Adyashanti on ego – scintillating words in ‘Selling water by the river’



There is so much inspiration in the article 'Selling water by the river' by Adyashanti.  For example in the full-length version Adya says;

Maybe I can point you to the great Reality within you. 
Maybe you will awaken to the direct experience of Self-realization. 
Maybe you will catch the fire of transmission. 
But there is one thing that no one can give you: 
the honesty and integrity that alone will bring you completely to 
the other shore.

These are wise and cautionary words given that teachers are popping up like mushrooms.  Would-be devotees need some criteria to sort the wheat from the chaff – a sort of Guru Standards Institute charter!  

This verse from Adya will certainly be included in my Guru Standards Institute charter!

Below is an extract and a link to the full piece


Selling Water by the River


In speaking regularly with spiritual seekers, it dawned on me one day how 

addicted so many of them are to the power of charisma. They swap stories 

about how powerful this or that teacher is and compare experiences. They get 

a charge from it, many mistaking charisma for enlightenment. Charisma 

attracts at all levels: political, sexual, spiritual, etc., and it feeds the ego's 

desire to feel special. The ego loves getting hits of power—it's like a form of 

spiritual candy. The candy may be sweet but can you live on it? Does it make 

you free?


Freedom is not necessarily exciting; it's just free. Very peaceful and quiet, so 

very quiet. Of course, it is also filled with joy and wonder, but it is not what 

you imagine. It is much, much less. Many mistake the intoxicating power of 

otherworldly charisma for enlightenment. More often than not it is simply 

otherworldly, and not necessarily free or enlightened. In order to be truly 

free, you must desire to know the truth more than you want to feel good. 

Because if feeling good is your goal, then as soon as you feel better you will 

lose interest in what is true. This does not mean that feeling good or 

experiencing love and bliss is a bad thing. Given the choice, anyone would 

choose to feel bliss rather than sorrow. It simply means that if this desire to 

feel good is stronger than the yearning to see, know, and experience Truth, 

then this desire will always be distorting the perception of what is Real, while 

corrupting one's deepest integrity. 



Enlightenment has nothing to do with states of consciousness. Whether you 

are in ego consciousness or unity consciousness is not really the point. I have 

met many people who have easy access to advanced states of consciousness. 

Though for some people this may come very easily, I also notice that many of 

these people are no freer than anyone else. If you don't believe that the ego 

can exist in very advanced states of consciousness, think again. The point isn't 

the state of consciousness, even very advanced ones, but an awake mystery 

that is the source of all states of consciousness. It is even the source of 

presence and beingness. It is beyond all perception and all experience. I call it 

"awakeness." To find out that you are empty of emptiness is to die into an 

aware mystery, which is the source of all existence. It just so happens that 

that mystery is in love with all of its manifestation and non-manifestation. You 

find your Self by stepping back out of yourself. 


Go HERE to read this excellent article

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