The Ego, the Reference Point

No 'Me' ! I'm Outraged !

Our true nature is Awareness itself and there is no separate individual 'me' there at all.

Some people seem threatened by that. Not the 'Awareness' bit - the 'no separate me' bit.

There are only two choices as to our nature

  • our actual true nature as Awareness, wherein there is no separate 'me' and

  • the mind-generated conceptual sense of self - the ego, the reference point - wherein there is a sense of a separate 'me'.

    The ego has no substance to it, but we, as humans, can believe in that quite happily - and we all do. Until we investigate and see through it.

All that is left is the Aliveness that we are and that Aliveness, or Life, lives Us. The One Omnipresent Life. There is no separate person there.

Awareness is Open-ness itself - like space. There is no focal point, no location in space from which awareness is aware. It is true, however, that our sense organs are located in space. No doubt about that. But 'who' is aware of that. The one who is aware of that is not located in space or time. Awareness itself.

The Awareness that we are is the Aliveness that we feel, the Aliveness that shines out of our eyes, the Aliveness of Nature - of all living things. The One Life that applies to all of existence.

The Awareness / Consciousness / Presence / Intelligence Energy that we are is the deep sense of Peace that we feel, the excitement and exhilaration of being Alive, the motivation and drive that we notice, the love and the compassion that we feel for others. And lots more. The light in a young child's eyes.

When the ego, the sense of 'me', is seen through - what is seen through is a mental construct, which is not something we were born with. The self-image relies on the accumulation of thoughts about ourselves over the course of years. And years and years and years. It's nature is thought. It is not who we actually are.

What is seen through is a self-image that varies over time. The thought construct actually changes - our true nature does not. At times the 'self-image', the reference point, appears as positive, at other times it appears as negative. Our underlying nature has not changed.

The self-image is a reference point - it is where we look to find out what we are like. That is what 'self-image' means! So we polish our self-mage until it gleams, and stroke it until it purrs. We fix it somehow when it gets damaged. We can read books about enhancing the self-image.

All the time we are still held firmly and solidly in the belief that the self- image is who/what we are.

We do not believe that the self image, the Reference Point, is a reflection or a description of what we are - we believe that IT IS our actual and true nature. No longer a representation - the actual nature. That's 'me'. The Reference Point.

This is the preening one, the pretentious one, the condescending one. The one who says "I still have my Pride." It is the one who needs to be acknowledged, praised, admired, deferred to, looked up to, held in high regard. This is the one that needs to be defended, the one who cannot be seen to be just a construct in thought.

It is also the victim, the one who is ignored, the one who is not treated well. It is the one who has had a hard time. The one who has been let down by life. ("Don't talk to me about Life", says Marvin, the depressed robot from 'Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy').

The Reference Point is an accumulated and changeable mental construct - an imitation person. It is the 'separate one' that we think is 'me'. It is the sense of the separate person. The sense of the separate human being.

This is the one who feels threatened by "no separate me'. The one who is threatened by 'no Self'. That means annihilation, extermination, dead-ication.

Seeing through the self image, the separate sense of self, can be seen to threaten itself, the ego. But if it is seen, or even suspected, that the ego is just thought and only thought (not substantial), then maybe it is OK.

Belief in the Ego is the ultimate case of mistaken identity.

Our actual nature is the Aliveness that we feel in the immediacy of the Present moment. The shining of our eyes. The Aliveness that we feel. The vibrancy of Life itself. Far better than the imitation.

The mistaken identity is the primary barrier to the re-cognition of our true nature.

But underneath that, and running our life all along, is Life Itself. We have always been 'Lived". It is the One Life and it cannot be any other way.

The ego, the reference point has never had any power of its own - after all - it is just thought - an object in Awareness.

Do you need a mental sense of 'me' as well?

Something to believe in?

All the Life, the Power, the vibrancy lies with Life itself.

Isn't that enough?


Written by Mike Graham, 25 Jan 2008, last edited 17 Feb 2008


Nisargadatta Maharaj

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein