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consciousness and the ego

What is the difference between consciousness and the ego? {from the buddhist perspective)


From http://innervessel.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/consciousness-buddhism-and-the-ego/


Consciousness is pure existence devoid of the ego, and a personality. Though a new born baby may have genetic pointers, which may later influence personality developement,  It does not have a true personality as of yet; and thus is akin to tabula rasa-a blank slate. Such a state is pure consciousness. From then onwards life experiances, in tandem with genetic pointers, shape ones personality and create the ego, or sense of self.


Buddhists believe this false self is where suffering originates. The ego is never satisfied, it craves pleasure, which often cannot be satisfied. The ego is a fragile thing, easily wounded, and ignorant of the transcendent nature of that which is in nature. Also, as the the ego is created from experience it is possible that one may have too many negative experiences, resulting in neurosis or a dysfunctional personality-and ultimately resulting in suffering. According to buddhists the goal of Buddhism is to become aware of the true self, ones pure consciousness, and deconstruct the false self, the ego.



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