The concept of ego. The Buddhist view of the human person.
Modern Western psychology says that ego is a part of the human person who is in contact with the outside world through its perception. In the East, this concept has a wider structure rooted in the antiquity. According to some Buddhist treatises, ego is a mechanism of separating a person from the Universe with the aim of passing through certain life situations, extracting from them the experience necessary for each specific person and the subsequent universal self-improvement.
It follows from the same teaching that the Universe is a single and whole organism, falling at a certain moment into many separate personalities, through which it improves itself as a whole according to the following principle: “when every drop is improving, the whole ocean is improving as well”. It is the ego that allows each person being self-aware as an individual.
The rejection of ego, in turn, leads to the merging, or rather the dissolution of self in the entire Universe, which is an ultimate, though not the main goal of human self-improvement.
However, despite the endless process of self-improvement, ego can go in the opposite direction – along the path of degradation and self-destruction. This happens when a person inflates his own ego to unimaginable size, when he no longer wants to consider himself only a part of the Universe, when his ego tells that he is the center of this Universe. Such a consciousness turned inside out serves as the basis for the appearance of evil in the world, because evil is born where a person who has forgotten his true self in the process of receiving pleasure at any cost begins to infringe and humiliate other people, as if fed by their strength, to prolong his selfish celebration of life, the main principle of which is the principle of “taking everything from life”.
At the end of this article, it is essential to emphasize that it is the ego that prevents people from perceiving themselves and the world where they live, as a whole, without looking for flaws or ideals in it, just being content with life and enjoying every day in harmony with the whole Universe.
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