What does ego mean?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 2211
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by No_Mind »

SteRo wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:20 pm Why should an ego out of that snippet disappear?
I meant spiritual path demands that our ego takes a back seat. Which of the egos mentioned in the snippet should take a backseat?

This is such a basic question but really complicated to understand and answer.

Most of the Dhamma is about taming the ego but we don't even understand what we are taming.

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus
SteRo
Posts: 3549
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:27 am
Location: अ धीः

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by SteRo »

No_Mind wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:27 pm
SteRo wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:20 pm Why should an ego out of that snippet disappear?
I meant spiritual path demands that our ego takes a back seat. Which of the egos mentioned in the snippet should take a backseat?

This is such a basic question but really complicated to understand and answer.

Most of the Dhamma is about taming the ego but we don't even understand what we are taming.

:namaste:
You title reads "What does ego mean?" and I have responded to that question.

Nowhere in the theravada doctrine the term "ego" is used. If you have another path to compare with theravada which speaks of "our ego takes a back seat" then please specify that other path. Otherwise this thread is of no use.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ
User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 2211
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by No_Mind »

SteRo wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:34 pm
No_Mind wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:27 pm
SteRo wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:20 pm Why should an ego out of that snippet disappear?
I meant spiritual path demands that our ego takes a back seat. Which of the egos mentioned in the snippet should take a backseat?

This is such a basic question but really complicated to understand and answer.

Most of the Dhamma is about taming the ego but we don't even understand what we are taming.

:namaste:
You title reads "What does ego mean?" and I have responded to that question.

Nowhere in the theravada doctrine the term "ego" is used. If you have another path to compare with theravada which speaks of "our ego takes a back seat" then please specify that other path. Otherwise this thread is of no use.
My ego thought that most of Buddhism was about dissolving the ego.

Apparently it made a mistake.

But (in further research I found) other Buddhists must have asked it too.

https://tricycle.org/magazine/re-when-y ... etting-go/

Oddly enough through this tete a tete we had, I partly understood what is ego.

An intense desire to toss out your retort with a reply from Sharon Salzberg, Surya Das, Joseph Goldstein .. big names.

I have an idea now about ego. Thanks.

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus
santa100
Posts: 4425
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by santa100 »

No_Mind wrote:Why is the ego always identified with something bad .. and not good .. why is Salvador Dali an egotist but not Mother Teresa (imperfect analogy but I am sort of at a loss for words) .. didn't both of them act from ego?
Because in the case of evil unwholesome action, we can guarantee with 100% certainty that one's ego is always at play. But for good wholesome action? It's not a 100% certainty. Sure, it's possible that a person's intention behind his/her good deeds is "ego-based" (ie. build a good legacy so that his/her name will live forever in history, faith-based belief that one'd attain a better, more refined "ego" with God in heaven, etc.), but it might also very well be the case that that person simply acts out of raw pure loving-kindness, compassion, and from a Buddhist perspective, a concrete implementation of truly letting go of ego.
pegembara
Posts: 1778
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by pegembara »

My query is if I make up my mind to wake up at 5 AM and meditate, to refuse alcohol, to refuse meat, .. why is that not ego? I could as well say I give up my ego .. and I surrender and drink as much as I want ..

Even wanting to be liberated .. or taking few steps in that direction .. browsing DW, listening to Dhamma Talks .. is that not ego too?

Why is the ego always identified with something bad .. and not good .. why is Salvador Dali an egotist but not Mother Teresa (imperfect analogy but I am sort of at a loss for words) .. didn't both of them act from ego?

Can anyone explain the meaning of ego? I am unable to understand one of the most basic terms of Dhamma/Dharma.

Note to mods - I am unsure if this is the right place to put this question but ego or self with small s has a place in Dhammic progress too. Lounge is closed so I did not know where to place this question.

It seems that all of my current problems can be traced back to my ego (it appears I have a lot of it). What is it and how does one get rid of it?
Everything is "ego" or self based. That is the starting position for every person. It is impossible for the self to be rid of itself! Understanding what this self is the first step to its cessation which is not exactly the same as getting rid of it which is ego or self based.
O house-builder, you are seen! You will not build this house again. For your rafters are broken and your ridgepole shattered. My mind has reached the Unconditioned; I have attained the destruction of craving.

Gahakāraka diṭṭho’si puna gehaṃ na kāhasi
Sabbā te phāsukā bhaggā gahakauṭaṃ visaṅkhitaṃ
Visaṅkhāragataṃ cittaṃ taṇhānaṃ khayamajjhagā.

– Dhammapada Verse 154
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
SarathW
Posts: 14734
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by SarathW »

What is the pali word for "ego"?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 3233
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by Coëmgenu »

SarathW wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:32 am What is the pali word for "ego"?
Attā.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
User avatar
Mahabrahma
Posts: 586
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:02 am

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by Mahabrahma »

Is there a Buddhist idea of Superego? :stirthepot:
User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 3233
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by Coëmgenu »

Buddhatva. If you attain buddhatta, you will have an infallible 'superego' which is not your ātma. The way you're using "ego" here especially in the context of "superego" is not really a traditionally Buddhist way to use "ātma" and whatever "superego" would translate as. I suppose this is what the pot-stirring emoticon was for, a bit of levity. Buddhahood is accompanied by perfect morality, so you could use it for "superego." It's not very helpful for non-Buddhas, ordinary persons. "Bodhicitta" could translate "superego" in some senses, but then that's not Theravadin. Either way, the id-ego-superego schema is foreign to Buddhism and is I think of questionable utility within it.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 5114
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by cappuccino »

No_Mind wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:05 pm It seems that all of my current problems can be traced back to my ego … What is it and how does one get rid of it?
that's not the Buddhist teaching


Buddhist teaching has a different approach


you must read the scriptures every day
User avatar
Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
Posts: 1266
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:06 pm

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta »

.

  • "𝓔𝓰𝓸 𝓲𝓼 𝓸𝓷𝓵𝔂 𝓪𝓷 𝓲𝓵𝓵𝓾𝓼𝓲𝓸𝓷"
        • Ven. Buddhadasa (New Life)


  • "𝓔𝓰𝓸 𝓷𝓸𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷 𝓲𝓼
    • 𝓪𝓷 𝓮𝔁𝓽𝓮𝓷𝓼𝓲𝓸𝓷 𝓲𝓷 𝓽𝓱𝓸𝓾𝓰𝓱𝓽 𝓷𝓸𝓽 𝓯𝓪𝓲𝓽𝓱𝓯𝓾𝓵 𝓽𝓸 𝓯𝓪𝓬𝓽𝓼,
    • 𝓫𝓮𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓪 𝓶𝓮𝓷𝓽𝓪𝓵 𝓪𝓫𝓮𝓻𝓻𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷 𝓸𝓯 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝔀𝓸𝓻𝓵𝓭𝓵𝓲𝓷𝓰."
        • Ven. Nanananda (Concept And Reality)




-----------------
no Ego


:heart:
.


🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐

Self ...
  • "an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" :D ~ MN22
User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 5114
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by cappuccino »

no self is a self doctrine


not-self isn't a self doctrine
binocular
Posts: 8292
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by binocular »

No_Mind wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:05 pmWhat does ego mean?
"Ego" is the politically correct word for when people want to criticize someone severely, or just flex their mental masturbatory muscles. Because, like, it's not all that spirishual to call someone a retard or an idiot.
No_Mind wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:23 pmWhy does only frustration, anger .. etc get associated with "lot of ego" and not the rest ..
Because otherwise New Agers can't make money off of gullible, desperate souls.
Unless I understand what is ego and why it is ego how can I tame it?
You can fight fire with fire ... a bigger fire.
No_Mind wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:27 pmWhich of the egos mentioned in the snippet should take a backseat?
"Common sense", duh.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 5114
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by cappuccino »

binocular wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:21 pm Because otherwise, New Agers can't make money off of gullible, desperate souls.
everyone's situation is desperate, including you
binocular
Posts: 8292
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: What does ego mean?

Post by binocular »

cappuccino wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:27 pm
binocular wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:21 pm Because otherwise, New Agers can't make money off of gullible, desperate souls.
everyone's situation is desperate, including you
But not everyone is gullible. And not everyone has money that could be taken from them.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
Post Reply