The Ego, the Reference Point

Wear Away the Ego ?

There are some teachings that say that the idea is to gradually wear away the Ego, loosen its grip, and as you do this your Presence or Awareness increases. Finally the shell of the Ego cracks wide open and disintegrates.

There are several things about this approach that need to be looked at.

  1. The ego does not actually exist in any substantial way, although the above refers to it as if it was substantial and its existence was real. So real and so solid, in fact, that it will take a lot of 'wearing down'.

    The Ego is nothing more than a collection of thoughts that have as their content a reference to a 'me' - but there is no real, existing, substantial 'me' to which they refer. There is no 'core' to the ego that has aliveness in it, or has any power of its own. It is only the subject matter, or content, of thoughts.

    This means that there is nothing to 'wear away', nothing whose 'grip' needs loosening.

  2. Your True Nature is already Awareness - because that is your essential nature.

    Awareness cannot be improved, or lessened, and there is no time when you are more of it or less of it.

    It is only the reference point, the apparent ego, which is an object in Awareness, that feels it needs to be 'more aware' or 'more present'.

  3. The 'me' that does not exist does not have any Awareness of it's own - which is not surprising as it does not exist.

    And its awareness cannot increase or decrease because it has none and can never have any!!

    Thoughts, or even collections of thoughts, do not have Awareness.

    The 'me' is actually a thought, an object IN Awareness. That is all.

  4. The only 'one' that could possibly need a Spiritual Practice is the nonexistent ego. Almost all Practices reinforce the belief in the 'me'.

    "I am suffering." "I need to improve myself" "I want more out of life" "I will improve myself with this Practice" "I am practicing being more Present" "I will improve my ability to surrender"

    Which means all Practice which is based on the belief in the existence of the ego actually reinforces that belief. In doing so this Practice supports what it is supposed to erode. It is a 'no-win' situation.

This might give the impression that there is 'nothing that you can do' but this very definitely is not the case.

What remains to be done is the SEEING through of this false belief in the Ego. The key point is "Does the Ego, the 'me', actually exist in any way other than as thought?"

This approach does not involve assuming that the ego exists, or believing that it does and proceeding from that standpoint.

It goes to the core of the matter itself.

Finding out if it exists at all does not make the ego more substantial, more real, more solid.

It looks into its very existence.

It opens the door to SEEing through it.


Written by Mike Graham, 19 Jan 2008, last edited 3 Mar 2008

Wei Wu Wei

Wei Wu Wei


Nisargadatta Maharaj