Ego represents our mind, and this mind does not want to lose control on our being.
It happens often to so many people in the moments of deep meditation that a meditator comes face to face with some kind of psychological death. His or her mind starts dissolving like a tiny drop disappears into an vast ocean and loses its own existence forever. The same happens in the moments of deepest prayer also. It is the dissolution of ego.
Osho explains this phenomenon with a wonderful poem of Rabindranath Tagore: The poet has been searching for god for millions of lives. He has seen him sometimes, far away, near a star, and he started moving that way, but by the time he reached that star, God has moved to some other place. But he went on searching and searching — he was determined to find God’s home — and the surprise of surprises was, one day he actually reached a house where on the door was written: “God’s Home”.
You can understand his ecstasy, you can understand his joy. He runs up the steps, and just as he is going to knock on the door, suddenly his hand freezes. An idea arises in him: “If by chance this is really the home of god, then I am finished, my seeking is finished. I have become identified with my search. I don’t know anything else. If the door opens and I face god, I am finished — the search is over. Then what? Then there is an eternity of boredom — no excitement, no discovery, no new challenge, because there cannot be any challenge greater than god.”
He starts trembling with fear, takes his shoes off his feet, and descends back down the beautiful marble steps. He took the shoes off so that no noise was made, for his fear was that even a noise on the steps… God may open the door, although he has not knocked. And then he runs as fast as he has never run before. He used to think that he had been running after god as fast as he can, but today, suddenly, he finds energy which was never available to him before. He runs as he has never run before, not looking back.
The poem ends, “I am still searching for god. I know his home, so I avoid it and search everywhere else. The excitement is great, the challenge is great, and in my search I continue, I continue to exist. God is a danger — I will be annihilated. But now I am not afraid even of God, because I know His home. So, leaving His home aside, I go on searching for Him all around the universe.
And deep down I know my search is not for God; my search is to nourish my ego.”
Ego represents our mind, and this mind does not want to lose control on our being. So it creates all kinds of seemingly rational excuses against going deep into the mysteries of life that exist beyond its boundaries. And the experience of godliness does not happen within the confines of mind-it is totally beyond the realm of mind.