The Ego is the
Even when old and sick, the wise Elder
Khemaka spoke these wise words &
thereby made himself and 60 listening Bhikkhu friends awakened Arahats!
"Friends, I do not speak of 'I Am' as
inside form, nor do I speak of 'I Am'
as outside or apart from form! I do not speak of 'I Am' as within feeling,
nor do I speak of 'I Am' as outside or apart from feeling! I do not speak
of 'I Am' as within experience, nor do I speak of 'my self' as outside or
apart from experience! I do not speak of 'my ego' as being within mental
construction, nor do I speak of 'my self' as outside or apart from mental
construction! I do not speak of 'my ego' as within consciousness, nor do I
speak of 'my self, ego or identity' as outside or apart from consciousness!
Friends, although the concept 'I Am' has not yet been eliminated fully by
me regarding these five clusters of clinging, still I do neither regard any
nor within them as 'This entity is what I am... This is my ego!'
Friends, even though a Noble Disciple has broken the
five minor mental
chains, eliminated the
five lower fetters, still, regarding these
of clinging, there remains in him a residual conceit of conceiving 'I Am',
there lingers a subtle desire for possessing a core ego: 'I Am' and there
hangs on a latent tendency to construing or contriving 'I Am', that has not
yet been uprooted! Sometime later, while he dwells contemplating the rise
and fall of the
5 clusters of clinging:
'Such is form, such is the originating
cause and ceasing of form. Such is feeling,
such is the originating cause &
ceasing of feeling. Such is
perception, the originating cause and
Such is mental construction, such is
the originating cause and
ceasing of mental construction.
Such is consciousness,
such is the initiating
cause of consciousness and
such is its ceasing! As he dwells thus
contemplating the rise & fall in these five clusters of clinging, any residual
conceit 'I Am', any remnant desire to conceive and deposit 'My Ego', and
any latent tendency to construe a fixed and stable identity as 'My Self',
that had not yet been uprooted, becomes uprooted & eliminated completely..."
While the elder
Khemaka spoke these words, he and 60 Bhikkhus awakened!
Source: The Grouped Sayings of the
Buddha. Samyutta Nikāya III [130-1]
The causes produce arising when present, while
ceasing when absent:
Food, ignorance, lust for form, and
kamma causes the body and form.
Contact, ignorance, lust for feeling, and
kamma causes all feeling.
Contact, ignorance, lust for perception, and
causes all perception.
lust for construction,
and kamma causes
ignorance, desire to be and remain conscious,
to emerge, when present, and cease when absent.
No ego, self, soul or identity can ever be found neither within, nor outside
these ever changing and incessantly arising and ceasing transient states...
The best way to
comprehend No-Self (anatta) is to begin with observing
and reflecting on Impermanence (anicca) and Suffering
Then eventually one comes to understand: Whatever is always
and never the same, never identical cannot ever be an identity,
Whatever is always ultimately suffering cannot be under the
control of a self,
since if it were, then this self would by this control change it
pleasant and happy. But no self can do that, since it is not in
If a self is not in control of even itself (fully autonomic) it
cannot be a true self,
but just conditions that plays out their cause and effects...
The Ego Tunnel - Prof. Dr. Thomas
Metzinger TED video:
More on this
deepest self-deception: The conceit that 'I Am' (Asmi-māna):
Without any Ego!