“Above all, writes Ekman, they exhibit “an absence of ego. These people inspire others by how little they make of their status, their fame — in short, their self. They never give a second thought to whether their position or importance is recognized.” Such a lack of egocentricity, he adds, “is altogether perplexing from a psychological point of view.” Ekman also stresses how “people instinctively want to be in their company and how, even if they can’t always explain why, they find their presence enriching. In essence, they emanate goodness.” If the ego were really our deepest essence, it would be easy to understand our apprehension about dropping it. But if it is merely an illusion, ridding ourselves of it is not ripping the heart out of our being, but simply opening our eyes. Rather than weakening the individual, the understanding of the non-existence of an independent “self” leads to a deep rooted sense of inner freedom, strength and openness to others that allows the flourishing of altruistic love and compassion, rooted in wisdom.” Matthieu Ricard

We have offered many practices here at the still web to learn to see the space beyond the ego. A favourite one is Pema Chodron on Opinions. Try it again today after reading Ricard’s clear and thoughtful article on a very gnarly topic.

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This Daily Stillness has been recycled from previously published ones:

#tds1217 The illusion of self (Oct 29, 2018)

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