Is Ego the mind killer?

There is no more destructive but imperative construct to our existence than Ego. With too little of it we are like a washed out water colour painting, too much and then self destruction is  inevitable.

Don’t mistake modesty for a lack of ego either, some of the most outwardly modest people suffer the same malady.

Sir Hubert Wilkins the great polar explorer, ornithologist, pilot, soldier, geographer and photographer is a great example of this.  General Sir John Monash , on returning to Australia after WWI eulogised Wilkins as “The bravest man alive” at a large public gathering. He later received a message from Wilkins “begging him not to praise him publicly again.”

And Vilhjalmur Stefanson, a fellow polar explorer met With General Monash later and told the Australian papers:

Sir John Monash seems to agree with me that Wilkins is so aggressively modest that he carries it to a fault. It ought to be enough to hide your light under a bushel without threatening to knock anybody down who wants to take the bushel away.

I think Wilkins hid a large ego under that same bushel, and it is more likely that it was the escape of this ego that he feared more. Wilkins came close on several occasions to destruction, and causing the death of the men and women who served with him but in the end it may have been his strong caring nature that helped keep his ego under that bushel.

A little luck didn’t go astray either.

Ego in the martial arts has ruined many teachers. It seems that a large ego is a prerequisite to lead a dojo, it is especially to attractive to new students who seek a sensei/master/guru figure.

I have seen several sensei self destruct, believing to much of their own publicity and get summarily purged from their style’s national or international organisation. The ego must be held in check.

The first step must be awareness.

“E” is for Ego

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13 thoughts on “Is Ego the mind killer?

  1. Pingback: A to Z Challenge – a retrospective « A Fettered Mind

  2. I just realized its so true that men were all made through God’s image and his most loved Angel left him to become the devil….. So I guess it can’t be helped that were all suckers for love maybe God wants us to find a way to break that circle but until then tomorrow never lies.

  3. Pingback: Taming the ago « Hieronymous the Anonymous

  4. Pingback: Not-Knowingness Stew. « ahimsamaven

  5. I learned that self promotion is not a good thing in Japan. I understand why after reading afetteredmind. I would not have understood this until today.

    On the social network Mixi most profiles are anonymous and the postings are often claimed to be fictitious. I can understand this is the teaching of Zen philosophy. I am learning with a beginner’s mind.

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