The Inner Path: No To The Ego
“The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist.” ― Eckhart Tolle
The ego is a powerful thing. So many people have been snared by this conceptual element and don't even know it. The ego disguises itself as... you. A conception your identity in a physical form. Elements of the outside world and of personal experiences are mostly repressed by the ego... that's a problem. The ego comes out as your character for all to see, not always seen asan overinflated sense of self. It canturn up in feelings of inferiority or self-hatred also, because ego is any image you have of yourself that gives you a sense of identity. That identity derives from the things you tell yourself and the things other people have been saying about you that you've decided to accept as truth. Yes, and that's why it's important for you to let go of the ego and be you. The ego is a protective and guarded shell for you, not protecting you, but separating you. It's a barrier, cutting you off from other people and the outside world. Separating you... from you.
The ego gains power and strength by putting a wedge between you and the outside world... that's the intrinsic part of the ego. When this happens, the ego has snared you in its grip. Your thoughts are no longer yours; they belong to the ego. And, if you want to be free, it's important that you understand that the voice in your head is the ego speaking, and irritation and upset you feel is the emotional response to that voice. Your goal is to become rooted in a new you, sans the ego. You want be present in the real world around you. As Eckhart Tolle said, "you are not the ego, so when you become aware of the ego in you, it does not mean you know who you are... it means you know who you are not. But it is through knowing who you are not that the greatest obstacle to truly knowing yourself is removed." Here are some foundational steps needed to free you of that shell and voice that's dictating your reality.
- Being aware of your thoughts, especially negative thoughts that invoke anger, impatience, irritation and meanness, awakens you and brings you into consciousness. The ego feeds on negative emotions, it knows the buttons to push, so when those negative emotions or words begins to flowchange your thoughts (they are not yours anyway, they belong to the ego) and move into awareness where you will find inspiration for new thoughts. Make these new thoughts your new habits.
- Be who you truly are. Once you're able to recognize the ego, you'll certainly know who you are not. Being in touch with the inner, deeper level is who you are. Now you have to walk in the new habits of who you truly are. Being aware gives you the space to do that. That space is where your true self lies. It's your consciousness and your inspiration. Those are the quiet moments of stillness where you observe the world around you... all things natural, and recognizing their purpose.
- Plant roots in the new you and allow the ego to diminish itself. Remember the ego is always on guard, waiting for an opportunity to emerge. Now that you know who you are, you want to remain in that state... plant your roots there. When you feel those negative emotions from someone criticizing you or blaming you, or doing something to you, doesn't matter who's right or wrong, its the ego beginning its automatic mechanism of repair (remember the ego lives in negativity and anger).
- A powerful spiritual action exercise is to allow the ego's embers to burn out. You may want to practice it from time to time. For example, like I said earlier, when someone criticizes you, blames you or call you names, instead of immediately giving rise to the ego by retaliating...do nothing. Allow your deeper, inner self absorb it. See what it feels like and you will find that you're still you...the criticizing, the blame, the name calling didn't diminish you. You may feel bad for a minute, but you've actually expanded by taking the high road while being nonreactive. You'll feel the awareness and fullness of life within you. But don't become a victim of unconscious and unaware people. If you have to respond to a situation, don't yell, shout or use inappropriate words. Just state the facts without the negativity, giving power to your words.
Remember you are not the facts and information about yourself. Your reaction to someone or something will always tell where you are in the unconscious. You want to be rooted in your deeper, inner being... your consciousness and awareness. You are the awareness and not the emotion.