Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

Befriending the Ego

By Jo Leonard

It all started one fateful day when a nun, head of the drama department in the all girls' school I attended, told me I had a nice face. Her own face quickly flushed and her hands flew about in the air as if to bat away the words she had just spoken. "I shouldn't have said that," she stammered. "It may cause you to be vain."

Vanity. There it was, the cornerstone upon which I built, at least in part, my search for the Divine. In any new spiritual teaching I approached, I quickly sought out information on how to deal with my ego, the home of vanity. I was convinced that if I was vain, I would not know God. And I wanted to know God, I wanted it badly.

There's some biblical advice about cutting off your hand or plucking your eye out if they offend you. (I'm sure they were speaking metaphorically, weren't they?) Anyway, I never had the inclination to cut or poke at any of my body parts with the exception of my ego. I was willing to burn it at the stake, bore it out with a router, or smash it to smithereens with a sledgehammer--anything to escape its control and incessant needs. My ego separated me from the rest of life; it often made me needy and painfully unhappy.

I do not have my PhD in Ego Studies, if there is such a thing. I am a simple God-seeker. I can only share my knowledge of the ego based upon my own ego-vigilant experiences and a minimum amount of often contradictory book learning.

It has been written that the ego is innate and located (perhaps) in the mid-brain. It is said to define your sense of identity and personality. In a baby, it has been noted that there is no sense of anything apart from itself. As the child grows and discovers that it is not the only kid in the show, the competition for recognition and love also grows and the battle for center stage begins. (You might want to note that timidness also arises from the ego so there is no hiding behind the stage curtain thinking you have escaped your ego's clutches. Au contraire, mon petit chou.)

Here are some of the manifestations of the ego that I have observed throughout the years:

  • It needs to be known, seen, and heard (great unhappiness ensues when it doesn't get what it wants)
  • It appears to be the home of hurt feelings and dark holes
  • It can make us feel pathetically small and needy at which point we make squeaky little sounds
  • It can make us feel falsely puffed up and then we emanate noises like a rooster in a barnyard
  • It is that which keeps us apart from others
  • It prevents us from learning (how can someone who knows everything, learn anything?)
  • It makes us fear loss (fear is such a crippler)
  • It keeps us from being free, from being innocence and love

With all that bad stuff going on, isn't it time to eradicate the ego once and for all? Actually, eradication isn't exactly possible. Furthermore, in my sunset years, I've learned that the ego also has some positive characteristics and I'm learning to let it do its positive things. My ego often motivates me in my human state of consciousness to get up in the morning, brush my teeth, and put on clean clothes. It provides my embodied self with a sense of responsibility toward work and family life. It can fill me with aspirations and the discipline to obtain those dreams.

When my ego begins to sabotage me with self-doubt, tension, aggressiveness, self-righteousness, shame, hypocrisy, jealousy, suspicion, or greed, I no longer try to wrestle it into submission or slice it up with a sword I can barely lift. I remember and appreciate, not unlike an eye or a hand, that it is useful. I observe it and remind myself that it is not the essential me. I change from an ego-based existence to a soul-based one in the wink of an eye with a few simple techniques; techniques that all begin with the awareness that my ego has become unfriendly.

Awareness in and of itself is often the solution to any problem. You become aware, for example, that your ego has gotten hold of the steering wheel and it loosens its grip in the blazing light of that awareness. How do you become aware? Set an intention each morning: I intend to observe my ego this day. Do it deliberately for however many days it takes to form a spiritual habit of ego-watching. Who's doing the watching, you ask? It's that higher part of your self, your soul self to be precise.

If observation alone does not pour the cooling waters of Spirit on your inflamed ego, here are a few other techniques you might consider trying:

  • Silently chant a spiritually charged word such as Aum or HU. (HU is pronounced like the man's name only drawn out: HUUUUUUUU. It is an ancient name for God. In fact, you can chant the more familiar word, God, to yourself if you like.)

  • Place an image in your mind's eye--a beautiful rose, someone you love deeply, or a spiritual master. Look at that image inwardly until you are back on smooth waters and the ego is no longer screaming for attention.

To learn to use these techniques with ease, practice shifting your awareness from the mundane (outer life) to the sublime (inner life) several times each day in non-stressful times until you can do it with ease under any circumstance.

The ego can be a good friend, but it is definitely not a good friend when it is out of control and screaming to have its needs met. And it is definitely not who you are. As a faculty of the mind, the ego only knows its own contents, not the true self and its contents. You are no more your ego than you are your eye or your hand. You are soul without limits in what you can know and be. Live accordingly!

Copyright © 2008 Jo Leonard Jo Leonard is a spiritual adventurer. Her passion in life is to share the knowledge she has gathered after a lifetime of searching for God. The article was excerpted from her book, available in paperback The Would Be Saint or an ebook from Jo Leonard. You are most welcome to visit her website and join in the journey.

Spiritual self
More personal development articles at the Counterpoint Article Library

Good info on many topics:

Want to renew your life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development...
Start off with a Free Life Assessment and a Free Consultation...
 

Have a question about Trans4mind Training?

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Our Fees?
Email Peter Shepherd

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
 

View all the Hypnosis Downloads here

Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook

Hypnosis is the key to unlocking your creativity, focusing your energy and understanding yourself

Hypnosis has a long history of helping human beings be the very best they can be. It can be used to control anything controlled by the unconscious mind - pain, blood pressure, fear, confidence levels, mood, sex drive... the list goes on:

  1. You'll become highly productive without getting stressed
  2. Tap into your creative energies instantly
  3. Really understand yourself and others
  4. You'll learn how to stay calm in high pressure or uncomfortable situations
  5. Develop laser-like levels of focus and concentration

Lean more... Uncommon Hypnosis Course

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
And here's a fantastic resource for self-education...

The World of Inspiration eLibrary

World of Inspiration
A treasure trove of personal development wisdom

Step inside. Just like a real library, there are thousands of quality eBooks presented on three "floors" and in different "rooms." To purchase your $15 Lifetime Membership to the World of Inspiration eLibrary, click the following button:

Payment is made through our secure transaction agent, PayPal.
The transaction is in the language and currency of your choice.
"I want to just say 'WOW!' This collection is probably the best money I ever spent! I've already received many times over in personal enrichment after just 9 days. I've had a past metaphysical background, but even newcomers to this material will really benefit. Thanks again." ~ J.S. (Pennsylvania, USA)
"The collection is everything which you promised. And more! A superb contribution to the good of the world. Many thanks indeed." ~ R.P. (Georgia, USA)
"Just a short note of thanks for the library. I've only had membership for several days now but I already feel this is perhaps the most interesting compilation I have yet seen. Worth far more than the price of admission. The browser linked structure works well and makes it easy to manage such a large storehouse of information. It is rarely that I find something I like as much as this or that I feel strongly enough to write a note like this." ~ P.W. (Minnesota, USA)
Copyright © 1997-2017 Trans4mind Ltd