“Two people have been living in you all of your life. One is the ego, garrulous, demanding, hysterical, and calculating; the other is the hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to.”
~ Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
I often hear others on spiritual journeys say that they are working to overcome, conquer, or destroy their egos.
But can this truly work? A part of me says not. This is because crushing, overcoming, and conquering are themselves acts of violence and therefore acts of ego.
The judging of ego as “bad” is an act of ego.
You cannot overcome ego with ego. Ego is who you’ve always thought you are, so trying to overcome who you think you are, is an assault upon yourself.
The path beyond ego is to recognize your ego self and embrace it for what it is.
Ego is necessary and important because it defines our sense of self, clarifies our boundaries and develops our personality while protecting us from disappointment, rejection, and harm.
The ego always needs validation and identification with a persona to remain nourished and to grow.
By resisting it and fighting it, you are helping it to grow. The more you resist it, the more it will show itself in a new more acceptable persona.
So, when it reveals itself with criticisms and judgments, or by showing off and caring about what others think, pause and step back. Notice and then accept it for what it is.
Don’t fuel it with more drama. If you damn it, it will resist and become stronger.
Instead, love it as you would a small child who doesn’t know any other way to be.
This is the way that ego will fade into insignificance… and your heart will fill with love and compassion for yourself and other human beings struggling right beside you.