The Ego and Context

Can I see myself out of any context ? Can I just exist ? without contextualizing my existence ? I have been battling this question over the last few days and would welcome comments.

I am a father. A film maker. A man. A human being. I am one person for one moment and another the next. I am good and bad in the same moment, indeed good and bad at the same time in the same context ! But every thing that I am, is contextualized by something else. Every thought I have is contextualized by something else. Even a thought cannot exist on it’s own.
Try it. Think of yourself and then try and remove all context. Not possible is it ? You always think of yourself in relationship to something else. Even when u say “I love”, which are probably the two most powerful words in the universe, there is a context who or what you love, however enormous your love may be.
So when those that have immense Wisdom say “I am”. Just those two words “I am”, surely they are talking about an existence without context ? Because if Buddha talked about ‘formlesness” and ‘Shunyata’, surely He was talking about an existence without contextualizing that existence. How can infinity have a context ? How could timelesness have a context ? How could shunyata have a context ? Non Infinity ? Non Shunyata ? Non timelesness ? Doesn’t make sense.
How weak the Ego is then, how weak our induviduality is then, when we exist only in the imagined context of something else. And we live our whole lives based on imagined contexts ?
How do we get to a life without context ? Is that what consciousness means ?
So I realize how weak the Ego is. It has absolutely no value without Context.

13 thoughts on “The Ego and Context

  1. “Can I just exist ? without contextualizing my existence ?”
    We are a part of the whole. How can the part exist without the whole?
    “How do we get to a life without context ? Is that what consciousness means ?”
    Consciousness is when we realize that we are a part of the whole. When we realize that we are not separate from the context. The ego dies the moment we realize this.

  2. Shekhar:
    I’m not sure of the infinity. I’m not that well-read atleast.
    However at the lower level, I’m wondering now, does context exist in itself without you/me. I see it as interdependence. I guess in the huge void of ego, we see our own growth when we feel that the context doesn’t exist without us. On the flip side, we fall down the slide of depression when we see that we cannot exist without context (even worse, context can exist without us). In that sense yes, our ego is weak.
    But I don’t think ego is that bad either. Had it not been ego, Buddha wouldn’t have challenged himself to extremes, to know the ultimate truth. I’m not pushing to the results of his realization, but I do give credit to his ego, that set him to the wilderness of self realization.
    Maybe I’m (not sure if it’s correct anymore to address myself this way) re stating what you have already mentioned, but did feel like sharing this thought.

  3. I have always looked at the ego and context as a relationship between thought and memory, and touch on it in my post, Descartes’ First Meditation
    For me a state without context or memory, is like that of a man who has lost his memory, and with it the ability to have any new memory. A great example is the man with the 7 second memory. There might be a certain sensation to be felt by being in a state of void or no memory, but I am not convinced it’s a state one want’s to be in forever.
    Memory is everything, our whole identity, and life runs on memory, and to not have it at all, might be just to realize how valuable it is.

  4. the ego may very well be weak, however, it seems to be everywhere as far as context is present, in our minds?
    I was going to comment on the topic, then I thought and then…ego, and then I changed my mind, and then I think I should just be “quiet”

  5. dear sir,
    in my opinion contexts are as real as we are…i believe that at the end of the day we all are like the wind weightless free and made only of peace…as u said our individuality is based on contexts…on earth ‘i am’…bound by my human form ‘i am’…but the only truth is ‘we are’…we are all part of the same being…we are all the same…different only down here on earth…defined by our actions…
    i also believe the ego is really strong…it is our drive…what pushes us to action…
    (this is what i believe and well i don’t know if i understand but i have a long way to go and alot to explore)

  6. dear sir,
    i am a media student and i have been given an assignment in which i have to shoot a documentary focusing on india’s unity in diversity and since it has to be different my group and i have decided to focus on the cultural aspect including theatre, dance and music with the concept that though people of all walks of life are in to the various forms of each of the above they are all bound by one emotion and one emotion alone that is their passion…sir if it isn’t too much to ask i request you to please give me your take on the subject so that i could include it in our assignment…

  7. ( HI SHEKHAR,READ THIS.IT IS NOT MINE.MAY ANSWER YOUR QUSTION—RAJ GOSWAMI) To me, the “I” is a first person, singular pronoun. I discovered this when I was very young. Other than that, I do not think there is any such thing as “I”, or Self, or all the words we use for this.There is no way you can separate yourself from this living organism, other than through the concepts or ideas that have been put into you. The only way you can separate yourself from whatever you call yourself; the “I” or the Self or the Atman, is only when you use knowledge. Otherwise, you have no way of separating yourself from what you call “you”, “I”. I do use “I”, I do use “my” sometimes; “my” daughter when I introduce her, or “my” sister. My wife has been dead for 35 years , so there is no need for me to say that that is “my” wife. But actually, I have no relationship whatsoever with “my” daughter or the person I am introducing as “my” friend. The only way I can separate myself and look at myself is when I use the knowledge about the Self, the “I”, or the Atman or whatever it is. So that knowledge is put in here, in the computer, in the data bank or memory bank by culture or the society. Other than that, I don’t think I have any idea as to who the hell am I, if I may use that word.There is no inside and outside. The only way I can separate myself from you is through the knowledge I have about you. I never tell myself that you are wearing blue jeans. I know they are blue jeans. The moment I say that “they are blue jeans”, the knowledge I have about blue jeans is no longer there. So, I cannot say that I don’t know anything. When I say that “I know that that is blue, and the sky is bright”, then I am back again in the same situation, which is that I really don’t know what I am looking at. I never tell myself that “it is bright outside”. Never. And if you asked me, I would say, “it is bright and sunny and it is very warm”. All the information that is there, inside is brought out by your question. I never tell myself that “it is bright”, or I never tell myself that “it is dark”, but I don’t say for one moment “I do not know”. I know.So, there is no way I can separate myself from what is happening out there and what is happening inside. If there is no separateness from what you are looking at, there is no way you can tell yourself what is happening outside or what is happening inside. There is no inside and outside there. The physical eye does not look at that as “white”, or never does it say “it is dark”. The sensory perceptions do not translate anything whatsoever about what is happening out there or inside of me. So, there is no way I can separate myself from what I am looking at, out there, or inside of me. I can say that “this is me”, “this is not me”, “I am happy”, “I am unhappy”, “I am greedy”, “I am not greedy”, “I am jealous”, “I am not jealous”. They have no meaning at all to me.Q : So, do you not have any identification with things that happen in your everyday life?U. G. : No, I don’t like to use the word identification. I never translate that within the framework of the knowledge I have. The need arises only when there is a demand from outside. They are never self-initiated at all. It’s an automatic thing. For some reason, the space between the cause and effect relationship doesn’t operate all the time. So, when there is a demand, then I can say that that is probably the cause of this and this is the result of that cause, but actually there is no space between cause and effect. So the instrument which we use, that is, thinking, or even thoughts, are born out of the cause and effect relationship and there is no way you can understand anything without creating the space between the cause and effect.For example, death itself is a concept. The body does not know that it is alive at this moment and you are not there to preside over your own death. So, for all practical purposes, there is no way I can tell myself that I am living, that I am alive. If you ask me the question, “Are you alive or are you dead?”, I would certainly say that, “I am alive.” Why I say “I’m alive”, is because of what I’m taught by the physiologists and what the doctors tell us. I am able to talk and respond and so because of that, they conclude that I am a living being. That is the common knowledge that is passed onto us, but there is no way that I can experience the fact, that this is a living organism. No way. So, when it is dead, all the knowledge that we have has to come to an end.We are only interested in one thing: “How?”. Everyone asks the question “How?”. “How” should be eliminated from all languages! “How?” means you want to know. By knowing more and more, you have maintained the continuity of this knowledge. So, you don’t want that to come to an end, you see. We know a lot, but at the same time we are all the time asking this question, “How?”

  8. I have heard Swami Sukhabodananda of Bangalore mention in one of his lecture sessions at Ahmedabad Management Association that when one has EGO he EDGES GOD OUT (read the first letters).
    Everybody can achieve happiness, whereas very few enjoy BLISS (Ananda as it is called) was his comment. To achieve Ananda, you need to have fun in each and everything that you do. You need to get involved and committed to the act. I read your explanation of the rape scene of Bandit Queen. Probably you experienced Ananda while shooting for the same ( not to be read in the negative sense, but in the positive sense of enjoying the duty to which you dedicated yourself) and hence the shot came out to be so natural. I was also one of the persons who was aghast when I saw the shot on the screen and started asking myself as to whether Indian cinema has become so bold to show stark reality on the screen. Now I understand the reason behind the depiction of the reality.
    I would not know if ego and context are related. While it is difficult to completely forego your ego, it is worth attempting to lose as much as possible and strip you and keep on introspecting.As Deepak Chopra says, all the answers to your questions lie within you – you need not have to look any further. Delve deep within.

  9. hello me kapur i am working as a marketing and promotions manager for a magazine.the magazine is being run by all youngsters in d age group of 18-23 and we r looking for ur interview .it can even be a telephonic is there anyway i can get in touch with you.plz.the magazines name is hydrogen.i am from contact number is 09885070013.

  10. Dear Shekhar,
    You are asking a real question.And remember there can be no real answer to a real question through words.
    The Real Answer can only be experienced.
    The same applies to the Truth. It can be experienced but it cannot be said. why ? Because in order to express it we need words. And all words under the Sun are in reference with some other word. The moment we say ‘Iron ‘ ; in the deepest of our minds we differentiate it with something else like wood or plastic & understand iron. However without any reference whatsoever; we don’t know what is Iron.
    Same applies to the Absolute & saying anything about its nature simply blemishes the true meaning.When Buddha says ‘Shunyata’ we immediately grasp it by comparing with something ‘Not filled’ or ’empty’ & do not grasp its full or true meaning.
    What must be said is Krishna’s Message: Hey Arjun! yeh ‘tatwa’ atyant janne yogya hai aur tujhe ise janana chahiye.
    Shekhar; being an Indian & a Great Admirer of yours one advice out of Love comes to you. Initially questions like these seem to be very important; but in effect they are not!Their only indication is “The Seed is ready to Sprout.” And one must let the seed become a beautiful treee.Just Meditate more.follow Lao-tzu’s advice in mediatation viz “Be Still like a mountain & flow like a river”.After a while the way opens up by itself.
    Warm regards,
    Prafull Deoskar.

  11. hi dude…
    confused you are…hahaha….what the hell man…words and words and words and more words…are you not fade up with them yet? tomorrow when you will get up, go running…instead of words, run and run and run and run… dont wont die of an heart attack…WHY so many WORDS? every one knows about these concepts now… but no one is bold enough to take the EXPERINCE…jump off the cliff or sit to meditate..choose anything but choose…no more words…they are wrose than psychoactives… lots of love. kedar.

  12. Shekharji,
    The sanskrit word for ego is ahmkar. aham and aakar. Aham means I and aakar means form. We attached with our form and established their and the comflict begains. When we know that this is my body it functions in its own ways, this is my mind it functions in its own way and I am, my formless self is beyond of that and we settled in it only then the clarity appears.
    Though comes in the context of others. When their is no thought eighter we are in deep sleep or in deep meditation.
    Only in deep meditation we are able to see the design of the universe. Then all our confusions simply dissapears

  13. We are a fathers so do our duties as a father. We are a son, brother or director so we must have to fulfil our duties between the time and space according to the form we wear-up.
    What budhdha did when he teaches about “Astangic marga.” It is just conditioning our mind for the outside world so our mind does not get confused and our whole energy move to the higher realities. Different masters use dirrerent conditioning system for the common people like us.
    My personel opinion is a certain kind of conditioning is needed to avoid mental confusion. But it must be accepted by us through deep love and heartfullness towards the master.

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