Monthly Archives: April 2013

The nature of the ego

Part 1
Part 2 – This article

I briefly touched upon the subject of self-fulfilment during last Sunday’s workshop. That in turn reminded me of this article about the ego, which I have been wanting to write for a while but had almost completely forgotten about.

Some years ago I had a realisation that whenever we are looking for something outside ourselves, we are not giving that something to ourselves. If, for example, I am looking for a person to love me, it means that I am not giving myself enough love. This is true for all the other basic needs that are rooted in love, such as respect, attention, appreciation, meaning, etc.

To give ourselves these basic needs, in other words to fulfil ourselves, we need to realise that we are the source of these basic needs. When we do not realise that we, ourselves, are the source of love, life becomes more difficult to enjoy. Our behaviour becomes more externally oriented, because that is where we are seeking fulfilment. This ‘additional’ externally oriented behaviour is what is often perceived as caused by the ‘ego’. It is for example when we are seeking appreciation from others that we start boasting to others about ourselves, become vain, or some other behaviour that is associated with the ego.

I often thought the ego is some sort of thing inside me before I had this insight into it. I started to believe that the ego is something that is preventing me from experiencing ‘enlightenment’ and that it needs to be curtailed, controlled or defeated. I now realise that this approach to the ego is useless, because the ego is not a thing and so you cannot battle it. It is correct that it seems like the ego is unbeatable, for the simple reason that it does not exist. I experienced relief when I understood this.

The ego is simply a misunderstanding or misbelief about who and what we are. We are the source of all the basic human needs and my experience is that we start experiencing this more when we start to act according to that understanding.

Those who are familiar with Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras can compare the explanation in this article to his explanation of the kleshas. Patanjali says that ignorance of our true nature (avidya) is the root cause of all suffering and that ‘I-ness’ (asmita) is a product of this ignorance.

Part 1
Part 2 – 本文



14/04/2013 – Beyond judgements 台南一日工作坊:超越批評

The insights that I have gained on the attitude of non-judgement have been among the most useful and practical to my personal development. That is the reason that here, on this blog, I have written a number of articles on this subject.

In the period that I have been writing these articles I have also been experimenting a lot with the ideas presented in them, and I have become confident that those ideas can serve as an important foundation of the personal philosophy of many people. That’s why I have been busy with trying to develop a one-day workshop around the subject of going beyond judgements.

On April 4th I will conduct this workshop for the very first time, in Tainan City, Taiwan. The feedback on this workshop will help me to further develop my ideas on how to conduct a workshop on this specific subject in the future.

Details on the April 4th workshop, such as costs, location and schedule can be found in Chinese via the following link: Beyond Judgements (April 4th, Chinese).

General details on the workshop can be found in English via the following link: Beyond Judgements (General, English).




有關這次工作坊的細節,如費用、地點以及課程表等中文資訊,可參考以下連結:Beyond Judgements (April 4th, Chinese)

相關英文資訊,請參考以下連結:Beyond Judgements (General, English)


Rumified – Exploring my destiny Rumified – 探索自己的命運

There is a saying, or perhaps it is a quote, which goes

“If you can’t do what you love, love what you do.”

I appreciate this quote because it summarises an attitude or approach towards life that I aspire to. My interpretation of this quote is that our first attempts should be to try to do what we feel passionate and excited about. If life is not arranged in such a way that doing those things is possible in this moment, then we should at least feel passionate ad excited about those things that are possible now.

I emphasised the word ‘first’ in my interpretation, because up to a few months ago in my life I have exclusively focused on the second part of the quote. Over time, I increasingly found myself advising other people to discover what they are passionate about in life and to be creative in finding ways to incorporate their passions in their livelihood and day-to-day activities. That naturally led me to question whether I was actually following my own advice.

I was not.

So I quickly thought of the moments when I was most in awe, most inspired, most excited. These feelings often arise in me when I see peace descend in others, or when I see them gaining insights that are important to their lives, or when their negativity is making way for positivity. I enjoy observing it, and I enjoy it when I can be a part of it.

With this becoming clear to me, and with me getting increasingly less satisfaction from my technical work, I decided that I need to try to design a future for myself in which I will be working with people instead of computers. I want to do more with the insights that I am sharing on this blog in my daily life. This does not mean that I’m in a rush to change my job in the next second, because I find stability in my life important; but it is clear to me that I will be changing my job sometime in the future.

My first step has been to get a formal position as an (in-house) coach at my employer. I had already been doing coach-like work informally and this seemed to be a very natural next step to me. I’m happy to say that my employer has given me this position now, and that I already feel more satisfied because I have more time to spend on activities that I find deeply meaningful.

My next step, which might take a few years to complete, is to move into coaching and consultancy on a full-time basis. This combined with some advice that Wolfgang has given Elly and me in the past, is the reason that Elly and I have started our own consultancy called Rumified. I want to gradually build a stable foundation for myself via this consultancy, so that I can complete my career switch at some point in the future. I invite you to visit the website of our consultancy at

I do not know what the future holds for us, but what I can say is that I am very happy with the steps that I am taking now.



我之所以欣賞這句話,是因為它將我所希望採取的生命態度做了一個總結。我對於這句話的詮釋是: 首先,我們應該嘗試做我們感到有熱情且興奮的事情。但如果人生安排並未讓我們在當下能夠做這些事情,那麼我們至少應該對於那些目前可行的事情,抱持熱情與興奮。