Does Ego Exist? An Exploration

We can use our conclusions from yesterday’s post to provide us with “the coordinates” we need in order to ascertain whether ego exists. Those coordinates are: direct experience and awareness.

What Is There?

For now, let’s say that “what there is” is direct experience (that is, whatever is arising right now) as well as awareness (which is rather like a space in which direct experience X is occurring).

Is There an Ego?

Our “logic” or “set of coordinates” can make short work of this question. If ego exists, then it must be (i) exactly the same as a direct experience or (ii) totally different from a direct experience.

Concerning (i): can you find an ego inside of a direct experience like a thought, a feeling, or a sensation? The answer is no: what you find is only the thought, or the feeling, or the sensation. That is, you find a tautology only: a thought is a thought, a feeling is a feeling, a sensation a sensation, etc. No ego entity identifiable.

Concerning (ii): can you find an ego outside of a direct experience? Answer: no. What you find is only awareness or “the space” of awareness. Check this.

But (i) and (ii) exhaust the universe of logical possibilities. Therefore, the ego does not exist.

Further Passes

Because the ego-illusion is sticky, especially in the cases of emotional contractions and physical tensions, we’ll need to take further passes at this question in order to arrive at the same conclusion. For now, let’s see whether this understanding loosens the grip on the belief that the ego exists.