You said last night that to realize the That, the transcendental truth everywhere, one must first realize it at one’s own center of being.
Then you said that a centering for this is needed.
Is this centering the same as that of Gurdjieff’s crystallization?
Please tell us how this centering or crystallization is different from strengthening one’s own ego, and how does it lead to the transcendental truth, the That?
Man is born with a Self, but not with an ego. Ego is a social construct, a later growth. Ego cannot exist without relationship. You can exist, the Self can exist, but the ego cannot exist in itself. It is a by-product of being related to others. So ego exists between “I” and “thou”. It is a relata.
The child is born with a Self but not with an ego. The child develops the ego. As he becomes more and more social and related, ego develops. This ego is just on your periphery where you are related with others – just on the boundary of your being. So ego is the periphery of your being, and Self is the center. The child is born with a Self, but unaware. He is a Self, but he is not conscious of the Self.
The first awareness of the child comes with his ego. He becomes aware of the “I”, not of the Self. Really, he becomes aware first of the “thou.” The child first becomes aware of his mother. Then, reflectively, he becomes aware of himself. First he becomes aware of objects around him. Then, by and by, he begins to feel that he is separate. This feeling of separation gives the feeling of ego, and because the child first becomes aware of the ego, ego becomes a covering on the Self.
Then ego goes on growing, because the society needs you as an ego, not as a Self. The Self is irrelevant for the society; your periphery is meaningful. And there are many problems. The ego can be taught and the ego can be made docile and the ego can be forced to be obedient. The ego can be made to adjust, but not the Self. The Self cannot be taught, the Self cannot be forced. The Self is intrinsically rebellious, individual. It cannot be made a part of society.
So the society is not interested in your Self. The society is interested in your ego – because something can be done with the ego, and nothing can be done with the Self. So the society helps to strengthen the ego, and you go on living around your ego. The more you grow, the more you become social, educated, cultured, civilized, the more polished an ego you have. Then you begin to function from the ego, not from the Self, because you are not aware of it at all.
So your essence goes on into the unconscious, into inner darkness, and a false construct, a social construct – the ego – becomes your center. Now you identify yourself with your ego – with your name, with your education, with your family, with your religion, with your country. These are all just part of your ego, not of your Self, because the Self doesn’t belong to your parents, the Self doesn’t belong to your country, the Self doesn’t belong to any religion, the Self doesn’t even belong to your self. It doesn’t belong. The Self is a freedom. It is total freedom. It exists in its own right. It doesn’t belong to anything else, it doesn’t depend on anything else. It is!