Subtle ego

ego lego

Some say, you need at least a bit of ego to survive in this world. A little bit of ego is healthy. But is it really? What if it’s blocking the quality of our life?

A few years ago I attended a class by Didi Sudesh in which she talks about subtle ego. If you walk the spiritual path and have done some soul searching in your life, you may think you are free from ego but when you listen to this, you may not be so sure anymore. It’s easy to recognize the BIG ego but if you are looking for a more profound clean up, here it is.

Now why do I want to be free of ego? What’s in it for me?

ego nobodyHappiness. It’s as simple as I can put it. Imagine a weight falling of your shoulders, you can breath again, stop thinking about useless matters and feel love for those around you, no matter who they are or what they do. Could your heart handle that? Imagine you don’t feel down anymore, feeling no more failure and loss, and thinking you’re not good enough is something of the past. Experience the total relaxation by saying “Really I am nobody”.

What does ego mean?

The Meaning of ego in spiritual terms ego is body-consciousness versus soul-consciousness. It’s all that you THINK who you are or think who you have to be. Mostly who you think you are and who you really are don’t match. The bigger the gap between who you think you are and who you really are, the bigger the ego. So in short, ego is a gap in your mind. You think you are the roles that you play:

  • I am a mother
  • I am a designer
  • I am a teacher
  • I am ….

but roles are not human, they are attributes, mere temporary identities that stick to you like post-it’s. Who you think you are usually starts with I am and connects with a role that you play. Who you really are is so much more. You’re a soul with a great history and a lot of experience on earth that has encountered love, respect, wisdom, peace and silence. Because of over-identifying with the roles that we play in our current birth, the roles that are connected to our body, we have a limited vision of our selves. It’s OK to play a role, we can’t escape from that. Running away from our responsibilities that come with those roles doesn’t bring any freedom. On the contrary. Yet, the idea that we are the roles that we play is exactly what limits us, blocks us from real interaction with others and with ourselves. In the worst case it can create a wall around our heart which is the recipe for loneliness and depression. In The Drama of the Gifted Child, Alice Miller describes depression as ‘Mourning for the loss of the self’.

Digging deeper – how to recognize ego

  • ego has no heart feelings, no love
  • ego has no mercy
  • ego comes through the door of comparison, competition and criticism
    you want to show that what you are doing is better than what others are doing
  • ego can not appreciate
  • ego is ignorance
  • ego does not share your value, it compares your values with others
  • ego has expectations, which is the biggest trap in relationships
  • ego is not value based
  • ego can not tolerate praise of others, unless we are attached to those that are praised
  • ego doesn’t let go seeing the failing of others
  • ego can not receive correction, only give correction
  • ego inspects others, self respect corrects oneself
  • ego is very powerful outwardly but very week inwardly
  • ego makes it difficult to establish relationships based on love

Read the full article about ego.

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Becoming Aware Of What Is Ego

All of us are familiar, to different extents, with the emotion of ego. All of us don’t even define it in the same way. We are also aware to different extents, about the negative repercussions (effects) of the emotion of ego on us and on others. Depending on how aware we are about the effects, we work to eradicate the emotion from our daily lives, so that it neither disturbs us nor others. Some of us even consider it a positive emotion and feel it contributes positively to our personal and professional progress. To be aware completely of the negative effects of ego and to realize clearly whether it is a positive emotion or not in the first place, it is important to first become aware of what it is exactly. So, how can we define ego?

Ego is attachment, inside my consciousness, to an incorrect image of my self which I then mistake for myself. When the attachment takes place, you lose your sense of identity in the image of the object of attachment which you create on the screen of your mind. That object can be something physical like your body, your physical personality, a relationship, a material possession, your status, money, a particular skill, respect from others, etc. or something non-physical like a belief; an opinion; a mindset, a memory, a particular virtue, specialty, power or a sanskar (positive or negative), etc. Therefore ego is the self attaching to and identifying with an image that is not the self. This process takes place entirely within our consciousness many times in the day, on the screen of the mind. E.g. When we say this is my salary package (something physical) or my opinion (something non-physical), we are (without being aware about it) creating an image of the salary package or the opinion inside our consciousness and becoming attached to it, so that we lose our self identity in the salary package or the opinion, believing that I am the salary package or the opinion. So at that time, the salary package or the opinion becomes an incorrect image of the self to which I am attached. This is ego. If while thinking, feeling or speaking about my salary package or my opinion, we do not become attached to or do not lose our self identity in either of the two, then that is not ego.

Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

Understanding And Overcoming Ego

Identification with the ego and the external self creates a false identity and extremes of feeling inferior, or superior, depending on the circumstances and people. It brings with it the thought of I am, which is based on gender, religion, nationality, achievement or talent, creating an attachment to the self, which always compares and competes with others. This insecurity leads a person into forcing others to act and think in the same way as them. An egoistic person, rather than recognizing that everyone is unique with a unique personality and has a right to express his/her respective personality, sees difference in personalities as a threat to himself/herself.

Where there is such ego, only yes people (who have the same opinion as yours) are allowed to come close: anyone with a difference of opinion is rejected. With ego, the original uniqueness of the self is denied, unrecognized and buried deep in the layers of wrong identity. This is why, these days, there is such an identity crisis – humanity has lost its soul, or rather, sold its soul to external traditions and attractions.

With ego, then: is the idea of I know best and consequently the misunderstood duty and right to control and manipulate others, in their best interests (supposedly)! This results in the spoiling of the creativity and uniqueness of others.

To conquer ego, humility and honesty are required. We need the courage to look into the self honestly and acknowledge that the characteristics of I know and I control exist and have to be removed, if there is to be truth and happiness inside. We need to remember the original I am e.g.
I am a child of the Supreme Soul, similar to him in qualities and powers,
* I am the soul which is seated on the Supreme Being’s (God’s) heart throne,
I am a knowledgeful soul,
* I am a blissful soul who gifts everyone with the treasure of happiness etc.

Through meditation and remembering the true I am (shared above), the pollution of the selfish ego is gradually replaced by the remembrance and the experience of the pure self: the I that is not attached to anything, or anyone, but is completely whole within itself. The expression of this pure entity is not selfish but selfless and the person begins to share with others, everything that he/she possesses – knowledge, specialities, talents, virtues etc. where necessary, facilitating the awakening of the true potential of others, just like sunlight. Light is a great facilitator. It steps in, awakens and then moves on. An egoless person acts, interacts and expresses themselves in this way.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

 

The Hurting Of The Ego

Almost everyday or every second day we come across a situation when someone says something to us which is not very pleasurable or we chose to perceive it to be so. In either case, we feel insulted and get upset as a result. In some cases we react and display our feelings. In some, we don’t. In either case, the result is a depreciation (decrease) in our happiness index. Why does this happen? It’s because you have created, attached to and identified with an image of yourself in your mind that does not match with how the other sees or perceives you, as a result of which you believe you have been insulted and you get upset.

As long as people’s perception of you matches the image that you have created inside your mind of yourself, you are content with them, but as soon as the opposite happens, even if its to a very small extent, you become disturbed, because you are attached to that image. The more the attachment, the greater the hurt, the disturbance or reaction. You could examine this phenomenon very closely, taking place inside yourself everyday. This kind of attachment mentioned above is called ego. That’s why the phenomenon explained above is called in common language ‘the hurting of the ego’.

We commonly use the terms – my ego got hurt or I think your ego got hurt‘You hurt my ego’ is nothing but you hurt or harmed the image that I carry of myself (as discussed yesterday) with me each second everyday. Because I carry it with me all the time, I have become attached to it. e.g. If, on a particular day, you reach home late from office and your wife, who is angry with you, accuses of not being a family man and one who doesn’t give enough time to her and the children. Your reasons for reaching home late may be genuine or not, your wife may be right or wrong on that particular day. In either case, you carry an image of yourself, all the time, as being a very loving, caring father and husband, who has been responsible for the all-round growth and development of the family in all respects since the family was created. Your wife’s words basically pinch that invisible image, as a result of which you feel insulted and hurt and you react angrily, not necessarily in front of your wife, but it could be in front of someone else or even just internally. This phenomenon happens many times, in various different situations with different people throughout the day and every day.

The image that we all carry of our selves is made of various traits or characteristics, obviously the characteristics of each one’s self-created image are different. These characteristics of the image may or may not actually exist inside the real self, but whenever someone challenges any of those characteristics or tries to suggest to us that one of those characteristics is not ours or does not exist inside us, we react.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.