"Ego" and Buddhism

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Greg
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Re: "Ego" and Buddhism

Post by Greg »

Very helpful all, thanks.

However, even if we allow that "ego" could be a reasonable term for "self-grasping," I'm still seeing an issue with the quotes. Suppose we substitute "self-grasping" for ego as follows:

"In the third stage, self-grasping develops three strategies or impulses with which to relate to its projections: indifference, passion and aggression."(The Myth of Freedom)

"The problem is that self-grasping can convert anything to its own use, even spirituality."(Cutting through Spiritual Materialism, pg 15)

To me, they don't make a whole lot of sense now. How can an action/process--a present participle verb, if I'm not mistaken--scheme, strategize and make projections, as described above? In other words, how can a verb be the subject of another verb?
Malcolm
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Re: "Ego" and Buddhism

Post by Malcolm »

Greg wrote:Very helpful all, thanks.

However, even if we allow that "ego" could be a reasonable term for "self-grasping," I'm still seeing an issue with the quotes. Suppose we substitute "self-grasping" for ego as follows:

"In the third stage, self-grasping develops three strategies or impulses with which to relate to its projections: indifference, passion and aggression."(The Myth of Freedom)

"The problem is that self-grasping can convert anything to its own use, even spirituality."(Cutting through Spiritual Materialism, pg 15)

To me, they don't make a whole lot of sense now. How can an action/process--a present participle verb, if I'm not mistaken--scheme, strategize and make projections, as described above? In other words, how can a verb be the subject of another verb?
Do you understand what Trungpa is saying (I assume that you do). If so, then just chalk it up to a non-native speaker with an amateur editor and get the gist.

N
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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ronnewmexico
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Re: "Ego" and Buddhism

Post by ronnewmexico »

I don't know, I find verbs often used as nouns depending upon context. The same exact english word context at times determines its meaning as verb or noun to my experience.

you are saying that is not so? Or something else.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
Greg
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Re: "Ego" and Buddhism

Post by Greg »

Namdrol wrote:
Greg wrote:Very helpful all, thanks.

However, even if we allow that "ego" could be a reasonable term for "self-grasping," I'm still seeing an issue with the quotes. Suppose we substitute "self-grasping" for ego as follows:

"In the third stage, self-grasping develops three strategies or impulses with which to relate to its projections: indifference, passion and aggression."(The Myth of Freedom)

"The problem is that self-grasping can convert anything to its own use, even spirituality."(Cutting through Spiritual Materialism, pg 15)

To me, they don't make a whole lot of sense now. How can an action/process--a present participle verb, if I'm not mistaken--scheme, strategize and make projections, as described above? In other words, how can a verb be the subject of another verb?
Do you understand what Trungpa is saying (I assume that you do). If so, then just chalk it up to a non-native speaker with an amateur editor and get the gist.

N
Well, I understand that self-grasping is said to be a problem for all sorts of reasons. But I'm not convinced this is just a matter of mistaken grammar. His use of ego seems to suggest something other than a process, it seems to suggest some sort of active, diabolical agent at work. Now I have a sense that that was his own spin on it, for better or for worse.
Malcolm
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Re: "Ego" and Buddhism

Post by Malcolm »

Greg wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Greg wrote:Very helpful all, thanks.

However, even if we allow that "ego" could be a reasonable term for "self-grasping," I'm still seeing an issue with the quotes. Suppose we substitute "self-grasping" for ego as follows:

"In the third stage, self-grasping develops three strategies or impulses with which to relate to its projections: indifference, passion and aggression."(The Myth of Freedom)

"The problem is that self-grasping can convert anything to its own use, even spirituality."(Cutting through Spiritual Materialism, pg 15)

To me, they don't make a whole lot of sense now. How can an action/process--a present participle verb, if I'm not mistaken--scheme, strategize and make projections, as described above? In other words, how can a verb be the subject of another verb?
Do you understand what Trungpa is saying (I assume that you do). If so, then just chalk it up to a non-native speaker with an amateur editor and get the gist.

N
Well, I understand that self-grasping is said to be a problem for all sorts of reasons. But I'm not convinced this is just a matter of mistaken grammar. His use of ego seems to suggest something other than a process, it seems to suggest some sort of active, diabolical agent at work. Now I have a sense that that was his own spin on it, for better or for worse.
Yes, in Indian and Tibetan literature, "grasping at identity" is, in this case, an active, diabolical agent. In Sanskrit and Tibetan "self-grasping" can be a noun subject of a sentence.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
Enochian
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Re: "Ego" and Buddhism

Post by Enochian »

I'm only a regular Mahayana guy with no guru, but my understanding of ego is in my signature.
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: "Ego" and Buddhism

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Greg wrote: Well, I understand that self-grasping is said to be a problem for all sorts of reasons. But I'm not convinced this is just a matter of mistaken grammar. His use of ego seems to suggest something other than a process, it seems to suggest some sort of active, diabolical agent at work. Now I have a sense that that was his own spin on it, for better or for worse.
What often happens is, in the translation of buddhist concepts a western scholar will appropriate a word in English. There are so many examples: "void" or 'emptiness" for sunyata, "faith" for shin jin (Japanese), and I have even seen the rainy retreat period when Thai monks do not travel as "Buddhist Lent" ...and this was on the calendar of a Thai temple in America! Unfortunately, meanings are too often lost in translation.

Trungpa, however, was a Tibetan who chose to use a western word to describe something experiential as though it were an actual thing. But the personification of the dynamic mental experience is of course quite common in Vajrayana Buddhism. So, it is not really unusual to say 'ego wants you to pay attention to it' or, 'ego grasps at..." or "ego is hungry for..." or whatever, as though it were an actual, separately existing thing, a fire-haired, multi-armed monster needing to be "liberated" (another appropriated term!).

In a sense, the experience of an ongoing self is a "sort of active, diabolical agent at work" as you say. It's like talking about one's demons. Even though we say that there is no real 'self' or 'atma' it is hard to deny that this is in fact what we experience (although I have encountered a Theravadin scholar who simply refused to admit it). All one need to do is to look at any post on this web forum as proof of that experience as real.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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ronnewmexico
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Re: "Ego" and Buddhism

Post by ronnewmexico »

to add to that a bit perhaps...to my opinion Sogyal Rinpoche refers to mind in some of his writing to aspect of mind as ego, as active diabolical agent. Specifically his work the Tibetan Book of living and dying pg 120 of the Harper collins 1994 edition..

A partial quote...."Two people have been living in you all your life. One is the ego, garrulous, demanding, hysterical, calculating, the other is the hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely herd or attended to." There are many more references of this same kind.

So I'd suggest this is not just one teacher now departed. I personally always assume that ultimately considered..... ego and self have no real existance but conventionally considered they are real and will and do employ means to furthur their sustance as any being would.
Not seperate agents of course when studied but present in that fashion.
Very rarely do I find teachers describing things in this manner. I personally, don't think it is because others think it is not, but because they differ in how this thing may be presented without having unintended potential negative result.


If that adds to this at all.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
Greg
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Re: "Ego" and Buddhism

Post by Greg »

Namdrol wrote:
Yes, in Indian and Tibetan literature, "grasping at identity" is, in this case, an active, diabolical agent. In Sanskrit and Tibetan "self-grasping" can be a noun subject of a sentence.
I see, that was basically what I was trying to clarify, thank you.
muni
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Re: "Ego" and Buddhism

Post by muni »

I understand the concern for correct language.
Still it is to me as subtle luxury (apprehended) and such is not going together with the depth of teachings' meaning. "Over-education", a teacher said. Even the dependence of words, this can turn in digging in the earth to seek the sky.
But to clarify as best as possible to help others, that is beautiful concern!

Only what to do with all the first translations which are spread in texts, books and now after years a longer becoming list of not fitting words seems to appaer.
Not only the mentioned master but most are using these English translations. Okay, now these are all wrong (confusing!), or maybe for those sharing Dharma add a small explanation in difference if needed, regarding the meaning in English language..Whatever: http://www.wisdom-books.com/ProductDetail.asp?PID=17236" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
*I do not teach separation.* sz.

Wisdom beings know that we are not separate. This is why they are able to grant blessings."
https://garchen.net/wp-content/uploads/ ... ditate.pdf
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: "Ego" and Buddhism

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Language is not a fixed thing. It is a constantly changing, ever-redefining process of communication.
Most words undergo a series of rebirths, taking on a variety of meanings until sometimes their original meaning is lost.
This is very common in all languages. it is just the way words are.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
Malcolm
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Re: "Ego" and Buddhism

Post by Malcolm »

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Language is not a fixed thing. It is a constantly changing, ever-redefining process of communication.
Most words undergo a series of rebirths, taking on a variety of meanings until sometimes their original meaning is lost.
This is very common in all languages. it is just the way words are.

For example, "dashboard".

N
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
muni
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Re: "Ego" and Buddhism

Post by muni »

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Language is not a fixed thing. It is a constantly changing, ever-redefining process of communication.
Most words undergo a series of rebirths, taking on a variety of meanings until sometimes their original meaning is lost.
This is very common in all languages. it is just the way words are.

An old teaching: " let go, let go, go there where no mind goes".
New translation: "hold on, hold on, keep constructing". Ah, look at that, much better.

(mixing joke)

Words to clean the dust to see the pure glass, to see unapprehended peaceful vastness already okay. Yes! All okay!

_/\_

(Longchen Rabjampa...)
*I do not teach separation.* sz.

Wisdom beings know that we are not separate. This is why they are able to grant blessings."
https://garchen.net/wp-content/uploads/ ... ditate.pdf
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