Question: Why does the "I" seek so assiduously if it is the ego?

Sri Chinmoy: One “I” is the ego; the other is not the ego. The first “i” is the small “i”, the ego, and the other one is the capital “I”, the immortal Self, the One, the Brahman Absolute. The ego, which is the little “i,” the small “i,” is constantly seeking for something other than itself. That is why there is no end to its search. It is never satisfied with what it has and what it is. The truth is always somewhere else, beyond, beyond. It is just like standing at one shore of the river and thinking that the other shore is most beautiful. Then, when you get there, you will feel that the first shore is more beautiful. The very nature of the ego is to be dissatisfied and displeased. That is why it is searching for something other than itself. The small “i” has to search because it has not seen the Truth. At the same time, it does not want to see the Truth the way the Truth has to be seen, through the conscious awareness of the soul.

Now, the Self, the capital “I,” is self-enamoured in its own realisation of truth. On the one hand it is actually walking in the field of experience and on the other hand it is the experience itself. It also feels that it is the experiencer. Again, it is beyond all action, beyond all experience, beyond all fields of experience. We cannot bind the truth. One moment the truth is this and the next moment the truth is something totally different from this. So the “I,” the capital “I,” is all the time beyond our definition. We cannot define the capital “I” with our thoughts; it is beyond, all the time beyond them. Something is moving, but when we say that it is moving, our Upanishads say and our realisation says that it is not moving at all. “That moves and that moves not; that is far and the same is near. That is here, that is there, that is everywhere and, at the same time, that is beyond everywhere.”

So, with the mind we cannot think of this capital “I.” We can only realise the capital “I” on the strength of our aspiration. This “I,” the Self, is not seeking for anything other than itself. If we say that it is seeking for itself, that is true. Again, if we say that it is not seeking for itself, this is also perfectly true. If we say that it is all the time transcending itself and its own highest realisation or highest Truth, which it embodies, then this is also true.

The capital “I” is always satisfied. It is growing and expanding and fulfilling itself to its satisfaction. It has no need to get further fulfilment or to search. It wants to fulfil everything in and through the soul, which is the representative of the Supreme, God the Absolute.