The Ego Separates Us from Our
Spoken by Supreme Master
Ching Hai, International Gathering,
December 6, 2008 (Originally in English)
Wisdom is really important; and ego, we have to
cut it. The less ego, the better. It is a pity because
we don’t really need this ego. The “I” that knows
everything already, the “I” that is expert in this and
specialist in that -- we don’t need all that. Because if
we don’t have them, then we are more smart. We will
become more intelligent, smarter, really.
The only reason I can do many things
well and that everyone likes is because, perhaps, I have
very little ego or none. I keep checking myself to see if
any ego pops up. Perhaps the reason that your ego
doesn’t go away is because you don’t have the chance to rub
with other people, like no one checks you, no one fixes you;
no one tells you what’s wrong with you because you don’t do
anything with other people. Or, you are in a very high
position outside in the society, like you are a boss or some
director, manager, whatever; you are the one who tells
everyone what to do all the time, and no one ever talks back
at you. Also, sometimes even as a practitioner, you have no
chance to be corrected by anyone else. But don’t be
offended; cut that ego off. Okay?
It’s not enough that you meditate.
You’ve got to be exposed to many situations to grow up. You
have to go out and also react to the reality in order to
have more intelligence. Meditation
helps also, but if you don’t have a chance to polish it,
then it doesn’t work.
If anyone at all
scolds you, or even wrongly accuses you, be thankful for
that person. That’s good for your humility, actually; and
even if it’s not true, it’s also good for you. At that time,
you check yourself out and then you know how much ego you
have. If at that time you just still say, “Oh, I’m such a
good person, why does he say like this and like this?” And
you complain all day, and then you’ll begin to hate that
person, then still it’s no good. Anyway, if someone corrects
you in any way, that’s really good for you. You learn from
that mistake, and you become better and better.
No one is bad, just ego is bad. Truly
the egos is the worst enemy of everyone. Many people like to
keep it, that’s the problem. If you listen to
this ego too much, you forget your great Self, your
intelligent Self, your wise wisdom Self. That is the only
problem. It’s a pity if you keep listening to the ego, like
you know too much and all that. Then you don’t know your
real Self. The main problem is the
ego separates us from our true Self, from the one who truly
knows everything. If we just think we know everything about
this world, then we don’t know our Self. That’s the greatest
problem with the ego.
The ego is the
greatest enemy. Sometimes the ego destroys a marriage,
destroys a relationship, destroys a friendship, destroys the
love between mother and son, or father and daughter even,
because the ego causes conflict all the time—doesn’t want to
do anything that is pleasing to the mother or father or
pleasing to the partner, just wants to do the thing that
causes trouble. Day after day like this, if a partner always
causes trouble, then of course the relationship is broken.
You cannot remember anything but bad things about each
other—bad souvenirs, bad happening, bad events, bad result –
and never good. So, of course the relationship cannot live
this way, the marriage cannot continue.
This is just
physically speaking. Talking about the spiritual level, of
course you’re even far away from your Self. If you’re
clinging to your worldly know-how a little bit, even if you
don’t even know enough and you think you know a lot, and you
just cling to that, then you don’t know your Self. For
example, if you have something in front of you, like even
just a thin curtain, you cannot see yourself through the
mirror. But if that thin curtain falls down, then you can
see yourself clearly. This is the ego problem. It just
stands between people; it stands between your real Self and
anything else that comes near you. Then it makes everything
damaged or ruined or distorted; it is not the real thing
It’s a pity.
This is not the thing we should keep. It’s our enemy. The
little knowledge that we think we know—that is not our true
knowledge. The ego is really hard to get rid of, very, very
hard; and it ruins many things in this world. It causes war.
It causes enemies and hatred, and ruin of nations. The
people who have no ego never want to war with anyone because
they can see through the uselessness of those things. So,
ego is the worst enemy of everyone in this world.
don’t have ego. True dogs, for example, don’t have any ego.
They are so pure, that’s why they can love you every minute.
Even if you just scold them, they come with wagging tail
immediately, the moment you come and love them. They never
hold any hatred within their heart for a second. You can see
that. So if you want to see the egoless being, look at the
dog. Truly it’s like that.
don’t have ego at all, until humans interfere and ruin their
nature. That’s the problem. We humans not only ruin
ourselves by our little so-called knowledge of the world,
but we also ruin nature, and we also ruin animals. We force
them into crazy behavior. I observed it all and I know it.
It’s the truth. I’m not just telling it from books—it is
truly like that.