Your consciousness exists in a body, with thoughts, feelings, desires, and needs. These are all the things you watch. When you lose your awareness and your watching gets dragged into what you are watching, that is your ego. Take the Matrix for example. Your ego is lost in the matrix, believing what everyone tells them to believe, afraid of “losing the game,” believing there are rules it has to play by, competing with everyone else. The ego dies when you realize you’re in the matrix. Then you become super-human. You become God.
It’s the difference between:
- I am watching myself feel anger (transcendence)
- I AM ANGRY (or more likely, you’re just reacting, not even aware you feel anger…that’s ego).
Because ego takes you – your consciousness, awareness, expansiveness – and constricts it down into something, a common feeling of the ego state is disconnection. When you are disconnected, you feel like you need to defend this “facade.” It’s actually pretty funny. When someone is “defensive,” what part of themselves are they defending? Assuming it’s not a physical attack, they’re defending an opinion? Which part of them holds an opinion and feels attacked when challenged? You are not your opinion, so why do you need to protect it? (This doesn’t mean we don’t stand up for truth. It just means we don’t need to feel defensive when we do it.)
A good example of this is how, in a loving relationship, you can feel so connected to your partner. Then, all of a sudden, they say or do something that triggers your ego. It causes you pain (the nature of this pain is very interesting; I’ll write more about it later). Next thing you know, you are trying to emotionally hurt them. That’s how the ego thinks.
In reality, there is no real disconnect between you and them. As this blog – and most spiritual teachers – teach, reality is God/Source/Universe, and you are God/Source/Universe, which means that there is nothing that separates you from them/him/her/that. You are all part of the same stuff. Not only that, you are so intimately connected to all that, that simply by changing the way you look at the world or yourself, reality actually shifts accordingly.
As you will learn, you cannot change your mind without reality changing to reflect your new mind-state. Period.
But ego doesn’t feel that. Ego feels disconnected from all that.
- …is doubt and fear.
- …needs to constantly use your mind to try to “figure” out life in order to keep bad things from happening and make sure that good things happen (anxiety, worrying);
- …believes that the world is a zero-sum game and thus, feels jealous, threatened, scared, judged, and hateful;
- …is a computer program that is running automatically, reacting to life;
- …is not a creator;
- …is weak;
- …makes life feel stressful, scary, difficult, or a constant disappointment;
- …is built in the past and only exists in the mind;
Because the ego is built from the past (i.e. all of your lessons, memories, and past experiences), in the present moment, in full awareness, the ego dies. Consider – where can the ego be if your entire awareness is focused on the experience of the moment right now? You are not thinking because thinking is a break from the moment. All you’re doing is experiencing. The ego is gone.
You, in awareness…
- ….are surrender;
- …is connected to Source, to Gd;
- …is immensely powerful;
- …feels light and joyous and courageous;
- …is not reacting, but creating;
- …knows that life is not a zero-sum game;
- …is filled with trust and peace;
- …makes life feel easy, funny, exciting, and inspiring.
Your ego believes that its power is in fighting to get what it wants. You, in awareness, know that your power is relaxing to turn yourself into that which is capable of receiving all that you want. The Universe is ready to give you everything you want now. As Esther Hicks (and Rabbi Nachman) say, you are the only non-cooperative component.
Can we kill the ego?
No, we cannot kill the ego. We do not want to kill the ego either. We want to transform the ego. As you will come to understand, the ego gives us tremendous power. We can use its desires as a portal to being powerful creators. We can use its desires to get immense pleasure and connection in this world.
Fasting for example is generally a tool for subduing the ego. It does work, but the problem is that the ego simply comes back, usually more angry than before. Think of the ego like your little kid. Compassion and sympathy is usually the most effective tool for dealing and aligning the ego.
As Eckhard Tolle writes in The Power of Now, “the fact is that no one has ever become enlightened through denying or fighting the body or through an out-of-body experience. Although such an experience can be fascinating and can give you a glimpse of the state of liberation from the material form, in the end you will always have to return to the body, where the essential work of transformation takes place.”
This is why manifestation (or whatever we want to call it) is so powerful. It allows us to use our desires and fulfill them, not deny them. Only, not in the way we’ve been programmed to think.