego – Or, What Is Ego? Arpana reflects…

  1. Levina says:

    I’ve heard it said, and I see it in my own experience, that “ego” wants to get rid a.s.a possible from an uncomfortable, painful experience and wants to hold on to a pleasurable experience, in other words it cannot accept the present. Always wants to move, it is movement, always flitting from past to a so-called future, always wanting to be distracted. Stillness, being who we are, is its biggest fear, because it means its disappearance.

    Everything you say about it is te same ego-mind, also what I’m writing here. It is self-fulfilling, has opinions and labels about everything, yet in order to exist it needs our belief and atachment, to the point where we believe we are this ego-mind, because we have given it our consciousness, put it in the part so to say, instead of seeing that the part (ego-mind) is in consciousness, and is dependent on consciousness for it to exist.

    What does this mean in practice, in my case?

    I have done formal meditation (sitting in silence). The mind became still during meditation, but became even more chattery afterwards. I’ve done inguiry in various forms: Who am I? In what does this body-mind appear in? What is that where my attention goes? Who sees, feels, hears this? etc. etc. Helpful to be in presence again, but the inquiry itself became an addiction in order to feel better!

    In sleepless nights when the mind works overtime, it helps me to say the thoughts aloud. Then immediately there is more distance, and seeing the ridiculousness of it.

    I see now that this mind in actuality is an innocent hard little worker,who does it outmost to make sense of this non defined consciousness,of which it is a part, but it pretends cost what cost that it can do it alone. Pretends it is God. The results can be seen in the world we live today.

    Btw, there is nothing wrong with the mind, it’s only when we start to believe we are the mind(our thoughts and beliefs) it becomes ego. So to quote somebody “bless his cotton wool socks” as long as he sticks to his business of solving problems on the material scale, and leaves God’s business to God!

    • Arpana says:

      I put to you some people cling to misery, an uncomfortable, painful experience, because that feeds their egos.

      • Arpana says:

        Victim. Martyr. Rebel, to an extent.

        • frank says:

          My suffering is greater than yours
          I have felt more pain than you
          I am more humble than you
          I have dismantled more of my ego than you
          I have struggled with myself more than you
          I have surrendered more than you
          I have worked harder on myself than you
          I am more aware than you
          I have less ego than you
          My consciousness is bigger than your consciousness.

          Anything`s possible!
          The god/self is the greatest playwright, according to Hindus!

          • Arpana says:

            Yes. Like Prussian blue. Bleeds into everything.

          • satyadeva says:

            No, Frank, I really must take issue with you on this, mine’s far bigger than yours (yes, that too, I expect!).

            But ‘seriously’, if someone gets into that sort of self-talk. then, as my father used to say about anyone who’s cold in bed because he/she hasn’t made it properly (ie ‘army-style’) then he/she’s “a bloody fool”.

      • Levina says:

        In my experience, Arpana, it’s ego that feeds, presents an opinion, like “I’m miserable”, or “better than you”. I believe that, and the feelings, emotions act accordingly, the famous vicious circle. It acts like a magnet, it’s very hard not to get caught, cling to it, as you probably know yourself. In that sense we are all victims, but if I believe that thought again, then again I’m on the treadmill!

  2. Arpana says:

    In the early eighties, I for various reasons began a lengthy bout of daily meditation, basically because I was stuck and had no other options; however, I’d had experiences by then and knew I was as likely to go through hell as anything enjoyable. And so I committed myself to doing so daily, no matter what I went through, until I no longer had any more energy to do so, which took close to three years.

    Serious question:
    Do you think that comes from ego? (Must add I no longer worry if what I do is of ego any more. I just don’t care). And thanks for that considered, sharing response.

  3. shantam prem says:

    Kudos to Arpana for writing a personalised note about Ego.

    What a relief, there was no cut/paste quote about Ego by Shri Shri Freud!

  4. frank says:

    Hi Levina, welcome back.
    You postulate that the ego problem can get sorted “as long as the mind sticks to his business of solving problems on the material scale, and leaves God’s business to God!”

    Following that, I would ask:
    Is the ego a `material problem` that can be solved by the mind?
    If so, we could do it.
    But if not, then it`s God`s problem, in which case we can`t do anything cos it`s his business!

    Rumi: “Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.”

    • frank says:

      This isn`t just a quip, btw.

      I mean to point out that following the logic of your well laid out exposition about ego, the answer is implicit that there is nothing that we can do as we are the thing that we want to get rid of.

      • satyadeva says:

        Not necessarily so, Frank.

        How about seeing the destructiveness of an emotion (eg anger, resentment, envy, jealousy, conceit, self-pity, or even chronic grief or over-timidity), or a habit (eg ‘compulsive’ thinking, not acknowledging others, isolation), or an attitude (eg self-judgment, inferiority/superiority, self-importance) that one has generally overlooked, deemed unimportant or, on the other hand, ‘essential’ to one’s make-up, self-image, person(ality), person(a) – and letting that go?

        Isn’t that self-chosen dismantling of the ‘self’, the person, aka the ‘ego’?

        Of course, much of that can be bloody difficult, but a lot, ie the self-expansive, expressive parts are great fun, hugely liberating, as all sannyasins (and perhaps most other people) surely know, however partially.

        Although isn’t that stuff, however challenging at times it might be, simply to be healthy, to live as well as possible, a precursor to self-dismantling and ‘egoic suicide’?

        That’s if one considers the self/ego a problem….

    • Levina says:

      Hi Frank,
      I think the mind can be used to question the mind in asking it if it’s real, when it’s sticking its nose in psychological or spiritial matters. I find it a good way not to get caught. Like taking a thorn out with a thorn.

      But yes, in the end it’s starting to see who the hell in God’s name is doing all this?

      • frank says:

        The `ego` dealing with the `ego` is a hall of mirrors.

        There was a young man who said though,
        it seems that I know that I know,
        but what I would like to see
        is the I that knows me
        when I know that I know that I know.”

        Nevertheless, I guess that we are all in broad agreement here on SN that existential problems can be dealt with, at least to some extent, through meditation.

        Which is, very briefly, I suppose:
        Thoughts, feelings, desires, memories `arise` in us.
        There is an `I am` in us that can get `I`dentified with the thing that is arising, or not. Avoiding `I`dentification leads to detachment from the perceived-as-harmful thing/thinking that is to be avoided, which is good news for a meditator. It`s quite practical really, as at that point you don`t have to throw a wobbler, get drunk, pulled into a dream about how great or how shit you are, etc. etc.

        It`s a bit like crossing the road when you see a bunch of psychos walking up the other way – you avoid getting your head kicked in! Or trying to give up smoking and catching yourself reaching for the fag packet!

        How far this process goes and whether it leads to a cessation of the `I am` altogether is not one that I can answer.

        I have a gut feeling that it`s a game worth the candle.

        • Levina says:

          Hi Frank,
          Maybe it all comes down to seeing that we are not the doer, not intellectually of course, but when the mind who claimes everything, finally surrenders to its real Master. Exhausted, it lays its head into the lap of Existence. The last sentence is a quote, but I feel quite touched by it!

          • frank says:

            Hi Levina,
            Yep, I reckon ego-consciousness is largely one long bad-hair day.
            You look in the mirror, freak out, then rush out and apply shampoo, conditioner, colour, go to an expensive hairdresser, get extensions etc…but when push comes to shove, the growing process of the hair itself – no control!

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            So sorry, Levina, that I need to interrupt here, re your quote (at 12:16 pm); meeting people the very last decades, so many former fellow-travellers quoting this kind of ´romantic´ approach, especially in the ´advaita shuffles´ of meetings – covering up with it enormous amounts of uncompassionate behaviour outside (and inside) the meeting spaces. Got allergic to that (such a quote), I´ve to admmit.

            However – besides that piece – I feel you are the only one up to now, who is really ´musing´ re the topic and I did appreciate that. Very much.

            My own experience re ´being not the doer´ is very, very limited, but even this seems to be sufficient enough to clearly indicate when the cunning mind is at ´work´, so to say.

            It´s kind of hauting having been coming to know the difference – getting uncorrupted – quite a challenge, and a challenge moment to moment.
            This moment included.

            Sending this response to you with all my love and appreciation that you re-appeared here – sharing!


            • frank says:

              Hi Madhu,
              You say: “My own experience re ´being not the doer´ is very, very limited”

              I don`t think that is true.
              The `doer` in all our lives is clearly overestimated, even from the point of view of really quite simple thinking. Obviously we don`t `do` being born or dying, but what about waking up, going to sleep, healing a wound, beating our heart, breathing, growing our bodies, hair/fingernails, face, eyes and body organs? How much did/do we all put into that? Very little, really, when you think about it, apart from eating and drinking – and even then we don`t decide to be hungry and thirsty, it just happens.

              I consider that if there is something in this `not the doer` thing we can start with the self-evident and not, as you say, slide into misty, mystifying, romantic mysticism.

              • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                Hi Frank,

                What I spoke of was/is very, very rare in my life experience, as I said it: That Being present in full embodiment has nothing to do with your thinking (or even then judging or classifying it) or about it.

                And such doesn´t need your approval or disapproval either. However, you are free to comment on it, sure. We´re living in Digital Times, aren’t we?

                I´d say that something like ´Grace´, which comes close to what I´ve been experiencing accidentally and not striving for, and tried to share, has hardly a space in the thinking area.

                Not “misty”, not “mystifying”, but in a way REAL, much more real than almost anything else. That´s why I spoke of a kind of haunting energy as a *standard, one can say. I didn´t ask for that. But it happend, and there I´m with you…(My parasympathetic functioning, a grace of its own accord and on its own levels re living in the body, had nothing to do with it, btw).

                And thank you for sharing your view(s).


                *And I didn´t ask for any ´standard´ either, you know; it just happened by chance this way and hasn´t left me since (as a companion)…and to claim I would always be grateful for its existence would be untruthful.

                Evolving into gratefulness is a topic of itself re this matter-not-matter…

                Btw, don´t you please forget that in ancient times in this life, I used to be a psychologist…has been a stepping stone, but not of much use….

                • Arpana says:

                  I understand what you mean by Grace. I experience this most often painting, when my body takes over, but I am aware of what is going on, aware of what is happening without a sense of an ‘I’ doing.

                  I also think that relates to Frank’s point, but a step further.

              • frank says:

                In Xian theology, `Grace` is exactly the point on which the striving of the self is found to be useless.

                You have to receive grace from God.
                It has nothing to do with you.
                Then how do you set about getting something that can only be given you?
                You can`t.

                Zen and Tao says: It`s true you can`t do anything but that`s not a problem, because you already are it anyway!

                That was my point about the body.
                That makes it not “my parasympathetic system” but “the parasympathetic system.”
                It`s a window.

            • Levina says:

              Thank you, Madhu, for the response and honesty about yourself. The quote is very much referring to my own experience, dealing with stubborn convictions so to say; it’s such a relief at times when the head stops and doesn’t know anylonger what’s ‘good’ and whats ‘bad’.

              • Arpana says:

                Levina said,

                ”It’s such a relief at times when the head stops and doesn’t know any longer what’s ‘good’ and what’s ‘bad’.”

                God, I can relate to that. It’s such a relief, although sometimes freaky.

                I came to sannyas with such an overbearing conscience, and I still have values, which I try to live by, but that overbearing conscience, which was into everything, has gone, along with shaky, mish-mash ego that went with it.

  5. Prem Ritvik says:

    Understanding ego will be the end of it, but as it is supplied by mind, the mind of having no ego will still be a mind and not no mind of meditation. I like that you have illustrated this fact with personal experience, lovely!

    When I approach the concept of ego, it becomes visible on all scales that we are unimportant, just part of the play (here’s a video I have enjoyed on same:

    As for meditate till you can’t, that’s quite a Koan you leave us with! I have many conceptual discussions to this, but let us also enjoy the futility of a meditating monk on a mountain top (forgot his name) whose master began wiping a stone slab. When the monk asked, what he was doing, the master replies he will make it a mirror. On saying this was impossible, the master replied then if it was possible to become enlightened through meditation, then it is possible for slab to become a mirror – and poof! Enlightenment to the monk!

    • satyadeva says:

      “Understanding ego will be the end of it, but as it is supplied by mind, the mind of having no ego will still be a mind and not no mind of meditation. I like that you have illustrated this fact with personal experience, lovely!”

      But I for one am not talking about a purely mental understanding, concepts etc., I’m talking about seeing the truth of something directly, with consciousness if you like, and realising that it’s ultimately a slow poison, therefore not to be given any more space, if possible.

      Which isn’t easy, as it means giving up conditioning that’s been handed down for God knows how many years, through the generations, and which is invariably regarded as ‘normal’ by the surrounding society.

      What else is the ‘spiritual trip’ about if it’s not about that sort of ‘self-purification’?

      Dynamic meditation, by the way, Ritvik, is only the first stage, the first level of clearing (but I expect you realise that already). I well recall how ‘high’ it got me – and how hard I worked for those ‘highs’ – which was all great, an absolute miracle in fact. But its effectiveness had a limited period, different methods were then required (which, for me, for a long time, were an absolute nightmare).

      • Prem Ritvik says:

        Ego is bolstered by societal conditionings since it improves upon the scope of exploitation exponentially. An angry man will attack and kill you, an egoist angry man will conspire, play on you, leave you half-mad or use you for some purpose.

        We may have a look at how ego arises from the very first instances. Can you see if it arises in animals, pet dogs? Is there any evidence? (I am engaging in the dialogue as I do not know and would like to know).

        And, what other methods, if it is safe discussing, did you use after Dynamic Meditation?

        • Prem Ritvik says:

          I will try to clarify what I mean to ask. I want to investigate the very first instance when ego appears, before the appearance of society itself. Society might be a side-effect of collective ego. But why would it appear in the first place?

          Kavita puts that it is inevitable, placing the reality of society such as “I am a part of this or that”. Looks like this sticking to feeling, attachment to ‘I am part of something’ is subtle ego developed, while ‘I am something’is an ego boost.

          • Arpana says:

            I surmise, but I dont know; that the development of ego is connected to the development of language, as individuals and collectively.

            However, from personal experience, meditation has refined and developed my language use, abilities; heightened insight, as the ego has refined, and become less overbearing.

          • satchit says:

            Around the age of 2 years kids realise that they are the person in the mirror.
            Self-recognition starts.

            Around the age of 3 years kids start saying “I”.

            • kavita says:

              ”Kavita puts that it is inevitable, placing the reality of society such as “I am a part of this or that”. Looks like this sticking to feeling, attachment to ‘I am part of something’ is subtle ego developed, while ‘I am something’ is an ego boost.”

              I may be wrong in understanding this, anyway let me clarify:

              No, PR, by I am-ness/subtle ego, I mean ”I am whole”, not this or that but this & that/all-inclusive.

              • Prem Ritvik says:

                I see.

                What I am looking at is how this sense of ego develops and dissolves.

                We have experienced that there is simple dissolution in deep sleep and sexual orgasms. Then is the development simple, or complex, and how it happens?

                • Levina says:

                  Ritvik. First you have to look in your self to find the ego. Is it anywhere in your body or brain? Is it in your head, nose or big toe? Is it in your heart?

                  If you say “I”, where does it resonate in your body? And if you find a place in your body where it resonates is that you, or is it an object?

                • Prem Ritvik says:

                  It is head and concepts associated which can make this ‘I’ heavy and heavy.

                  I just had a thought, Levina, let’s say heavy ego is ‘Ill’ health. What about people with alter egos? They are twice as ‘Ill’?

      • Arpana says:

        Here’s a notion:

        Children develop egos, we develop egos, in a ‘spring comes and the grass grows by itself’ way.

        Perfectly natural in fact!?!?

  6. Lokesh says:

    A group of egos having a wee chat about the nature of ego.

    I rarely use the word ‘ego’ in my day-to-day life. Last week I tried telling my 14 year-old grandson what ego is. I felt kind of stupid about it.

    The ego trip is over for me. Everyone has one and the more attached you are to your very unique and special ego the more you will one day suffer for it. Better just drop it, pal.

    How to go about doing that? Well, first of all you have to recognize when the ego is at work. Hence Osho’s insistence on non-seriousness, the only thing he was ever serious about over an extended period of time. Ego is a serious piece of work, so when you get too serious about it you know you are on an ego trip, even if you happen to be a comedian.

    Ego shits bricks about dying. A good death is when the ego is let go of. A bad death is when the ego is clung to. In life we can practise letting go of ego in preparation for the big let go – death. The world gave us our body with a do-it-yourself ego kit. Make the best of it because one day soon the body and the ego will return to whence it came…ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

    Having big discussions about the nature of ego is a waste of time. One either sees it for what it is, or one does not, which would put you in the majority. Kinda along the lines of Lao Tzu…he who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.

    • Levina says:

      Well said, Lokesh. I presume “a group of egos having a wee chat about egos includes your own honourable, dare I say, ego? In reference to your quote: “he who speaks, doesn’t know, he who knows doesn’t speak.”

      • Lokesh says:

        Levina, for me, a discussion about ego is absurd. Just seems very old hat, top hat or otherwise. Talks like this cannot go anywhere because, of course, it all comes back to ego. You either see it or you do not.

        Watch the progression of this thread. It will go round and round in an endless loop, because whatever anyone says can always be attributed to ego. There are new frontiers where the idea of going beyond ego is just the first step over a threshold. I am more interested in what lies beyond that gateway, because it holds infinite potential and new dimensions to be explored..

        • Levina says:

          Lokesh, the topic is musing about the ego…in my eyes, more interesting and, hopefully, sharing with each other clearer perspectives as compared to the usual murky, entangled, sticky, blaming ego positions dished up at SN.

          Sometimes the names of the posts fall away on my pc. Then it’s so easy to see that it’s just words and letters. When the name appears it becomes ‘personal’ again…just musing….

    • Arpana says:

      Lokesh says, “he who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.”

      So you are saying you don’t know, but you are giving me the impression you want us to think you do!!! Hm!!!

      • Lokesh says:

        Arpana enquires, “So you are saying you don’t know, but you are giving me the impression you want us to think you do!!!”

        No, I am not saying that. Had I wished to say that I would have.

    • shantam prem says:

      Success in spiritual sector means one thing: when someone says to the audience, “Be free from ego” and gives the impression he has no ego.

      My God!

  7. kavita says:

    If I ever remember correctly, coming across this word ‘Ego’, it was maybe in Psychology class in the first year at the university. Later, we friends would use it as an adjective to describe someone who would be snobbish .

    Then when I came to Osho/Poona and I heard about this from Osho in his discourses, I somehow thought & feltt that among his sannyasins it’s a quite a taboo word. In my experience, either they would mostly just disregard the word or just laugh it off .

    To me, ego is part of mental conditioning, which comes with physical identification after birth, also as soon as one gets a name – even after sannyas!

    If ‘I am-ness’ (subtlest ego according to me)/Enlightenment happens, this will be present as long as the physical human body is alive.

    Arps, I just needed to share that re my response to PR’s “Dilruba, which meditator in the world is ever busy?”: “Ritvik, I heard Osho say to seekers” (don’t remember the exact words though) “Don’t make meditation your ego” I somehow thought & felt I had to stop this game of feeling superior.

  8. shantam prem says:

    When Shantam exposes the black holes in the spiritual movement-turned-cult and Arpana starts abusing the exposer, one can ask, is this not the Ego? New collective Ego which has mastered the art of finding rotten ego everywhere. Anyway, I am part of it.

    What hurts in a Muslim when world at large says, “You guys are the most primitive ones”? This too is an Ego.

    Right now, Indian ego is trying to assert its identity.

  9. shantam prem says:

    “Lao Tzu…he who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.”
    With this kind of idea, Bhagwan Shree would not have attracted truckload of foreigners and distributed them Indian names!

    • Lokesh says:

      Shantam, it is not an idea. It is a fact.

      Realised people often remain silent. Osho would have remained silent if he felt that was needed. Obviously he saw that it was needed that he talked, for whatever reason.

      Of all the people who post on here I reckon you would be the last to ever understand what Lao Tzu meant. Unlike Osho, you just talk because it is all you know how to do. As the saying goes, you are all talk, and thus you achieve very little in life because you are so caught up in talking.

      • frank says:

        Yes, but he`s good at attracting attention.
        A couple of comments full of absolute drivel and he`s got the undivided attention of half the contributors on SN!

        • Lokesh says:

          Yes, Frank, Shantam attracts a certain amount of attention. Much in the way an idiot locked in the stocks attracted attention by being pelted with rotten fruit.

          • shantam prem says:

            This is what fucking Ego means, Lokesh. Things don’t go your way and you start abusing. Typical Sagittarius!

            These wise people upload all the books in their head and then use the cut pieces as their own!

            If someone points out a loophole he is immediately being put in the untouchable class.

            A man who looks for confirmation from faceless frank must be low in self-esteem.

  10. Arpana says:

    One of your outstanding characteristics, from where I sit, is that you’ve always got so much to say about subjects you tell us you have no interest in, tell us you are above.

    • Lokesh says:

      Well, Arpana, I just like to contribute. There are many subjects I would rather discuss. This one is what is happening now, so I do my bit to keep it running and support your thread by saying something about it. It would be natural on your part to feel good about that.

  11. shantam prem says:

    Arpana has written first article and with as much honest observation as possible. Instead of praising the effort and encouraging more such pieces from others, Lokesh started from the superior position. This is ego.
    Quoting Lao Tzu and telling someone else, “you are the last person to understand Lao Tzu, only a high school drop-out fool can go so low.”

    I mean, what is your achievement, Lokesh? Are you a failure or a success? If by chance you are a success, don’t become greedy about that prize, which only losers can win!

  12. shantam prem says:

    Some contributors, like faceless frank, are writing for years with multiple masks of anonymity. What prompts them for such a low level of behaviour? Surely, their Ego. It cannot be ‘Higher Self’!

    • Arpana says:

      You and Frank are two aspects of the Fool.
      That’s why you hate him so much.

    • Lokesh says:

      Shantam, I can quite understand why people would want to remain anonymous on a blog like SN. Is that really so difficult for you to grasp?

      Stop for a moment and think about it, instead of blurting out the next bit of nonsense that enters your mind.

      • shantam prem says:

        I can quite understand why almost all the comments at Daily Mail are from faceless creatures. I can also understand why comments on erotic sites are anonymous.

        Trolling others by remaining anonymous is terrorism. I hope this can be grasped by those who are trying to write on sannyas-related issues of higher values.

        Lokesh, you were complaining about lack of new writers on this site. Can you grasp the fate of those who will dare to write articles on this site? Almost all will get trolled by faceless, anonymous characters with no sense of responsibility.

        Look at this 62 year-old thug called Satchit, who is shame to his own name. He can see my five photos at facebook but I don’t know who he is.

        And the troller has the guts to ask whether I “think myself beautiful.” I think to have the beauty of an honest person who stands with his words.

        • satchit says:

          Shantam, how long are you on SN?
          10 years or longer?

          And until now no wisdom did dawn on you.

          It’s just a play here, nothing serious. Leela.
          Some play it open, some play it secret.

          But out of compassion I tell you, I’m one year younger than Lokesh, also Sagittarius.

        • Lokesh says:

          Shantam, I do not think anyone else on SN cares about such things. Just you. Terrorism? You can add drama queen to your list of personalities.

    • satchit says:

      And what’s with your ego, Shantam? One finds at least five pictures of your face on the net. Do you really believe you are so beautiful?

  13. Shantam prem says:

    What is Ego?
    Every single data saved in brain cells constitute ego.
    It is natural. One does not need to feel ashamed about the size of their ego.

    • kavita says:

      Shantam, ”One does not need to feel ashamed about the size of their ego.”

      Wondering, which egoist bothers about size?!

    • Levina says:

      Hey, guys, this show is about musing about the ego. As usual, after some factual posts, the sneering, snickering and throwing mud starts again. There must be a strong attachment in all of you to the belief that ‘the other’ is wrong and ‘I am right’. It’s recognisable. of course, it’s how the ego, or whatever you may call it, wants to survive.

      But in my books, there is a huge difference in recognizing that in yourself as opposed to constantly, ad nauseum, projecting it on some virtual other in a very offensive way! Very childish really! It’s so simple to say that you don’t agree with someone’s vieuwpoint and why, without making them wrong!

      • Arpana says:


        A friend of mine said to me that sannyas was a forum in which we get the chance to work though our ego problems.

        In fact, he then added, “And Sheela’s was worse than most”, which in fact I question, because in my view that was a pretty average ego, in an extraordinary set of circumstances.

      • satchit says:

        Why making them wrong, Levina?

        Because the basis of the ego is fight for survival.
        The other must be killed to survive.
        It’s an inbuilt programme.

        With morality you can substitute it a bit, but the success is not really great and it also creates another ego.

        • frank says:

          Levina, you say,
          “It’s so simple to say that you don’t agree with someone’s vieuwpoint and why, without making them wrong!”

          I assume you are a sannyasin.

          Where have you noticed your statement to be the case in sannyas circles?

          OIF/OFI/Keerti/Arun/Brian/Trademark/Copyright/Ashram/Resort etc. etc?

          SN just follows the tradition!

        • Levina says:

          Hi Satchit, it’s obvious that some sort of pecking order is going on between some of you guys, and if you enjoy that, go ahead. Btw, when I read those sneering posts I always substitute “you” for “I” – that makes it clear.

  14. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    Thanks for sharing, Arpana.

    For me, the “Ego” is our way of representing ourselves, mediated by how others interpret that representation.

    The clashes between “Egos” can happen both when the others evaluate the representation corresponding to the intentions of the owner of that ‘mask’, and both when it is considered a false and hypocritical act.

    The teaching of Osho may perhaps help to put things in perspective, provided that it is true for everyone that his teaching is about how to share celebration, joy, love, even using the “Ego” in the case.

    For example, thanks to the ‘Witness’ within us, we could look with compassion on those who do not have the same autonomy with respect to the ‘mask’ they wear, and we could slightly adapt our ‘mask’ in order to relate to them; or we could decide to judge their seriousness in identifying themselves with the ‘mask’ and take some kick in the ass…if we have this attitude it is better to avoid some humanity.

    In the case of relationships with humanity that wears ‘thin masks’, even of the same Sangha, we may feel more free and in confidence to wear the mask that outside the context of Osho we could hardly exhibit…

    I don’t have time to finish, I have to go to Pilates. I hope I haven’t written too much crap, in the case I’ll correct based on your bullshit.


  15. kavita says:

    Ego is inevitable. Guess for some to accept & for some to deny is a challenge, whether in its totality or in its subtlety!

    Thank you, Arpana, for having the energy & courage to present this post.

  16. kavita says:

    ”Even a master has an ego.
    It is only easier for him to dive into egolessness, than for others.”

    Now Master & Egolessness is a totally different topic which can be explored!

  17. Arpana says:

    Occurs to me, one of the great ‘ego drugs’ of our time, is recognition.

    So on the one hand we have an individual with a monstrous ego because of being high status, even if only in a localised community (that’s an interesting phenomenon: famous individuals who appear to have their feet on the ground); and then on the other hand, we have an individual screaming with resentment and bitterness because of not getting the recognition expected.

    • sw. veet (francesco) says:

      Arpana, I agree about recognition as a drug of the ego, but only in the case of a positive relationship with one’s own image; I speak of egosynthony, as you have already said, talking about negative ego; that is when not always being recognized, it’s as pleasant as taking drugs.

      But then, how can we distinguish between a recognition that is limited to the surface, and deeper experiences such as empathy or communion with a Master? So, love as drug for the Being?

      About this, perhaps another metaphor (I have already spoken of ‘mask’) that seems to work, in the case in which we seek recognition, being also aware that we are not (just) the ego, it is considering it the container and our essence the content.

      It seems to me an interesting topic to ask if the struggles between egos are more due to the disappointment of the content or to the prejudiced judgments on the container.

      • satyadeva says:

        “…being also aware that we are not (just) the ego, it is considering it the container and our essence the content.”

        Shouldn’t that be the other way round, Veet, ie ‘considering our essence the container and ego the content”?

        • veet francesco says:

          I like your metaphor, SD, if you only knew which ontology to refer to… astrological?

          • satyadeva says:

            Then clearly I don’t understand what you mean in the third paragraph. Perhaps you’d explain it more clearly, please?

            • sw. veet (francesco) says:

              SD, to me it seems clear, if there is no syntactical error.
              Maybe here “being also aware that…” I should point out that “being” is a verb and not a noun.

              Arpana used the metaphor of “recognition as a drug for the Ego” and I have distinguished and made an exception, speaking of a recognition that happens at a deeper level when we love and we are loved. It is to that space that refers to “we seek recognition”, giving expression to our being when we relate to someone who wants to see beyond the limits of our talk/thought/appearance.

              • Levina says:

                Interesting, Veet, the recognizing of Love as the purest expression of who I am, as opposed to seeking recognition=Love through the mask of: “Aren’t I great?” And then being dependent on the ‘other’ for love.

      • Levina says:

        Hi Veet,
        Could you tell me what you mean by “the disppointment of the content, or to the prejudiced judgments on the container”?

        • sw. veet (francesco) says:

          Ciao, Levina.

          Using my metaphor:
          The disappointment would happen if, for example, I invited a young and beautiful sannyasin to dinner and woke up in my underwear and without my wallet.

          The prejudice would happen if I renounced to invite a young and beautiful sannyasin to dinner, judging the age difference as excessive and therefore suspecting double ends.

          What does “double ends” mean here, please, Veet F? An ulterior (ie suspect) motive, perhaps?

          VEET F:
          Yes, in italian it’s ‘doppi fini’, like when someone in a spy story play the ‘double game’.

          • Levina says:

            Ciao Veet,

            I understand that it would be disappointing if your wallet gets stolen by a beautiful sannyasin (male or female?). And would you have been less disappointed if it had been an ordinary woman or man?

            And with the prejudiced bit do you mean that you were afraid that the expected getting together would turn out to be a disaster because of possible rejection?

            • sw. veet (francesco) says:

              Levina, the metaphor that I propose would make sense if referring to what I have already said about ‘Ego’ (my first comment, but also Frank’s metaphor, “hall of mirrors”).

              If I wanted to seduce a girl I would have to take into account what are her tastes, my ‘Ego’ would possibly accept an honorable compromise to meet them: not putting my fingers in my nose would seem honorable, giving her my wallet, no.

              Why would I be disappointed if a sannyasin stole my wallet?
              Sheela, are you behind that singer nickname?
              I (my Ego) would not go to dinner with a woman like Sheela, even if 40 years ago she met my aesthetic tastes; this is a prejudice, not having a direct knowledge of her.

              If our centre weren’t Love it would be difficult not to get lost in this game of mirrors, looking through a mask.

              • Levina says:

                Thanks, Veet, I find that a lot of words are taken for granted because of the meanings and beliefs attached to them. Like pre-judice, pre-judgement, before-judgement, before-belief; seeing it like that it becomes positive instead of negative.

  18. Tan says:

    Thanks for the interesting article, Arps.

    You are quite right, in the last years, after the Ranch, Osho didn’t bother much about the ego. You can see it, reading the Rajneesh Bibles and the books published by Maneesha. Osho, in the last years, was hammering about watchfulness, awareness and ordinariness.

    It’s like enlightenment in a package: watch yourself, without judgment or thinking, just watch, see what is arising in you, anger or greed, and it will disappear.

    So, in this watchfulness we have meditation, the observer is the observed, and being a light into yourself.

    • Arpana says:

      I hope this analogy works for you:

      Drawing is really simple and straightforward, however putting it into practice is another matter altogether, in fact arduous at times, a slippery path.

      I have a feeling the less ego is in play the more naturally watchfulness happens. I definitely don’t have the ego, or egos I once had, and that quite permanent self-awareness is always there now, as an undercurrent especially when I am alone.

      • Tan says:

        Arps, you said “Drawing is really simple and straightforward”. For you it is. I can’t draw an apple. To me it’s very, very difficult. But, maybe you are right….

        • Arpana says:

          Tan, what I meant is in theory, drawing is very simple, as is meditating, in theory; I mean, all you have to do in the case of breath-watching meditation is stay aware of your breath going in an out, but the practice of both is damned hard work, bloody difficult, an uphill struggle, for me anyway.

          I find drawing as much hard work as meditating, but rising to the challenge has been very rewarding, and ego-refining, rather than ego-bloating, puffing up.

  19. samarpan says:

    “Unreal things can trigger real things, remember it. If you think they are real, they function for you as reality — only for you. It is a dream reality, but it can affect you, it can affect your whole life, your whole lifestyle.

    The ego is not there. The moment you become a little alert, aware, conscious, you will not find the ego at all. It will be a rope that you had misconceived as a snake; you will not find the snake anywhere.”

    Osho (‘The Book of Wisdom’ Chapter 4)

    • anand yogi says:

      “Egos are as stupid as the people who have them.”

      Swami Bhorat

      • Tan says:

        My beloved Yogi,
        You are certainly on the right path through Swami Bhorat, who is directed by the 9. The same 9 leading Mrs. May taking UK out of evil Europe? I wonder…

        When you finish your love affair with Frank boy, Madhu and I are going to fight with our rolling pins for your attention. XXX

        • anand yogi says:

          Perfectly correct, Tan!

          The Nine Unknown Men of Mighty Bhorat, who control the 9 men of Ashoka, are certainly the true occult force behind Brexit!

          In an unprecedented experiment to create a mass shift in consciousness they are using their cosmic power to manipulate members on all sides of debate with the occult aim to drive British public completely out of their minds!

          Unlike their previous work with Hitler, Krishnamurti and Shantam, this plan actually seems to be working!

          And do not worry about this Frank fellow, he is just a bit of fun at the weekend!
          Remember, Swami Bhorat has reserved private rooms with adjoining jacuzzi to his room and free food pass for only 12 hours work a day for you and Madhu in Bungabungalore Ashram!
          You are welcome!

          Hari Om!

          • Tan says:

            Thanks, beloved Yogi,

            I can’t wait to be in Bungabungalore in the hope that S. Bhorat will finish with my ego. And he will finish with it choosing the path of love, making me board the love train and the more I kill my ego, the more sex I will get.

            Then, if it fails, I just have to be grateful, never angry, because, of course, anger is ego at its best. Gratefulness to life, gratefulness for the opportunity to sit beside S. Bhorat, or with a bit of luck to sit on S. Bhorat. XX

            Much love!

  20. shantam prem says:

    If someone wants to be free from it, best shot is to market oneself as a mystic or a master!

    • Levina says:


      How about, if one markets oneself as a mystic or master that is the ultimate challenge to see if there are still attachments or not?

      • shantam prem says:

        This I cannot answer. Ask those who are successful in the master profession.

        • anand yogi says:

          Perfectly correct, Shantambhai!

          Levina,it is necessary to understand that Shantambhai is not a master, nor successful in any profession – but just simply a humble master debater!
          He is happy to debate any master. When discussing Meher Baba he becomes a mast debater and after praying to Jesus and visiting Catholic church, he becomes a Mass debater!

          His words on SN are like holy oil poured onto mighty lingam to stimulate necessary mass debate every day!

          Hari Om!

  21. Arpana says:

    ”The ego trip is over for me. Everyone has one and the more attached you are to your very unique and special ego the more you will one day suffer for it. Better just drop it, pal.”

    Talk about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Hilarious.

    • Lokesh says:

      Arpana, are you bored?

        • shantam prem says:

          Old people rarely feel bored!

          • Arpana says:

            If you think old people never get bored Shantam, then you know as little about old people as you do about everything else.

            • satchit says:

              Btw, re boredom:

              One aspect of the ego is that ego is always hankering for the other.

              Better ‘bunga bunga’ than relaxing into the real self!

              • frank says:

                Satchit, you say:
                `Better to ‘bunga bunga’ than to relax into the real self.`

                Agreed, you are definitely right there.

                • satchit says:

                  I expected this comment from you, Frankie.

                  To be honest, I expected it from your old friend Anal Yogi.

                  But maybe he is still in bed, exhausted from last night’s bunga-bunga?

                • sw. veet (francesco) says:

                  In my opinion, if between a peak and a valley of pleasures there is not that substance made of joy then, immediately after reaching the peak, I will feel the anguish and, waiting to move from the valley, I will experience boredom.

                  “Transforms pleasure into a uniform ecstasy without an object; that everything in you is divine. This is your destination.” (Aurobindo)

                • satyadeva says:

                  And how do you personally access “that substance made of joy”, Veet? By dwelling upon and nourishing hatred of ‘the system’ and its manifold flaws and injustices?

              • Levina says:

                Satchit, boredom = bear doom, bunga bunga = bear exitement = bear being out of time.

                • sw. veet (francesco) says:

                  No, Satyadeva, I didn’t mean to judge the “peaks” of whoring and boozing, I know you have a big heart.

                  Joy & Revolution (Area)

                  I sing for you who come to hear me
                  I play for you who don’t want to understand me.
                  I laugh for you, who can’t dream.
                  In your eyes there is a light
                  that warms my mind…
                  My machine gun is a contrabass
                  that shoots you on the face
                  what I think of life,
                  with the sound of fingers
                  a battle is fought,
                  which takes us to the streets
                  of people who know how to love.


                • satchit says:

                  Seems you are some kind of linguistic artist, Levinia.

                  At least from my point of view.

                • frank says:

                  Yeah, sounds like a cunning linguist to me. Probably a bloody poet as well. And I`ll bet she`s got one of those hankering egos to boot.


                • sw. veet (francesco) says:

                  More seriously, Satyadeva, I would like to ask you why you have all this resistance in considering political aspects in the same consideration as social ones.

                  After all, the Ego is a social product, and politics should avoid bringing us back to the law of the Jungle, where everyone’s needs are not organized around the Ego but around instincts.

                  Naively, I think we should be on the same side, that is, sharing the same working-class interests exploited by an elite of financiers, so sometimes it makes me angry when “They” manage to divide “Us”.

                  The unjust legal case suffered by our beloved Master was possible thanks to our irrelevant political weight, that is to our inability to organise and defend our interests, as researchers and citizens.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Veet, for me concerning myself with such considerations would not only make me more tense than ever but would be a complete waste of what time I have left.

                  I have more than enough on my personal plate than to dissipate my energy with ‘fighting the world’. With one exception: the Climate Crisis. Although even there I’m not about to devote more than a tiny fraction of my time.

                  I appreciate that the situation in Italy is not a good one for many people so if that’s seriously affecting your well-being then I get why you want to take action (although what action you actually take is never made clear, it sounds more like ideas than anything ‘concrete’).

                  Good luck with whatever you do ‘out there’.

            • Shantam prem says:

              Those old people never get bored who think they are reading divine books and they have got some Messiah as insurance agent.

              • Arpana says:


                I apologise for being so obnoxious towards you after you were so sincerely complimentary about my article.

              • Levina says:

                Do you belong to those old people, Shantam?

              • Levina says:

                Right on the hankering-wanting ego Frank, ouch, it believed the thought that you loved me! Again an illusion less to carry.

              • Levina says:

                Satchit,tsuj gnivah a tib fo nuf htiw sdrow!

                • Levina says:

                  Oh, do you believe that, Frank? In that case I hope you have enough tissues, otherwise just use a sheet,or drown in it!

                • frank says:

                  No, I don`t really believe that. If I did, I would have drowned already (like many on here, I suspect)! Disillusion is bittersweet.

                  Which reminds me of a poem wot I wrote that I have wheeled out on SN before, but what the hell, everyone else repeats themselves!

                  I watched the sun and moon
                  rise together over the sea.
                  I swam in holy rivers
                  and hugged the ancient tree.

                  Gods and goddesses
                  out in the noonday sun,
                  barking mad divinities,
                  count me in as one.
                  I helped myself to the nectar
                  and let the credit run.

                  Comes the dawn, bitter-sweet,
                  tears away the warm blanket and sheet.
                  Suddenly my dreams are out of date,
                  thrown again from the womb into an unknown fate.

                • Arpana says:

                  ”Disillusion is bittersweet.”

                  Wealth of experience in that remark, methinks.

              • sw. veet (francesco) says:

                Ok, Satyadeva, thank you, now I’ll feel stronger thanks to your support.

                But the ‘political’ topic, within our Sangha, remains open. For example, in certain attitudes, not only yours, there is an automatic parrot reflex, in quoting one of the many phrases of Osho that depict politics as a waste of time in the search for fame and power, in an attempt to compensate for a natural ecstasy inner.

                In my opinion, however, we should also remember how Osho described the abuse of power by the US government.
                His disappointment about North American democracy, his grief at that experience, described as “a tree to which they cut off its roots”.

                So politics is not a waste of time, it can destroy or preclude inner ecstasy, so it takes good politics to protect the beauty of a rose.

                Politics can be made without belonging to politics, this should be our (sannyasins’) contribution.

  22. frank says:

    In Praise Of Ego
    by Michael Shepherd

    In carefree, laughing, joyful mood –
    let’s praise the ego, to its face!

    Our most faithful mate throughout our life;
    with us longer than our parents or our children are;

    at our heels at all times, proud of head and tail,
    saying to the world that “I belong to him!”;

    faithful as a dog; and cunning as a cat;
    between them, running our un-mastered lives;

    (and like the cosy purring cat you stroke upon your lap,
    ego’s the secret dark night-hunter, out to kill all life..).

    ego, more awake than we ourselves,
    never missing a living moment;

    every heart-beat an opportunity;
    sharper entrepreneur than any city slicker:

    “what’s in it for me?”; there is no trick,
    no turn, no market swing, that ego can’t exploit and profit from;

    so let’s praise ego to its face; see the Creator’s own full force,
    brilliant and magnificent, manifested, used, in ego’s skills…

    but know, and know we know, its lifetime’s bitter secret:
    for all its skills, its energies are stolen fuel…:

    moment by moment sapping secretly,
    the consciousness, the wisdom, happiness,

    that seem just out of our elusive reach..
    So – as we watch a child, so innocent,

    playing its merry games of fantasy,
    running round itself in playground and in park,

    we laughing in parental love, sing out those magic words:
    “I’m watching you…!”

  23. Arpana says:

    “Somehow we know deep within our souls the direction we are to take, but very often that buffoon which we will call the ego makes such a fuss that we cannot hear the inner voice.” (Marie-Louise von Franz)

  24. Shantam prem says:

    Obedience to any cult and denial of wrongdoings by cult leaders create abnormal ego.

    Just ego looks very innocent compared to this.

  25. Lokesh says:

    I asked Arpana if he was bored because he sounded like the chairman of the bored, because he misinterpreted something I wrote, desperately in need of some kind of a response from me, no matter what.

    Reminds me of something a friend that used to work at Apple told me. He said that Apple employs over 400 people who are paid to come up with new ideas to get people hooked on computers. Hence we have shite like ‘likes’ on facebook etc. It all means nothing except the monkeys get an emotional tickle every time some other monkey hits the like button on something they have posted.

    In much the same way, Arpana keeps engaged with this topic because it’s his very own baby and chimps like Shantam and Satchit come away with their one-liners, hoping for a banana reward, an emotional tickle, even if it is nothing more than someone telling them they are an idiot. It’s the response that counts.

    Returning to Arpana’s comment:
    ”The ego trip is over for me. Everyone has one and the more attached you are to your very unique and special ego the more you will one day suffer for it. Better just drop it, pal.”
    Talk about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Hilarious.”

    Even had Arpana’s interpretation been correct it hardly amounts to being hilarious, unless your guru is Nigel Farage. By saying the ego trip is over, I meant that talking about ego is just a no-go area for me. It just sounds so seventies to blab on about ego. After all, where will such discussions bring you? Nowhere. Why? Because anything you say is a by-product of ego.

    Nobody here is able to speak from a place beyond ego. Ego is obviously needed for some reason. End of story. It is not that difficult to get out of your ego, but, well at least in my case, all I can say about it is, “Wow!”

  26. kavita says:

    Enough written here about most aspects about ego, says my ego!

  27. Bong says:

    I spend a lot of time playing PubG Mobile. It keeps one’s ego in check and is possibly the best game I have ever played in the genre.

    Often I teach martial arts as dynamic meditation and then listen to Osho discourses, or practise both at the same time.

    I adhere to the realisation that we are all crazy until we realise we are God.

    Each is doomed until we realise our higher consciousness. There is nothing to achieve but this realisation, the burden is light!

    I am a Christian but believe that which Jesus taught is what we are all called to become…Sons and daughters of God.

    That which Osho called Zorba the Buddha was a radically different creator God.

    If you are waiting until death you are doing it wrong.

    There is so much to realise and nothing to achieve but this realisation.

    Sleep is a short death and death is a long sleep!

  28. Arpana says:

    A final word from our sponsor.


    Prem Joyce

    WHEN I SAY, “DROP THE EGO, DROP THE MIND,” I don’t mean that you cannot use the mind any more. In fact, when you don’t cling to the mind you can use it in a far better, far more efficient way, because the energy that was involved in clinging becomes available. And when you are not continuously in the mind, twenty-four hours a day in the mind, the mind also gets a little time to rest.

    Do you know? — even metals need rest, even metals get tired. So what to say about this subtle mechanism of the mind? It is the MOST subtle mechanism in the world. In such a small skull you are carrying such a complicated bio-computer that no computer made by man is yet capable of competing with it. The scientists say a single man’s brain can contain all the libraries of the world and yet there will be space enough to contain more.

    And you are continuously using it — uselessly, unnecessarily! You have forgotten how to put it off. For seventy, eighty years it remains on, working, working, tired. That’s why people lose intelligence: for the simple reason that they are so tired. If the mind can have a little rest, if you can leave the mind alone for a few hours every day, if once in a while you can give the mind a holiday, it will be rejuvenated; it will come out more intelligent, more efficient, more skilful.

    So I am NOT saying that you are NOT to use your mind, but don’t be USED by the mind. Right now the mind is the master and you are only a slave.

    Meditation makes you a master and the mind becomes a slave. And remember: the mind as a master is dangerous because, after all, it is a machine; but the mind as a slave is tremendously significant, useful. A machine should function as a machine, not as a master. Our priorities are all upside-down — your CONSCIOUSNESS should be the master.

    So whenever you want to use it, in the East or in the West — of course you will need it in the marketplace — USE it! But when you don’t need it, when you are resting at home by the side of your swimming-pool or in your garden, there is no need. Put it aside. Forget all about it! Then just be.
    And the same is the case with the ego. Don’t be identified with it, that’s all. Remember that you are part of the whole; you are not separate from it.

    That does not mean that if somebody is stealing from your house you have simply to watch — because you are just part of the whole and he is also part of the whole, so what is wrong? And somebody is taking money from your pocket, so there is no problem — the other’s hand is as much yours as his! I am not saying that.

    Remember that you are part of the whole so that you can relax, merge; once in a while you can be utterly drowned in the whole. And that will give you a new lease of life. The inexhaustible sources of the whole will become available to you. You will come out of it refreshed; you will come out of it reborn, again as a child, full of joy, inquiry, adventure, ecstasy.

    Don’t get identified with the ego, although, as far as the world is concerned, you have to function as an ego — that is only utilitarian! You have to use the word “I” — use the word “I,” but remember that it is only a word. It has a certain utility, and without it life will become impossible. If you stop using the word “I” completely, life will become impossible. We know names are only utilitarian, nobody is born with a name. But I am not saying to drop the name and throw your passport into the river. Then you will be in trouble! You NEED a name; that is a necessity because you live with so many people.

    If you are alone in the world, then of course there is no need to carry a passport. If you are alone…for example, if the third world war happens and Joyce is left alone, then there will be no need to carry a passport; you can throw it anywhere. Then there will be no need to have any name. Even if you have one it will be useless — nobody will ever call you. Then there will be no need to even use the word “I” because “I” needs a “thou”; without a “thou” the “I” is meaningless. It has meaning only in the context of others.

    So don’t misunderstand me. USE your ego, but use it just like you use your shoes and your umbrella and your clothes. When it is raining, use the umbrella, but don’t go on carrying it unnecessarily. And don’t go to bed with the umbrella, and don’t be afraid that in a dream it may rain…. The umbrella has a utility, so use it when it is needed; but don’t become so identified with the umbrella that you cannot put it aside. Use the shoes, use the clothes, use the name — they arc all utilities, not realities.

    In the world, when so many people are there, we need a few labels, a few symbols, just to demark, just to make sure who is who.


    I am not saying to “get rid”; I am simply saying to be master of your minds. I am not telling you to be mindless; I am only saying: don’t just be minds — you are far more. Be consciousnesses! Then the mind becomes a small thing. You can use it whenever needed, and whenever not needed you can put it off.
    I am using my mind when I am talking to you. The mind has to be used; there is no other way. But the moment I enter my room, then I don’t go on using it — there is no point. Then I am simply silent. With you I am using the language, the words, but when I am with myself there is no need for any language, for any words. When I am settled into myself and there is no question of communication, language disappears. Then there is a totally different kind of consciousness.

    Right now my consciousness is flowing through the mind, using the mechanism of the mind to approach you. I can reach for you with my hand, but I am not the hand. And when I touch you with my hand, the hand is only a means; something else is touching you through the hand. The body has to be used, the mind has to be used, the ego, the language, and all kinds of things have to be used. And you are allowed to use them with only one condition: remain the master.


    ‘Ah, This!’
    Chapter 2
    Chapter title: ‘Neti Neti’
    4 January 1980 am in Buddha Hall

    • satyadeva says:

      Yes, well, that’s the relatively ‘easy’ part of dealing with the demands of the mind. And by now, it does tend to sound like spiritual ‘primary school’ stuff.

      But the other side of this ‘ego work’ is coping with the demands of the aberrant emotions (the main source of compulsive thinking anyway) which is rather more tricky, to put it mildly.

      • Arpana says:

        I don’t actually experience emotions and feelings as aberrant any more. My intellect has developed since I took sannyas, if you will, and says it’s ok to have feelings, that emotions are ok, so I am no longer conflicted over ideas and feelings. (Too much emotion and feeling is incontinent, and too little is constipation).

        I read an essay by a Jungian scholar recently, James Hillman, and he said in that essay, made a most interesting remark, which really struck a chord with me, to the effect that we don’t learn how to deal with feelings and emotions because the process of doing so makes us look foolish, and unless we are willing to look foolish we can never learn to handle them well.

        • satyadeva says:

          To which, may I refer you, m’lud, to a previous post (April 22, 5.43pm) where I said:

          “How about seeing the destructiveness of an emotion (eg anger, resentment, envy, jealousy, conceit, self-pity, or even chronic grief or over-timidity), or a habit (eg ‘compulsive’ thinking, not acknowledging others, isolation), or an attitude (eg self-judgment, inferiority/superiority, self-importance) that one has generally overlooked, deemed unimportant or, on the other hand, ‘essential’ to one’s make-up, self-image, person(ality), person(a) – and letting that go?

          Isn’t that self-chosen dismantling of the ‘self’, the person, aka the ‘ego’?”

          Furthermore, your honour, regarding “we don’t learn how to deal with feelings and emotions because the process of doing so makes us look foolish, and unless we are willing to look foolish we can never learn to handle them well”…
          Is it not possible to do considerable such work alone, with or without feedback from others, therefore looking foolish to no one but oneself?

          • Arpana says:

            “How about seeing the destructiveness of an emotion (eg anger, resentment, envy, jealousy, conceit, self-pity, or even chronic grief or over-timidity), or a habit (eg ‘compulsive’ thinking, not acknowledging others, isolation), or an attitude (eg self-judgment, inferiority/superiority, self-importance) that one has generally overlooked, deemed unimportant or, on the other hand, ‘essential’ to one’s make-up, self-image, person(ality), person(a) – and letting that go?”

            Just a thought, but based on personal experience when I was much younger…

            The condemnation of those feelings, being in conflict with those feelings, is like pouring petrol on a fire; and I most certainly did make a fool of myself regularly, and during the learning to handle feelings time, say since I took sannyas; however my emotionality never led to me being physically violent. Very noisy at times, but never physically violent.

            • Arpana says:

              I should add that I did for a long time have an absolutely bloody filthy temper, was extremely volatile; so much so, I developed a massive complex about anger, a villain complex; although I never particularly got angry when I was in Poona 1. But when I returned, flipping out started again, and I withdrew; in part because I was so overwhelmed by my complex about getting angry, so hung up and defensive.

              After we stopped wearing the Mala and red clothes I gradually began to re-engage with the world even more, which included taking up art, getting used to being round people who were not sannyasins or meditators, gradually, and I was fine.

              But then for a time I worked at a vegetarian restaurant, and my temper started to come back with a vengeance, along with lots of laughter and being able to get very lost in the work and making some great new friends; but I didn’t fall back into “it’s all my fault” and I gave as good as I got. But I definitely started to find it rather wearing.

              I had a friend who I knew through painting, a psychiatrist, who I talked to about this phenomenon, and she told me the reason it was happening was because I was the only individual in the restaurant who was actually owning and dealing with anger, and that I was also processing the anger of everyone else who worked at the place because they were all in denial about their anger.

          • Arpana says:

            ”Is it not possible to do considerable such work alone, with or without feedback from others, therefore looking foolish to no one but oneself?”

            Need to find a balance between theory and practice. Yes. No.

            We can suss things out alone, but surely we never really know if we’ve ‘got it’ until we face the ‘other’.

        • sw. veet (francesco) says:

          Arpana, if I may interpret Hillman I would say that what makes us feel foolish about emotions could be due to the memory of how, as children, we were never sure if our dramas for not being able to communicate our needs would be recognized as such or as whims (throwing a tantrum or capriciousness).

          • Arpana says:

            Sure; but we were also dealing with ‘grown-ups’ rather than adults, who could not handle feelings well.

            No condemnation in that, only an observation. Kids can make you feel all 100 emotional possibilities you have at once, rather than the five you’d been living with, until the little darlings throw a wobbly in a supermarket.

      • frank says:

        SD, the battle with compulsion seems like the struggle to bite your own teeth or pull yourself up by the bootstraps.

        For example, it`s a small thing, but I bit my nails from as early as I can remember, must have been 7 or 8 years old maybe earlier. I would really chew them down to the limit and take some skin with it too. As an adult I tried to stop many times. I tried putting that bad-tasting stuff on them, meditation, awareness exercises, hypnosis…I managed to stop for a little while each time but slid straight back with maximum force within a few days.

        Then, in the 90s, in my late 30s, I was on a massive drink and drugs bender, hanging out with a gang of `like-minded` folks caning it and partying it literally every waking hour. One day, a few weeks into it, I was rolling a joint and I noticed my fingernails. They had grown! I examined them closely, thinking I might be hallucinating, but, no, there they were. I realised that I had been so ‘busy’ that I had simply forgotten to bite them!

        More strange was that I continued not to bite them, and even when I eventually cleaned up completely, not that long later, I still didn`t bite them. I never have bitten my nails again, all with absolutely no deliberate effort on my part whatsoever.

        There are “demands of aberrant emotions” which I have given up that felt like an effort/struggle at the time: drugs, drink, fags. But as far as internal stuff like anger, anxiety and so on is concerned, I have tried but don`t think I can claim any progress at all. I still get grumpy, nervous and down and mind-fuck about shit.

        In fact, all the times I have done affirmations like “Just for today, I will not be angry, I will not worry” I have invariably kicked off or had a mini-breakdown before lunchtime!

        The only reason I meditate is because I like it, in the same way I like swimming, walking, talking to people, writing and eating pasta! I gave up thinking I was going to get anywhere with it, it was too disappointing!

        • Arpana says:

          Fucking awesome post, Frank. Kudos and thanks.

          I know the nail-biting one, and just never did again after my first and long stay in Poona.

        • satyadeva says:

          Isn’t it a case of really seeing how destructive an “aberrant emotion” is and then catching it when it’s about to ‘take over’ the body/mind? Failure’s almost bound to happen but not always. And the more you succeed the better you feel, the less of a ‘slave’, as it were, and the more encouraged you are to carry on the practice.

          Compulsive thinking’s quite an easy one, in a way. You simply notice you’re thinking – and get out of it! Not so easy though when that thinking is fuelled by strong emotion. In which case, if you can’t give that up then you just have to go through it, as I’m sure we all know so very well!

          • Arpana says:

            “I walk down the street.
            There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
            I fall in.
            I am lost…I am helpless.
            It isn’t my fault.
            It takes forever to find a way out.

            I walk down the same street.
            There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
            I pretend I don’t see it.
            I fall in again.
            I can’t believe I am in the same place.
            But, it isn’t my fault.
            It still takes me a long time to get out.

            I walk down the same street.
            There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
            I see it is there.
            I still fall in. It’s a habit.
            My eyes are open.
            I know where I am.
            It is my fault. I get out immediately.

            I walk down the same street.
            There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
            I walk around it.

            I walk down another street.”

            Portia Nelson, ‘There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery’

          • frank says:

            SD, you say: “Isn’t it a case of really seeing how destructive an “aberrant emotion” is and then catching it when it’s about to ‘take over’ the body/mind?”

            Yes,this works with actual addictions because when you have successfully caught yourself reaching for the fag packet or the bottle enough times,you become healthy and sober.

            Maybe we cannot always make such clear assumptions about our emotions which are hardwired into us.

            Remember, very many religious people apply the kind of thinking you are describing to sexual urges. in pursuit of celibacy. They would agree with you “the more you succeed the better you feel, the less of a ‘slave’, as it were, and the more encouraged you are to carry on the practice.”
            Someone else might say that is a very dangerous delusion.

            • satyadeva says:

              How can any relatively sane person disagree with your last two paragraphs, Frank?

              And also, how about applying a bit of common sense as well? IE if you know something you’re generating internally is harmful, making you (and/or others) unhappy. then see if you can give it up, or at least try to discover why and how it’s taken a hold on you.

              That’s essentially what I understand by ‘giving up the ego’.

              • frank says:

                Trying to get herenow, I`m getting nowhere

                My efforts to be mindful
                are trying to flatten water with a hammer.
                All attempts to stop the mind
                are slamming a revolving door.

                I get worried about not being mindful enough.
                I become aware of myself picking my nose.
                Buddha never did that.
                I haven`t seen any statues of him doing it, anyway.
                Suddenly, I`m mindful of what a mindless and absurd
                runaway train of thought I`m stuck on.

                Trying to get herenow,
                I`m getting nowhere.
                I want to get off the train
                but there`s no stop.

                I`m worried.
                that’s why I`m doing mindfulness in the first place,
                to ease the stress of worrying.
                Now, I`m anxious
                that I`m worrying about thinking too much.

                Striving to be non-striving,
                I start to judge myself
                for being too judgmental.

                I try to focus on a mandala of peace,
                it turns into a vicious circle.

                • satyadeva says:

                  A rather good description of thinking too much, Frank.

                  Shakespeare’s Hamlet said something about this, specifically re “thinking too precisely on the event”, which leads to inaction, a sort of self-defeating paralysis – a classic example of the mind being the master, driven by “aberrant emotions”…

                  “Now whether it be
                  Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
                  Of thinking too precisely on th’ event —
                  A thought which, quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom
                  And ever three parts coward — I do not know
                  Why yet I live to say this thing’s to do,
                  Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
                  To do’t.”

                  (Hamlet, Act 4, scene 4)

                  Here’s a few GCSE exam notes on this passage…

                  “Having just encountered a Norwegian force on its way to contest “a little patch of ground” in Poland, the Prince of Denmark once again criticises himself for being unable to act decisively. Commanded by his father’s ghost to avenge his murder, Hamlet has as yet been unable to do the deed.

                  Hamlet’s self-appraisals here echo earlier sentiments—that “conscience does make cowards of us all” and that “the native hue of resolution/Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.”

                  He spoke then of the fear of death; here, he speaks of “thinking” in general, the “precise” lingering over objections, reappraisals, calculations, implications, etc., to the point where action is stifled and opportunities missed. Hamlet — who may only think he’s been thinking too much* — thinks that thinking is only one part wise to three parts cowardly.”

                  (*”who may only think he’s been thinking too much” – Perhaps, but I suggest the commentator likes a bit of thinking him/herself and might well be over-thinking this here!).

                • frank says:

                  SD, thanks.

                  I think all in all, that the `onwards and upwards` approach of more and more awareness of the “aberrant” leading to inevitable, common-sense ego-death has to be tempered with “there`s nothing you can do”/”twista luck”/ “the right time”/ “grace”, to avoid becoming the rational/logical abstraction that life itself isn`t.

                  “Improvement makes straight roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.” (Blake)

                • satyadeva says:

                  Can’t disagree, Frank. Well said, sir!

                • satyadeva says:

                  Seems different, but inter-related things are understood by the term ‘ego’. And this topic discussion has highlighted these different aspects at different times so at times we haven’t necessarily been commenting on the same thing.

                  There’s ‘ego’ as self-concept, self-image, hence “he/she has a huge ego”, “how egotistical he/she is, always boasting!” – and in the opposite sense, indicating a lack of self-esteem, as in “an undeveloped ego” (that was me when I came to Osho).

                  Then there’s ‘ego’ as a function of “aberrant emotions”, as referred to earlier today, involving and often severely affecting one’s thinking, beliefs and values, in a reciprocal relationship. Hamlet’s dilemma (in earlier post) being an extreme example in terms of making decisions and practical action, but one which is surely common to us all, at some level.

                  And there’s ‘ego’ as a perfectly natural mechanism for survival, eg learning to assess risks and avoid/escape potentially life-threatening danger.

                  This is surely a basic, absolutely necessary function in an insecure world but the ‘survival imperative’ has extended its domain deep into the psyche, causing it to loom large in and even dominate the other two above aspects.

                  Hence much of our ordinary lives are fundamentally based upon an often unconsciously created survival strategy, arising, to a greater or lesser degree, from fear, of anything really that we might perceive as making us vulnerable to attack, including fear of other people seeing our fear and/or our stupidity and/or our weakness, that would or might invite ridicule and/or rejection. And some people have this worse than others of course (again, I’ve been there).

                  Shining the light of awareness into this condition is the best way of dissolving it, the worst thing being to believe implicitly in the reality of the egoic masks we assume as vital protection. Ideally, therapy groups work to undermine this structure, but success is far from guaranteed, as I and others have known, having only served to reinforce the problem.

                  Which is where meditation comes in…(Osho, btw, always advised me to do processes alone, not in pairs or in a group, his very first advice being to “be wholehearted in meditation”).

                  Donald Trump, I’m pretty sure, has minimal or even no insight at all into his persona; the more I see him the more he appears to be just a self-serving ‘act’, with not a lot else behind it. A classic narcissistic ego in fact. Poor chap – he doesn’t realise how much he’s suffering!

                  Although, deeply and obviously flawed as he is, having risen to be the most outwardly powerful man in the world he’s a good yardstick to measure where ‘the world’ is at, symbolising what we’re up against in our internal struggles to be free.

                  Enough for today!

                • frank says:

                  One last thing before the exciting new topic goes up.

                  I failed my Latin ‘O level’ with the lowest grade, but I do know that the etymology of ‘aberrant’ is ‘wander-from’ or ‘stray’.

                  This fits with the Blake quote about crooked paths.

                  Maybe we have to be careful that winding paths seem “aberrant” because we think (like ancient Romans) that roads should always be straight! Maybe the prejudice towards straight paths is what causes us to see aberrant paths everywhere.

                  If you think about it, because the world is round, a straight path is the quickest way to get right back to where you started.
                  So a straight path, paradoxically, is the quickest way to go round and round in circles!

                  Might as well stroll, amble, saunter, meander, roam, rove, knock about, coast, gallivant, gad about, mooch, peregrinate, travel aimlessly, ramble and enjoy the view even if you have to pass through a few war-zones and disaster areas along the way!

                • satyadeva says:

                  Just curious, Frank…

                  If you had your time again would you bypass drink/drugs addiction or happily ‘repeat the dose’?

                • frank says:

                  Your question reminds me of Ouspensky`s book, ‘The strange life of Ivan Osokin’, where the main protagonist feels that he has fucked up his life and meets a magician who says he can do something to make him relive his life. Contrary to what Osokin thinks and desires, the magician explains that even though he can facilitate it, it won`t help.

                  Nevertheless, Osokin insists, so the magician does the trick and Osokin finds himself back at school, remembering the meeting with the magician as a dream. Unfortunately, the dream fades progressively from his memory and at the key moments of his life Osokin makes all the same decisions/choices/mistakes again until he finally comes to meet the magician again!

                  My sense is that the same would happen to me.

                • frank says:

                  and everybody else,too….

                • kavita says:

                  ”If you had your time again would you bypass drink/drugs addiction or happily ‘repeat the dose’?” (SD)

                  ”My sense is that the same would happen to me.” (Frank)

                  I agree, Frankie, doubt if the river can flow in the opposite direction, in any case?!

        • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

          Yes, Frankm awesome indeed; all of your yesterday´s! Not only that one (at 2:18 pm yesterday) and good companions you have (had) with Satyadeva and Arpana on your side.

          Thank you for sharing.

          You say (said ): “I gave up thinking, I wasn’t going to get anywhere with it, it was too disappointing!”
          Could be though that the ´disappointment´ you´re speaking of contains the jewel of just the opposite?…If investigated with all the intensity you´re gifted with and capable of?

          You know, that picture you draw in another of your posts of yesterday, “trying to flatten water with a hammer”, was that much accurate – and I sit here, smiling, seeing myself, desperately slamming doors etc., and humour looks through the back door and asking into the gap of awe: Now – did you/have you…get/got it?

          Thanks again for your contribution(s).


      • kavita says:

        ”Yes, well, that’s the relatively ‘easy’ part of dealing with the demands of the mind. And by now, it does tend to sound like spiritual ‘primary school’ stuff.”

        SD, tell me, when Arpana/someone posts an article/asks re ‘Musings About The Ego – Or, What Is Ego?’, how can one just jump to the source without the basics?!

        • satyadeva says:

          Yes, Kavita. But it seemed a bit late in the topic discussion for such “basics”, which had already been pretty well covered, hadn’t they?

        • sw. veet (francesco) says:

          Thank you for your honest sharing, Satyadeva, I embrace you for this.

          Just a couple of considerations about “aberrant emotions” and ‘ineffective Osho therapies’.

          The sense of the centrality of meditation/therapy in Osho’s vision, it seems to me, is not to normalise our emotions; certainly to judge emotions is a useless exercise of the mind once I understood them (reactions to real or imaginary stimuli).

          Like you, I also appreciated Frank’s sharing, but knowing his hyperbolic style and his ‘iconoclastic wisdom’ I did not absorb his subliminal message as you seem to have done, where he compares a hangover to an Osho meditation or therapy group.

          Still that big ego of Donald Trump?! As mentioned above, it is not always true that the mask we wear represents what we think/feel. This character won the elections despite having against him all the media that invoked Clinton’s correct political style. If you can’t accept this as a reaction of common sense to all the crap told by the mainstream media then accept it as a simple democratic fact, like Brexit.

          • satyadeva says:

            This is way off-topic, but for the record, Veet, the Brexit result was very far from a “simple” matter, as the people were misled, misinformed by politicians who themselves, in many cases, didn’t know what the issues implied and/or who blatantly and shamelessly lied to a public that was all too ready to believe their simplistic and often prejudiced assertions. Rather like Trump and his clientele in fact.

            Thus, the limitations of democracy have been clearly demonstrated, integrity and respect for truth sacrificed in both instances.

  29. shantam prem says:

    Once God was discussed, then came Ego.
    What is the new trend now?

    Coming soon at SN, Shantam…Watch this space….

  30. Bong says:

    I am really enjoying the discussions here at SN. Satyadeva’s summary on Ego shows his/her keen intellect and intuition. What I think we should now be discussing is family: the nuclear family, despite a village being necessary to raise a child, and a child being necessary to raise a village Shantam Prem.

    Allow me to theorise that all this gender confusion beyond male and female, determined by the presence or absence of the Y chromosome, is because people are clinging to their Ego experience of previous lives. If you are in the here-now, you would not need to change sex, destroy the nuclear family or embrace homosexuality.

    Osho was right about this, and it is something that the modern world, including many so-called Christians, has got so very, very wrong. I do not know if Satyadeva is male or female, but it makes me cringe every time a ‘snowflake’ needs to explain how they wish to be referred to; surely Ego is predisposition or blindness to what is.

    • anand yogi says:

      Perfectly correct, Bong!
      A village is certainly necessary to raise a child, and a child necessary to raise a village and in village it is necessary to have village idiot!

      Also, as Narendra Modi has made clear, all the great inventions of West were first discovered by ancient sages, rishis and yogis of mighty Bhorat who were already making all significant discoveries in every field in ancient times!

      Flying (Rama/Air Lanka), Plastic surgery (Ganesh), Rocket Surgery, Institutionalised racism (Manu), Public Toilets (everyone), Swingers clubs (Khajuraho), Knob gags (Shivaling), Psychedelic stoner lit (Upanishads/Soma)…and while Western man was dragging knuckles in spiritual wasteland, Lord Krishna was already experimenting with gender-fluidity!

      Also the wise men of mighty Bhorat transcended the dualistic problem of having to choose male/female toilets -everyone just crapped in field down by the river!

      And you are right, certainly Satya Deva swings both ways! His vision is vast and reaches from logic on one end of spectrum to reason on other!

      Swami Bhorat is also in state of consciousness beyond the meaningless judgment labels that people attach from past lives! In time-honoured fashion of great gurus, he pays no attention to the ego-illusion of gender!

      If it moves, he will grope it!

      Hari Om!

    • swami anand anubodh says:


      There are no ‘past lives’.

      Therefore, any theories you concoct about how they relate to the present (or involve the ‘ego’) are wrong.

      • Bong says:

        In a sense, you are correct. Time is an illusion. Past, present and future are one. Ironically, these gender snowflakes are too trapped by their egos and their lower bodies to realise this fact. Physical – etheric – astral – mind – spirit – cosmic – nirvanic…I am.

        • swami anand anubodh says:


          Yes, even physicists have realised that time is an illusion and emerges from a deeper reality. The nature of that ‘reality’ is a big area of research.

          I don’t know much about ‘gender snowflakes’ so I will leave that one with you.

          Anyway…you look after yourself, and remember: whenever you’re out on the astral plane always lock your body in case someone tries to steal it.

          • Bong says:

            HAHA, What an ego!

            My advice to you is this: When encountering another consciousness, destroy it. Don’t waste time in lower consciousness. There is no ‘other’ capable of stealing an enlightened consciousness. One enlightened consciousness is not antagonistic to another. It may be that which you call consciousness is not.

            Aren’t there enough bodies to go around, according to your argument?

            Are you familiar with Nelson Mandela?

      • Lokesh says:

        Anubodh, you might be mistaken.

        • shantam prem says:

          Lokesh, please don´t tell to those people, “you are mistaken”, who have Swami or Bhagwan titles with their names!

        • swami anand anubodh says:


          The world’s population is on an upward spiral, even since 1970 it has doubled. So what would happen if we tried to regress everyone who is alive today back to a previous life?

          The fact is there would not be enough bodies to go round, it would be like trying to fit two cars into one parking space. And the further you go back the more the population dwindles, and tighter becomes the squeeze.

          You could say this is too much of a literal interpretation of past lives and thus avoid the question, but belief in reincarnation was developed in the distant past when populations were static, and no need for it to account for growth. Probably, as a way to manipulate others by instilling thoughts of a better life next time if they do XYZ, or a worse one if they don’t. It can even be employed to justify bigotry.

          I don’t think it’s a mistake not believing in something that is clearly flawed.

          I accept there are claims to remember past lives, you may even have memories yourself. But you all could also be mistaken, just like many are by optical illusions.

          My assertion is based on the principle that the simple explanation is ‘probably’ the correct one. For me, a belief in past lives has too many anomalies to pass this test, and no past lives does not.

          • Lokesh says:

            Reincarnation could be taking place on a universal level. It could be the case that people who struggle in this world came from more refined dimensions.

            I do not believe in personal reincarnation. I do believe that something is moving from body to body and occasionally carries over tinges of personality from other lives. That is the hole in the ‘remembering past lives’ number. You might have memories, but how do you know they belong to you? What is that ‘you’ anyway? Insubstantial at best.

            For many years I dropped the whole idea of reincarnation. Then certain things happened in my life that made me take a fresh look at it.

            No need to remain fixed with any idea or concept. I like to remain open.

          • Bong says:

            There are more humans on Earth, less whales and sages, among other animals.

            Plants are more conscious than rocks, animals than plants, then unconscious evolution stops; humans have the potential for conscious evolution…

            Maybe we were a dung beetle in a previous life, who finally rolled his/her/its shit to the top of the hill!

          • Levina says:

            The theory I like best is: we are all memory packets. Identification with memory creates ‘I’.

            When we ‘die’ and there is still identification, attachment to the ‘memory I’, so to speak, then even, when at the moment of death, if for an instant you realize who you are, it cannot stabilize because of identification with the memory packet, ’cause it’s familiar.

            The soul now feels utterly lost with only memory (past tendencies), which can be overwhelming without a body, so from there the desire arises to have another body again, and voila, finds itself in a womb again, ready for the next round!

            • satyadeva says:

              Levina, here’s another perspective (see the last paragraph if you don’t want to read it all)…

              “Self-knowledge with a capital S is permanently stored in the spirit of intelligence we are all born with. Spiritual masters and teachers speak from different degrees of Self-knowledge. This allows the individual listener to discover the depth of their own Self-knowledge – based on the fact that in truth (Self-knowledge) you can only recognise what you’ve already lived. If you relate to what the teacher says, you are with him in Self-knowledge and delight in hearing ‘what you hadn’t realised you already knew.’ If his Self-knowledge is less than yours, or too deep for you to hear at this time, you will leave him.

              Intimations of the invisible reality are quite common. But when the mind gets hold of these it builds conceptual structures more related to survival after death – for instance meetings with deceased loved ones – than the simple truth of inexplicable freedom.

              When I realise immortality I realise my own Self-knowledge – that only the body/brain dies and that I, the spirit of intelligence, still am. When I realise God or Self I realise the ultimate of my Self-knowledge up to that moment – that I and God or Self are one.

              The depth and scope of Self-knowledge varies in everyone and determines the degree of sensitivity to the invisible reality. Since the knowledge comes from having passed through many, many recurrent physical lives and deaths, death finally is no longer seen as something to be feared, but a natural transition from the dark of ignorance to the light of life.

              Recurrence is not the same as the widespread eastern belief of personal reincarnation. Recurrence produces Self-knowledge which is not accessible to the mind that believes or remembers. Self-knowledge is a totally impersonal and vaster thing than reincarnation. All personal traits the person identifies with die with the body, whereas Self-knowledge persists as the guiding light in the unconscious behind the existential scene.”

              (Barry Long, extract from “WHAT IT IS TO DIE (as I’m seeing it). A revealing article on the meaning behind death and life written by Barry Long as he approaches his own death.”

              • Arpana says:


                ”and delight in hearing ‘what you hadn’t realised you already knew.’ ”

                Just happened again. He said something I already knew. Beautifully expressed.

                My first memory of an experience of this, and I’m sure this had happened before, is when I read ‘De-schooling Society’ by Ivan Illich, in my 20s.

              • Levina says:

                Thank you, Satya. Yes, it’s all about recognizing, remembering who we are. The Self remembers the Self, so to say. Simple really!

                Musing about what I previously wrote, there was a thought: Every time I believe a thought (including this one) there is incarnation into a seperate self again.

                Oh, dear, I believe I just incarnated again!

                • frank says:

                  Just wondering, SD…
                  What would you do if you won the lottery in your next life?

                • satyadeva says:

                  Well, Frank, setting aside that the present person called ‘SD’ will apparently be obliterated, never to be seen or heard from again, and so therefore anything I say while I’m still here can only refer to my self as it is now…(deep breath and clears throat)…

                  I’d do a bit of a share-out, I hope, spread the good fortune around somewhat…Buy a nice house…Maybe a couple of nice places, one abroad, in a sunny climate (global warming permitting)…Probably a car as well (non-polluting type by then, I trust)…Subscribe to Sky tv for the football, maybe…Apart from that, I dunno really about anything that different to now…Some travel adventures…But I guess the great thing would be to have no financial issues ever again.

                  How about you?

                • satyadeva says:

                  Also, I’d make sure I had expensive medical insurance, just in case…And regular massages/bodywork, perhaps every two or three weeks or so.

                  Still, as Parmartha once said to me when I complained about my finances, in his characteristically reassuring way that communicated such a generous-spirited well-being, “The best things in life are free.”

                • frank says:

                  As for myself, I can`t answer the question, not for any metaphysical reasons, but just that I don`t buy the tickets!

                  My general sense about reincarnation is that it`s really just social conditioning. BL tried to tart it up and say his version was ‘new inproved’ from the old Eastern one but really it’s just the same old “‘Big-Self’ gets reincarnated” thing that the Hindus covered and that I expect he first read about in Theosophical literature.

                  The wise men back in ancient Bhorat and wherever claimed they discovered the truth by their inquiries and extensive meditation and then they disseminated it to the people. They also, by the same method, discovered that males were superior to females, and institutionalised racism!

                  These ideas spread over the East because all the authorities, that is, the wisest people with the support of the most powerful in the land, proclaimed the truth of it. In their day they were ultimate authorities. They were Popes, Shankaracharyas, scientists and the police rolled into one!

                  They ruled the roost in those days, and like todays scientists, they tell you stuff about the universe that you can`t really know yourself, and as a layman you don`t disagree with Prof. Brian Cox famous astrophysicist) about the ins and outs of nuclear fusion, do you?

                  In short, the ancient religious authorities had total power of authorisation when it came to what people believed. That`s why any Hindu or Tibetan will trot out reincarnation as an undoubtable fact these days.

                  BL did have a modern non-trad/eastern approach about the male/female thing, altho` he did come across a little as a macho ocker gone spiritual. To extend that he might have been better off ditching the reincarnation number altogether, too?

                  Why take on a bunch of old world conditioning?
                  We`ve probably got enough going on already?

                  There are so many much closer things that are beyond human comprehension and have never been conclusively ‘explained’, eg:

                  “Cocks crow
                  Dogs Bark
                  This all men know.
                  Even the wisest
                  Cannot tell
                  Whence these voices come
                  Or explain
                  Why dogs bark and cocks crow
                  When they do.”
                  (Chuang Tzu)

                  People in positions of power who purport to explain the unexplainable in terms of “superior knowledge” – I hope they are not on your lottery list for free handouts?!

                  I`m no killjoy, mind, and talking about reincarnation can be as much fun as talking about what to do when you win the lotto!


                • satyadeva says:

                  On the contrary, Frank, as what happens in and after death is such an area of almost universal ignorance, even amongst the super-aware seekers who frequent SN, I suggest that since reincarnation is a largely unexamined belief held by many in ‘alternative’/New Age/would-be spiritual circles it’s a topic well worth clarifying by someone who knows a thing or two about life and death – rather a lot more than you or I, for instance, no matter how much we might care to “damn” such people with “faint praise”, by demonstrating how very clever we (think we) are.

                  As for explaining why cocks crow and dogs bark, well, no doubt that might have been a bit tricky ‘back in the day’ (2nd and 3rd centuries BC) but science has moved on quite a lot since Chuang Tzu’s time, I believe…(Unless you’re referring to a more ‘cosmic’ sort of point, ie ‘why are they here anyway’?).

                • satchit says:

                  Talking about reincarnation seems to me as if the egg wants to know how the hen functions.

                  It’s all speculation.
                  Fact is, we dunno.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Not quite true, Satchit. Some do appear to know, not many, but one or two. If anyone’s really interested the info’s there.

                • Arpana says:

                  Speculating about reincarnation, but then speculating about whether people who claim to know about reincarnation really do know about reincarnation.

                  Speculation is being in your head, is it not? Although that is speculation as well, is it not? Hmm!!! Or isn’t it?

                • satyadeva says:

                  Of course speculation is being in your head, Arps! But saying that isn’t, it’s more like instant mental common sense.

                  Time for a new topic, we reckon.

                • Arpana says:

                  This conversation about reincarnation exemplifies how useful such conversations going on at Sannyas News can be.

                  I have no particular interest in discussing reincarnation, but the use of the word ‘speculation’ really brought home to me how much I lived in speculation at one time, and the use of the word better describes what I did, rather than living in my head.

                  And I’m certainly not suggesting I don’t any more, but I haven’t realised until this moment, because of this conversation, how dramatically less I speculate about less and less; and in fact I’m particularly thinking about years of speculating unwittingly, being in my head, over something which happened to me once, which was very personal and very painful, and I just never realised until this moment that had been what I’d been doing, although I had stopped a long time ago.

                  Thank you my speculating, British Sannyas chums, and Scratchit.

                • frank says:

                  Scientists know why cocks crow.

                  Are you serious?

                • satyadeva says:

                  Don’t know about Levina, but yes, I am, Frank.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Plenty of stuff online about roosters crowing – more sophisticated explanations than the apparent ‘blank’ of 2300 years ago. Not too surprising, surely?


                • frank says:

                  Yes, Arps, but if, while speculating, you can quote someone who in your mind is speaking the literal truth, then it`s not speculation any more.

                  It`s truth with a capital ‘T’.

                  Welcome to the Jehovah`s Witnesses!!

                • Arpana says:

                  @ frank. 1 May, 2019 at 1:19 pm.

                  Oh, well played, sir.

                • Arpana says:


                  I only ever quote others because they say what I want to say better than I can, and I genuinely didn’t register that might come across as beating people over the head with holy scriptures.

                  I only ever quote Osho because what he has said strikes a chord with me, or as I said, he says what I understand and want to say, better than I can.

                  Mea culpa seems an appropriate phrase, I think, to use at the moment.

                  This has been a fantastic discussion, and not because I wrote the opening ‘essay’, I must add. Stimulating. Thought provoking. Challenging. Sharing. Great stuff.

                  Thanks, amigos.

                • frank says:


                • satyadeva says:

                  Plenty more sites on same theme!

                • satchit says:

                  SD, with them who ‘appear to know’ you can never be sure if they are telling the truth.

                  Maybe they are consoling people, maybe they are creating a device, who knows?

                  Reminds me of the story: Someone asked a Master “What is beyond death?”

                  His answer was: “How can I know? I’m an alive Master.”

                • satyadeva says:

                  Yes, Satchit, perhaps. However, BL, for example, was most definitely not in the ‘consolation’ business. And frankly, one only has to listen/read his stuff to know he was always on the level, he wasn’t into ‘devices’.

                  That’s one of the qualities I respected and valued about him and his teaching, which made such a refreshing change from certain eastern modes.

                • frank says:

                  I wasn`t referring to you.
                  The Jehovah`s barb was aimed at SD. He always posits that Barry Long is the ultimate authority on life, death and whatnot.

                  The fact is that BL`s idea about reincarnation that he presented was not in the slightest bit original although he tried to pass it off as some kind of advance on the “eastern version”.

                  Looks to me like SD treats BL’s words like Jehovah`s treat the Bible.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Ok, Frank, give me the name(s) of any contemporary western teacher who’s explained this topic as clearly and with as much experiential (and hence, existential) authority.

                  I suspect your degree of ‘resistance’ is directly proportional to your personal distaste for the man, for whatever reason (too much the ‘Aussie’? Too much the westerner and hence not ‘glamorous’ or ‘cool’ (in your terms) enough – not much ‘eastern promise’? Too ‘prescriptive’ perhaps, reminding you of everything you tried to get away from? Or just plain boring? Etc.).

                  All perfectly fine of course, that’s how it is – except that, as a result of this ‘standard’ rejection mechanism, you might well have created a situation where you already automatically tend to reject almost all he (or anyone else you similarly dislike) says or ‘stands for’, thus inevitably missing the point here and there so that your responses will tend to lack genuine authority, rooted as they are in purely personal preferences.

                • satyadeva says:

                  “The fact is that BL`s idea about reincarnation that he presented was not in the slightest bit original although he tried to pass it off as some kind of advance on the ‘eastern version’.”

                  Is that so, Frank?

                  I’m no expert but is what I wrote in last parag. of previous post (to Satchit, 4.15pm) ‘old eastern hat’?

                  “…each new individual apparently takes on something(s), some “load(s)” in his/her psyche that someone else or others (ie not necessarily he/she) have failed to deal with previously, which are a perfect fit for the new individual’s purpose(s) this time around.”

                • frank says:

                  Nevertheless, as you say – definite upswing of quality at SN.
                  Vive les baboons!

              • satchit says:

                SD, is it not that BL also says that one has to go through many lives to produce Self-knowledge?

                Sounds not so far away from the reincarnation idea.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Yes, SOUNDS like it, Satchit, if you don’t bother to pursue what he actually says on the topic. I’ll attempt to describe more, but far better to get it ‘from the horse’s mouth’ of course.

                  In particular, I recommend you find out what he has to say re the difference between reincarnation ie (person(al) rebirth – false, according to him) and recurrence (not of the person (memory, likes/dislikes, etc. etc.) rather of whatever the individual essence has accrued as self-knowledge over multiple lifetimes).

                  Noteworthy, by the way, that each new individual apparently takes on something(s), some “load(s)” in his/her psyche that someone else or others (ie not necessarily he/she) have failed to deal with previously, which are a perfect fit for the new individual’s purpose(s) this time around.

                  So the entire rigmarole we’re all involved in is an extraordinarily complex yet perfectly integrated whole.

                • satchit says:

                  It’s okay, SD, we need not quarrel about details.

                  If your being resonates with BL’s being, perfectly good.

                  And this old fool Frankie should stop talking some Bible crap!

                • satyadeva says:

                  I agree, Satchit, no use getting into personal antagonisms, although I reckon it’s important to make distinctions when they’ve been highlighted by trustworthy sources.

                  Otherwise it can be a slippery slope towards a chronic lack of clarity, flawed beliefs, leading to the sort of nonsense long taken on board by the major religions (and the New Age etc.).

                • satchit says:

                  SD, I think you have a heart-connection to BL.

                  I have read stuff from him, so I can understand that one can have a heart-connection to him.

                  Maybe to “make distinctions” is not so relevant in this case.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Satchit, I don’t understand this comment. To me, if we’re discussing an issue let’s get the facts and/or definitions straight or we might as well forget it.

                  That effort has nothing to do with my ‘feeling’ for BL. I know very well he’s not for ‘everyone’, just as Osho isn’t, likewise any other teacher we can name. Although at times it does annoy me that people who have, like me, ‘realised’ relatively nothing (rather than the ‘real’ Nothing!) can speak as if they’re fully qualified to pronounce upon someone I know to be a great teacher, without having much actual experience of the individual concerned.

                  It so easily degenerates into yet another little ‘ego-game’ (if you’ll forgive me relating to the supposed topic at this terminal stage of the proceedings), putting down ‘yours’ or ‘theirs’ and ‘bigging up’ ‘mine’, ‘ours’…Almost like kids arguing about which football teams they support. Or so-called ‘adults’ for that matter: Listening to discussions, phone-ins on radio sports shows you often enough hear grown men (not usually women) arguing vehemently about theirs being “a big club” and assessing (as it were) which clubs actually deserve such an epithet. Have any of those guys read any Freud, one wonders…

                  Worth bearing in mind if/when we start along a similar track comparing ‘gurus’/masters/teachers (whatever term is appropriate, but let’s not get into that now, please).

                • Arpana says:


                  You must be feeling quite giddy having Satchit endorse your connection to B.L.

                  What a coup, eh!!!!

                • satyadeva says:

                  Sure, Arps, makes a change from arguments that are mostly a bit pointless, leading only to bad feeling.

                  (I’ll have to keep up the payments though…).

                  Great that you’re pleased with how this topic has turned out. Well done for bothering to do it.

                • satchit says:

                  It’s not about discussing an issue, SD.

                  You came up with the BL quote, did you not?

                  You did not talk about your personal opinion.

                  And it’s not an ego-game either. I see him also as a realized being. Take it easy!

                • satyadeva says:

                  There seems to be a misunderstanding here, Satchit.

                  Yes, I quoted BL as part of a discussion. I don’t have a personal opinion as I have no experience to base one on, except what I’ve heard from others. Although his is the clearest, most convincing explanation I’ve come across up to now.

                  And by “ego game” I wasn’t referring to you.

                  Relaaaax, man, you’re almost as old as me! (And remember, it’s Barcelona v Liverpool tonight…Superb ‘opium’! I’d love Messi to decimate them – how about you?) (Not so off-topic, an ego game par excellence!).

                • satchit says:

                  Yes, ego-game,
                  Barca against Liverpool.

                  In this case I’m a bit choiceless,
                  which helps me towards enlightenment :-)

                • Lokesh says:

                  Satchit, the idea that something could be helping you move towards enlightenment is a complete misunderstanding about what enlightenment is.

                • satchit says:

                  I was only joking, Lokesh.

                  Do you think you have the authority to explain me ‘enlightenment’ without being enlightened yourself?

                  As far as I see, it is much related to choicelessness.

                • Lokesh says:

                  Satchit, how do you know if I am joking or not?

                • satchit says:

                  How do I know, Lokesh?

                  Because I trust my intuition.

  31. Arpana says:

    How do you feel about that? (Van Waddy)

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      How do you feel about that? You quoted, Arpana (as an online sharing today at 10:44am, some quite essential views from the Atlanta Jungian Association Circle(s)).

      I feel good about that quote: Its content filled a missing link and shed light on that which cannot be spoken of by its very nature anyway and is yet verbalized so often in abundance and is present in its own ways.

      I´ve heard, more than once. btw, that ´the spiritual ego´ is the hardest to dissolve as it imagines (feels) to have reached the top of the (a) ladder.

      There are small delusions and big and very big ones. And the so-called spiritual ego is the most cunning and then the most difficult to de-mask. Probably!

      Appreciated very much that this quote is also part of the manifold topic responses as an ‘add-on’, to let it sink in.

      Hope that it might not only find readers but also some who feel inspired to digest it silently – feeling what its worth – and this way, getting more ´real´. (And in a virtual space of a virtual caravanserai of ´meetings´ like ours here it could be an unexpected mystery, a surprise gift, if something valuable comes out of it…but who knows?).

      Such processing is a long way short and/or a short way long. One never knows…

      I´m talking to my ´Inner Lover´.
      Whom are you talking to, mostly? Friends of THIS or THAT?


      • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

        And I´d also like to recommend at this point, watching and listening to a talk which Eckhart Tolle gave (2014) at the Google Wisdom 2.0 conference with Karen May:

        • Arpana says:

          I always liked this Eckhart Tolle story…

          • satyadeva says:

            Excellent, Arps! I’ve already used it to help defuse a tricky impasse with a friend after, er, ‘ducking the issue’ for a month or so, ‘thinking about it’ (in the usual way).

            • Arpana says:

              After I first watched the video I recall a brief moment of struggling to avoid facing up to the fact this applied to me as well, at times; followed by a moment of getting to know chagrin really well.

              He smiles and shrugs ruefully.

              • satyadeva says:

                Welcome to the world of ‘emotional death’, Arps! That’s what I mean by ‘dismantling’ the ‘ego’, the self-made ‘self’.

                Thing is, once it’s been demonstrated like in this classic example, it’s harder to resist than to give up, surrender one’s ‘position’. And the resulting lightness is worth it, isn’t it?

                • Arpana says:

                  SD said, ”Resulting lightness is worth it.”

                  Although I have struggled at times to come to terms with the loss of ‘friendships’ that only worked as long as I clung to that ‘buffoon’ we call the ego, but it gets easier.

                  Quality not quantity now. Only growing up really. Nothing to feel bad about, nothing to create a negative ego out of. (ツ) ✌

      • Arpana says:

        Me and Friends of THIS and THAT.

        I go to a play-reading group every week, and the group is singularly lacking in one-upmanship. We are all getting older, all had lives, and so we just put out to the group our perceptions; and we all seem to find what each other has to say interesting.

        Same with Sannyas News at best.

        A viewpoint shared without aggression might be interesting to some, not all.

        Interesting question. Got me musing.

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