What is the ego?
Are we always functioning through the ego or are there moments when we are free of it?…..Man has no center separate from the center of the whole. There is only one center in existence; the ancients used to call it Tao, dhamma, god. Those words have become old now; you can call it truth. There is only one center of existence. There are not many centers, otherwise the universe would not be really a universe, it would become a multiverse. It is a unity, hence it is called the “universe”; it has only one center.
To survive, and to struggle for survival in the fight of life, everybody needs a certain idea of who they are. And nobody has any idea. In fact nobody can ever have any idea, because at the deepest core you are a mystery. You can’t have any idea of it. At the deepest core you are not individual, you are universal.
That’s why if you ask the Buddha, “Who are you?” he remains silent, he does not answer it. He cannot, because now he is no more separate. He is the whole. But in ordinary life even Buddha has to use the word ‘I’. If he feels thirsty he has to say, “I am thirsty. Ananda, bring me a little water, I am thirsty.
For example, you have a name. That is a fiction. You came without a name, you did not bring a name with you, the name was given to you. Then by constant repetition you start becoming identified with it. You know your name is Rama or Rahim or Krishna. It goes so deep that if all you three thousand sannyasins fall asleep here and somebody comes and calls, “Rama, where are you?” nobody will hear except Rama. Rama will say, “Who has come to disturb my sleep?” Even in sleep he knows his name; it has reached to the unconscious, it has seeped through and through. But it is a fiction.
But when I say it is a fiction I don’t mean it is unnecessary. It is necessary fiction, it is useful; otherwise how are you going to address people? It will be difficult if nobody has a name. Although nobody has a name in reality, still, it is a beautiful fiction, helpful. Names are needed for others to call you, ‘I’ is needed for you to call yourself, but it is just a fiction. If you go deep into yourself you will find the name has disappeared, the idea of ‘I’ has disappeared; there is left only a pure am-ness, is-ness, existence, being.
And that being is not separate, it is not yours and mine; that being is the being of all. Rocks, rivers, mountains, trees, all are included. It is all-inclusive, it excludes nothing. The whole past, the whole future, this immense universe, everything is included in it. The deeper you go into yourself, the more and more you will find that persons don’t exist, that individuals don’t exist. Then what exists is a pure universalness. On the circumference we have names, egos, identities. When we jump from the circumference towards the center, all those identities disappear.
The ego is just a useful fiction.
Use it, but don’t be deceived by it.
Source: Osho Speaks On Ego