Is the ego deactivated when consciousness arises or should we do something else? Here Eckhart Tolle answers this interesting question and gives us more insight into the relationship between the ego, consciousness, and thoughts.
How to deactivate the Ego by Eckhart Tolle: “The ego, I often talk of the ego as if it were an entity, it’s not really an entity. It acts as if it were an entity. It seems to be an entity that has taken possession of you, but ultimately what it is It’s only a particular way of your mind to function, and an identification with the mind, so the ego itself is that dysfunctional way in which the mind works, and when that comes to an end, the dysfunctional way cannot put an end to its own dysfunction, it can only dissolve when awareness arises.
Awareness is not thought. Awareness is consciousness prior to thought, and you realize that you are that and whatever the mind produces and says are thoughts, but the thoughts are then no longer endowed with the sense of self and that’s the end of the ego, when you no longer identify with every thought that comes, that’s the end of the ego.
So that’s what happens so I don’t know in the way you formulate the question. The ego cannot dissolve itself but in the light of awareness it dissolves.
Interviewer: then what is that willingness? to allow it to be seen or?
Eckhart Tolle: that willingness is the evolutionary impulse of the universe which created the ego in the first place in order to transcend it now it was it was an evolutionary step for mankind, the ego was an enormous step for mankind, a great thing, and then it came or is coming now to the end of its lifespan, that particular evolutionary movement or manifestation that we call ego it had a lifespan.
It has outlived its usefulness. Now we have learned a lot through it and now it needs to go and that’s, always a critical stage. The transition from one state of consciousness to another is always critical.
There could be a falling back. There could be this: is we’re at this transitional stage, where the ego now needs to dissolve the caterpillar has come to its, the end of its useful life as a caterpillar.
It’s been fine. If the caterpillar was happy for a while crawling up the tree and eating the leaves now, there are no leaves left on the tree and it’s time for the caterpillar to cease being a caterpillar and turn into something incredible that little slimy thing suddenly it doesn’t know what’s happening to it, caterpillar doesn’t say I must become a butterfly or I’m trying to become a butterfly, but the caterpillar suddenly notices that crawling is becoming more and more difficult and it’s looking for leaves it’s eaten all the leaves of the tree so that nothing needs to eat anyway.
If it doesn’t change now into a butterfly it’ll die. So that’s, what’s happening to humans, the shift to a different evolutionary level or dimension, this is us being here, that’s all part of it, It’s part of that, the shift, the butterfly is emerging right here. The caterpillar is not totally gone yet it’s the transitional period, if you can notice in every one of you sometimes you’re still a caterpillar, and at other times you’re already a butterfly present aware, non-reactive aligned with the present moment.