by Phillip J. Watt
July 10, 2015
It is true that the ego is the source of all our suffering because
we always have the final say in how we think and feel. Yet it's not
just the cause of one's pain; as the 'sense' of our 'Self', it's
also the key to where our contentment and happiness is found.
The core definition of the ego is that it's our 'I-ness'.
That means all of our thoughts, beliefs,
memories and emotions - both 'good' and 'bad' - are captured within
it. In addition, the neurology located throughout our body-brain,
including in our gut and heart, doesn't generate our consciousness,
but designs and attracts it from consciousness itself.
However, there are some teachings that suggest we should 'transcend
our ego', or undertake
an ego death. This is misguided and
unhelpful. It's also literally impossible whilst we're a living
The ego is simply a mechanism that
filters our individual snapshot of interconnected awareness to
manifest the version that we experience of ourselves.
It's an ally, not the enemy.
What we should be doing is empowering and enlightening it, not
pretending that it can transcend itself. If we believe that we
should 'overcome the ego', then we've utilized our ego to form a
judgment that is illogical, because without it there's no context to
believe anything in.
In its most pure form, a judgment is simply an assessment and
conclusion. Therefore, there's nothing inherently good or bad about
judging; we have the power to determine if our conclusions are
realistic and healthy, or the opposite.
For example, calling a duck a duck is
fair and accurate. We did an analysis and judged it as a duck.
But if our conclusion condemns it
because it's a duck, then we've brought in an unhealthy ego
aspect to our judgment.
Nevertheless, the ego-bashing needs to stop. Every experience, with
no exception, is filtered through our ego. It doesn't matter if
someone is talking about their divine experience of love, god,
spirit, etc.; ALL of it is filtered through the egoic human
The removal or transcendence of particular aspects of the ego, such
as cultural conditioning and personal beliefs, can obviously occur
through practices such as meditation and psychedelic adventure, but
it still remains fundamentally in place. It's our human snapshot of
infinity; so until we die, every person that has ever existed have
their egos intact.
Of course we are interdependently connected with all life,
regardless if we view it through the lens of ecology, quantum
physics or the many spiritual traditions that make this wisdom
clear. However, we have different layers for a good purpose.
For example, the human experience is to
learn, and therefore grow in energy.
Let's use a fire as an analogy to understand further.
The fire is the totality of reality, our
flame is our soul, or energetic blueprint, and our flames heat is
our ego. The fire is of course the unity of reality which there are
many different terms for, such as God, Mind, quantum zero-point
field, energy, collective unconscious or the spiritual conception of
cosmic consciousness, to name but a few.
There's plenty more too, and each are as
valid as each other.
So the ego is simply our humanness; how healthy and functional we
make ourselves is simply up to us. We can also train
our ego to understand that its separateness is a mirage, but
that's not transcending itself, that's enlightening itself.
Whilst we're on this subject too, when we understand that our
supposed disconnection is an illusion, that doesn't mean that it's
not really real, it's just not as real as what it can get.
Our human incarnation is an experience,
making it very real, there's just many layers of finite truth in the
infinity of existence.
With this insight, we immediately feel a
We just need to accept it and stop fighting it; the ego is a
necessary feature of this experience.
It helps to maintain a separate but real
self, even if it is fundamentally illusory, so that we can survive
and potentially thrive in the third dimensional construct that we
find ourselves in. So it's not going anywhere, nor do we want it to.
Ultimately, the aim should be to have a healthy, functional, content
and loving ego which explores the 'spirit' of life. Expand it.
Empower it. Enlighten it...
It should also have a balanced
attachment to itself, which means it should be attached in ways that
is practical for its existence but not attached in ways that
reinforces the pain and suffering of itself and others.
Nurture it, not reject it.