This is a re-post especially for those on the spiritual path of yoga.
“Ego can take many different forms and shapes. It is like the hydra. You cut off one head and another head replaces it. You cut off that head and see a third head and a fourth head ad infinitum.
This is because in the manifest dimension, ego identity is the root of life, and if the ego identity is lost, then life as we know it no longer exists.
It exists as light; life becomes light.”
Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati
I enjoy reading the different metaphors explaining the complexity of our ego, and can relate to the idea of a hydra. Our ego will do everything in its power to survive – especially adapting and changing shape.
The ego is very clever. It will allow one version of our body-mind to die and create a better version that fits in with either (1) how it wants to be seen in the world or (2) what is perceives is needed to stay alive in its physical body.
In my experience with others on a spiritual path, the newer version of ego is likely to be a more evolved version of the previous one. It may show up as being kinder person, a more patient parent, a wiser leader, a humble follower, a beacon of sanity in a world judged as mad…
These are still roles that the ego plays. Less damaging perhaps, yet still ego driven.
Recognizing the hydra heads of the ego is the gateway to le
The answer however is not to keep cutting its heads off. After all this would be an ego motivated act!
Instead embrace ego for what it is. A part of our very human nature that clings to life. It is neither good nor bad. It simply is.
Then we can wake up and realize we really are the divine light beyond ego and our human form.