"The wise ones who are free from pride and non-discrimination, who have conquered the evil of association, who are ever devoted to spirituality, completely free from desires, free from the dualities called happiness and sorrow, reach that undecaying State." Bhagavadgita 15.5.
The ego, the construction of the mind, must logically justify its existence within the mind. A sense of exceptionality is therefore produced, becoming later on the reason for dividing the imagination and producing the ego. The ego can be described as having four interconnected roots that reinforce it.
The first root is based on comparing the qualities of parts of the imagination. It is associated to the feeling, "This is good, this is not good." It says, I like this, I don't like that; this is good, that is bad, evil; this is attractive, that isn't; I'm happy with this, I can't sleep for that, etc.
The second root is connected with various desires and wishes that arise from the dissatisfaction induced by the existence of the first root, distinguishing the qualities of parts of the imagination. It is expressed through the feeling, "I want something." It says, I want to have something, to possess something, to destroy or change something, to achieve, create, rule, or experience something, etc. These desires then transform into dependencies and attachments to the other two roots.
The third root is based on the feeling, "I am somebody." It says, I am somebody exceptional, irreplaceable, educated, strong, powerful, modest, nice, etc. Everybody can produce several reasons for their uniqueness easily.
The fourth root is related to possessing things in the surrounding imagination, the feeling, "I have something." It says, I have a family, a company, wealth, women, power, responsibilities, experiences, etc. The contrary feeling, "I don't have" can also be the basis for the value of the ego. I have no family, therefore possessions can become a dependence to feed my ego just as easily.
These roots are further complemented by deeply rooted instinctive bonds, manifested especially in the desire to maintain one's own life, to continue the family line and to reproduce. These bonds are grown throughout the mind and it is extremely difficult to tame and master them.
All these roots are obviously interconnected and support each other. Each of them seeks justification of its existence in the other roots and rewards them with identical favour. It is very difficult but extremely important to discover all the values that support and reinforce the ego.
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