"Its form is not perceived here in that way; nor its end, nor beginning, nor continuance, After felling this Peepul tree whose roots are well developed, with the strong sword of detachment. Thereafter, that State has to be sought for, going where they do not return again." Bhagavadgita 15.3.
What is an ego? An ego is the notion of the mind that "I am" is this material body that can be experienced here, in the objective world. Ego is the primary way of expressing an existence in which the body and its needs become the primary meaning of life. Egoism emerges, in which an individual interest is more important than any other interest. How to describe an ego in the context of the First Mistake? An ego is a construction of the mind in which the imagination inside the mind is divided into two parts. That part of the imagination which is more or less stable is labelled "I" - the body; the rest, very prone to change, is labelled "Non-I" - the surrounding world. This primary dualism subsequently raises other, subordinate, instances of dualism in the mind, or different qualities of perception. "I" is the most important, "Non-I" is less important. This part of the surrounding world is good for "I", that one is bad for it. "I" finds this part beautiful, but "I" finds that part ugly. That part of the surrounding world needs modifying in this way. This part of "I", of body is not pretty and needs beautification.
Yes, we all know this. These are the simply expressed consequences of dualism in the imagination of the world. The primary dualism immediately causes other instances of dualism and constructions. It uses these constructions to justify the existence of the primary dualism in the imagination, and the resulting complexity conceals the original state of the mind entirely. The sole existence of the primary dualism would be extremely vulnerable without this subsequent dualism.
The reason for dividing the imagination is obvious: It is an observed state continually reinforced by other people's opinions. The consequence of this division is less obvious: Thanks to the division arises the disunity in imaginations. When the imagination is perceived as a mere creation of the mind, everything is perceived as a picture only, and no relationships exist between different parts of the imagination. The observer watches the created imagination without any attachment. If part of the imagination becomes the observer, however, relationships are bound to emerge between parts of the imagination, very complicating the simple original situation. Even more so if the being forgets that everything is just an imagination and begins to take the imagination and the body inside it for real. It then gets entangled in its imaginations and the clear original perspective is lost. This, however, happens to everybody already in early childhood and it is very difficult to untie the knot of the various constructions and return to the primary state.
Previous chapter Next chapter