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Ego Loss Is Not Enlightenment
Paddy: Hi, James. My name is Paddy O’Brian and I live in Ireland. I have just recently discovered your website and have begun study of the source texts that you offer. I discovered your website at exactly the right time. I have been searching from very young, I have been to India many times and have been doing Zen and Tibetan Buddhist meditation for a long time. I always move on, I am quite restless by nature. Then I discovered the non-dual Neo-Advaita world, and travelled to Roger Linden in London regularly. Soon enough I got my longed-for experiences and then I dropped away and there was a lot of joy. After about six months the problems started coming and I descended in to the darkest time of my life. I began living moment to moment in such suffering that I felt I was going to lose my mind and go crazy at any moment. I started to admit that liberation hadn’t actually come about. I worked hard to pull out of the dark times and about three months ago while painting I had an experience of dropping a lot of shit away and I felt a level of freedom. I sit in meditation for about two hours a day and spend time in study of the source texts. I know I will go to great lengths to realise the self and have always burned with this desire. I feel I would like to come on retreat with you sometime in the near future, so the money just needs to appear from somewhere.
I don’t have any burning questions and the sense of “I am” is obvious at this time, but I long to build a traditional foundation and clarify the experiences of awakening that I have had. Thank you.
James: Dear Paddy, very nice to hear from you. I enjoyed your story. Yes, ego loss is not enlightenment. It is unfortunate that it is equated with enlightenment. The self is the self with or without the ego. Anything that goes will eventually return in one form or another but you, the self, neither come or go. Enlightenment is hard and fast self-knowledge. The ego does not obstruct it. Obviously you are doing good inquiry if things are dropping away. Keep the karma yoga attitude toward everything that happens. It will insulate you from the emotional swings. I hope that you can attend some of my talks. It would be very nice to meet you.
~ All the best, James