STRETCHING THE EGO
It is a misconception that one must get rid of one’s ego to fulfil one’s potential. That is not possible. If man remains an embodied being, there will be ego. In the grosser person, the ego would be expressed in a gross value, and in a more developed person, the ego would be expressed in a refined value.
As practical householders with family commitments, we want to use that very same ego that constitutes us, that constitutes the entire human personality; we want to use that ego not only in a refined manner, not only in a sublimated manner but to use that ego until it is stretched to a specific limitation where a great clarity is observed in the ego.
We could use the analogy of a balloon. As the balloon is stretched, the rubber that makes the balloon becomes fine. When it becomes fine, greater light penetrates it, which means that the ego is not sublimated. Sublimating an ego might mean pushing the ego aside or giving the ego a different value. We do not want to do that. We want the ego to have its original value and not transform it into different values. We do not want to take a particular item and convert it into a different substance altogether. The rubber of the balloon must remain the rubber of the balloon. But by expanding the rubber that constitutes the balloon, by stretching the rubber, it will become fine, and when it becomes finer and finer, it becomes more transparent. When we stretch the ego, it becomes more transparent, and more of the Light of the Spirit can shine through. The ego is to be preserved and not destroyed.
When the ego is stretched through our meditational practices, through the understandings and realisations we receive, and as the light more and more filters through it, the ego assumes a different form. It is not destroyed. It is not sublimated, but it is brought to its greatest potential. The same ego is brought to its greatest potential in its refinement. Man could never exist as an embodied being if he did not have an ego. Ego is that which gives man a sense of individuality. If man wants to live in this body, he must have a sense of individuality but an individuality at its finest level, where that individuality becomes refined and transparent.
WHEN THE TOTALITY OF LIGHT SHINES THROUGH, MAN FINDS FULFILMENT
Ego can be very gross, can be very opaque, where light cannot shine through, and the same ego can be so refined and stretched that the fullness of the light comes through. It is only when man discards the mind and the body entirely then only the light will remain. But for practical purposes as householders, as living, breathing human beings, this is an impossibility. If any man tells you that “I am egoless,” that is not the truth, for even the highest realised man will still have a trace of ego in a very refined manner and so refined that the glass is so clear that the entire Light of Divinity can shine through, but the transparent glass is there.
The whole process will be to clean up the glass and make it transparent. That is the process, and by making the glass translucent, the glass assumes an invisible form because the powerful light is shining through. You will notice this in many things where if you put a strong beam of light behind a piece of glass, you do not see the glass. You must have heard of many people walking through a glass door because they did not see the glass.
I have been into one shop once, and they had one of these doors without frames, just glass, so they had to put a sticker on it so that from a distance, you could see that “Look, there is glass there, and I have got to open it.” That happens in the refinement.
To repeat, it is not a question of annihilation or sublimation. Annihilation means destroying that glass, and when you destroy the glass, you are destroying your entire personality. Man cannot exist without being an individual being, without being a personal being. But with the light shining so powerfully through, through the clear glass, what could be observed is the light only and not the glass. That does not mean that there is no glass.
Man finds fulfilment in life when the totality of light shines through, despite there being a glass. This means the Universal Self shines through the individual self because the individual self has been cleansed and refined. It is only when the body and mind are discarded at the time of death of a realised man, like my guru, that it would all merge away. At that time, the intense heat of that light disintegrates the glass, disintegrates the ego, and it goes back into its original vibrations.
THE EGO FACTOR IS NECESSARY TO LIVE RESPONSIBLY
The householder has to be conscious of himself. If he is not aware of himself, he will not be able to relate to his environment. He will not be able to tell to his wife, children, his beloved, and his friends because their individuality must exist. If individuality does not exist in everyone, then the whole purpose of life is lost. Then you do not need to serve humanity because you are not an individual anymore. It is only the unit that tries to get together or become one with all the units around him and form a whole.
To be able to live responsibly, the ego factor in man, the personality of man is necessary. If the entire ego were destroyed, your whole personality would be destroyed, your mind would be destroyed, and your thinking ability would be destroyed. You would become mindless and body-less, and only the Spirit would exist, which is the Universal Spirit, and you become one with the Universal Spirit, requiring neither mind nor body. That comes at a final stage when you merge away into Divinity, into that void-less void, where you become so universal without personality, without any trace of ego, and you become the entire universe.
MAN IS ABLE TO CLARIFY OR REFINE THE EGO
But man has one great gift; he can clarify or refine that ego, stretch that rubber so beautifully that it becomes so clear that the entire universe shines through him. Here there is a co-existence between individuality and universality. This co-existence is so enhanced, so beautiful that you are not so much conscious anymore of individuality, and the greater emphasis is placed upon universality, yet without the distraction of the ego.
We have said many times that there is nothing in this universe, not even a single thought that could ever be destroyed. There is no destruction; if you try to sublimate, you only push away the ego. That little individual self, that little refined self of the self-realised man, you are just pushing it apart, away. Then there is the appreciation of Divinity. In the final analysis, the ego remains a good current through which the universality flows. A very fine wire, like a radio wave, a current there all the time through which this universality flows.
If Divinity intended just to be itself, then individuality would not be necessary, yet there is individuality. So, the abstractness of universality must be captured in concreteness. Concreteness would have its various gradations, from the gross to the subtlest. The goal and aim in all the spiritual practices we do would be to refine that ego to its subtlest aspect, to its subtlest limit, so that the full force of Divinity shines through and that for the individual is self-realisation. That means that although the small self is there, the big self is forever shining through it, and the small self assumes or takes on the qualities of the big self, and there is the Godman on earth.
This is the case with great men like Christ and Buddha and Krishna and Rama. Those are the mechanics. Because as soon as you try to destroy, of course, a misnomer, the individual self, you will destroy the entire universe, which is impossible because the entire universe is composed of all the little individual selves that make up this whole.
THE PURPOSE OF ALL OUR PRACTICES IS TO CLEAR THE EGO
Divinity cannot exist without relativity, and relativity cannot exist without Divinity. In other words, the Absolute becomes non-existent if there is no relativity, and relativity becomes non-existent if there is no Absolute. So, the ego self of man will forever remain. What we want to do is clear away the dirt and the dust from that ego, from that individual, and that is the purpose of all our practices.
Clearing away would mean leading oneself to the deeper and deeper, subtler and subtler, and finer and finer life values so that when one reaches a stage of development, all your actions become spontaneously good. There is some value in people trying to be good, but the trying must be eliminated. Trying must be taken away from goodness. In the beginning stages, we try to be good, and that is fine. But we reach a stage where goodness remains on its own without we are trying. That is the aim, and in this aim, and this path, in this progress, one reaches the subtlest level of oneself, where the entire Divinity just shines through.
THE REFINED EGO IS THE CLEAREST REFLECTOR OF THE ABSOLUTE
Ego is a very good word but so misunderstood. The ego that people usually talk about is the grosser ego and not the refined ego. The refined ego is on the level of Superconsciousness where its constituent is Sattvic force, pure force, the force of light. That still does not alter the fact that it is ego. It is still ego, but at its subtlest level of the Superconscious Mind, it is in direct contact with the Absolute. In other words, it is the clearest reflector of the Absolute, and that light is reflected in the world.
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang UK 1978 – 35