What the Ego does?
The Ego of the East and West!
First let us get into the fundamentals. The term "Ego" means different to different people. I will classify it as the Eastern and Western views about the Ego. The West mostly thriving on materialistic views consider the Ego as a greatest asset to an individual who want to win, who want to excel in western society. The ego in the western mind seeks wealth, personal fame, leadership among the peers and a luxurious happy life. In the eastern minds, the term 'ego' is considered as arrogance and pride which will lead to the downfall of individual.
The attractions of Western styles and cultures!
Why there is contrasting views among the different people and different societies? Why one looks at it as a positive trait and another wants to get rid of it? First of all, the ego is based on pure body consciousness. The ego consider the body as the 'Be all and the end all". Hence all considerations based on body conscious tend to boomerang one day when the body loses its vitality and strength and people start cavil at our weakness. One may have wealth and properties, family and friends revering him for all his achievements. The moment one loses his energy and become old, he is respected no more. Now people around start fighting for the inheritance of the estate, all immovable and movable assets. The moment life ebbs away from the body, few cry over our corpse!
The Eastern philosophers, sages and saints have already realized the futility of earthly life. They knew that all the sensual pleasures are only momentary and the body will be ultimately consigned to the earth or fire as per the customs in vogue in a particular society. In the Western society, no such thoughts are entertained. They consider wealth, power and fame as the supreme aims of life. Their idea is to keep the body healthy and happy by hook or crook. They lavish all luxury on the perishable body. They amaze palatial buildings, cars and huge bank balances to maintain their dignity and status in society. They never care about the aftermath. Here, I am talking only about the ego filled western mind and not all the people. In every society there are knowledgeable persons who think high and foresee the ultimate aim of human life. Socrates, Pluto, Aristotle and Marcus Aurelius are some of the best minds who are being talked about even today for their lofty thoughts.
Hence, i write only about the present day materialistic outlook of the West and the resultant ego of the people in the present set up. I talk about the present general mentality of the people of the West. It is normal for Capital societies to get into such thought pattern due to their affluence and wealth. But people in the East, from the very beginning avoided ostentatious living. They were satisfied mostly when their basic needs were fulfilled. They cared for every one in society. Selfishness entered into Eastern society due to the copying of western styles and cultures by the youth of the Eastern countries. In a way, we can blame only the attractions of West, which enslaved the mind of the youth. Globalization and communications have perverted the mind of young people to a great extent.
The ego has to be consigned in the altar of the Self!
Let us finally compare the two. One society wants instantaneous results, the other think about lasting effects. One society consider the body as the greatest asset whereas the eastern society consider the body as just a vehicle or instrument for achieving the ultimate aim of life. They consider the 'ego' as the greatest obstruction in this. They resort to all ways to eradicate selfishness which is the result of ego filled mind which madly rests on the perishable body. The Eastern society relies on the inner self rather than the outer cover. They use the body to achieve "Self realization".