I came upon an interesting book "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. After Colin Wilson's The Outsider, this book amazed me. It is thought provoking. The author has introduced the readers to the evolution of ego.
Ego is congolomeration of recurring thought forms and mental emotional patterns that are invested with a sense of I, a sense of self. It is an accumalation of conditioned thoughts.
"I think therefore I am". Said Rene'Descartes 17th centuary philospher. Hence he must be the first that discovered ego. But the philospher did not know then.It is Jean Paul Sarte who looked in to Descarte's statement 'I think" very deeply and realized the true meaning. The consciousness that says "I am" is not the consciousness that thinks. It is a different dimensions of consciousness. It is the awareness that says "I am". If there was nothing but thoughts in you, you would not even know you are thinking.
The author discusses the many forms of the ego. The various roles that ego play- Proud superior being with enormous ego or that of self piting people with inferiority complex and so on. The collective ego of a race, nation, and religion and egos of the conquered people and that of defeated people cause havoc on a nation. These collective egos are responsible for genocide and massacre like world witnessed in Germany as holocaust and Mylai massacre( committed by defeated u.s. army) and as recently in Gujrat.
He tells us how ego manipulates one self. Ego always need to feel superior. You are about to tell someone the news of what happened, "Guess what? you don't know yet? Let me tell you?" If you are alert enough, present enough you may be able to detect a momentry satisfaction with in your self just before imparting the news, even if it is the bad news. It is due to the fact that for a brief moment ther is, in the eyes of the ego, an imbalance in your favour between you and the other person. For a brief moment you knoe more than the other. The satisfaction that you feel is of the ego and it is derived from feeling a strong sense self relative to other person. Even if he or she is the president or the pope, you feel superior that moment because you more.
The author speaks about how old pains and grievences help ego to act as pain body.Our body has its own intelligence. That intelligence reacts to our mind and its thoughts. Emotion is the body's reaction to your thoughts. Various cores of action like conversion of oxyzen and food into energy, the heart beat, circulation of blood and thousands of similiar function are coordinated perfectly by body's intelligence. The intelligence also react to certain conditions like anger, fear,pleasure and so on. The author calls this as instinctive responses also known as emotions.These emotion also arise as a response to thoughts. Sometimes the mind can thought of an event which may be sad or anger or unpleasent. Our body reacts to that emotion which may not be actual. He calls this pain body.
The author also tells us how to free from one self from ego and pain body. We need to awaken. Awakening is awareness. Awareness is being in the present. Presence is the key to all our happiness. This book is worth not only for reading but also for practising. It is a transformational book.