Imagine for a moment that you are dropping your identification with the ego, which is what you think you are – your personality.
What will happen? Suddenly, you have no personality, but yet, you are alive and conscious. Suddenly, all the thoughts, feelings, and emotions associated with who you think you are, go away.
You can certainly be very much alive, conscious and active, without putting any label on yourself. You don’t have to be this or that in order to exist.
It is possible to wake up from the identification with your personality – your ego. This is called spiritual awakening. You stop limiting yourself to a particular form, set of thoughts and point of view. Your consciousness extends beyond the body’s form, and you experience a sort of “formless consciousness”. You go on acting and functioning as usual, but your consciousness functions on a “higher” plane.
What do you gain by this? By rising above the ego, you rise above life’s problems. They will probably still be there, and you have to deal with them and solve them, but your consciousness will be in a different dimension. You will be happier, calm and strong. You will gain real peace of mind.
Rising above the ego frees you from limited thinking and from the shackles of your mind. You will not be swirled into petty desires, misunderstandings and conflicts, and will be able to deal much better with whatever you encounter on your way. You will “remember” who you are, and understand that putting on the mask of the ego is only a play, and that you are not the character being played, but only acting the character.
How to Rise above the Ego
Each day, put aside some ten to fifteen minute to be alone and meditate. Sit comfortably, take a few slow breaths, and relax your body.
For a moment, let your mind follow whatever thoughts and feelings pop up, then stop them and ask yourself:
- Are these thoughts and feelings apart of me?
- Are these thoughts and feelings mine?
- Do I need them?
- Do they add anything to my life?
- Why do they come?
- Where do they come from?
- Why do I think or feel them?
- Who is it that is thinking them?
- Who is it that is watching these thoughts and feelings?
Don’t try to find mental solutions or reasons. Just ask the questions, and wait for the answer to come from inside you. Don’t analyze the answers. Just let them come and be aware of them.
Meditate in this way each day, at least once. After you get used to this meditation, you can ask yourself these questions during the day, whenever you have some time. You can use any time when your mind is not occupied, such as while walking, waiting, or traveling in a train or bus.
While asking yourself these questions, pay special attention to the state of your consciousness. Do these questions make you more aware of your consciousness, and in what way?
If you continue with this ort of meditation, there will come a time when “a new” kind of consciousness arises in you. Try to stay in this “new consciousness’, fixing your awareness on it whenever you remember.
This will develop inner peace and inner silence, which will lead you to experience the consciousness beyond the ego.
This is what Sri Ramana Maharshi, the great Indian sage has taught. This is the self-inquiry leading to the realization of the Self.