With practice, our perception changes
The words we use may be the same, but the understanding of those words refines through experience. Basically, the experience is beyond words. The changes may be subtle and may not seem significant to others, but they is still worth sharing.
So, what is ego?
There are two aspects to our being, emptiness and awareness (pure awareness – uncontaminated awareness):
The empty aspect allows anything to take place – it doesn’t do anything, it doesn’t modify, it is pure intelligent space. Because it is pure, it allows enlightenment – or en-dull-ment – to take place: this is indicative of our free will.
Awareness is the active agent. Emptiness is our absolute aspect, and awareness is our relative aspect. When these work in unison, Compassion is the natural outcome, the natural manifestation.
These three – emptiness, awareness and compassion – are known in Sanskrit as the Three Kayas.
If awareness forgets its pure aspect, there is no end to involvement in activity. Every time we react, we have forgotten the emptiness aspect of everything and have mistaken things to be real and therefore we react…this is the cause of excessive, endless activity (and frustration!).
If emptiness forgets its awareness aspect, it merely resides in spaced-out-ness, a vacancy.
They must therefore go together.
When awareness lacks the emptiness aspect, the Three Kayas turn into the three poisons – ignorance, desire and fear. Awareness without emptiness is attracted to things, and clings-grasps-holds-becomes attached to them, believing them to be truly existent. It is this awareness that we call ‘me’: this clinging-grasping-holding-attachment activity becomes a ‘me’, ergo an ego!
The Three Kayas are the Buddha. The three poisons are the Mud around the Buddha. We wash off this Mud with a Mudra :-), a gesture of recognition that the essence of the poisons is Buddha nature, when emptiness is remembered.
All methods are the soap we use to purify: once we recognise Buddha nature, we wash off the soap as it is no longer required. We do not need to hold onto anything, even the methods! When we realise this truth, we recognise that the mud (the ego) did not exist, and the methods did not exist, – and that the Kayas were there all the time.
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