The biggest ego trip going is getting rid of your ego

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The joke of it is: your ego doesn’t exist. There’s nothing to get rid of. It’s an illusion, but you still want to ask how to stop the illusion. Well, who’s asking? In the ordinary sense in which you use the word “I”, the wrong me, how can I stop identifying with myself? The answer is, simply, you can’t. The Christians say this in their way when they say that mystical experience is a gift of divine grace. Man, as such, cannot achieve this experience. It is a Gift of God and if God doesn’t give it to you, then there’s no way of getting it.

That is solidly true: you cannot do anything about it because you don’t exist. Well, you say, that’s pretty depressing news. The whole point is that it isn’t depressing news. It is the joyous news. There’s a Zen poem which puts it like this, talking about the mystical experience: “You cannot catch hold of it, nor can you get rid of it. In not being able to get it, you get it. When you speak, it’s silent. When you are silent, it speaks.” This is the feeling which Krishnamurti is trying to explain to people when he asks them why they ask for a method. There is no method. All methods are simply gimmicks for strengthening your ego. So, to ask how do we not do that, you are still asking for a method. If you really understand what your “I” is, you will see there is no method.

You say this is so sad, but it’s not. This is the Gospel, the Good News. If you cannot achieve it, if you cannot transform yourself, that means that the main obstacle to mystical vision has collapsed. That was you. What happens? You can’t do anything about it. You’re at your wit’s end, What are you going to do?

You can’t control your thoughts and you can’t control your feelings because there is no controller. You are your thoughts and your feelings, they’re running along. Watch them. You’re still breathing, aren’t you? You’re still growing your hair, still seeing and hearing, are you doing that. Is breathing something that you DO?

Do you organize the operations of your eyes and know exactly how to work the rods and cones in the retina, do you do that? It’s a happening, it happens. So you can feel all this happening. Your breathing is happening. Your thinking is happening, your feeling is happening, your seeing, the clouds are happening against the sky, the sky is happening blue, the sun is happening shining. There it is.

Alan Watts

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