THE EGO (JIVA)
EGO:In this chapter the Self (Atma) itself is said to be the ego (Jiva) and the nature of the ego is explained. The mind is nothing else than the ‘I’-thought. The mind and the ego are one and the same. Intellect, will, ego, and individuality are collectively the same mind. It is like a man 26 Words of Grace being variously described according to his different activities. The individual is nothing else than the ego which, again is only the mind. Simultaneously with the rise of the ego the mind appears, associated with the reflected nature of the Self, like the 1 red-hot iron in the example. How is the fire in the red-hot iron to be understood? As being one with it. Since the individual is nothing else than the ego and is inseparable from the Self, as the fire and the red-hot iron are, there is no other self to act as witness of the individual than the individual himself functioning as the ego, which after all is only the mind associated with reflected Consciousness. The very same Self not only shines 2 unaffected in the Heart, like the fire in the iron, but is also infinite like space. It is self-luminous in the Heart as pure Consciousness, as the One without a second and, manifesting universally as the same in all individuals, it is known as the Supreme Spirit. ‘Heart’ is merely another name for the Supreme Spirit, because He is in all Hearts. Thus the red-hot iron is the individual, the fiery heat is the witnessing Self, the iron is the ego. The Pure fire is the all- immanent and all-knowing Supreme Spirit. 1 It is a commonly used example in India that, just as red-hot iron partakes of the nature of fire through contact with it, so the mind or ego, partakes of the nature of Consciousness through contact with the Self. 2 Just as the fire in the red-hot iron is unaffected by the hammer- blows, which only change the shape of the metal, so the vicissitudes of life, pleasure and pain, affect only the ego, the Self ever remaining pure and undefiled.