The Individual Self, the Ego and the World-Being

If we continue to explore the issue of the ego in the framework of the larger biological or ecological unity, we perceive that in fact, not only can we not exist without other human beings, but we are actually part of a much large eco-sphere or bio-sphere that provides a “symbiotic” balance for life to exist. The more we look at the delicate and precise balance of ecological chemistry and biology, the more clear it becomes that the “being” is in fact the “world-being”, as Sri Aurobindo calls it, and that the ego is to some great degree an illusion, particularly if it upholdds for itself the fiction of being separate, isolated and self-existent without reference to the entire eco-sphere.

It is interesting to note that whenever humans try to assert their “independence” from a sense of “ego-self”, we wind up creating enormous imbalances and destroying species and potentially even the basis for existence of life as we know it on this planet! Global warming, toxic pollution, wanton habitat destruction are having enormous unforeseen consequences which eventually begin to challenge the very potential for life on the planet. This is a good example of the ego asserting to itself independence when in fact, such independence does not and has never existed.

Sri Aurobindo explains: “But in the end we have to see that our individualisation is only a superficial formation, a practical selection and limited conscious synthesis for the temporary utility of life in a particular body, or else it is a constantly changing and developing synthesis pursued through successive lives in successive bodies.”

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 3, The Eternal and the Individual, pp. 367-368

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