Excerpt About Ego

The Delusion of the Ego View

The habitual way that human beings participate in the dynamism of Being is known as the conventional view. We usually participate in the revelation of reality by being a self that exists on its own, among other selves and other objects in a world of linear time and space. This is commonly known as the ego, or dualistic, perspective. As a view, the ego perspective is neither bad nor a problem. Most nondual teachings consider the ego view delusional; they think that the dual experience of reality is false. But reality does appear as ego experience and, as such, it is only delusional if viewed from the perspective of the nondual. The view of totality recognizes it as simply one of many ways that reality manifests. The real difficulty with the ego view is that it obstructs and closes us to other possibilities of Being. The ego perspective limits the freedom of our nature to respond appropriately to the situations in which we find ourselves. At the center of this conventional view or ordinary philosophy is what we think of as our self. The sense of self is the center or foundation of the ego view—“I am here, and I am in the world, and I perceive things from here, and I act according to my preferences.” Many traditions consider this position to be ignorance or delusion. The delusion of the ego view is in its sense of finality—“This is what reality is and that’s that.” If the ego understood that its view is only one of many ways that reality manifests, then its position would not be a delusion. It’s true that the dual view is one way that reality happens. But believing this one way to be definitive is the delusion of the ego view.

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