Monday, May 23, 2016

The Misunderstanding of Getting Rid Of The Ego

In many Spiritual traditions advice is given about getting rid of the ego to achieve peace. While there is truth to this, it is terribly misunderstood.

First of all, we need our egos to navigate in our physical, sensate world. Our egos protect us with a sense of our own boundaries that are necessary for us to maintain our sovereign identities. Our egos are a projection of our soul and are mental constructs we do not want to get rid of.

The mistake that is made is in the interpretation of what GETTING RID of our egos really means. I have tried to mistakenly get rid of my ego and learned the hard way what is really meant by rid of. What the Spiritual traditions are advising when they tell you to get rid of your ego is to exert self-control over your ego, not self-denial. It is not about eliminating the ego, it is about parenting the ego. The ego is like a little child that willfully must have its way. In order to have peace in life, one must parent, must guide, must be the master of what is referred to as the lower ego with the intent of being in, reaching higher ego/persona/psyche. When one parents their ego, life becomes easier because you realize it's not always all about you, you are not always manipulating and dominating in order to satisfy your ego's desire to be number one all the time.

We are not interested in self-denial, we are interested in self-control because we find that self-denial, getting rid of our egos, robs all sweetness from our lives and we realize that in controlling our egos we stop being so indulgent that we don't allow our excesses to sicken us. We don't let our egos run amok thinking we are the be all and the end all all the time.

Spirituality and being Spiritual is not about killing off the ego. Doing that is NOT Spiritual at all. We have egos for a reason. They give us a sense of self. However, as important as that sense of self is, we don't want to egotistically lord it over others, we want to be smart about keeping it in its rightful place: as a tool to help us travel through the ups and downs of our physical experience and identify what we have learned as maturing souls and not identify with our ego alone.

Your ego is fine, your self-denial is not because you are much more than your ego. Too much ego brings overindulgence and this is how we humans lose our psychic equilibrium.

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