|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - K
Unit - K01
Lesson K0105: Movement of EGO
By Raja Subramaniyan
Moon reflects the sunlight completely on a full moon day and it completely disappears on a new moon day. Similarly, the EGO is fully functional in waking stage and completely disappears in the deep sleep stage. It goes through various experiences in line with fructifying results of the past actions in the waking stage and dreaming stage.
In deep sleep stage both complete awareness and complete ignorance are present. Complete ignorance is due to absence of mind/ intelligence. Complete awareness is because it is the nature of SELF. That is the reason we could recall that we slept happily and that we did not know anything.
Example: An iceberg has a specific identity even though its mass and shape are continuously changing. When it completely melts, it merges in the sea and the identity is lost temporarily. When the coldness increases it again regains its mass and shape.
We can compare our physical body with the visible part of the iceberg, subtle body with the invisible part and the causal body with the chillness in the water. Both our body and mind are continuously changing but it has an identity. This identity is our EGO. Water of the ocean is ONE and the water content of a specific EGO is the SELF.
Both our physical body and the mind are continuously undergoing change throughout the day. When we go to sleep, first we lose control of physical body and enter the dream stage. The EGO continues experience good or bad events in the dream since mind is still active. The mind also disappears when we enter the deep sleep stage. Since there is nowhere to cling on, the EGO disappears just as a reflection will disappear if the mirror disappears. The original is not affected by the presence or absence of the reflection or reflecting medium. Similarly, SELF continues to be conscious and joyful during the deep sleep.
When it is time for the EGO to undergo the results of the fructifying past actions, we get up from deep sleep just as the iceberg emerging back when the temperature falls down.
From the deep sleep stage we again drift into dream stage for a while before entering the waking stage. Even after coming out of the dream stage, it takes a while for the EGO to take the full shape and claim as the owner of all the actions. When we are woken up from sleep, we will not know what we say or what we do because EGO has not yet assumed the position of the doer. When we wakeup fully the EGO becomes fully functional.
The appearance and disappearance of the EGO shows its illusory nature. SELF is eternal and changeless.
Whether the iceberg is completely solid or completely melted, it is part of the ocean. Its separate identity is an illusion. When we are in deep sleep stage we are aware that we are one with the SELF since we know nothing and we know we enjoyed peaceful sleep. However, when we are awake, we are carried away by the name and form of our body/mind complex and assume the role of doer/ enjoyer of our action.
All our actions are performed with the sole intention of becoming happy. Once we know that clinging on to the non-existent EGO as our selves is the real problem and by nature we are always joyful, we get liberated.
EGO becomes active during the waking state and dissolves completely during the deep sleep state merging with the original SELF. During the waking hours the only job of the EGO is to serve as a tool to convert the unknown object as a known object and not assume the role of doer/ enjoyer.
During deep sleep every living being is equal. There are no fathers, sons, masters and servants. Only such roles bring us misery and during deep sleep we raise beyond all sorrow because the identification with the mask (role) is resolved and we are with our original face. During waking stage also we need to understand that roles are just roles and not bound by them since our original nature is unattached, unbound and infinite.
Our causal body consists of pure consciousness and joy. There is no trace of ego in the causal body. The subtle body, which includes our mind, is in the latent form. We go back to our causal body during deep sleep and therefore we exist in a joyful and conscious state. From the latent form, when the mind comes to the manifested form, it comes with the knowledge of peaceful sleep.
However, we are not able to explain our experience beyond the words, 'I slept peacefully and I knew nothing', because this knowledge is illumined only by the SELF and not by the EGO. All our knowledge in the waking stage is illumined both by the original light and the reflected light and therefore more prominent as explained in the 'children reflecting light on the wall' example in the Module H.
In the waking state EGO identifies with our body, sense organs, action organs, mind and intelligent alternatively depending on the circumstances. However, in the deep sleep state it is dissolved and gets merged with the source.
Example: A child plays with clay by making various articles out of it. At the end of the play all the articles are merged back in to one lump of clay.
Similarly, the name and form appears to be varying identity of the EGO, which assumes various roles and in the deep sleep state it becomes one undifferentiated ONE. Chillness of the ocean cannot be identified with individual iceberg. Similarly, we cannot talk about individual causal body since at causal level everyone is ONE.