“It is this watcher, this censor, which creates the sense that we need to control things, for we feel that if we were just to ‘be,’ to co-exist with the universe, we could not trust ourselves; things would not come out the way we want them to.” (The Tao of Love )
Ego does not exist anywhere else except in human beings, and ego starts growing as the child grows. The parents, the schools, colleges, university, they all help to strengthen the ego for the simple reason that for centuries man had to struggle to survive and the idea has become a fixation, a deep unconscious conditioning, that only strong egos can survive in the struggle of life. Life has become just a struggle to survive. And scientists have made it even more convincing with the theory of the survival of the fittest. So we help every child to become more and more strong in the ego, and it is there that the problem arises.
Many times during a human life span we feel our Ego is necessary so we are able to function fully as intelligent beings and to deal with the real world. But having these feelings also inhibits us and makes us fear.
Having an Ego separates us from the universe and from God, this act of separation makes the fear of loss. It is this fear of loss that makes us want control. Control of the universe and everything in it – if we cannot control it we may lose it. The Ego stops us trusting in the universe.
It is Ego that is stopping people experiencing the delights of what the universe has to offer. Without Ego we can become unlimited and boundless. We can find new powers, new creativity, new opportunities for growth, for love, for harmony, peace and joy in our lives that before we let go of our Ego we could not begin to conceive. But how do you get rid of Ego. You have to realise that you are operating through fear, fear of loss.
We have all been taught to let your mind make the decisions and not to listen to your heart. Your mind after all, is a terrific machine and can work anything out. Ego is this barrier between the heart and the mind. The need to express your views on a given subject – because you ‘know’ it to be right, regardless of whether people want to listen or not. Ignoring the feelings of others because your actions are the ‘right’ actions to take. These are both examples of the Ego at work. Both examples of our need to ‘control’. The Ego thinks it knows best. The voice of the heart doesn’t stand a chance.
Try to understand the ego. Analyze it, dissect it, watch it, observe it, from as many angles as possible. And don’t be in a hurry to sacrifice it, otherwise the greatest egoist is born: the person who thinks he is humble, the person who thinks that he has no ego.
We have not been taught that what is simple is what is right. The universe operates simply. Balance and harmony in the natural world, in the animal world. Any world that does not have Ego, operates very simply. It seems the goal of spiritual beliefs to return us to our connection to that universe, to our Eternity so that we, too, can live simply, in balance and harmony with all that is. If indeed this is the goal, the purpose of that goal, the purpose of letting go of ego, is to also let go of the constant fear in which we all live.
Letting go of Ego is a very hard lesson to learn. Very hard. But despite its difficulty, it appears to be the only lesson if it is your goal to achieve peace. Or enlightenment. It is the only lesson if your goal is to reach that place where you can truly say: “I don’t want to be better than you; I want to be better than me.”
And so not only is letting the ego die a hard process, it is also a scary process. Very scary. But losing the ego is also a wonderful thing. Losing ego can bring us closer to our hearts. It can enable us to feel more than we have ever felt. It can enable us to see ourselves in a totally different way and in doing so, find new dimensions to ourselves. The loss of ego may give us the sense that we are living closer to our souls. Until we start the process of turning down and finally shutting off the voice of Ego, the voice of our hearts cannot be heard.
One way to start this process is to recognize when your Ego coming into play. Whether it is by you wanting to correct someone, explain that their views are incorrect (in your mind anyway), if you feel anger at someone for their actions towards you. Then acknowledge these feelings to yourself, be it confusion, anger, hatred, or frustration,what ever they may be. Just feel them flowing through your body. Do not act. Just feel. Stop yourself from reacting. From passing judgement. Just let it be. Gradually overtime the Ego will not be as strong and will start to loosen it’s hold over your heart. This not only makes you aware of how often your Ego comes into play, it will also amaze you how quickly you start to feel different in yourself. How the peace within you grows as your Ego diminishes.
The removal of ego is a spiritual idea. It takes the form of real world experiences. God is us and we are God’s operatives. These experiences that God gives us are important not so much for what they are but more for what they teach. And one version of what they teach is that they are there to allow us to shed our ego and connect with God. And one reason we need to connect with God is to allow us to let go of fear. And one reason we need to let go of fear is that it is fear that separates us from each other and in so doing, keeps us from finding ourselves.