|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - F
Unit - F04
Lesson F0434: Enquiry on the relationship between EGO/Self/ONE
By Raja Subramaniyan
EGO is the literal meaning of the word 'I', which includes our body/mind complex powered by the reflection of ONE. It is like the space reflected in the water.
Self is the real meaning of the word 'I', which is the only reality, ONE. It is like the pot-space.
It is already shown that our body/ mind complex is part of the illusion. The only reality is ONE, which is powering us. We are made up of the combination of ONE and the mortal body/mind complex.
It is our choice to identify ourselves with ONE and be immortal OR remain ignorant of the truth and think that we are the body/mind complex called as EGO.
Statement 67: ONE is the only reality. EGO is an illusion of ONE at the micro level and does not have independent, absolute reality.
The ONE and Self are one and the same. Just like there is no difference between the space inside the pot and space outside the pot, there is no difference between self and ONE. The difference if any is only in the name.
The word Self is used for ONE, when we refer the ONE that is reflected in the body mind complex.
Example: I am in a room where there are many mirrors. Looking at the reflection of my friend in one of the mirror, I tell him to look at me. He has the option of looking at any of my reflection or look at me directly. Whichever reflection he looks at, it is me. Even if he looks at me directly, it is me.
Each of my reflection together with the mirror, since the reflection cannot exist without the mirror, is called EGO. I am the ONE. EGO, which is one of my reflections, is shouting at my friend, "Why are you not looking at me?" In this example, it cannot happen since the reflection does not assume that it is an independent entity. However, in our case, we assume that we are independent of ONE.
ONE is the only reality. Moreover, the very same reality is the true meaning of the word 'Self'. ONE is changeless before creation, during the sustenance of the universe and after resolution. ONE by itself cannot do any function nor can perceive the universe. The very same ONE using the mind/ body of the individual living beings can do the transactions.
There are infinite living beings. Nevertheless, all of them are the reflections of the same ONE. Since there are many reflections, we refer to them by the word 'EGO' and we refer the original as ONE.
Thus, we are all same ONE but due to our ignorance we assume that we function independently without the support of ONE. Mind and body are inert objects.
It may be difficult for us to accept the fact that there are so many different reflections, reflecting the very same ONE. That is the reason we take long time to systematically study the Scriptures for a length of time under a competent live teacher and then reflect on it/ validate it before gaining the knowledge.
Even after gaining the knowledge, the apparent differences in the reflections will continue. The only change will be in our mind. We will no longer give the reality to the world as we used to give prior to gaining the knowledge since we now know that all the living beings are in fact ONE.
Preference Vs Imprints: Repeated actions/thoughts create Imprints in our mind and the Imprints create likes and dislikes, which are called preferences. (Impressions are the recording of our good and bad actions done in the past)
GOD Vs god: GOD is the reflection of ONE together with the reflecting medium (Illusion) and god refers to the normal meaning of the term used by ignorant people which may or may not include ONE depending on the level of ignorance.
EGO Vs ego: EGO is reflection of ONE with body/mind complex and ego is the 'I' thought.
Self Vs self: Self is ONE and self is ONE together with body/mind complex
EGO Vs self: Both are same
ONE Vs Self: Both are same. The word Self is used to refer ONE in an individual
ONE Vs GOD: ONE is the only reality and the macro reflection in the universe is GOD
Self Vs EGO: Self is the only reality and the micro reflection in the body/mind complex is EGO.
GOD Vs EGO: Both are reflections + reflecting mediums. But GOD controls the medium of reflection and EGO is under the control of the medium of reflection.