Yesterday, I compiled some lines on the negative ego. Positive Ego can be termed as self esteem. Positive Ego may lead you to value yourself but negative ego may prove as self destructive one. Some more submissions in the same direction!
We may assume that Buddha is sitting under his bodhi tree and the whole world suddenly disappears. Will it make any difference to Buddha? – perhaps it won’t affect Buddha. It will not make any difference at all. Because he has given up his ego and attained to the self-realization.
But if your spouse deserts you, divorces you, goes to somebody else, you are completely shattered - because you were being paid attention, cared for, loved, helped to feel that you were somebody in your own life. Your whole empire may get lost and you may stand simply shattered. You may start thinking about suicide. Why? Why, if your spouse leaves you, should you commit suicide? Because you don't have any center of your own. The spouse was giving you the center. In the presence of your spouse, you were feeling as a special person being cared for. As soon as you feel unattended, you may feel disturbed.
This is how people exist. This is how people become dependent on others. It is a deep slavery. Ego makes you to be a slave to someone directly or indirectly. If your ego is not satisfied in due course of time, you may not feel easy and some negative thoughts may start to come up as to why you are not being paid due attention. Your ego depends on others. And only a person who has no ego is for the first time a master; he is no longer a slave. We may try to understand this.
In the first stage of giving up the negative ego, you may start looking for the ego - not in others, that is not your business, but in yourself. Whenever you feel miserable, immediately close you eyes and try to find out from where the misery is coming and you will always find it is the false center which has clashed with someone.
You expected something, and it didn't happen. You must find out if you really deserved for what you were striving hard. You expected something, and just the contrary happened - your ego is shaken, you are in misery. Just look, whenever you are miserable, you must try to find out why. Causes are not outside you. The basic cause is within you - but you always look outside, you always ask:
Who is making me miserable? Who is the cause of my anger? Who is the cause of my anguish? And if you look outside you will miss. Just close the eyes and always look within. The source of all misery, anger, anguish, is hidden in you, your ego. And if you find the source, it will be easy to move beyond it. If you can see that it is your own ego that gives you trouble, you will prefer to drop it - because nobody can carry the source of misery if he understands it. It would be the second stage of your process of giving up the negative ego.
Thirdly, there is no need to drop the ego. You cannot drop it. If you try to drop it, you will attain to a certain subtle ego again which says, "I have become humble." Don't try to be humble. That's again ego in hiding - but it's not dead. Don't try to be humble. Nobody can try humility, and nobody can create humility through any effort of his own - no. When the ego is no more, humbleness comes to you. It is not a creation. It is a shadow of the real center. And a really humble man is neither humble nor egoistic. He is simply simple. He's not even aware that he is humble. If you are aware that you are humble, the ego is there. A fruit laden tree does not announce its working – the results show the patience to bear the fruits.
Look at humble persons.... There are millions who think that they are very humble. They bow down very low, but watch them - they are the subtlest egoists. Now humility is their source of food. If they say, "I am humble," and then they look at you, they wait for you to appreciate them. “You are really humble,” they would like you to say. "In fact, you are the most humble man in the world; nobody is as humble as you are." Then see the smile that comes on their faces. This too is an expression of their hidden ego. They are not perfect so far.
A fakir, a beggar, was praying, just early in the morning when it was still dark. It was some religious day for his sect, and he was praying, and he was saying, "I am nobody. I am the poorest of the poor, the greatest sinner of sinners." Suddenly there was one more person who was praying. He was the emperor of that country, and he was not aware that there was somebody else there who was praying - it was dark, and the emperor was also saying:
“I am nobody. I am nothing. I am just empty, a beggar at our door." When he heard that somebody else was saying the same thing, he said, "Stop! Who is trying to overtake me? Who are you? How dare you say before the emperor that you are nobody when he is saying that he is nobody?"
This is how the ego goes. It is so subtle. Its ways are so subtle and cunning; you have to be very, very alert, only then will you see it. Don't try to be humble. Just try to see that all misery, all anguish comes through it. Just watch! No need to drop it. You cannot drop it. Who will drop it? Then the DROPPER will become the ego. It always comes back. It bounces back as it is hidden under pressure of the intent of giving up. You must exercise it willingly only, you must give up the negative ego without expecting the results. For that, whatsoever you do, stand out of it, and look and watch.
Whatsoever you do - humbleness, humility, simplicity - nothing will help. Only one thing is possible, and that is just to watch and see that it is the source of all misery. Don't say it. Don't repeat it – just watch it. Because if I say it is the source of all misery and you repeat it, then it is useless. You have to come to that understanding. Whenever you are miserable, just close the eyes and don't try to find some cause outside. Try to see from where this misery is coming. It is your own ego. You are to give up that ego which creates misery for you and affects others as well. If you do so, if every person of the society does so for the sake of others, you would feel how beautiful be this world!
If you continuously feel and understand, and the understanding that the ego is the cause becomes so deep-rooted, one day you will suddenly see that it has disappeared. Nobody drops it - nobody can drop it. You simply see; it has simply disappeared, because the very understanding that ego causes all misery becomes the dropping. The Very Understanding Is The Disappearance Of The Ego.
The fourth stage is to advise you to look upon yourself only, not others. We are so clever that we see the ego in others. Anybody can see someone else's ego. When it comes to your own, then the problem arises - because you don't know the territory, you have never traveled on it. We start to initiate the counter fight as soon as we see that the other one is pursuing his ego. We must look out why it happened. Have you overestimated yourself, your demand? Can you rationalize it? The whole path towards the divine, the ultimate, has to pass through this territory of the ego. The false has to be understood as false. The source of misery has to be understood as the source of misery - then it simply drops.
When you know it is poison, you will drop. When you know it is fire, you will drop. When you know this is the hell, you will drop it. And then you never say, "I have dropped the ego." Then you simply laugh at the whole thing, the joke that you were the creator of all misery.
Have you ever looked upon some cartoons of Charlie Brown? In one cartoon, I found him playing with blocks, making a house out of children's blocks. He was sitting in the middle of the blocks building the walls. Then a moment comes when he found enclosed; all around he has made a wall. Then he cries, “Help, help!” He has done the whole thing! Now he is enclosed, imprisoned. This is childish, but this is all that you have done also. You have made a house all around yourself, and now you are crying, "Help, help!" And the misery becomes a million fold - because there are helpers who are also in the same boat.
It happened that one very beautiful woman went to see her psychiatrist for the first time. The psychiatrist said, "Come closer please." When she came closer, he simply jumped and hugged and kissed the woman. She was shocked. Then he said, "Now sit down. This takes care of my problem, now what is your problem?"
The problem becomes multifold, because there are helpers who are in the same boat. And they would like to help, because when you help somebody the ego feels very good, very, very good - because you are a great helper, a great guru, a master; you are helping so many people. The greater the crowd of your followers, the better you feel. But you are in the same boat - you cannot help because you need your ego to be served first. Everyone like you may wish for the same. Who will start?
People who still have their own problems cannot be of much help. Only someone who has no problems of his own can help you. Only then is there the clarity to see, to see through you. A mind that has no problems of its own can see you, you become transparent. A mind that has no problems of its own can see through itself; that's why it becomes capable of seeing through others.
We find that there are many schools of psychoanalysis, many schools, and no help is reaching people, but rather, harm. Because the people who are helping others, or trying to help, or posing as helpers, are in the same boat. They pretend to extend the help but they are doing it for the money – how much money they can extract from you, so sweetened advice will come to you but of no avail. They wish to complicate the problem and then pretend to solve it so that you may continue to give them the fee....It is difficult to see one's own ego. It is very easy to see other's egos. But that is not the point, you cannot help them. Try to see your own ego if you wish to solve out your own miseries. Just watch it.
Don't be in a hurry to drop it, just watch it. The more you watch, the more capable you will become. Suddenly one day, you simply see that it has dropped. And when it drops by itself, only then does it drop. There is no other way. Prematurely you cannot drop it. It drops just like a dead leaf. It drops when you find that the ego does not have validity no more.
The tree is not doing anything - just a breeze, a situation, and the dead leaf simply drops. The tree is not even aware that the dead leaf has dropped. It makes no noise, it makes no claim - nothing. The dead leaf simply drops and shatters on the ground, just like that. When you are mature through understanding, awareness, and you have felt totally that ego is the cause of all your misery, simply one day you see the dead leaf dropping.
It settles into the ground, dies of its own accord. You have not done anything so you cannot claim that you have dropped it. You see that it has simply disappeared, and then the real center arises. If you care for your neighbor, one day, he would care for you too. If he does not so, his conscience may not allow to remain idle longer. Suppose you are not at home and your house is on fire, your neighbor will have to make the efforts to put off even in your absence. If he does not do so, the fire may engulf his house too. So, don’t hate your neighbor – just find out why it happens. Then you will be able to give up your negative ego.
Be Happy – Give Up Your Negative Ego.