Good Autolysis discription
Is the earth round?Not quite. The (paraphrased) instruction is "write something you know to be true, or believe to be true, and keep reducing it until you reach what is true". So knowing that you don't know for sure that something you know in everyday terms is 'true' (I.e. Earth being round) is very much a part of that reduction process. Now take it further: reduce the various reasons, ways, evidences etc. that we've brought up in this thread and reduce them down to what they truly seem to be. Then take that and reduce it down.
By reducing, we recognise and understand what is not absolutely truthful in our understanding; thought-images, conceptual models, emotional beliefs of ourselves and the world - we take all these things and attempt to identify what is untrue about them. When something is identified as untrue, it can be put down. Eventually, maybe we put everything untrue down.
So it's not about figuring out what you are, it's putting down what you're not. And I think one of the biggest risks is believing what anybody else says you 'truly' are. Because your head-canon of what they mean becomes a new thing you carry around, a new untruth. Many people seem to be trying to figure out how they can prove to themselves they are infinite consciousness or whatever. Don't. Won't work, can't win. Just find what is untrue in every word, thought, deed, and belief, and put them down
Ego and pain
How To Stop Creating Physical Pain?Strong Determination Sitting is a good way to work on consciousness of pain.
This isn't easy to do, but try to sit for so long that you get to the point where the excruciating pain of your sit turns into pleasure. It's a very distinct inflection point that happens during long, serious sits.
As you sit there in pain for an hour or more, you have ample time to contemplate: What is pain? What is suffering?
With pain and suffering it's very important to try to contemplate it WHILE IT IS HAPPENING, not after the fact. This cuts through speculation and theorizing.
My guess is, you'd have to be pretty deeply enlightened to be able to deconstruct pain in the way Ralston talks about. Because so long as the ego is intact it will bitch and whine and moan and resist too much. A deep surrender is required.
Ralston is talking about super-human levels of consciousness. So don't be discouraged if you can't get it fast.
I’m More Conscious Than YouYour degree of unconditional love for everything around you.
The whole game of the ego is that it wants everything to be a certain way. When that criteria doesn't get met, that's when your resistance to what is kicks in.
Can ego come back someday after enlightenment?@Buba It depends on how you define ego.. I see ego as a function. The sense of a separate self will completely dissolve but the function of ego will continue.. You need ego to function in the world. Before enlightenment, ego strives to protect and enhance the personal separate self. But after enlightenment, ego simply helps you to function in the world. There is no more solid, consistent and separate self to protect. But ego by its very nature is defensive. This defensive nature will continue throughout your life and it is actually an essential function in social life. But you can't feel hurt or insulted anymore because there is no solid 'me' to feel insulted.
For your question regarding enlightenment, read this