Religion, God and the Ego

Be aware of the Ego, the greatest confidence trickster and survivor in the mind. This is a self-centered world we have created where the ego or self is always involved in whatever we do. If you give an inch, it will want to take a foot. You may be perfectly happy in whatever you are doing but some smart Alex will always come up with a different plan to upset your apple cart. Yes this ego is an entity in the mind that considers death as an anathema and will do anything to survive forever and ever. Yet this entity is trapped in the Time dimension of its own creation; Because when one travels in time one does not realise that, there is always a beginning and there is always an end.

Since death is considered the end, and repeat the limitation put by Time and since the ego does not want to come to an end, it projects the concept of survival after death. That is we develop this idea that we will all somehow continue to survive after death.

Thus we have created the theories of reincarnation and resurrection to enable the ego to find comfort in the belief that we will all continue to survive after death. In the reincarnation theory we are born again in a different body and in the resurrection theory we are brought back to life again in the same body.

As one can see that this universe is an awe-inspiring and timeless place. It is subject to certain physical laws which science has helped us discover. The living and the non-living are all under the influence of these laws. There is no exception to this rule. The universe reporting intelligence at work that makes our mind boggle. When we experience these forces of nature, we are humbled by its might and power where emotions and sentiments have no place at all. With our puny minds and the fears we possess we are compelled into believing in the existence of a Superior Intelligence. Hence begins our belief in God, Allah or Bhagwan etc.

But surely this God or Superior Intelligence cannot be something personal. As one can see that when a natural disaster strikes, like a tsunami or an earthquake, if you find yourself in the wrong place and at the wrong time, whether you are a Hindu, Christian, Muslim or a Buddhist, it does not matter, you will be gone.

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So how did we acquire a belief in a personal God, Allah, or Bhagwan etc. Which most religions have as the basis for their existence? People from all over the world have some belief in a personal God which has been derived from times immemorial. Even today primitive tribes have such beliefs. All major religions preach oneness of mankind yet the individual who holds that belief would say that his was the only one true religion and the others were all false. One will preach Allah is God and there is only one God; Others will say that different religions of the world are only different paths to the same one God.

The only problem with all these beliefs is that it is dividing mankind. The world is in chaos because of our beliefs. Admittedly a belief can unite a group of people under one faith. But what happens to people who do not belong or have never heard of that belief? Surely it is a divisive process and should we be killing each other over our beliefs? Is it rational to hold such beliefs?

This raises a fundamental question. Is it possible for the ego or self to exist without a belief? The answer to this question lies in our perception of reality. The simple answer is yes. All you have to do is ask yourself, do you have to believe in the sun to enjoy the benefits from the sun? Clearly the answer is no.

So how have these belief systems become so important in our lives? If one observes carefully one will find that beliefs are used to strengthen the ego. We hide behind our beliefs. Beliefs make us feel comfortable because we do not have to think for ourselves. Beliefs give us our identity, our culture. What the ego fears most is losing its identity and culture. Hence if anyone attacks our beliefs we are forced to defend and fight.

Is it not time we questioned our beliefs? In my mind there is no doubt about an existence of a Superior Intelligence or a Universal Mind but it would be very naïve indeed to give it personal characteristics and arrive at the concept of a personal God.

So how did we arrive at the concept of a personal God? When we are born, we need the protection of our parents to grow up. We are conditioned to think in terms of the Father as the provider and the Mother as the nurturer in the family. Hence we always look to the father for protection and guidance. Such conditioning leads us to create a personalized image of this Superior Intelligence or Universal Mind which according to various religious beliefs becomes known as God, Allah, or Bhagwan etc. By making this Superior Intelligence or Universal Mind a Father figure we now have a heavenly Father who will provide, protect and guide us. Now we as children can bow in reverence and behave whichever way we want since this Father will always forgive, protect and guide us. Is it not a very comforting thought that by worshipping this deity of our own creation, we will all somehow be protected and survive death?

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Clearly one can see that most people find the belief system they use help them organize and bring comfort and meaning to their lives. But is it not a disorder of perception if a believer is willing to die and kill a fellow human who may not belong to that belief system?

In my mind to have a belief in a personal or an impersonal God, or to be a believer or a non-believer, really does not matter, because when the sun shines it shines for all of us. However since we are all trapped in time, and since we are all seeking immortality, we should be looking at our own mind for the answer and find out how we create time.

The Timeless dimension is all round us yet most of us are not even aware of it or recognize it. We get the glimpses of the Timeless dimension when the observer in the mind and what is being observed become one phenomenon. When you next go on to the mountain top or go into the bush please become aware and experience this Timeless dimension I am talking about. You can even do this while walking in the garden. You will find yourself being a part of the Universal Mind and the Universe You do not have to believe what I say. Use your power of perception, insight and awareness to find out for yourself what I am talking about.

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Source by Mal Mohanlal