If you are like most people, you have asked more than once: is the ego good or bad?
Also, like most people, you have probably wondered why should we judge the ego as bad, why can’t we just embrace it and work with it.
And that exactly is the power that the ego has over you and everyone else.
The attachment to it and the unwillingness to first objectively examine it and finally to let it go.
But let’s start with trying to define what the ego is.
What is its purpose?
What does it want from us?
And finally, let’s answer the question, is the ego good or bad.
What Is The Ego?
According to ACIM the ego is the sign of limited and separate self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death. It is the “will” that sees the Will of God as enemy, and takes a form in which it is denied.
In a nutshell, the ego is who you think you are.
The ego consists of all your past, your beliefs, your values, your perceptions, your experiences, your cultural associations, morals, customs, ethics, everything that you think makes the you, you think you are.
The ego is your concept of yourself.
Whoever you think you are in your head, that is the ego.
Hard to hear this?
Yes, it is.
You know, at least conceptually, that there is so much more to you than just your body and anything associated with it.
Your ego is the illusion of yourself that limits you to just your body and everything associated with it.
Related: Why Do We Want To Feel Special?
What Is The Ego’s Purpose?
“The ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image, it is your social mask, it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power because it lives in fear.” – Ram Dass
The ego’s main purpose is its survival.
The ego knows that if you venture beyond its limitations you will see the vast truth and you will let go of it.
The ego does not want that as this will surely mean the death of the ego.
The ego wants you stuck where you are, living the small, limited life that it prepared for you, endlessly chasing happiness and fulfillment that it can never give you.
The ego’s purpose is to keep you believing that you are separated and alone and the ego is your only hope for salvation.
We are all a part of the big universal whole, but the ego wants you to continue thinking that you are a separate soul, born in a body, struggling through life to end in death.
If you are honest with yourself, isn’t that what you think you are?
And if you continue being honest with yourself, ask yourself the question: does that make sense?
Can life ever end? Can life die?
Well, the ego surely believes that it can and it wants you to believe that too.
And by trusting the ego and its ways, that is exactly what we experience our lives to be.
What Does The Ego Want Form You?
“Ego is just like dust in the eyes. Without clearing the dust, we can’t see anything clearly, so clear the ego and see the world.” – Anonymous
The ego wants your full allegiance, full commitment and full loyalty.
The ego does not want you to look beyond it.
How is the ego achieving that?
By extreme resistance.
You don’t believe that?
Well, if you are still reading this article, congratulations you are venturing beyond your ego limitations.
You are starting to question and possibly contemplate the truth.
But there is a part of you that is very resistant to the ideas being discussed here.
The ego is very clever in its ways, it appears that it makes sense.
You have spent so much time and effort building the construct of the self, and any mentioning of needing to let that go is very uncomfortable and often painful.
To know reality is not to see through the ego and its thought system.
But your ego does not want that from you and it will use all its tricks to prevent that from happening.
Is The Ego Good Or Bad?
“The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly no longer the ego but just an old, conditioned mind patter. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist.”- Eckhart Tolle
The ego is not good nor bad.
The ego just is, you built it, you have so much investment in it.
You feel attached to it and you do not want to let it go.
You are afraid that by letting it go, you will cease to be, you will disappear.
But if you decide to embrace the ego and what it wants, understand what you will be giving up.
You will be sentencing yourself to a small and meaningless life as opposed to total freedom and happiness.
You will spend your life chasing one thing after another hoping that it will give you a sense of completeness, satisfaction and happiness. But you will never find what you are seeking.
All of that is already in you, but the ego does not want you to know it because you will realize that you don’t need it and that will be the end of it.
You have to decide for yourself what kind of life do you want to have.
Do you want to feel sorrow and suffering or do you want to live in eternal joy?
Do you want to know fear, guilt, hatred and attack or do you want to be surround in everlasting peace and tranquility?
Do you want to live in bondage and limitations, or do you want total freedom?
The main thing that you need to realize is that the ego is not you.
It’s like a costume that you put on.
If you manage to break the chains from your ego, you will have much grater control of your life.
You will re-discover the true you and the real world.
How To Break Free Of The Ego?
“When the ego dies, the soul awakes.” – Mahatma Gandhi
The first step to breaking free from the ego is the most obvious but also the hardest.
Step#1 – realize that you are not the ego
The hardest part that will encounter the most resistance is realizing that you are not the ego. Your ego will scream really loud that this is not true but you just have to stay strong and look at the actual facts. Take responsibility for the concept of the self that you have created, have the courage to closely examine your thoughts, emotions, reactions and be persistent in your efforts to break free from the false self and eventually find your true self.
Step#2 – observe your mind
Take the time to observe your mind. This will not be easy at first. The ego will resist this by making you feel uncomfortable every time you attempt this. But if you stay persistent and learn how to observe your mind without participating in every thought that crosses it, you will soon be able to see that the ego is quite insane.
Step#3 – learn to recognize the voice of the ego
Once you are able to observe your mind, you can start learning to recognize the voice of the ego. You will start identifying the voice of the ego in some unguarded thoughts, uncontrolled reactions to events and situations, and in some uncomfortable feelings. Very soon you will be able to tell which voice to follow and which to ignore.
Step#4 – practice forgiveness and letting go
This step is also going to encounter some major resistance. The ego will find a million reasons for why you should not forgive and hold on to grudges. Understand that this is its defense mechanism. As long as you listen to it and practice unforgiveness and not letting go you will suffer and be in pain. Forgive and let go to experience joy and happiness in your life.
Step#5 – feel the connection to the universe
We are connected. Everything is connected, but the ego does not want you to know that. The moment you will realize that, the ego will die. Feeling small, isolated, alone, disconnected is what the ego wants from you. Don’t listen to it. Start with spending time in the nature. Observe and contemplate. Everything is one, we are all one, acknowledge the truth and see how your life turns around. You don’t even need much effort, just a little willingness and vigilance against what the ego wants and the universe will show you the rest.
“Ego is an immature stage of development for humans, and that’s what it will be recognized as when the consciousness changes on the planet. Children will develop an ego and quickly outgrow it. That’s very different from developing an ego and being stuck with it for the rest of your life.” – Eckhart Tolle
I really hope you have enjoyed this article. I commend you for your bravery to explore the truths contained here. It is not easy to acknowledge that who we identify with as ourselves does not exist. Not only that, it is the reason for our lives being small and meaningless. We all want bigger, happier lives with no pain and suffering but not many are willing to sacrifice who they think they are to achieve that.
Please leave your questions, comments, suggestions below. I would love to hear from you.
***If you have spotted a spelling error or an inconsistency, please contact me so I can fix it.***