Most minds cannot understand about the teaching and practice of yoga about the annihilation of the ego, or be free from the idea of ‘I’.
It’s beyond the logical thinking of many minds/people about the practice of annihilating the ego, or the idea of ‘I’. This is because the thinking itself is the identification of ‘I’. The thinking/The identification of ‘I’ can’t go beyond what is beyond the thinking or the identification of ‘I’. And hence, there’s a thinking/thought/idea/belief of “I am existing.” that leads to the doubt of “How come the teachings of yoga talk about ‘selflessness’, that there’s no ‘I’?”
Some people think and understand that the annihilation of the ego means “I don’t have an ego.” by thinking that there is an ‘I’ existing being aware of the absence of the ego, and thus, “I am being free from the ego or without the ego.” Then what is that ‘I’ that thinks itself doesn’t have an ego?
The ‘I’ is the ego. As long as there’s an idea of ‘I’, or an identity of a being existing as ‘I’, thinking that “I don’t have an ego.” this mind is not free.
The ego is the identity/idea of ‘I’ in the mind as a form of thinking/thought/belief/idea/part of the memories. The annihilation of the ego is the annihilation of ‘I’. There is no ‘I’ existing. And hence, there is no “I am free from the ego.” or “I am a being without the ego.”
The ego, or the idea of ‘I’ exists in the form of thinking/thought as an individual being experiencing life through a body and a mind, perceiving all the names and forms through the sense organs, being the performer of actions and the receiver/enjoyer of the fruit of actions, attaching onto and identifying with particular family and educational background/culture/religion/social group/spiritual or non-spiritual thinking and belief, being proud of certain qualities, abilities and possessions, thinking and not thinking, knowing and not knowing, believing and not believing, remembering and forgetting, feeling and sensing, desiring and non-desiring, growing and learning, acting and reacting, discriminating, judging and expecting, being peaceful and peaceless, to love and be loved, building a life and relationships, procreating, changing, decaying and dying.
The idea of ‘I’ is just a thinking/thought/idea/belief. The idea of ‘I’, or the ego, merely ‘existing’ as a stream of thinking/thoughts, or a continuous thought out of ceaseless thoughts arising and passing away. Under the function of the memory there is remembrance or acknowledgement of an ‘I’, being born, growing, experiencing, learning, feeling, sensing, acting, aspiring, inspiring, enjoying, suffering, changing, decaying and dying. If there’s no remembrance of certain parts of the existence and function of the body and mind, there’s no ‘I’ in those ‘blankness’. There’s no ‘I’ in Silence, or in the absence of the modification of mind/thought-current/thought activities.
People say, “I was happy or unhappy. I was good or bad. I enjoyed or suffered.” Even in this present moment, this ‘I’ is no longer the ‘I’ a moment ago. Mere countless thoughts generate countless ideas of the ever changing impermanent ‘I’ in different states/forms, of countless ‘births’ and ‘deaths’ of countless ‘I’.
Who/what is this ‘I’, if there’s no function of memory or the ability of remembering the countless thoughts that arising and passing away ceaselessly? Even though there is remembrance of certain thoughts throughout the day, not to say, weeks/months/years, it’s only a small part of all the thoughts arising and passing away, of the stronger imprints. And hence, why still holding onto all the past memories of good and bad/happy and unhappy past experiences (even the remembrance of the last moment) to be who/what ‘I’ am? While continuing to feel disturbed, or angry, or hating, or hurt, or disappointed by the past experiences that was unpleasant or not the way that ‘the thinking’ would like it to be, or feel sad and missing something that was pleasant and the way that ‘the thinking’ liked it to be, but is no longer available in this present moment. Continuously thinking that “I am hurt and in painful sorrow.” and “I need to be healed from hurt and be free from painful sorrow.” or “I am missing someone or something.”
The body and the mind is impermanent and selfless. The body and the mind is not ‘I’. There’s no ‘I’ in the body and mind to be in control or claim possession/ownership of the impermanent existence of the body and mind.
It’s like when the body suffered from an injury and there is a wound or scar due to the injury. But the body is not ‘I’. The body is impermanent and the wound/scar is impermanent, and it’s not “I suffered an injury, or I have a wound/scar due to an injury.”
It’s the same as the thinking mind. If the thinking mind is not free from ignorance and the ego, and the ignorant egoistic mind feels hurt by hurtful experiences. But the mind is not ‘I’. The mind is impermanent and the hurtful feeling is impermanent, and it’s not “I feel hurt by hurtful experiences.”
Whether we like it, or not, and agree with it, or not, the teachings and practice of yoga is all about the annihilation of the ego, or the idea of ‘I’.
But how to be free from the idea of ‘I’ or how to eliminate the ego?
Since the ego is just a thinking/thought/idea/belief, it’s not real or it doesn’t exist at all. It’s the egoism being the by-product of the modification of the mind under the influence of ignorance that ‘create’ or ‘generate’ the existence of the ego, or ‘I’, and making the ‘I’ seems ‘real’ and ‘existing’. And so, to annihilate the ego, is about freeing the mind from egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation. This is the part of the yoga practice that many minds think and feel “It’s difficult.”
Once egoism is absent/annihilated, the mind is just what it is. The mind is neither good nor bad. Life existence is neither good nor bad. All kinds of experiences are neither good nor bad.
There’s no ‘I’ being there to assert wants and don’t wants, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, and experiencing happiness/unhappiness, hurt, dissatisfaction, disappointment, greed, painful sorrow, offensiveness, defensiveness, agitation, depression, hostility, anger, hatred, fear and worry.
It’s all in the present moment, depending on whether egoism is present or absent in the mind. It’s neither easy nor difficult. It’s not something to be attained in the future after certain years or certain amount of yoga practice. The future doesn’t exist. There’s no guarantee that the ego will be annihilated after certain years and certain amount of yoga practice. But in this very moment, the only existence, whether the mind is free/not free from ignorance and egoism that generate the existence of an identity of ‘I’ being here to enjoy or suffer.
More important is that, there’s no ‘I’ being there to annihilate egoism from the mind. There’s no ‘I’ am performing yoga practice of purifying the mind and freeing the mind from the ego. There’s no ‘I’ am free or not free from egoism, or the ego. There’s no ‘I’ am practicing yoga or meditation. There’s no ‘I’ am good or bad. There’s no ‘I’ am suffering or ‘I’ am free from suffering. There’s no ‘I’ am selfish or ‘I’ am unselfish. There’s no ‘I’ am selfless. There’s no ‘I’ in attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness.
It’s just the mind purifying itself out of awareness, being aware of the consequences of egoism and be persevered to let go egoism of attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation. It’s the mind/the thinking being free or not free from ignorance and egoism.