EGO: it is NOT a Sanskrit, nor a Pali word. It comes from the Greek, and was popularized in the west by a Viennese physician, more than a hundred years ago.
Though NOT directly mentioned by the Buddha, its function is inferred by the second noble truth as that ancient survival mechanism which strives to use pushing, pulling, and clinging in service of our competitive reward system. And although it DOES support reproduction (and its prerequisites) in an irony worthy of O’ Henry it undermines the goals of the cooperative brain’s counterpart.
In the latter portion of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” its surgical excision is considered and rejected. Perhaps that is why the Buddha did not offer liberation from the mere presence of our primal drives, but rather from their tyranny. Practice the contemplations and meditations inferred by the fourth noble truth and you too could meditate like a Jedi.
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