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The world of the ego is like a house of mirrors through which the ego wanders, lost and confused, as it chases the images in one mirror after another. Human life is characterized by endless trials and errors while attempting to escape the maze. At times, for many people—and possibly for most—the world of mirrors becomes a house of horrors that gets worse and worse. The only way out of the circuitous wanderings is through the pursuit of spiritual truth

The world of the ego is like a house of mirrors through which the ego wanders, lost and con-fused, as it chases the images in one mirror after another. Human life is characterized by endless trials and errors while attempting to escape the maze. At times, for many people—and possibly for most—the world of mirrors becomes a house of horrors that gets worse and worse. The only way out of the circuitous wanderings is through the pursuit of spiritual truth.


The process of transcending to the highest levels of enlightenment is one of letting go of the identification of a personal self The belief in an “I” or “me”—a central processing unit that has its own body, mind, and emotions—is a hindrance to realizing one’s true nature. Dr. Hawkins explains that the self (with a small “s”)—the composite of ego and mind—presumes there is a centralized “inner primary causal agent, for example, the ‘doer’ of deeds, the ‘thinker’ of thoughts, and the ‘decider’ of decisions.” We start by exploring the nature of the ego and the mind—the sense of a personal self—so we are better prepared to transcend this misidentification.


Hawkins describes the ego as “the imaginary doer behind thought and action.” This “set of entrenched habits of thought,” enforced by societal consensus and unconscious repetition, creates the illusionary sense of a personal self The primary goal of spiritual work is to transcend the central processing unit believed to be essential for survival. Understanding the ego’s nature reveals its underlying mechanisms so that we may with-draw the value we innocently projected onto it, thereby enabling spiritual progress.

The progress of consciousness is facilitated by an awareness of the evolutionary nature of the ego and its structure.

Realization is a progressive process. Spiritual progress is hastened by understanding the true nature of the ego. It is not an enemy to be attacked or defeated, nor is it an evil to be vanquished. It is dissolved by compassionate understanding.

In spiritual parlance, ego implies a negative quality, an obstacle to realization because of its linear dualistic construction. In psychology, however, the term denotes coping and survival skills needed to deal effectively with the world.

The world of the ego is like a house of mirrors through which the ego wanders, lost and con-fused, as it chases the images in one mirror after another. Human life is characterized by endless trials and errors while attempting to escape the maze. At times, for many people—and possibly for most—the world of mirrors becomes a house of horrors that gets worse and worse. The only way out of the circuitous wanderings is through the pursuit of spiritual truth.

Because the ego is constructed of positionali-ties, it has no option to be anything else except what it is. It therefore becomes an inescapable source of endless suffering and loss. Above all else, it fears the future and the specter of death itself, which is intrinsic to the ego’s structure.

The ego is not an enemy to be subdued, but merely a compilation of unexamined habits of perception.

The ego can be thought of as a set of en-trenched habits of thought, which are the results of entrainment by invisible energy fields that dominate human consciousness. They become reinforced by repetition and by the consensus of society. Further reinforcement comes from lan-guage itself. To think in language is a form of self-programming. The use of the pronoun I as the subject—and therefore the implied cause of all actions—is the most serious error, and automati-cally creates a duality of subject and object.

There is no such thing in reality as an ego; it is merely illusory. It is made up of a compilation of arbitrary points of view supplied by mental processing and powered by feelings and emo-tions. These desires represent the attachments that the Buddha spoke of as the bondage of suf-fering. With absolute humility, the ego dissolves. It is a collection of arbitrary mental processes that gain force only because of vanity and habit. If one lets go of the vanity of thought, it dissolves. All thought is vanity. All opinions are vanities. The pleasure of vanity is therefore the basis of the ego—unplug it and it collapses.

The ego is neither bad nor an enemy, but merely an illusion to release so that something far better can replace it.

The ego is the imaginary doer behind thought and action. Its presence is firmly believed to be necessary and essential for survival. The reason is that the ego’s primary quality is perception, and as such, it is limited by the paradigm of supposed causality.

The ego fears dissolution and therefore resists giving up the illusion of a separate existence in an imaginary “here” and an imaginary “now.” It fears it will dissolve into being nothing, and consequently the conscious awareness will also cease. With examination, it will become clear that one’s reality is not a “who” at all, but instead is an intensely loving Allness, which is realized and known to be much closer and more comfort-ing and fulfilling than the prior sense of “I.”

The ego could be called the central processing and planning center—the integrative, execu-tive, strategic, and tactical focus that orchestrates, copes, sorts, stores, and retrieves.

As we get closer to the discovery of the source of the ego’s tenacity, we make the amazing criti-cal discovery that we are enamored with our self.

The ego secretly “loves” and clings to the position of victimhood and extracts a distorted pleasure and grim justification from pain and suffering.

One mechanism the ego uses to protect itself is to disown the painful data and project it onto the world and others.

The ego is extremely tenacious and therefore often seems to require extreme conditions before it lets go of a positionality. It often takes the collective experience of millions of people over many centuries to learn even what appears to be a simple and obvious truth—namely, that peace is better than war or love is better than hate.

Although the critical level of integrity (level 200 on the Map of Consciousness) is the very threshold of spiritual progress, one can see that due to the structure of the ego, it can be difficult to achieve. The strength of the ego is such that it can be overcome only by spiritual power.

The ego has habitual modes of determining perception. They have to be identified first before they can be disassembled. One has to give up guilt about having an ego.

More important is not the nature of the ego, but the problem of identification with it as the “me,” the “I,” or “myself.” The ego was inherited as an “it,” and is actually an impersonal “it.” The problem arises because one personalizes and iden-tifies with it. That “it” of the ego structure is not unique or individual, and it is relatively similar (with karmic variations) in everyone. What really varies from individual to individual is the degree to which one is enslaved by its programs.

The degree of dominance is therefore determined by the extent to which one identifies with it. Inherently, it has no power, and the power to decline the ego’s programs increases exponentially as one progresses spiritually. That is the real meaning of the Map of Consciousness. What the majority of people think to be truth is, in reality, opinions.

From a greater context, we can view that the ego is not “evil,” but is primarily a self-interested animal. Unless the “animal self” is understood and accepted, its influence cannot be diminished.

Curiously, the ego’s hold is weakened by acceptance, familiarity, and compassionate un-derstanding; in contrast, it is reinforced by self-criticism, condemnation, fear, and shame.

Temptation stems from within; it is merely the desire to experience the ego’s payoff and sat-isfactions of an impulse, even if it is only a curios-ity or a wanting.

It is well to keep in mind at all times that the ego/mind does not experience the world, but only its own perception of it.

The ego is not the real “you”; it was inherited as part of being born a human. It basically origi-nates from the animal world, and the evolution of consciousness happened through the primitive stages of mankind’s evolution, so it could be said that to seek enlightenment is to recapitulate the history of human evolution.

The ego is a set of programs in which reason operates through a complex, multilayered series of algorithms wherein thought follows certain decision trees that are variously weighted by past experience, indoctrination, and social forces; it is therefore not a self-created condition. The instinctual drive is attached to the programs, thereby causing physiological processes to come into play.

The ego gets a grim pleasure and satisfaction from suffering and all the levels lacking integrity: pride, anger, desire, guilt, shame, and grief. The secret pleasure of suffering is addictive. Many people devote their entire lives to it and encour-age others to follow suit. To stop this mechanism, the pleasure of the payoff has to be identified and willingly surrendered to God. Out of shame, the ego blocks out conscious awareness of Its machinations, especially the secretiveness of the game of “victim.”

Q: The programs of the ego do not continue un-less they are secretly pleasurable?

A: That is the secret about secrets. The payoff is a gain of a pleasurably satisfying reward. The ego has learned to be very clever in order to sur-vive. It is capable of resorting to any lengths or ruse of self-deception and camouflage. The world we witness is merely the drama of the collective egos acting out on the perceptual stage of form and time.

The satisfactions of the ego are more plea-surable and addictive than the preservation of human life, much less dignity.

By commitment to inner honesty, it will be-come apparent that the underpinning of the ego’s responses is the pleasure that is derived from them. There is an inner satisfaction that is the payoff of self-pity, anger, rage, hate, pride, guilt, fear, and so on. This inner pleasure, as morbid as it may sound, energizes and propagates all these emotions. To undo their influence, it is merely necessary to be willing to forgo and surrender these questionable, inner secret pleasures to God and look only to God for joy, pleasure, and happiness.

To undo the ego, one must be willing to abandon this payoff game, with its grandstand-ing of emotions and repetitive rehashing of data and stories to justify its positions. One will note that the ego milks every wrong and that it has no greater pleasure than to indulge in “righteous indignation.” It just “loves” that juicy positionality that has such a great payoff.

The ego’s addiction and survival are based on the secret pleasure of negativity, which cannot be abandoned until it is first recognized, identified, and owned without shame or guilt. One has to see that this is just how the ego—which everyone inherits—operates, and recognize that it is not really personal at all.

To the ego, abandoning the self-reward dy-namic is looked upon as a loss. The ego does not trust God and thereby thinks it has only itself to turn to for sustenance, survival, and pleasure. The ego has faith in its own mechanisms and not in God. It should not be faulted for this error because it has no experiential basis for comparison. Its only way out is with faith that there is a better way. It hears a spiritual truth and begins to search for it when the mind becomes disillusioned with its own fallacies and failure to achieve happiness. It finally realizes that the grim satisfaction it squeezes out of pain is a poor substitute for joy.

To the ego, gains lie without; to the spirit, they are internal, for the ever-present joy of ex-istence is independent of content or form. To the spirit, a sunny day or a rainy day are the same. Awareness enjoys qualities rather than grasping at form. Thus, it can enjoy “being with,” with-out having to own or control. Awareness is not driven by goals but instead values the capacity for equal pleasure in all circumstances.

The ego’s rigidity and resistance to correc-tion are based on narcissistic egotism, pride, and vanity. The collective egos of whole nations bring about their downfall and destruction.

The ego is not only unable to correctly assess situations that are fatal, but it even willingly sacrifices life for its own ends. The ego is there-fore potentially deadly and would rather “see you dead” than admit it is wrong.

The ego conceals, whereas awareness reveals. The answer to many defective ego positions could be subsumed in the commonly overlooked sanity of “common sense.”

At the higher levels, the ego is seen to be an illusion, without any innate reality.

At its roots, the ego is the extreme of self-ishness and is completely lacking in all ethical principles.

The ego is a victim of itself. With rigorous introspection, it will be discovered that the ego is really just “running a racket” for its own fun and games and survival. The real “you” is actu-ally the loser.

The ego clings to emotionality, which is in-timately connected with its positionalities; it pre-tends to think that it has no other choices. To “surrender to God” means to stop looking to the ego for solace and thrills and to discover the endless, serene joy of peace. To look within is to find the underlying, ever-present source of the illumi-nation of the mind itself.

The ego defends its own limitations with prideful denial, thus becoming its own victim.

From a developmental analysis, which utilizes consciousness-research techniques, it appears that the human ego itself is primarily the product and continuation of the presence of the survival core of the animal evolution.

In contrast to the innate arrogance of the ego, true intelligence is a quality of consciousness/ awareness and is not subject to attack because its essence is nonlinear. It is, however, utilized by the ego in its expression as mind, which then be-comes and subserves the ego’s drive for survival. Thus, the ego really uses the mind as camouflage and becomes hidden in its clever constructions. This recognition clarifies why the ego’s masquerade as religion and the undermining of spiritual truths have been central to its domination of large cultures.

The persistence of the primitive ego in man is referred to as the narcissistic core of “egotism,” which, at calibration levels below 200 (the critical level of integrity), indicates the persistence of the primitiveness of self-interest, disregard for the rights of others, and seeing others as enemies and competitors rather than as allies. There is noth-ing deadlier than the religionized ego.

While the ego/self routinely takes credit for survival, its true source is the presence of Divinity as Self. It is only because of the Self that the ego is capable of being self-sustaining. It is just a recipient of life energy and not its origin, as it believes.

The ego is the main hero in the inner movie of one’s life.

The clever ego expresses its inner grandiosity by seeking to replace Divinity by declaring itself to be God (or Nero, Caesar, and so on), or claiming special Divine authority by its declaration that it is Divinely ordained and therefore authorized.

Ego positions have the characteristics of dis-owning responsibility and placing blame “out there.” In the end, the ego’s payoff is the en-ergy by which the ego persists, because it lacks the pleasure of the input of spiritual energy. The ego’s payoff is its substitute for Divinity; thus, it maintains its sovereignty and is convincing in its secret, silent belief that it is the source of one’s life itself—that is, that it is God.

On its own, the ego would never seek salvation … the mechanism for salvation is via the will, which invites the intervention of Divinity.

To the ego, a “want” is interpreted as a “need” and a “have to have.” Thus, its seeking can be-come frantic, and all caution can be thrown to the wind. Desires are thereby escalated to being desperate and demanding any sacrifice, including even the deaths of millions of other people. It must have what it wants at any cost and will find many excuses to justify itself. It gets rid of reason with clever rhetoric bolstered by blame and demonizes others, for the ego has to win at all costs—because throughout millions of years of evolution, it did die if it did not get its wants and needs fulfilled. The ego has a long, long memory and millions of years of reinforcement.

The ego structure is dualistic and splits the unity of Reality into contrasting pairs and seeming opposites that are therefore the product and content of perception, which consists of projections.

The ego’s position propagates itself because its secretly sought payoff is the emotion itself.

The inflated ego is devoid of reality testing as well as amelioration by reason, logic, or rationality.

Addiction to the ego’s proclivities is like in-toxication where pleasure is derived from the emotional payoff of negativity. Thus, negative positionalities tend to be self-perpetuating habits akin to addiction, based on presumptions and the inner seductive lure of the gratification of basic animal instincts. By repetition, they eventually gain dominance and control, which is the innate purpose of the narcissistic ego in the first place.

The levels below calibration level 200 (the critical level of integrity) tend to be self-propagating because of the seductive emotional pleasure of the ego’s animal-instinct payoff.

The ego is oriented toward specifics and the linear content of the field of vision. Its effect on vision itself is exclusive and limited in order to focus primarily on the near side of objects (so as to facilitate manipulation). Spirit is oriented to-ward context and the whole, and is thus inclusive and focused on the far side of objects. Its field is diffuse rather than local.

In ordinary life, the ego/mind goes from “unfinished” to “finished,” and then from “in-complete” to “complete.” In contrast, the spiritual pathway is a direction and style that goes from complete to complete as evolutionary states of emergence. Ego positions are interactive and usually represent a composite. For example, to disassemble anger may require the willingness to surrender the pride that underlies that anger, which in turn depends on surrendering a desire.

This means surrendering the fear that energized the desire, which again is related to the undoing of imaginary loss, and so forth. Motivations are thus intertwined and mutu-ally interactive, and operationally surrendering them leads to the next levels, which are com-prised of dualities. Thus, the deeper layers tend to surface one’s belief about God, programmed spiritual expectations, and belief systems. Spiritual work is therefore a matter of exploration that transcends mental concepts, such as those of cause and effect.

The ego’s survival relies on the defeat of truth because it is dependent on allegiance to falsity. For one thing, spiritual truth challenges the ego’s presumption that it is sovereign. The ego is addicted to being “right” (for ex-ample, politics). A prevailing goal of the ego is to be “right.” Therefore, it is the core of the payoff of righteousness. You can be right without being righteous, and you can be righteous without being right.

The ego is focused on one point, the experi-encer, which is programmed to seek pleasure and survival through gain. It views happiness as something one acquires, possesses, and incorporates. Therefore, the experiencer is programmed to “get.” The experiencer’s function is to get pleasure and possess it. It is not concerned with the soul unless it fortuitously becomes spiritually oriented. Then its goals shift, and it discovers that the source of pleasure is completely within.

When it is discovered that the source of ongoing pleasure is the Self (and not the small self), the result is independence from the world. Gratification of the ego’s desires is within the linear domain. True happiness arises from the nonlinear. With relinquishment of dependence on the experiencer for pleasure and happiness, one discovers that the source of happiness is one’s own existence, and the realization of the Self is happiness itself.

Notice that the experiencer aspect of the ego is constantly poised to derive benefit from the witnessed phenomena, even if it is only to con-firm its own reality as being the “you” of the ever-presumptuous personal “I.” The ego is reluctant to accept that the unfolding of sequential phenomena is autonomous and impersonal. It is poised to jump in to impose a feeling, which in turn is always the expression of an ego viewpoint or positionality, such as an opinion, or at least an order to declare itself to be primordially essential to one’s identity and sense of reality. To cease identifying the experiencer as the reality of oneself is a major transition from dualistic content to nondualistic context, and therefore, from self to Self.

The ego is not the actual reality or source of life or existence, and is therefore vulnerable to dissolution. It is primordial but not essentially sovereign. It is dominant only until its illusory quality is recognized.

The body itself is actually not experienced; instead, only the sensations of the body are ex-perienced. Therefore, awareness of the body is merely a composite sensation by which the so-matic area of the brain records input, and by neu-ronal function, replicates the body image.

The attachment to the body is to sensa-tion and the superimposition of the concept of “mine”; what is “mine” and is controlled by “me” must therefore be “who I am.” Identification with the body is consequent to the ego’s positionali-ties. To detach from identification of the self as the body, it is necessary only to see the body as an “it” rather than a “me.”

The sense of “who” we are is primarily an identification with the body, the personality, and its mental processing, with accompanying emotional investment. One can do an internal mental imaging process to see how much of the body or its sensations could actually be lost and yet have the self retain a sense of “I.” It becomes clear that the experiential “I” has a body but is not a body.

The narcissistic core of the ego is aligned with being “right,” whether being “right” means being in agreement with wisdom or rejecting it as invalid. With humility, the serious searcher dis-covers that the mind alone, despite its education, is unable to resolve the dilemma of how to as-certain and validate truth—which would require confirmation by subjective experience as well as objective, provable criteria.

There is a secret payoff and satisfaction in being the victim, martyr, or loser.

As Freud discovered, out of guilt the animal nature of man becomes repressed and then projected onto others, or onto a deity that purportedly has the same character defects as man. Historically, man paradoxically fears his own projections and confuses Divinity with the repressed dark side of his own nature. The ego is dissolved not by denunciation or self-hatred, which are expressions of the ego, but by benign and nonmoralistic acceptance and compassion that arises out of understanding its intrinsic na-ture and origin.

It is well to remember that the human psyche is like the hardware of a computer, which inno-cently accepts any software with which it has been programmed. This was stated by Socrates as “all wrongdoing is involuntary, for man always chooses what he believes to be for his good.”

Man is merely mistaken in what is really the source of goodness and happiness and thus mistakenly chooses externals (illusions) instead of Truth. In-stead of vilifying the ego—and indulging in guilt, shame, and self-hatred—it is far more productive to accept it for what it is, appreciate its historic value, and adopt it as one would a naïve pet.

We can accept that the ego is, “of course,” desirous of gain, advantage, greed, and the like. By simply expecting it to be as it is, its nature can be accepted and then transcended. The ego just does what it has been trained to do over the millennia, and it still thinks that its survival de-pends on adherence to, and the practice of, its programs.

Because of evolution, these programs have now become the anti-thesis of the intentions of the ethical person of today or of the serious spiritual seeker. In approaching the ego, it is well to remem-ber that it feeds off of, and is seduced by, the en-ergy of the negativity of pain, suffering, hate, and guilt—to which it then gets attached (addicted).

It secretly nurtures the “juice” it gets from being the martyr or the victim; and it loves hatred, being “right,” and revenge. The consciousness level of the ego is based on the utilization of the qualities of force, whether they are emotional, in-tellectual, or physical. The undoing of the ego, consequently, is not by the utilization of moralistic or emotional counterforce but by use of the power of Truth itself.

⦁ Enlightment is the only way to exit the Archon Matrix Mankind is trapped within/imprisoned within

⦁ “Enlightenment is ego’s ultimate disappointment.” Buddhist Quotes

⦁ “The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.”

⦁ “Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside”

⦁ “One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.”

Peter Horttanainen

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