Image from The Chopra Centre.
The Ego really does get some bad press these days doesn’t it?
But you know, it isn’t something to attempt to banish from your system, it is really the physical body’s equivalent of the Soul.
We are Human, and we are Soul. Together these two parts of us make a Human BEING, a conscious, intelligent and sacred Trinity when in balance. Our problem comes from misunderstanding what the Ego does and why it is there, and centuries of living in a world of negatives, which ultimately have kept people under control, giving power to the few.
The Ego was designed to be our early warning system, the part of us that showed us REAL physical danger. Without it we may all have just jumped off cliffs like Lemmings!!!
But now the Ego is in full control and is working overtime to show us imagined dangers in everyday life. It has become a real master of it! We perceive danger in so many places it’s actually quite amazing! Try writing down everything you are worried by, or every negative that you think, a lot. Now read through each one and ask yourself what you fear in that negative. Fear underlies everything that is illusion. Ego is here to produce fear to save us. That’s how we survived as humans when we lived in a world where mortal danger really did surround us.
And there is a need still for the Ego, to alert us to real physical danger. Yet the Ego has become a master at making itself useful in a world where we do not live under constant threat of our survival. It has conjured up new dangers that are all in the mind, producing emotions that make us believe that we can see darkness around every corner. We fear lack in everything we see. Why? Because if you lack the crucial things in life, you cannot survive. But what are the crucial things in life? They are food, water, shelter, warmth. That is all the physical body needs. Do you really lack food, water, shelter and warmth to a state where you are going to die?
Not many of us do, even if money is scarce in our lives. Yet the Ego needs to have a use, so it tells us that we are lacking in a fundamental area and this threatens our existence. The problem here is twofold. Firstly our physical body lives in a stressed state, constantly fighting perceived threats, raising our blood pressure, sending hormones racing, and putting strain on our whole physical system. Secondly, because all our defences are set on high alert nothing can get through to break the cycle, including your Soul.
So what can be done?
Many things are useful in making the Ego stand down. One very easy thing you can do is practice conscious breathing. Practice breathing into your belly, deeply and slowly in a controlled manner, and keep practicing until you can do this easily, letting your breathe flow. This tells your body to lower its defences, the perceived threat is not a danger.
Meditation is a tremendous help too. Meditation stills the mind chatter, which is your Ego’s constant conversation with you, and allows your Soul to step forward. The Soul speaks to you through the heart rather than the head, and shows you the beauty and love in all things rather than the darkness. The Soul brings peace, the Ego brings threat.
You can also ask the Ego to step forward. Really try and see it as a person, give it an image. Then sit down with it and explain, gently and lovingly that things have changed. You no longer live in a dangerous world, in the way you once did. Explain that the way to survival now is to allow the defences to drop and let the Soul take up equal lodging. To work in harmony with Soul. Explain to the Ego that it doesn’t have to work so hard, on its own any more. It can relax, take a break. Thank it for all its help bringing you to this point, but let it know that now the Soul is stepping in, to show you both how the world can be from its point of view. Ask the Ego to help you now, to drop the walls, let go of the fears and see the beauty and love in the world. Ask it to help you see that there is nothing to fear, you are lacking nothing. Explain that this is the way to survive in today’s New World.
If you can allow the Soul to be a presence in your body, by breaking the cycle of fear that you exist in, then balance can begin, and harmony has a chance. Then the threats dissolve and you notice that the world suddenly seems a more peaceful and enjoyable place to live. You start to see where the Ego has been getting it wrong. You begin to wonder, for instance, why you thought you must cling on to the relationship that makes you unhappy, but also makes you feel secure. (The secure feeling is what the Ego offers you for being with someone else, as there is safety in numbers after all!) The threats and dangers that you fear from leaving the relationship are imagined. It doesn’t mean a break up isn’t hard work, but it is NOT a life threatening situation!
So how do you know when the Ego is talking to you or when the Soul is talking to you. It really is VERY simple. If you perceive danger or what you are feeling can be traced back to fear, that is the Ego doing its best at what it is good at. Survival.
How do you know when the Soul is whispering to you? There will be NO mind chatter, there will be just a feeling in your heart, a deep knowing that this is what you need, not because the world is threatening without it, but because it will place you in a state of pure heartfelt joy. It will have nothing to do with attachment, and everything to do with making you feel more whole as an individual being.
Fighting the Ego is never going to work. You cannot be Egoless, it is impossible. But you can have an Ego that rests in the background until a real danger, like that lion you are facing bravely, is in front of you. Then the Ego can jump to your defence. You cannot live without it, but fighting it will just keep you in that stressed state!
Balance, harmony, and love are needed now in the world, and they all start in each individual balancing, harmonising and loving themselves. So get out those scales and start weighing up your life today. Which side weighs heaviest?