Hitherto the subject of the Ego has been a very controversial one. Many people postulate that the ego is some sort of esoteric belief which has no tangible source for reasoning. I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to understand the karma of the ego. Why it is there, what it does and why we have one. Today Id like to formulate my perceptions on this subject because I think it is one of the utmost and crucial things that we need to understand in and on our life journey here as humans.
When people talk about the ego they tend to talk very lightly of it. Even with little or no understanding of the subject at all, it still seems to crop up in conversations every now and then. In general I have concluded that the preponderance of people whom chose to converse about the ego believe it to be something that ‘makes you do bad things’. So without further a do lets get into the details and see what we can understand about the ego.
Every human has an ego. It is commonly expressed as the ‘voice in our head’ or the thing that told us to do something bad that maybe we wouldn’t usually have indulged in. There are many philosophers that believe that Satan, the Devil and other evil entities are actually just the ego written into a story to help you understand what it is or how it works etc Im sure you can remember certain cartoons when you may have been younger that aired on TV that showed a character with a Devil on one shoulder advising him and an Angel on the other also trying its best to guide the character to doing the right thing. This is a great way to perceive the battle of the ego against the higher self (soul). I think by envisioning the ego vs the soul in such a way can help us understand a little bit more about the ego and the bad tricks it plays on us. The ego is mainly a ‘bad’ thing and we really should work towards disallowing its power over us.
Why is the ego a ‘bad thing’?
The ego makes us do foolish, dangerous and preposterous things. It gets us in trouble, it tells us to do silly things and it takes control of us fully. The ego works in many mysterious and secretive ways without us having the slightest idea it even exists. Because if you knew it was there and how it actually works against you, you would instantly disburden yourself of its ascendancy.
If the ego is bad, why is it here bestowed upon us?
The ego is within us because it makes us learn. It presents us with a multitude of opportunities to learn and gain experience along our journeys. The problem arises when the ego gets so engrained within us as we develop into adults and seems to become us. That is the one true and dangerous issue. The ego says to you,
‘I AM YOU’.
The ego becomes you. It then becomes your one and only source for direction and guidance when you feel like you most need help from that inner voice. You have allowed the evil to become you and you base all your decisions on those fabricated and created by your ego. You are basically under control and have no power to make real, honest, caring and compassionate decisions. Your life becomes based upon fear, anger, anxiety, victimisation, obsessive behaviours, dominance, uncontrollable emotions, desire, needs, wants and attachments. None of these things are actually you. When you were born and in your most natural state of ‘being’ the only thing you wanted or desired was the loving attention from your mother. Only when you start to grow up and the ego starts to set in do all these unnatural wants, needs and desires start to kick in and become a controlling force upon you. When you are young and at the ages of around 3-8 years old you don’t care what colour the other kids are, how the other kids look or what clothing they are sporting. Only when we start to grow up does the ego start to create an awful trait within us called judgement. We grow up and we start to judge others. Judgement is one of the worst possible traits a human being can have. It makes us ugly when we chose to judge others. Judgment causes separation, religion, sexism, racism and disconnection. All of these characteristics are unfortunately the quintessential ingredients for destruction, destruction of the world, peace, love and humanity itself.
I watched a movie recently that stars the famous actor Jason Statham. He walks out of a building just before he gets ran over by a car and says this verse, which is an absolutely fantastic way to explain how, what and who the ego is inside of us. Just read,
‘There is something about yourself that you don’t know. Something that you will deny even exists, until it’s too late to do anything about it. It’s the only reason you get up in the morning. The only reason you suffer the shitty puss, the blood, the sweat and the tears. This is because you want people to know how good, attractive, generous, funny, wild and clever you really are. Fear or revere me, but please, think I’m special. We share an addiction. We’re approval junkies. We’re all in it for the slap on the back and the gold watch. The hip-hip-hoo-fuckin’ rah. Look at the clever boy with the badge, polishing his trophy. Shine on you crazy diamond, because we’re just monkeys wrapped in suits, begging for the approval of others.’ – Jake Green (Movie – Revolver)
Couldn’t have put it better myself!
The ego controls us by making us WANT things. We WANT attention and we certainly WANT approval. We desire everything thats big, shiny and new. Why? Because we simply WANT to be BETTER than others. We buy a Mercedes because of the name badge. A car is for transportation, nothing else. But we WANT to show off by purchasing a ‘named’ car, with a fancy badge and a high ticket price. Why? Because we WANT approval, we believe our car choice says things about us as INDIVIDUALS. The badge, the shape, the colour and the price tag seem to justify what league we are in. Drive a Porsche, Ferrari or Bentley and you are rich, youv’e made it. Drive a Mercedes, BMW or Audi and you are ‘Middle class’. Drive anything less and you haven’t made it yet and you are not worthy of being accepted by the upper or middle class people yet. What are these systems, leagues and levels that people yearn to accomplish? What an absolutely absurd way of thinking and ‘doing’ life. But, everyone is doing life exactly this way and we wonder why the world has gone crazy! We BLAME others, leaders, presidents and terrorists but we never seem to want to blame ourselves. It is US and that is that!!!
Juluis Ceaser once said,
‘The greatest enemy will hide in the last place you would ever look’.
He is clearly talking about the ego in this statement. The ‘enemy’ IS your ego. It wont let you know that as it WANTS to strive and live on inside of you. The ego never wants to lose power over you as it feeds off of your fears daily. You are being controlled by your ego and its only YOU, YES only YOU, who can help yourself. There are two conflicting voices inside of our heads, the ego will 99% of the time be the most dominant one and the higher self (your soul) will be pushed aside and be much more submissive. You need to learn to access your higher self and to shut off the ego. Much more easier said than done.
How do we proceed to eliminate the control of the ego?
First off we need to learn what it is the ego does to us, what it makes us do and how we can then stop ourselves from playing along with it. So without further a do lets have a look at a list of things that the ego does to us so we can identify the issues and work on resolving them. The ego makes us:
ACT Angry and out of control
THINK we are RIGHT, YOU are WRONG
THINK we are something unique and special
BELIEVE we deserve something
The list goes on.
None of these things we did as children so why do we do them as ‘adults’?
Once we start to realise what is happening we can then proceed to dismantle the defective relationship we have with our ego. From personal experience I started with judgment. Every time I was about to judge someone for being fat, shopping in the cake isle in Asda Id stop. Ok it wasn’t that easy like it all just stopped instantaneously but the moment you start to put effort into something and that effort comes from the heart then it will soon flourish into an effortless doing. Just by starting to cut out little niggles like judgment, or bouts of anger etc you will soon start to see the benefits by taking control of your ego.
When we go out shopping or we are sat at home online aimlessly browsing pointless material goods pondering what items we think we NEED to buy to make ourselves feel better, look better and to grant us the approval by our peers we NEED to ask ourselves,
Do I REALLY need this?
Do I want (need) this?
The real meaning of NEED is that you actually are in need of something to survive or to complete a project etc The real definition of the word need should not be used whilst shopping for material good because you don’t NEED any of them! So unless you NEED this thing to survive you just WANT the item/s to show off, to fit in or to feel better which are ALL traits of the controlling ego. This habit we have of shopping is completely ego driven. The DESIRE to look or ‘feel good’ are all driven by your ego. I put feel good in inverted commas because its a widely used terminology that many people pass off as a viable excuse to buying expensive clothing, ‘It makes me feel good’. That is a load of BS.
So the question is do YOU really need the item? If its cold and you are buying a proper duck down or cold weather jacket that has purpose then of course this is not an ego driven action. But if you are cold and buying a pink fur lined high end, high cost jacket to dualistically cover both cold weather issues and fashion issues at the same time this decision is still being over ruled and dominated by the ego.
The last two points I’m going to cover include; being unique and an individual and also labelling ourselves. Im going to quickly cover the latter as it is a very simple matter to discuss. We want to label ourselves purely to make ourselves look or sound better than someone else. ‘Hi, Im Doctor…’ sounds so much better than, ‘Hi, I work at McDonalds’. This sort of labelling and fabricated hierarchy causes separation from others and gives people what they believe a moral authority over others. If you believe you have a higher standing than someone else, whether its because you have a ‘higher education’, a better job, house, family name or rank within a business then you are ego driven. To separate yourself from another by saying you have power over them, you are wiser or obtain more knowledge means you are 100% judgmental and egoistic. You are no better than anyone else. That is the truth.
‘The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence’.
We are all completely equal, we are just souls experiencing life as a human. We all have our own paths and journeys no matter how esoteric, spiritual or religious you are, or are not. I do personally believe that a high percentage of people still would agree that we all have our own callings in life and we follow our paths no matter what. Now on to the last point, we are all connected. We are all sharing the same planet, the same food, water, energy and oxygen. We are souls, as I mentioned just a moment a go, having human experiences. We are all humans, well most of us, and we are all experiencing our individual journeys. Now just because we are all on a unique journey doesn’t mean we are so unique we have to become something spectacular or legend like to stand out and become noticed. This conception is just a ridiculous measure that the ego places upon us. There is no need to become anyone to do anything. We think we have to strive, to push the boundaries, to work until our hands bleed until we become ‘something’ but we don’t. This ideology is a complete fallacy. All we have to do on our journeys is just experience what we came here to experience and that is it. It is us humans and our egos that make everything so onerous and unnecessary.
Life is as hard as you make it. If you allow the ego to control you, you are surely making your life a very difficult one indeed. Slow down, take a moment and think about what you are doing in life. Are you making decisions based on compassion, love, care and creativity? Or are you leading a life of lies, fear, deceit, desire, anger and judgement? You are the owner and carer of your own mind. There is a true loving and guiding voice inside your own head, you just have to learn to listen to the right one.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and If you did enjoy it Id much appreciate a like, comment or even a share if possible! Thank you in advance readers. Om shanti!