Can't stop looking at awakening merely as a solution

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    Being that I am still stuck firmly identifying with the ego, the thought that put me on the path is now the thing most in my way.

    I see enlightenment through the lens of it’s perceived benefits, things  the ego can use to “beat” life. I see it as something I can store away and use when I need to get ahead. I fully understand this way of thinking makes self identification something that belongs in the future that is to be achieved. The reality is that i’m in the present now and the very thought of future achievement is a thought produced by the mind.

    When I attempt to bring my attention to the present it feels more like my ego is focusing on achieving what it wants and I can only make myself quiet within the confines of the ego (if that makes sense).

    When the very act of attempting to be with my self is just the Ego’s attempt to gain the illusion of mastery over it’s environment, what can I do? I understand the process that is in my way but it’s simultaneously acting as my drive towards the act of seeking in the first place


    Hi Nomad (not all who wonder are lost)

    You mention that – the reality is that I’m in the present now… the reality is ‘you’ are always in the present. Its the only place ‘you’ can be. When you imagine the future you are bringing the future into the present.

    Anyway if I understand, your saying that you can only quite your mind when you are focusing on goals and desire for the future? That your intention of meditation and awakening is to get control or this thing you call ego in order to achieve those desires?

    There is a time for everything and this may not be the time worry about process. It may be enough just have started… and being open to learning.

    Perhaps a place to start is to come into relationship with the ego. For many the ego is something we are ‘supposed’ to defeat. Its bad… however the ego plays a important role in becoming. Consciousness is a product of the experience tension. Here is a paradox for you – it takes a person with a healthy ego to detach the sense of self from the ego.  A weak ego will experience any attempt at detachment as trying to kill it and it will engage the ‘id’ to fight back.

    Try to communicate a experience, to yourself or others without using the word ‘I’. You can’t. Notice that the ‘I’ is a construct of language, a symbol that points past it self to something we don’t quite see. Because we can’t see ‘it’ the error we make is mistaking this construct ‘I’ for the Self . We do this by attaching the ‘I’ to experience, emotions, desires, thoughts… we say and believe ‘I am the experience, I am the emotion = identification and attachment of the the construct of ‘I’  to a illusion which becomes ego – the ego believes ‘I am my ego’. It’s a difference getting to experience the emotion of sadness… and defining the ‘I’ as being the emotion of sadness.

    One of the ideas behind meditation is to learn how to observe our thoughts, breathe… in time we notice that the ‘I’ is a constrict, a illusion. As we become mindful of this truth we learn to detach the ‘I’, the ego, from the emotion, thought, experience…  the mind becomes the still point.


    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Peter.

    You might like this guided meditation from Alan Watts


    Hi Nomad,

    I understand where you’re coming from. But the thing is you can’t look at something that which you are – awakened presence.  (Title of the thread -“Can’t stop looking at awakening”). Looking at it will make you something separate from it.

    If you have been trying to bring your attention back to the present moment, then I’m sure you have been following Eckhart Tolle’s teachings. Have you? Have you read any of his book(s)? If yes which one(s)?

    I too have a similar kind of issue so can direct you with something or the other.



    Eckhart has been massively helpful throughout this experience. Thus far I’ve only read the power of now and find myself listening to his speeches more than anything else.


    I’ve had the experience several times now and find myself more afraid of life without an identity right now. Th truth seems scarier than the dream. It’s nice to hear that ego death doesn’t have to be quite as brutal as the name suggests. I’ve identified with a lot of thoughts that have destroyed my life but as I come to realize what the ego is. It was never malicious, it really just tried to protect me my entire life and was never given the proper tools to do so.

    I think I moved forward to this point very quickly and without any instruction.  I believe slowing down and understanding presence right now is going to be really important.

    I’m so glad we have sites like this as we tread through these waters.


    Why does everyone hate the ego? Why does the ego have to die?

    The ego is our defence mechanism to cope with a rather shitty 3rd density world. Without it we become ultra sensitive and get walked on or ridiculed. Take no notice of ‘Spirit’. ‘Spirit’ does not live in a 3rd density world. Spirit is in the process of killing me, or rather, my Ego, which is essentially me and everything I identify with. It seems that the more I ‘trust the process’, to quote the usual psychobabble, the worse it gets and I often hit the drink or the painkillers. (To quote Trampled by Turtles: “I’ve finally found something to hold on to” -Codeine).

    There are people on here who are under a delusion put forward by self-appointed gurus. Ego death IS brutal. Your whole persona is being slowly murdered. I occasionally go into terrible rages, or break down in tears ( all done in private, of course. I don’t want to end up in a mental hospital). I have also self-harmed. The person claiming that ego death doesn t have to be brutal is talking utter nonsense. At times I could have very easily stuck a knife in someone. That’s how bad it can get.

    Best wishes,




    It is an interesting paradox that it takes a strong and healthy ego to detach itself from the Self  and doing so enter the flow of the life/death/life cycle – vice fighting it.  Saying YES to life as it (life lives off life) while remaining fully engaged in life.

    Ego is defined as

    1. a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.
    2. the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.
    3. (in metaphysics) a conscious thinking subject.

    The ego plays an important role in the task of becoming, particularly as the mediator between the conscious and the unconscious. Without the ego it would be very difficult to communicate experience to others or ourselves (definition 2 and 3).

    The problem arises when we attach our sense of Self to the ego (definition 1).  When we do this, we unconsciously attach the self and consciousness to our experiences, thoughts and or emotions.  “I” (which is a construct of language) becomes attached to a sense of identity… I am my experiences, I am my thoughts, I am my emotions, I am my ego… I am a construct of language… and we end up in knots, a plaything of emotions and manipulations.   In stead of a flowing consciousness we have a consciousness that is fixated on a emotion, thoughts, experience and all the pain that that brings.

    In Jungian psychology the word death is associated with the cycle of life the life/death/life cycle so any letting go evolves a kind of dying. We make space for something else to emerge. It is a leap into uncertainty. A part of the ego that we cling is the idea that we can control the life/death/life process that is LIFE.  Letting go of that is scary so we hang on and the more we cling the more we suffer… and the more we cling….  until we let go… Equals “dying” is painful.

    I saw the movie Inside Out over the weekend. It really demonstrates the suffering mind that clings to core memories and personas of the self. Before Riley new sense of self can be established the old sense of self is painfully destroyed but that this was required before the new more mature, perhaps less innocent sense of self could be create.  A process that movie implies is going to happen at every stage of life. Our sense of self is always changing so attaching ourselves to the sense of self (ego) is going to be painful when the time comes when it no longer works for us.

    There is a time for everything including attaching our sense of self to our ego and the language construct “I” (which is mistaking the map for the territory).  As we awaken to the process we develop a healthy sense of self that “knows” when its time to let it go and make room for what comes next.

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