I have read extensively on the subject, so I am in more need of wisdom than knowledge. these are the current explanations I have.
1. The Ego is anything that causes one to think in terms of “I”, “ME”, or “MINE”.
2. The Ego is a charlatan who pretends to be the real me, by reinforcing my false belief that I am separate and not interconnected with the universe, and it’s source. (a.k.a. GOD)
3. E.G.O.-Ease God Out
I still can’t seem to get my head around it, if I am really not who I think I am, then who am I really?
Ego is a term translated by James Strachey – along with id and super ego – from Sigmund Freud’s his structural model of the human psyche (Freud used German derived terms rather than Latin ones). It is the basis of psychoanalysis.
The ego is the mediator between the id (desires), super ego (father figure and cultural imprints) and the external world. Hence the super ego is the more likely to have direct reference to external spiritual cultural forces.
Seth on “The Garden of Eden (Awakening of the Outer Ego)” (pt.1)
Dreams, “Evolution,” and Value Fulfillment, Vol. 1, Session 899, February 06, 1980.
“The Garden of Eden legend represents a distorted version of man’s awakening as a physical creature. He becomes fully operational in his physical body… He now encounters his experience from within a body that must be fed, clothed, protected from the elements — a body that is subject to gravity and to earth’s laws. He must use physical muscles to walk from place to place. He sees himself suddenly, in a leap of comprehension, as existing for the first time not only apart from the environment, but apart from all of earth’s other creatures.
“The sense of separation is, in those terms, initially almost shattering. Yet [man] is to be the part of nature that views itself with perspective [i.e. is self-aware]. He is to be the part of nature that will specialize, again, in the self-conscious use of concepts. He will grow the flower of the intellect — a flower that must have its deep roots buried securely within the earth, and yet a flower that will send new psychic seeds outward, not only for itself but for the rest of nature, of which it is a part.
“But man looked out and felt himself suddenly separate and amazed at the aloneness…”
“Man’s mind, incidentally, at that point had all the abilities that you now assign to it: the great capacity for contrast of imagination and intellect, the drive for objectivity and for subjectivity, the full capacity for the development of language — a keen mind that was as brilliant in any caveman, say, as it is in any man on a modern street.
“But if man felt suddenly alone and isolated, he was immediately struck by the grand variety of the world and its creatures. Each creature apart from himself was a new mystery. He was enchanted also by his own subjective reality, the body in which he found himself, and by the differences between himself and others like him, and the other creatures. He instantly began to explore, to categorize, to point out and to name the other creatures of the earth as they came to his attention.
“In a fashion, it was a great creative and yet cosmic game that consciousness played with itself, and it did represent a new kind of awareness…”
The spiritual literature obfuscates the matter, especially for Westerners studying Eastern scriptures. Also cultural conditioning regarding the idea of self and ego is different in the West and East, further complicating understanding and direct experience of the texts.
Ego in the spiritual (not psychoanalytic) sense is basically the personality and the attachment to oneself as a personality who has certain experiences, goals, desires, and upkeep. The meditative experience will ultimately show that the personality is an artificial composite of habits and conditioning that arise from interdependent phenomenon related to nature (environment), nurture (developmental social conditioning) and other mechanistic factors. It is an artificial and reactive (and thus deemed “unconscious”) entity and is the basis of karmic momentum because it is literally a personification of action and reaction. It is a mechanism in the world of duality. On the one hand, a person must operate as an ego to function in the ordinary wordl, on the other he or she must contemplate and ultimately experience who and what is the life beneath the mechanism of the ego. If you ever have a dream that switches from an ordinary dream to one that becomes a lucid dreaming state, you might get an approximation of the difference between being connected to the ego (automaton) self and the real (conscious) self.
Simple, you are to each one the total sum of your actions, and your lack of actions, for they are just as important… So in effect, your EGO is how you think others view you as well as who you are, or pretend to be… when you can understand that till you do it or experience it for yourself, it is not real, and that anything given is worthless then you will know the spiritual meaning of ego.
It takes a while to see it work in your life. You are Self, but since we identify with bodies and senses, we limit self to be ego. But Self is limitless.
A New Earth by Tolle and better yet, A Course in Miracles can help understand that we have made up the ego and how to unmake it.
Note..Freud, an atheist, gave “ego” a valuable place in the individual personality, but we are not individual.
At the same time as Freud, the Theosophical movement called it the “dweller on the threshold.” You can also think of it as Mr Hyde. But since most people are familiar with the term ego, it may be easiest to transform the meaning of it to the function, albeit illusionary, in our experience.
Ego is all about self. It is the part of us that helps us to think and act as if we were an island of self in an ocean of self. Easing God Out is a really good description. The more obsessed I am about me and my agenda and my wants and my desires and my gratification, the less room there is for God or any other human being. Jesus called us to be servants. He said that the meek would inherit the earth. Meekness is the exact opposite of egocentricity.
In my humble opinion, most of the social ills in our Country could be significantly improved if all of us had an extreme soul makeover in the area of meekness, servanthood, and humility. How can I love the Lord, God with all my heart, mind and soul and my neighbor as myself if my entire existance is all about me?
Christians don’t have the sole market on this philosophy. John Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”. There was a significant difference in the social climate of our country back then and the so-called “improvements” that the ego-centered education of subsequent generations of children has brought us.
Ego is the greek word used when one is referring to oneself. It means ‘I’ but with emphatic meaning, like if one were to say “I, myself…” that’s really about it for meaning…the fact that it was used when somebody was talking about something spiritual is beside the point. The only thing that gives it spiritual meaning would be the words that come after it, if they are spiritual.