Singularity and the Ego

Last updated on Mar 27, 2008

Posted on Mar 27, 2008

At the beginning of the world was a singularity.  Volume had no meaning and the mass, energy and time had collapsed into one singular “existence”.  This singularity when it expanded, big bang or otherwise, gave rise to what we have come to call creation.  Singularities like the beginning of the world occur even “today”.  Scientists now call them Black Holes.  Most form because of a gravitational collapse.  When the pressure of their own gravity cannot be resisted.  It is not how another body affects them or how they affect that other, but how their own power collapses on itself after reaching a crescendo.

Apart from collapse of all matter into a mass represented by dense energy state which reaches levels that are infinite and where any observation or theory breaks down, another strange phenomenon possibly occurs.  The Black Hole information paradox.  This paradox suggests that any physical information of that state or the collapsed star disappears.  No cause or effect relationship remains any more.

Ego, the learned sages tell us is what we need to get rid of.  In favor of?  Atamic existence.  Material existence of ego is to be replaced with energy of Atma or Consciousness.  So, the traditional wisdom goes, get rid of the ego.  How? Sacrifice.  Sacrifice uptil the point that there is no ego left.

As if to mock the argument, the Yajur Vedic Rishi declares “Aham Brahmasmi” – I am the Brahman.  If there was a single statement of the highest most ego, then this would qualify as that.  As much as its pithiness leaves opportunity to myriad interpretations, it is a very direct and simple statement.  This is its beauty and its downfall.

Krishna explained it in his own way.  He went on to list all that Arjun knew of – things, emotions, people, positions – and said I am all of those .. and more.  In these verses (Chapter 9, verse 16, 17, and 18 – see image), Krishna finally declares that “I am the indestructible seed”.

If ego was the hindrance, then Rishis and Krishna were clearly not on the same page with the proponents of such a sentiment!  They were egos of the highest order.  Not just any ego – but ego of cosmic and gargantuan proportions.  How does a student of Vedanta explain this paradox?

Until there is matter in a cosmic body there is a pull and push – a constant interplay of gravitation between any body around each other.   The force is related to the size of the matter and this matter cannot be easily wished away.  Those of denser matter are stars and those whose internal energy cannot withstand the strength of its own gravitation anymore, collapse into a singularity.

This is a simplistic way of articulating the more complex theories and science.  However, at the root of the neutron-degenerate or electron-degenerate matter or the singularity of a black hole is the matter losing its existence to nothingness or dense energy – the basic foundation of creation.  This loss happens when the matter exerts its highest force – specifically within.  All the internal energies that were hitherto in the way of the collapse can no longer withstand the tremendous implosion and matter loses its existence.  Ego becomes its own killer.

Ego manifests in two ways:

– “I”
– “My”

At the lower levels of evolution, the “I” is more involved in boosting the “My” and vice versa.  The constant push and pull of “My” – the relational content – affects the body.  The ego is in the dependent state at this stage.  It has not become independent as yet.  There comes a time, when the ego takes on an independent position.  The internal manifestation of the “I” supersedes the relational content, while increasing its pull manifold!

Instead of “That is mine” the matter now turns to the other argument “I am That”.  Aham Brahmasmi.

When your spouse is no longer “yours” but “you”, then the evolution of “I” has begun.  When this “I”-ness becomes so large that all acquisitiveness of “My and Mine” – the internal energies that define you – collapses, the elusive singularity is then approachable.

External energies or pulls or pushes from outside cannot destroy your ego.  The collapse of the ego can only occur under its own weight, but only when it has reached its peak.

At that point, no effort is required, and no effort can stop it.  Even the information of the process of collapse is probably lost in its singular existence thereafter.  It just is.

(Special thanks to Surya for clarifying the centrality of Ego in the spiritual journey)

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