So, you’re here in the present moment, looking from the silent truth within and the oneness of existence!
My name is Chris and I help guide people through the Path of Spiritual Awakening towards Liberation!
What is the Ego?
‘Ego is just like a dust in the eyes. Without clearing the dust you can’t see anything clearly. So clear the ego and see the world’
The word ‘ego’ is a latin word that means ‘i’, and this ‘i’ is the false mental identity that most people believe themselves to be.
So i have a question for you, ‘where are you located?’, pretty strange question right? How many people have asked you this question before lol, probably not many i’m assuming. Most people when asked this question would point to their body, some would point to their head.
If i said ‘where in the body are you located?’, some would say…all of my body. In Which case i would say ‘but what if your finger or leg was removed, where would you be then?’. In other words, if the body can be dissected, but ‘you’ remain…then where is the core of you, your essence? Where do you really begin and end?
At this point, most would turn their direction to the head and say that they are either the brain, or they are the ‘thinker’, ‘assessor’ or ‘analyzer’ that takes place as ‘mind’. In different lingo, that you are the inner conversation taking place in your noggin. This is at the source of most peoples perceived identity, ‘ i am that which i think, and the thinking itself’, would you agree with this?
The ego is a term that is used to refer to identification with the body and mind. In other words, when the nonphysical identifies itself as the physical or as anything, the ego is born. It is a relationship and identity with the thought mechanism itself and the body as being who you are. We will briefly talk about why the ego came about and what its primary function is.
The ego is an identity of being separate from anything that it is ‘not’ identified with. For example, the ego is at the core of itself is an identity of being a separate organism from the rest of existence. Because of its perceived sense of being separate, it looks to create many identities of which to hold onto and plump up a sense of lack that it got from feeling separate from life. In other words, because it feels incomplete from the totality of life…it seeks to identify and attach itself to many things in the attempt to feel ‘connected’ and ‘one’ once again, but no matter how hard it tries…it can never be complete, in fact it only segregates itself more by its identifications.
So in a nutshell, the ego is anything that you identify yourself with as being a separate organism from life (even a spiritual identity), anything that you say is ‘me’ or ‘i’ is the ego structure.
For example, i am my body, i am my thoughts, i am my opinions, i am my property, i am my job, i am a father, mother, husband or wife ect. I am my zodiac sign or personality, Anything that is taken ownership of as being who you are is ego identity. The mantra of the apart ego identity is ‘me, my and i’, it always relates to itself and has a personal self quality that places its identity on particular things. It may say ‘i am happy, i am angry, i am rich, i am poor. Where is my money. Why do things happen to me!’.Of course through the use of language we must use certain terms to speak, however, what makes the difference is the solidity of the sense of separation behind those mantras of me, my and i.
So it is this sense of apartness from life which has cut us off from the oneness and power of our true existence which is beyond the illusionary bounds of time, space and separation. All of the suffering that people experience can be attributed to the ego and sense of apartness that people have. Why? Because only a personal self can suffer, because of its constant reference of me, my or i. This sense of apartness also creates its own self limitations through the belief systems it has and via its fear because of its feeling of separation. Imagine for a second no longer having any suffering or self imposed limitations? Sound impossible? Only to a separate self with ideas of limitations…right…
The truth is, what i stumbled upon was a place that has no suffering or self limitation, a place free from it all but which paradoxically is the ‘all’ itself, no suffering, no boundaries, just liberation, deep peace and joy.
Why did the Ego come about?
The ego is a fiction that only exists as a byproduct through the use of language, because language is thought and thought is language. When we were born we had no idea of being a ‘someone’, we were just limitless energy at the heart of existence without any sense or idea of apartnes, we were just life. Then through the use of language, reference and programming, we began to take on a persona and identification. We were given a name that created a separate reference point making us defined from all of reality. As soon as this apart reference point was formed, psychological fear was born. It was born because of feeling separate from life, because only that which is separate from life needs to fend for itself by itself. Now there was a need to survive and keep itself alive, now its ‘me’ against the world, how can ‘i’ survive…
So the ego was formed as a substitute entity that arose because of its sense of needing to survive via separation. In other words, a portion of that oneness became identified as that portion and therefore inherited a survival instinct and mentality because of feeling cut off from the totality of existence. From this point onward, all other identities were heaped on top of it as the ‘persona’ or ‘personality, these then formed the further surface level complexities of the ego formation.
Ultimately the ego is there as a protection mechanism over the body and personal self. It looks to keep the body alive and to protect its identities and beliefs. It will do whatever it can to keep itself alive and in place, if it is threatened in any way…it will either attack or defend!
How to recognize the Ego at work in you or others
“The ultimate aim of the ego is not to see something, but to be something”
So let us now examine the many traits of the ego we may see in ourselves and others. Through awareness of these traits we can then begin to untangle ourselves from these behaviors and become free.
Intelligence & Knowledge
The basis of what the ego thrives off of is power and control. Sometimes the ego can pride itself on intelligence and knowledge, on being ‘smart’. It becomes another form of identity for the ego to cling to. It may say ‘I am more intelligent than most people’ and take much pride in that or downplay others that it perceives not to be as intelligent as it is.
Money and Achievements
The ego can often identify with money and achievements. It assumes many conditioning’s and one of the greatest conditioning’s is that which states that success is measured by how much money or material possessions we may have gathered. This idea if believed becomes entrenched as part of the egos complexion, narrative and pride.
Sometimes people may boast about how much money they make, or how much money they have in the bank, they may display and/or show-off their wealth to others to try and impress them. The ego feeds off of the responses of others and usually does those things to elicit a response.
Race and a Religion
A very powerful type of ego identity that traps many people is identifying themselves with a particular race or religion. When a person describes themselves as for example, ‘black’ or ‘white’, ‘Spanish’ or ‘Asian’, it is because they are fixated upon identification with the external body. Race and ethnicity is a very bodily-superficial thing. The moment we see ourselves as a particular race or religion, we create a separation from other races and religions. The stronger the identity, the stronger the division.
Have you ever noticed in yourself or others the tendency to complain? And also how satisfying it can feel to do that? That is the ego in action! The ego always bumps up against life because of its rigidity, it has no ability to allow and flow with what happens, it often stands in opposition to things, people and situations that don’t match the ideas and expectations it has. So complaining means that there is no allowance of what has occurred, only struggle…
It is the ego that struggles against things because it wants to change them and be how ‘it’ wants it to be, and so if it doesn’t get what it wants…it complains in the hope to do so, or at least to make itself feel better by releasing its frustrations.
Addicted to drama
One of the most destructive forms of the ego that is often dismissed as harmless, is the addiction to negativity and drama. This addiction is like a drip-feed of energy for the ego, it gives the ego substance to get stronger. Maybe you have noticed within your own experience or through witnessing others that some people seem to get a thrill out of drama, conflict and negativity? It seems to feed them in some way and sometimes the ego becomes hooked on that negative energy. You may know someone who has this ego trait, maybe you have even noticed it within yourself at times. It seems like they need their daily fix of drama, and are constantly searching for conflict in order that they may digest more of it.
Prejudice and judgment
Prejudice means ‘pre-judgment’ or forming an opinion before becoming aware of the relevant fact of a case, this is a prevalent characteristic of the programmed ego. Maybe you have noticed this in your own mind or by witnessing others, that often, people judge without knowing the full facts. This can happen in everyday life for the majority of people, in fact it can happen so much via knee jerk reaction that people are not fully aware they
are doing it!
We may find ourselves with a group of friends or family members, and they may be speaking about someone, speaking about what this person is supposed to have done, and they may end up judging, criticizing and forming opinions of them without any real evidence of anything, only hearsay and gossip. The ego mind loves
to judge because it loves to gets its teeth into drama, it loves to denigrate others to boost itself.
So what about judgments of which we have the facts? The ego self is judgmental to a personal degree, but the true self is much more discerning in an impersonal way. For example, if we were to order food in a restaurant, and it is in some way unsatisfactory, the ego self will immediately take the opportunity to complain, and not necessarily about the food, the ego may often make the complaint personal, directing anger towards the individual
who served them.
The ego always makes things personal because it is itself a personal identity that is separate, and that is the basis for all conflict. It views everything on a personal level, as if the order was wrong on purpose. The ego reacts and takes offense because it takes everything personally.
A really strong quality of the ego that we have briefly touched upon, was the egos need to fight and defend a particular position. The ego structure is at the core a survival mechanism in place to protect the identity itself. The identity is not just the belief of being a body, but also the belief of being everything that is thought and believed, the ego has a mental paradigm of what it believes to be true. If this belief paradigm is bumped up against in anyway, the response of the ego is to often lash out and defend it, because it believes that it is defending itself, that it is protecting
‘who it is’.
Maybe you have noticed this within yourself or in others, that when someone challenges what you believe, that you find yourself reacting very quickly to protect, defend or justify the belief that you have, it is like a soldier guarding their territory.
The survival mechanism is over used
The survival instincts are needed, for example, if you cross a road and all of a sudden a car comes flying out of nowhere, you need that survival instinct to kick in immediately so that you can jump out of the way and live another day! However, what has happened is that the ego has taken over the survival instinct and turned it into something that is not just protecting the body…but protecting the whole belief structure and identity of the mind, this is what sends the ego and survival mode in overdrive.
Survival is natural, if you need to eat, the body will tell you, if there is a danger from an animal attacking you…you will move, however the survival mode when coming from the ego will have you defending all the psychological identities that you have, because there has been a misconception that those things are you.
So next time you notice yourself or another moving on the defensive, be aware of it, and ask what belief or identity am i (or the other) trying to protect?
How to Loosen or Dissolve the ego
To be free from ego and access the Real Self (Secret Self) we must first either loosen or dissolve the ego all together.
The first step of untangling from the identity is to do what we have already done previously, and that is to become aware of what the ego is and how it functions and manifests itself in everyday reality and situations, both within us and those around us. Just by our awareness of it, we are already creating some distance and dissociation with it. What we can do is create a gap of space between the real us and the ego, becoming watchful of it is the first step.
So just by being aware of it when it arises and then taking a step back and watching it in an allowing nonjudgmental way will give us great freedom from it, it will stop the ego in its tracks as we are then not engaging in it any longer via our watchfulness of it, because it is impossible to watch and be engaged in it at the same time.
Meditation & Watchfulness
The second thing we can do to create some distance is in another form of official watching, and this is to meditate. Meditation means pure watchfulness without thought, to watch all that arises within your experience without thinking or creating an inner dialogue about it. Mediation is to just ‘be’ and to meet whatever occurs within the present moment, by doing this, we automatically create space between the ‘watcher’ and that which is being ‘watched’, in this case it is the ego and the inner thinking conversation that is being viewed.
As we become more watchful of the mind and ego, we start to recognize those patterns that are not us, and this allows dis- identification to happen, it also creates more silence within us, because only when the ego and mind are fed by our identification does it build a noisy persistent momentum.
Self investigation will put the whole ego identity into question so that the true self can be revealed!
The ego at its core is an energetic sense of apartness from life, but it is held up mainly by all of the things it believes and holds to be true about itself and reality. If we questions these assumptions and beliefs, and come to see that they are not actually true like we thought they were, then the structure of the ego is flung into shaky ground and can collapse to make way for the true self and the true reality of existence.
Each belief that the ego is made up of is like a house of cards, if you remove one of the main cards from the bottom…the whole house can fall down. In the same way, if we question the underlying beliefs we have, and come to see that they are not true, then it becomes impossible for us to hold onto them any longer, and
the whole structure of the ego can begin to dissolve and fall apart, leaving us free and clean.
Here’s how to do it
Here is a brief summary of how to do this process. I will talk about the process in more detail in a future video and article. The full process with details and examples are all contained within the Secret Self book here.
“unless you learn to face your shadows, you will continue to see them in others. Because the world outside you is only a reflection of the world inside you”
So first you must identify a thought or belief that you hold to be true, a belief is a strongly held thought that reoccurs over and over within your mind.
So it could be –
* I am not lovable
* The world is a bad place
* I’m unattractive
* Money is the root of all evil
* I am a failure
* I am unworthy
and so on.
So we take one belief at a time and begin to systematically question it and hold it under scrutiny.
We ask ‘Is it a true real fact?’
So for example ‘I am not lovable’, Is it a true real fact that i am not lovable?
We allow ourselves to be with it and answer yes or no, because it can only either by true or it can’t.
If we insist that it is true, then we give ourselves another chance to question the validity of it and ask ‘Is it one hundred percent a fact?’ If we say no, then cool. If we say yes, then we move onto the next question which is ‘Why would that be bad?’ this question allows us to go even deeper towards a more fundamental belief which is supporting it.
‘Why would it be bad if you are unlovable?’ So you may say ‘because i would never have a romantic relationship’
Then we may ask to qualify it further ‘why would that be bad?’
You may say ‘because i would be alone’, so the root belief is therefore ‘if someone does not love me, i will be alone’.
So now we question that belief with question number 1 again.
Give examples of not being alone such as, i would not be alone because i have my family around me, friends, pets, work colleagues, opportunities to meet people and i have the whole of life all around me ect.
I will go more into detail with this in a future video and article.
So these are some of the processes you can use to distance yourself and dissolve the ego identity.
When the ego is fully dissolved, what is left is pure oneness, freedom and authentic original consciousness.
There will be a complete freedom from suffering, self limitation and illusion. The absence of those things will be
love, peace, freedom and joy, and who doesn’t want that….?
Be relaxed, be peaceful, be joyful…and as always…enjoy the ride!