The loss of ego LO20480 -was From hurt to love
Mon, 25 Jan 1999 13:44:06 -0600

Replying to LO20467:

> Paul Rousseau writes:
>I've been reading a lot about
>dialogue and I wonder if during very good dialogue session there is a
>brief moment during the transition from ego to collective mind that
>encouters with 'reality' happen.

I would suggest that the encounter with "reality" only begins at that
point. The more one is able to see others' points of view, and to see
oneself as only one participant in a much larger system, the more likely
one's perceptions are to be consistent with the true reality that contains
all experience.

> I'n not sure what the markers would be.
>I would guess it would involve profound clarity and openess.

Sometimes. But it seems to me that the shift is usually subtle. At some
point one realizes "this isn't about me." That's the transition point and
it can occur imperceptibly, or with a burst of insight, or somewhere in

>It would be great if we describe in minute details the physiology of this
>moment, the space between the loss of ego and the move to collective mind
>where one deals more directly with external events.

I assume you're talking about external events as those things that occur
outside one's personal sphere of awareness. The Buddha's teachings
(suttas) are incredibly detailed. I don't recall where, but I'm sure the
bodily responses that occur with mindful awareness have been described
somewhere in them. People who practice various forms of meditation could
tell you what happens to them when they experience the transition to an
attitude of non-self. Changes can occur in the rate and quality of
breathing, the heart rate, blood pressure, and brain waves. I've also
heard that the balance of neurotransmitters is affected. Jon Kabat-Zinn's
work in stress reduction might be a good place to look; try his book "Full
Catastrophe Living," which deals with this. Finally, someone is famous
for the "relaxation response" but I forget his name.

>Neuro-Linguistic Programing practitioners model physiological states and
>try to describe them with such detail that they can then be 'installed' in
>another human to replicate the state and, theoretically, the capabilities
>that go along with that state. NLP folks also talk about 'anchoring'
>(classical self-conditioning) these states so we can move in into them at

This is what mindfulness work is all about. With practice, we can train
ourselves to attend to the vicissitudes of daily life as they occur,
noting our feelings and managing our responses accordingly.

>This way we could deal with reality _or_ jump into our ego's at will.

Perhaps more to the point (I hope I'm just paraphrasing what you said) is
that we can deal with the reality of the present moment with stillness and
equanimity, whether that reality is something outside of us or our own

Best regards,

* David E. Birren
Organizational Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Natural
(608) 267-2442

Teach thy tongue to say "I do not know" and thou shalt progress. --


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