The ego is somewhere behind the eyes and between the ears. It is as if there sat beneath the dome of the skull a controlling officer who wears earphones wired to the ears, and watches a television screen wired to the eyes. Before him stands a great panel of dials and switches connected with all other parts of the body that yield conscious information or respond to the officer’s will. This controlling officer “sees” sights, “hears” sounds, “feels” feelings, and “has” experiences. These are common but redundant ways of talking, for seeing a sight is just seeing, hearing a sound is just hearing, feeling a feeling is just feeling, and having an experience is just experiencing. But that these redundant phrases are so commonly used shows that most people think of themselves as separate from their thoughts and experiences. All this can get marvelously complicated when we begin to wonder whether our officer has another officer inside his head, and so ad infinitum!         There was a young man who said, “Though         It seems that I know that I know, What I would like to see Is the ‘I’ that knows ‘me’         When I know that I know that I know.” One of the most important items in our officer’s equipment is his recording and filing system—the memory which he constantly “consults” so as to know how to interpret and respond to his sensory input. Without this equipment, he could have no sensation of constancy—of being the same officer as he was seconds ago. Although memory records are much more fluid and elusive than photographic film or magnetic tape, the accumulation of memories is an essential part of the ego-sensation. It gives the impression of oneself, the officer, as something that remains while life goes by—as if the conscious self were a stable mirror reflecting a passing procession. This further exaggerates the feeling of separateness, of oneself changing at a pace so much slower than outside events and inside thoughts that you seem to stand aside from them as an independent observer.

« The ego is somewhere behind... »

A quote saved on Dec. 30, 2015.


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