Egoism is the identification of the Seer with the act of seeing.
From the suffering of misidentification with the body-mind complex as the sole reality (Avidya, the origin of all of our afflictions) generates and evolves the next affliction, Asmita, , the sense of ‘I-am-ness’ or egoism. Egoism as defined in this Sutra by Rishi Patanjali as the identification of the Seer with the act or instrument of seeing.
The only constant and underlying factor that observes and experiences all internal and external phenomena is Consciousness. The body-mind complex is only a vehicle, a medium for Consciousness to express itself. The body and mind only reflect Consciousness, and identifying the Self as the body and mind is creating a false sense of self, a soul-less spirit-less individuation, a fictitious sense of ‘I-am-ness’ called egoism or Asmita living in disillusion perceiving itself as a ‘victim’ of space, time and circumstances or pumping itself up as a ‘false god’ erected on ever shifting sand or quicksand.
Spiritual Practice: REFLECTION
Reflect on the following:
Who is it that sees and gives the power to see through the eyes, hears and gives the power to hear through the ears, feels and gives the power to feel through touch, smells and gives the power to smell through the nose, and tastes and gives the power to taste through the taste buds?
Who is it that thinks and images and gives the power to think and build images through the mind?
Who is it that remembers and gives the power to recall events and dreams?
Who is it that creates, maintains and destroys and gives the power of creation, maintenance and destruction through our intent, thinking, speech and actions?
Who is that One? It is none other than the Self and not its instruments. It is the Seer, Consciousness being aware of its own Self.