Asvaghosha - The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana - The ego
Type of Spiritual Experience
Ego means the Personality given to us on birth to achieve our destiny. But the term ego also implies mis-use of the personality, in which the will becomes very strong and the sense of one's own self importance and one's 'rightness' also become strong. The 'big I am', in which selfish interests take over.
The 5 senses only give us a manipulated picture of reality suited to our species and life, but the egotistical mind takes the perceptions manufactured by the perception system from the sensory input to be 'real'.
The use of perfuming and prejudices does not quite convey the overall meaning of the original text. The perceptions - if we start to believe they are true - nourish both our beliefs [intellectual] and our negative emotions [affectional] both of which are a big block to spiritual progress.
A description of the experience
Asvaghosha - The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana translated by D T Suzuki
By ego-consciousness we mean that all ignorant minds through their succession-consciousness cling to the conception of I and not-I and misapprehend the nature of the six objects of sense. The ego-consciousness is also called separation-consciousness, or phenomena-particularising-consciousness, because it is nourished by the perfuming influence of the prejudices, intellectual as well as affectional.
The source of the experienceAcvaghosha
Concepts, symbols and science items
Five senses system