The world is not the only place where imitation stuff is available openly. The mind too has its own share of imitation, if not more. Since the body is in the mind, the statement what is within, so is without is an eternal truth.
The ego is constantly imitating the spirit. Whenever there are aha‘s moment, inspired by the spirit, the ego instantly took up its position, imitating the experience as a new thought and feeling. Excitement and eagerness is its expression. There are times the ego fail in its pursuit of imitation but that does not stop the ego from executing its contingency plan: creating a conspiracy by dissuading me to distrust the inspiration.It can even ultimately go as far as killing the inspiration, if everything fails. The nature of ego is destructive. The nature of wisdom is constructive. Both are moving on the opposite direction.
The destructive nature of ego may not be seen directly in its true form but there are tell-tale signs of ego. There are in fact a huge retinue of relatives, each pairing the experience of spirit. Even wisdom is not spared – ego has its pirated version too! The clear distinction of wisdom is understanding or realization. The clear distinction of ego is answers. That makes knowledge and realization different. Truth has no answers except realization. Awareness, an important criteria to wisdom, has also been pirated!
Guilt is one big time imitator. I have come across many seekers, renunciates not excluded, that buy into the idea of guilt – that it is the pathway to goodness. Guilt too has fooled me many a times until vigilant comes to my rescue. And ego never stops at guilt. It creates a duo out of it- shame in the past and fear in the future. There are the trio that is found in the mentality of victim, rescuer and persecutor. How wonderful a creation ego has.
So it was said that when one is not on the pathway of enlightenment, the ego is not on its alert as wisdom is entirely unheard off in the system. You can imagine what it is like when wisdom grows. Many a times truth seekers are faced with constant reminder of the egoic pattern, as if their own ego is increasing instead of decreasing. That is the nature of the pathway as to come closer to truth you have to faced what is not true. And what you have to face has to come into existence. So, if you find yourself terrible, remember it is not you – just remember that ego is showing its nature.Yet there is another kind of seekers, whom are not vigilant, are consumed by the ego. I coined this pathway spiritual ego. Glorifying the ego without one knowing – that is when I am unaware!
Another way to recognize ego or spirit is by their status – cause or effect. For instant, forgiveness. Are you aware you can’t do forgiveness – you can’t simply forgive someone because your faith tells you so, or someone forces you to. Forgiveness is born out from understanding. Forgiveness is effect. You can’t do effect except to work on the causes such that when understanding arise, forgiveness naturally unfold. Whenever I am angry I can’t forgive someone who makes me angry, at least during the duration of my anger. If I were to truly understand the situation of that moment, by exploring my cause of anger and at times inviting myself to understand the underlying situation of my so-called victim, I may come to an insight that immediately ceases my anger, unfolding forgiveness. Forgiveness do me rather than I do forgiveness.
The more I understand myself the more I see the ego closer and clearer. That reminds me of the exclamation made by the Buddha upon his enlightenment:
Through the round of many births I roamed without reward, without rest, seeking the house-builder. Painful is birth again & again.
House-builder, you’re seen! You will not build a house again. All your rafters broken, the ridge pole dismantled, immersed in dismantling, the mind has attained to the end of craving.
Can you recognize ego? Patience and endurance, acceptance and tolerance, compassion and pity, forgiveness and forget? Which is which? Try practising the former of each and one ends himself in Ego!