Excerpt from SOUL JOURNEY ~ PATH TO THE SOUL Course Manual©
THE EGO HAS A HOLD ON YOU©
The ego, in my observation is totally misunderstood. For one thing many believe the ego is the Unconscious mind, while I & many others experience them as being different from one another, although they are certainly connected, in that the ego draws its beliefs & therefore its reactions from unconscious beliefs. The unconscious is the storage ‘unit’ of our internal harddrive & is an aspect of our Soul, while the ego is part of our physical experience, is created from our comes out of our environment, our experiences from birth & is our body’s survival mechanism, which provides us with the content to our beliefs & perceptions of the world around us It’s also typically based on fear or rather false evidence appearing real. Proof of this can be seen by the fact that even when we put the ego in its ‘right place,’ the unconscious mind remains essentially unchanged. Conversely, while we can clear unconscious patterns so that our beliefs & attitudes change, the ego will remain unchanged & will still be just as reactionary, doing what it does best, telling us what to do while ever we allow it to take control of our lives. Many religions & traditions tell their followers that in order to reach enlightenment they must eradicate or kill the ego. Destroy it. This is akin to killing off a parent. We need our ego (in its right place) & this extremist attitude does not support us.
At birth, babies perceive only oneness. They cannot separate themselves from their mother or the world around them because their right brain is dominant, until the birth of their ego—their left, logical, masculine brain becomes active—around the eighteen months of age. Babies have to be taught to be individuals, separate from everything. In a sense we’re born awake, then gradually over the first year or two of physical life, we go to sleep. Our ego is our survival mechanism & the ‘negative,’ fear-based ego maintains the world of separation. The more fear-based the ego is, the more we’re reminded that everyone ‘out there’ is against us & that we have to fight for our place in the world.
With the birth of ego we experience a level of ‘death’ from Spirit & our True-Self. Some of us, particularly those with a strong right brain, which is our connection to Spirit, never fully go to sleep. And those of us with a strong right brain continue to receive glimpses of an alternate reality, one where there is no separation.
While I’ve always had a different viewpoint about the ego than most people, until recently I had never connected the obvious: that our left-brained masculine, logical mind is the ego, our point of separation, while our right-brained feminine emotional ‘brain’ is our intuition, our direction connection to our True-Self, our Soul, Universal Mind & Pure Consciousness, & Unity & Oneness.
And that is why the acronym ‘Edging God Out’ is an apt description for the ego. In its most ‘negative’ fear-based state, the ego is the false-self. The little ‘I.’ The ego is expressed through the eyes. It’s the portal that (potentially) allows your Soul to see & interpret the world when left & right brains are unified. The ego gives you the content of your life, passes on the information about what you see in the world around you, but it has no power to make decisions, unless you give it that power. Your True-Self, your Soul, gives your life the context & has the final say (again potentially). The ego is like a company mail sorter, but you’ve given it the job of CEO. The ego isn’t capable of making decisions though, despite the fact that you’ve given it that responsibility. Because it’s been given more responsibility than it’s capable of handling, it’s taken over your life & is creating havoc.
An example of the role of the ego: Someone tells you that you look beautiful today. Your ego tells you that you feel & look terrible today. Your hair is messy & you didn’t have time to dress nicely. As a result, the ego prompts you to say, “No I don’t.” But your Spirit remembers this is just your ego’s perspective. You may not look your best today but your Soul knows that regardless of how you look on the outside, you’re beautiful on the inside. Spirit gives you context & you reply simply, “Thank you!”
In the early 1990s when I began the intense process of change, including putting my ego back in its right place, I came to the following realization:
Ego is the greatest challenge for us humans. But what exactly is the ego? Ego is the personality, your human side, that part of you that keeps you alive (competition and sometimes one-upmanship) & takes care of you until such time as Spirit takes back the control. Ego is your drive to live & survive. Without it we just wouldn’t be human. The ‘game’ is this: when we are born, for a time we are aware only of being one with everything, then slowly we ‘wake up’ to being separate—or go to sleep to Spirit. You forget about Spirit & think that you’re separate from everything around you. Ego is born. Many teachings will tell you that in order to attain true spirituality, you must crush & stamp out the ego, along with desire.
I think this is a very disharmonious belief & one that ultimately causes much discomfort & pain to a person on all levels. I believe that the ego needs to be loved & accepted. Imagine how you’d feel if you took care of a child for many years, watching over her, teaching her, showing her ‘the ropes’ & then one day the child's parents came back & not only do they want to take over & push you out, but they try… to… kill… you! No wonder ego puts up so much of a fight.
When you do wake up & remember that you were Spirit all the time & not separate after all, what if you decide to go ‘on a holiday’ again, which we sometimes do; who will take over your survival again? The ego. I trust you can see how important it is to work with your ego. Think about those times when you’ve been driving in your car & suddenly, with a jolt, you realize you don’t remember the last ten miles. You realize that you were so engrossed in thought that you stopped paying attention to the road & went into autopilot. Your ego is that autopilot. What happened is that your ego ‘came to the rescue,’ ensuring your survival by making sure you kept driving safely.
I see that when I am in ‘survival mode’ ego is in charge. When I think that I have to prove my self-worth, “I’m as good as or better than you,” or “See how much I know,” or “Look who I am,” when I judge others & therefore myself because I can’t accept who I am, when I think that others run my life & I have no choice, I am in survival mode (& acting like a victim) & ego is talking. When I know that we are all equal, just in different stages of process & I have no need to prove myself, when it doesn’t matter if anyone knows who I am, the most important thing is that I know & Love who I am, I’m choosing to live, and Spirit is speaking. Most of us move in & out of that place of choice, struggle & survival. I think it is par for the course when we’re in a human body!
People often talk about how little energy they have, how sick & tired they are of working hard for little in return. We’re always tired when we’re doing something we resist or when we don’t really want to do something. Resistance creates an internal battle between the ego & the Soul. This battle is particularly predominant when we continue doing a job or anything in life we don’t really want to do, something that doesn't serve us as Spirit having a human experience or we don’t Love doing.
The ego is very closely connected to human love. Being offended when someone does something we don’t like brings out a state of grievance against others. The fear-based ego loves to be right. “How dare they do/say that to me?” The fact is, no one does anything to us. People just do what they do. It’s all in how we take it. As Dr Wayne Dyer says, “If you’re looking to be offended, you hardly ever disappoint yourself.”
The battle is between the ego & Spirit, & the eternal battle between Light & Dark, Order & Chaos. Darkness as chaos, as unawareness, as limitation, as that which is moving away from the Divine, fuels our ego to become like an irritant in the mollusk shell that may eventually become a beautiful pearl. That constant irritation has the potential of turning us into something exquisitely beautiful, something Divine. But there is no guarantee. As we experience life in this human vehicle, it’s not just a matter of sitting back & waiting for the pearl—our Divinity—to reveal itself. We must actively help the pearl to form & grow through vigilance & persistent focus on our Divinity. We can never afford to become complacent, not even for a moment. The price of enlightenment is eternal vigilance.
Through the process of growth & expansion, & with focus & intention, eventually the personality returns or merges back with the Soul. At that point the personality has evolved enough to no longer be run by the ego & the Soul becomes the ‘driver’ of the incarnate vehicle or body.
Your thoughts, not the world, cause your stress!
The EGO Has a Hold on You
Don Juan Matus, supposed teacher of Carlos Castaneda, Shaman, author & anthropologist, said, “Self-Importance is man’s greatest enemy. What weakens him is feeling offended by the deeds & misdeeds of his fellow man. Self-importance requires that one spend most of one’s life offended by something or someone.”
Self-importance is what makes the little self feel special. We need to have a strong sense of our Spirit-Self. We need to stand in our own authority. Neither of which has anything to do with the ego. People who are trying to prove their specialness usually have feelings of inferiority. The need to prove & compare themselves to others, which is the ego. People who think they are superior, apart from having large egos, are locked in hierarchy, which is one of the traits of the ‘negative,’ fear-based aspect of the Masculine. There is no hierarchy in the realm of Spirit. Hierarchy is purely a manmade concept.
The fear-based ego always wants more, as it can never get enough. The ego wants to win, feel superior, always finds something to be offended about, seeks approval from others & worries about what others think, needs to be right & therefore likes to do battle with others to prove itself & identifies with achievements.
BREAKING THE CO~DEPENDENCY OF THE "NEGATIVE" EGO
There are five ways I’ve listed to overcome the ego in my course. For th eprupose of this article I'm focusing on #5.
The ego isn’t doing “it” to you… & there are many different “its.” Such as blaming the ego when you get caught manipulating another to get what you want or lying or embellishing a story to sound superior to how you feel inside, or having a temper tantrum when you didn’t get your way.
Whatever “it” is, you’re allowing & using the ego to slow you down, to stop you from moving forward or in the extreme, to destroy you. And when you’re ready to stop letting the ego control your life, it will.
Take responsibility. When you were caught being manipulative, cunning, cynical, it was your ego! Ironically it wasn’t your ego until you got caught.
You have a choice to do it differently. When you realize & accept that you’re using the game of the weak ego as an excuse, you have the choice to clear it & get on with life.
The fear-based ego is like a wet bag. It’s limp, it’s diluted, you can throw it up against a wall & it hangs there.
You can shrink the voice of your ego. You can put it in its place. The ego is weak, you have the power to send it back to where it belongs with Love. Remind yourself what your ego really is & let go of the dependency by keeping it around out of guilt.
5. Ask for help. This is often the most difficult thing when you’re in a codependent relationship with your ego. When you’re really ready to let go of the control the ego has on your life, when you’re ready to stop playing the ego’s game, it will happen.
Refrain from arguing with your ego. It’s wants to maintain control over your life & it’s not willing to change. It’s incapable of change. No matter how convincing your arguments are you need to accept that your ego is capable of only one thing, & that is to provide the content of your reality & making sure your physical body survives.
The only thing you can do is to accept the power you’ve given your ego & begin taking your power back by developing a relationship with your Soul. No arguing, no bargaining, no demanding, no pleading or convincing. You simply have to take back the control & stop playing the game of life the ego’s way.