Beyond the Ego
Sometimes I’m wrong. Sometimes, I’m right. When I’m wrong, I tend to get into debates with others to prove my point. And when I’m right, I feel good about being right. That is my ego.
The ego is one of four passions that are the reason for our rebirth. The other three are anger, deceit, and greed.
Deceit and greed are not my thing, never have been, but anger and ego, have been my Achilles heel.
In Jainism, these four passions are known as kashayas — kasha meaning worldly life and aya meaning gain. So, as long as we experience these kashayas (passions), we’ll be in that cycle of birth and death.
Passions are fine as long as they create a loving and caring and happy atmosphere. The problem though is that passions have a way of turning into destructive emotions. Sometimes they make us loving but other times they make us irrational and vicious.
That’s because when we develop attachments towards people, places, and things, we begin to experience love. And since the other side of love is hate, it too comes hand in hand.
We end up developing an affinity for people, places, and things because of a false perception that these really matter to the karma-laden atma. We say things that we don’t always mean in anger, and end up hurting loved ones for no reason other than to appease our ego.
Also, we humans are opportunistic. When we don’t get what we want, when we want it, we feel hurt and we react in a not so nice manner.
It’s the same when we experience anger. We lose our sense of judgement. Anger nourishes revenge and so we forget virtues like love and forgiveness. When we see someone or something standing in the way of the fulfillment of our desires, our ego gets hurt. This makes us angry and irrational, and we end up losing friendships and relationships.
Over hours and hours of introspection (over months and years), I’ve analyzed umpteen situations in which I’ve been in, and found my ego to be the root cause of every single one of my conflicts.
Since the first step towards reform is acceptance, I’ve accepted that my angry words have caused many a hurt. And…