This has been one of the best books I have read. I was highlighting something on almost every page so get ready… This information is not new information; but it is very important information. We should be working on ourselves and reflecting on our lives everyday.
I hope you all make time to read this book. In the meantime, here are my highlights. :)
Chapter One: The Flowering of Human Consciousness
What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that. The awareness that is prior to thought, the space in which the thought - or the emotion or sense perception - happens.
Ego is no more than this: identification with form, which primarily means thought forms.
Chapter Two: Ego: The Current State of Humanity
Words reduce reality to something the human mind can grasp, which isn’t very much. Language consists of five basic sounds produced by the vocal cords. They are the vowels a, e, i, o, u. The other sounds are consonants produced by air pressure: s, f, g, and so forth. Do you believe some combination of such basic sounds could ever explain who you are, or the ultimate purpose of the universe, or even what a tree or stone is in its depth?
Some people never forget the first time they disidentified from their thoughts and thus briefly experienced the shift in identity from being the content of their mind to being the awareness in the background.
Thinking without awareness is the main dilemma of human existence.
“Life isn’t as serious as my mind makes it out to be.” - Buddha.
‘If someone takes your shirt, let him have your coat as well.’
One thing we do know: Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.
If you consider the ego to be your personal problem, that’s just more ego.
The Illusion of Ownership
To “own” something - what does it really mean? What does it mean to make something “mine”? If you stand on a street in New York, point to a huge skyscraper and say, “That building is mine. I own it,” you are either very wealthy or you are delusional or a liar. In any case, you are telling a story in which the thought form “I” and the thought form “building” merge into one. That’s how the mental concept of ownership works. If everybody agrees with your story, there will be signed pieces of the paper to certify their agreement with it. You are wealthy. If nobody agrees with the story, they will send you to a psychiatrist. You are delusional, or a compulsive liar.
It almost seems like a paradox: When you are in touch with the inner body, you are not identified with your body anymore, nor are you identified with your mind.
Descartes: “I think, therefore I am” This was the answer he found to the question “Is there anything I know with absolute certainty?”
“The consciousness that says ‘I am’ is not the consciousness that thinks.”
When you are aware that you are thinking, that awareness is not part of thinking. It is a different dimension of consciousness.
The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I Am.
Chapter Three: The Core of Ego
The conceptual “I” cannot survive without the conceptual “other”.
Complaining is one of the ego’s favourite strategies for strengthening itself.
Whether you complain aloud or only in thought makes no difference.
Non-reaction is not weakness but strength. Another word for non-reaction is forgiveness.
Forgiveness happens naturally when you see that it has no purpose other an to strengthen a false sense of self, to keep the ego in place.
Being Right, Making Wrong
Not only a person, but also a situation can be made wrong through complaining and reactivity, which always implies that “this should not be happening.”
Are you defending the truth? No, the truth, in any case, needs no defence.
Thought can be best point to the truth, but it never is the truth.
“The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.”
Can the Truth be put into words? Yes, but the words are, of course, not it. They only point to it.
“I am the way and the truth and the life/”
“Love and do what you will.” - St. Augustine.
Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what your resist, persists.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical treatment is the third-leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer in the United States. Homeopathy and Chinese medicine are two examples of possible alternative approaches to disease that do not treat the illness as an enemy and therefore do not create new diseases.
Recognize the ego for what it is: a collective dysfunction, the insanity of the human mind.
Nobody is wrong. It is the ego in someone, that’s all.
Can I sense my essential Beingness, the I Am, in the background of my life at all times? Can I sense the I Am that I Am at this moment?
Danger. All Structure are Unstable. “That’s a profound sutra.” A