The Ego

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Śūnyatā
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The Ego

Post by Śūnyatā » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:21 pm

In your own words, how would you define "the ego" (sakkaya-ditthi)?

Gratefully yours,
Śūnyatā
[color=#0000FF]Live in joy, In love, Even among those who hate. Live in joy, In health, Even among the afflicted. Live in joy, In peace, Even among the troubled. Look within. Be still.[/color] — Dhammapada

[color=#0000FF]Being a human being is not an end in itself. It’s only a transition. It can never be a perfect state in itself. It’s merely a convention.[/color] — Luang Por Sumedho

[color=#0000FF]Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.[/color] — Euripides

gendun
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Re: The Ego

Post by gendun » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:49 pm

A couple of points..it may not be useful to translate sakkya-ditthi as "ego".
There is a risk of confusion with western psychoanalytic models.
Secondly it might be useful to think of sakkya-ditthi not as a noun , not as a thing, but as a verb..an action.
Specifically as an act of identification with the kandhas/skandhas.
Gendun P. Brownlow.
Karma Kagyu student.

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rachmiel
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Re: The Ego

Post by rachmiel » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:04 pm

Ego: The web of interactive mind-based reflexes acquired from pre-lifetime (nature) and lifetime (nurture) experiences that, together, generate a sense of individual persistent identity.

Or: A bit of undigested beef.
“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” Frederick Buechner

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m0rl0ck
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Re: The Ego

Post by m0rl0ck » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:13 pm

I would define it as an imaginary construct invented by western psychology. Freud, for gods sake, seriously?
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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rachmiel
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Re: The Ego

Post by rachmiel » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:19 pm

> I would define it as an imaginary construct invented by western psychology.

An imaginary construct with a (faux) life of its own!
“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” Frederick Buechner

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Cittasanto
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Re: The Ego

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:41 pm

Śūnyatā wrote:In your own words, how would you define "the ego" (sakkaya-ditthi)?

Gratefully yours,
Śūnyatā
A combination of parts mistaken for something they are not.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
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Śūnyatā
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Re: The Ego

Post by Śūnyatā » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:34 am

rachmiel wrote:Or: A bit of undigested beef.
I love this analogy! Is this why self-view can give you a bad case of heartburn? :)
[color=#0000FF]Live in joy, In love, Even among those who hate. Live in joy, In health, Even among the afflicted. Live in joy, In peace, Even among the troubled. Look within. Be still.[/color] — Dhammapada

[color=#0000FF]Being a human being is not an end in itself. It’s only a transition. It can never be a perfect state in itself. It’s merely a convention.[/color] — Luang Por Sumedho

[color=#0000FF]Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.[/color] — Euripides

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Jason
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Re: The Ego

Post by Jason » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:17 am

I tend to view our ego or sense of self as the product of a mental process that arises due to the presence of clinging (upadana) in the mind with regard to the five aggregates, a process that acts as a condition for the birth (jati) of the conceit 'I am,' the self-identification that designates a being (satta).
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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