Inquiry: He shouldn’t use the word “ego”


He shouldn’t use the word “ego”. (Joel, in his new book and his teachings in general.)

  1. True?
    No. (Although I can find where it sometimes feels true, and the stories that says it is.)
  2. Sure?
    No. It is just an opinion, and I know he has its reasons for using the word.
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?
    • If I go into really believing it, attaching to the thought, I see myself as right and he as wrong.
    • I go into stories of why he shouldn’t use the word. It can be confused with the psychological ego, this essential operating system for our human self, which in turn creates weirdness. It too easily creates the appearance of an entity, an “object” to be found somewhere. And this entity then too easily can be an enemy, a sinister something trying to prevent awakening, holding us in delusion. (While it really just refers to whatever belief is up for us right now, just a story we temporarily take as true. It is not more substantial than a thought. Ephemeral. Nothingness. Although it certainly does have consequences for the life of this human self.)
    • I experience separation. That I don’t belong there.
    • When did I first have that belief? Probably in my mid/late teens, after I had adjusted somewhat to the initial awakening and explored some of the traditions. I was surprised by how much of it was apparently not written from immediate realization, and how they often used terminology and ways of talking about it that seemed to confuse more than clarify and help.
  4. Who would I be without it?
    • Interested. Sense of friendliness. Intimacy. Warmth.
    • Curious about how he uses the word, how it is received by others, and how it helps them.
    • Discernment without drama. Curious about the effects of using that particular tool, the word “ego”. Curious about its apparent benefits and drawbacks.
    • Free to speak up in the group, to clarify the difference between psychological ego and what this refers to, and that it just refers to whatever beliefs are around right here now.
    • Free to use the word or not. (Probably not.)
  5. Turnarounds.
    • He should use the word “ego”.
      • Well, he does so he probably have good reasons for it, at least in his own mind.
      • It triggers this belief for me, which I then take to inquiry to see what is more true for me.
      • It invites me, and anyone else, to explore what it really refers to, and differentiate it from the psychological ego.
    • I shouldn’t use the word “ego”.
      • No, because the word is not alive for me. I don’t see it as a useful tool.
    • I should use the word “ego”.
      • Well, yes, to explore it in this way.
      • Sometimes, when others use it, to make communication simpler.
      • In the psychological sense, pointing out how that form of ego is essential. And also the benefits of inviting it to heal, mature, develop.
    • Ego shouldn’t use me.
      • Right. Not this form of ego, which just refers to beliefs coming up here now. I can notice these beliefs and inquire into them, so they don’t use me as blindly as before.
    • Ego should use me.
      • Yes, when it does. “Ego” is just a belief. A story taken as true, which then uses me. I become the tool of the story, rather than the other way around.
    • Ego shouldn’t use my thinking.
      • Right. Beliefs use thinking to make themselves appear true. I can, sometimes, notice this as it happens and choose to not fuel the initial beliefs with other stories. I can also take it to inquiry, in which case thinking is used to investigate beliefs.

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