published: June 2019

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center:To be an ego

by Dr. Eric Weiss, MFT

What does it mean to be an ego?  We might think that having an ego means having an inflated self-image, or thinking too much.  But the ego condition is actually something much more basic and profound.

To be an ego is to be fixed in a body.  To be fixed in a body is to be confined to just one tiny location in space, and just one small moment of time.  To be an ego is to forget most of what happened in the past, to anticipate only poorly what is coming in the future, and to see just so much of the present moment as happens to grab our attention.

To be an ego is to have a very small existence. 

To transcend the ego is to discover, within ourselves, access to something which moves beyond the finite world.  They say that once we can still the mind, we discover ourselves to be beings belonging to the Infinite.  Our awareness becomes universal in scope, and transcends space and time.  To live from that greatness is to be free of all attachments, free from all fear, to be a master of life.

As Sri Aurobindo says in his great poem Savitri,

“Our consciousness is cosmic and immense,

But only when we break through Matter’s wall

In that spiritual vastness we can stand

Where we can live the masters of our world . . .”