The ego appears to be a complex web of beliefs, ideas, concepts and images that we believe we are. In its dysfunction, the ego can be a negative voice in our head that would have us believe that we are separate from Love.
The ego attempts to mask the truth of who we are by telling us that we are not enough, that we’re incomplete and fragmented. Its voice may say things like “we’re too broke, too ugly, unworthy and guilty.” It will blame external circumstances for our suffering by having us think that we are victim to worldly situations. With each misleading thought the ego drives a wedge between us and the reality of love.
Its primary function is self-interest. Subsequently it’s constantly inciting scenarios to plot, plan and strategize for its best advantage, often triggering the belief that we need to acquire more and be more in order to be happy. The ego engenders pain by defining us as past stories of hardship and regret. It can coerce us into feelings of sadness and belief in loss. It would have us think that salvation rests in a future point in time, all the while giving us reason to worry and be anxious about it.
It judges us physically, socially and financially. It is constantly measuring us up against others. It abides by illusory rules that say we will be happy when we achieve this or that. It tells us what we are capable and not capable of doing. Its voice sabotages our connection with the peace and joy that is ever present.
However upon inspection it’s clear that the voice of your ego is a phantom; the ego is not real. You can’t touch it or hold it. It relies on your attention for energy because it has no independent life source of its own. The ego is nothing but an idea that rests on your belief in it. It depends on you to identify with it.
Attacking your ego would be counterproductive because attacking the ego makes it appear real and reenforces certainty in its existence.
The ego is best dealt with by transcending it. The first step is to recognize that it is a product of imagination. Like anything imaginable, you renounce it by withdrawing attention from it. Identification with the ego is therefore relinquished by being present and quieting the mind. The thoughts that would ordinarily give a voice to the ego is replaced by silence and awareness. In the expanded space of presence you recognize that the ego is not who you truly are. With patience and practice you learn to identify with something bigger than your body.
Transcending the ego is easier said then done, hence the reason why many of us are on a "spiritual path." A practice of meditation, forgiveness and extending love will help ensure that you see beyond the illusory phantom.
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