The Development of Ego,
from Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chögyam Trungpa
(This is an excerpt from the chapter that introduces the Ego and its development, and which I have added images to. We can all benefit from a better understanding of what the ego is, especially when we are seeking to know ourselves better and to seeking what is possible in spiritual development. It also gives us some deeper understanding of when we feel a neurotic or confused mind and this becomes a really great launching place for the homeopathic process of case taking. I personally prefer the Buddhist view of the Ego and of what the nature of our reality is over some of the modern writings, especially when it is suggested by some that can suppress or even get rid of the ego. That would be the same as saying we have a right hand so let’s get rid of the left thumb, we don’t seem to need it anyways. I hope you can gain something from this, enjoy!)
"As we are going to examine the Buddhist path from beginning to end, from the beginner’s mind to the enlightened one, I think it would be best to start with something very concrete and realistic, the field we are going to cultivate. It would be foolish to study more advanced subjects before we are familiar with the starting point, the nature of ego. [ ]
If we do not know the material with which we are working, then our study is useless; speculations about the goal become mere fantasy. These speculations may take the form of advanced ideas and descriptions of spiritual experiences, but they only exploit the weaker aspects of human nature, our expectations and desires to see and hear something colourful, something extraordinary. If we begin our study with these dreams of extraordinary, “enlightening” and dramatic experiences, then we will build up our expectations and preconceptions so that later, when we are actually working on the path, our minds will be occupied largely with what will be rather than with what is. [ ]
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