We cannot look for outward confirmation of ourselves. All the external factors that we believe makes us who we are are always variables, so they always change. External factors are for example: Age, Looks, Nationality, Profession, Circle of Friends…
We grew up identifying ourselves with these external factors. In our mind we have created a picture, of what we think of ourselves.The problem is that we will never be able to keep this picture upright and stable as all external factors are subjected to change. Like this we end up falling in an endless circle looking for something that makes us better or more who we are. We keep looking for ourselves in external factors.
These identifications also include people. That is why when someone dies, or we break up we feel so terrible. This self made image of ourselves has fell apart, and we will try to fill this gap with some other external factor. We now look for new friends, new hobbies… something that we can say this is “me”.
This will continue throughout your life, and you will never be at peace with yourself and never happy with what you have or what you are. Unless, you become aware of it and stop this process of identification towards external things.
Greed, hate and desires are a consequence of the “ego”. The ego is nothing else but this self made picture we have set up for ourselves. We have the natural urge (instinct) to keep this picture upright. If we don’t or can’t we feel fear or pain. This is where our instinct kicks in.
Nature had to design us in a way to keep our species going. This is best done by creating an ego, which a person identifies with and protects by any cost. If the ego and the physical body (with which we also identify) is at threat it has the fight or flight response, we evaluate the better chance and act upon it. In a case like this we would feel fear for ourselves, our ego. Thus, fear is just a tool of nature to keep the ego alive. This fear for our ego is only broken seldomly through unconditional love as a mother would always give her life to save the life of her child.
Greed is more of a mixture of fear and desire. and also a survival instinct, making sure we won’t starve. It makes sure that we can keep this ego upright for reproduction. Look at the facts. 8 billion people on earth. We all have the same history: we are born, we live, we die. It does not matter to nature what we achieve in our life,whether we are an important banker or a CEO, the only thing that is important to nature is that we are capable to reproduce.
Desire is the urge for pleasuring our senses and in this sense there are 6 senses; Tactile,Smell,See,Taste,Hear and Mind. We do love to wander of in our mind and daydream it is a pleasure. The highest pleasure for the physical body is the one of loving intercourse, which is a natural instinct. If it wouldn’t be such an urge for us to do it and if it wouldn’t feel so good we would probably not do it or do it a lot less.
These three Survival features are a consequence of our ego’s existence and they are vital for nature, however, causes for Pain, Stress and Suffering in our life’s.
Somebody who lives on the external ego is like somebody who builds a sandcastle of dry sand. He will use more time pouring sand on the castle and remodeling it, than that it stands. Somebody with a solid ego that is based internally through acceptance and love is like somebody who builds his sandcastle with wet sand. He builds it and it will solid.