Reposted from The Awakening Website
There is an interesting word, called Rumination, for which there are two definitions. One is ‘the act of chewing cud.’ The other is ‘to go over in the mind repeatedly.’
In regards to the latter, the inability to stop ruminating is a characteristic of the spiritually unconscious.
The 17th century philosopher, René Descartes, is regarded as the founder of modern philosophy. It was he who gave expression to the famous statement, I think. Therefore I Am.
But the consciousness that says ‘I Am’ is not the consciousness that thinks. And, as long as we are unaware of this fact, we continue to mistake the thinker for who we are.
The core of all of our mind activity consists of repetitive and persistent thoughts, emotions and reactive patterns. This entity is called ‘the ego’. And the ego is the one who identifies with possessions, opinions, external appearances and long-standing resentments. These are the things to which the words I, me, my and mine refer.
Many of us are completely identified with a stream of compulsive thinking, most of which is repetitive and pointless. But, if we understand the basic mechanics behind the ego mind, we can recognize it as such.
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 ego was created as a survival mechanism when you descended in consciousness during the Fall of Man. But it is the ego that creates the illusion that we are separate from one another and separate from God. This either makes us feel that we are not as good as, or better than others.
We are born into truth. But we grow up believing in lies. We witness so many lies when we are young and innocent, and we use these lies to form our personal Tree of Knowledge. And one of the biggest lies is the lie of our own imperfection, which is told to us by the ego. And believing the ego is an addiction.
The ego is actually an impostor who is pretending to be you. It is the ego who drives the car while you daydream behind the steering wheel. It is the ego who causes you to terminate your meditation to take care of “more important” things.
And he said to them all, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny his self.” Luke 9:23
The ego is a descended master. So your greatest protection from the ego is to become fully conscious and aware of it. You are a character in The Truman Show and everyone who is asleep at the wheel is named Truman.
Awareness is the power that is concealed within the present moment. Ego, and awareness of the ego, cannot co-exist. Eckhart Tolle