EGO, EGO, or EGO?
I've been musing a lot on the ego, lately. It seems to me that being in control of our ego is a great way to stay calm and happy.
People throw the word, "ego" around a lot. "He has a huge ego!" "Ugh what an ego.." "Your ego is getting in the way." "It was a great boost to my ego."
Used this way, let's call it the everyday way, the ego is a person's view of themselves; their sense of self importance. And for a lot of people, especially women, the ego needs strengthening.
I went to Rockstar Camp a few weeks back, as most of you will know, and that was a wonderful way to strengthen my ego. I came out of it less afraid to fully express myself; and more inspired to share my personal knowledge, experience, and wisdom with others.
But when we talk about the ego in metaphysics (or philosophy maybe), the ego is the entity that thinks. It's not just the VIEW we hold of ourself, it's the SELF that observes our self. "I'm an idiot", "I'm afraid of the ocean". "I'm not happy with you right now." The ego is speaking. Whenever we say, "I", our ego is speaking.
So, in metaphysics, the ego does not need strengthening; it needs dissolving.
They are complimentary activities though....
If I dissolve the metaphysical ego - the "I" that says, "I can't go on stage and be a rockstar, I will look ridiculous" , then my true essence - my SOUL - can take over. My true essence is not afraid! My Essence is perfect just as it is. It just IS. So, I go on stage and I have fun and people enjoy it and my everyday ego - my view of myself - improves.
And then there's the ego that psychoanalysts talk about, along with the superego and the id. And it was Freud who came up with all that and honestly, I can never keep the concepts straight, but I am sure they're very helpful and I think therapy is awesome.
But, moving on to what I DO understand...
THE METAPHYSICAL EGO
The metaphysical ego is the one you read about in the work of Eckhart Tolle and Pema Chodron and other such teachers. The metaphysical ego is the one that A Course in Miracles deals with.
This ego is the self that observes and interprets; whereas the soul/spirit/essence is the self that experiences.
The ego is made up of thoughts. The soul/spirit/essence is made up of pure consciousness.
Ego is the conglomeration of opinions, memories, beliefs, expectations ... any and all thoughts we have. That's it. Our ego is our thoughts.
This conglomeration of thoughts can feel very solid and real; it feels like our personality; it feels permanent. But thoughts are not solid or real or permanent.
So what is real and permanent?
Pure consciousness is real. Being-ness is permanent. Some people call it God or Source or Spirit or All or Essence or True Love. Call it whatever you like. Being Spiritualist, I tend to call it Infinite Intelligence.
Moving from identification with Ego to identification with Essence is spiritual growth.
As humans, we will never, and should never, completely dissolve our ego. If we did, we'd have no personality and we would just sit there; we wouldn't be able to make plans or laugh at a joke or choose someone to date.
The goal of spiritual growth is to dissolve the ego to the point where it is small enough for us to control.
Remember, the metaphysical ego is the conglomeration of opinions, memories, beliefs, expectations ... any and all thoughts we have. Ego is our thoughts. Essence is our consciousness.
So what? Why should we bother to try to control our ego?
So that we can be happy.
So that we can live free from anxiety, anger, resentment, loneliness, anguish, heartbreak, and fear. Thoughts gone wild cause all those nasty feelings. Thoughts under control means our Soul can express itself; thoughts under control means we can tune in to the sounds of the Universe; we can communicate with Infinite Intelligence; we can breathe in True Love. And this is where profound peace, serenity, and happiness is found.
HOW TO DO IT
If you'd like to join us as we work through A Course in Miracles and get into the habit of dissolving our egos and experiencing Essence and more permanent happiness, join us in the Facebook group.
And stay tuned for the next post...