Understanding The Ego

When I refer to the “ego”, I am not referring to the personality of an individual, nor to the definition of ego as meaning self-importance, self-esteem, vanity, or being self-centered. I use this term to refer specifically to a complex within each one of us where intense emotions and beliefs pressure us mentally and emotionally leading to a distortion of our behavior and self-image that is incongruent and conflicting with the natural expression of our genuine self.

I have heard other names for this aspect of ourselves, such as the shadow self, or the false self. I simply call it the ego, which are the aspects of our behavior and belief within us which contradict our true nature. This other aspect of ourselves can be called any number of names, from our spiritual nature, to our true self, genuine self, highest potential, or in some cases our higher self. These are all terms that I use to distinguish the ego from who we really are, which all have a fairly similar meaning to me.

What is The Ego?

Each and every one of us are dictated by a complex of habits and behaviors, qualities of character, traits of personality, conditioned emotional responses, talents and abilities, as well as learned or intrinsic ways of thinking, feeling, and ultimately perceiving and engaging with the world in our day-to-day lives. We each possess these traits and qualities in a unique and incredibly intricate array, balance, and synthesis, which directly define the nature and quality of the unique expression of who we are. However, they only define the nature and quality of the expression of who we are, not who we are.

We are not the sum of these parts. What I have found through much discipline and training is that we are unique and developed beings already when we are born. We were not born as blank slates. When we explore and discipline ourselves through internal and introspective practices, such as meditation, which lead to internal silence and an experience of ourselves as unadulterated awareness, what occurs is surprising and completely unpredictable: we discover a total being, an identity, and parts of ourselves which we didn’t know were there. This ‘identity’, this being that we discover, was not shaped and formed by our life experiences. Quite the contrary, our life experiences to some degree have shaped and formed the mask which occludes our true self. And we discover this part of ourselves by gradually peeling away the layers, chipping away at our false identities and limited self-image revealing this being in its totality and glory by degrees. This mask is what I call the ego.

This is not to say that our life experiences do not shape and define us, because they certainly do. My life experiences have taught me a great deal, and solidified my sense of purpose and my life’s work this time around because of what I have seen, and because of what my intrinsic nature requires of me that I do. Yet none of my life experiences have defined my passions, inclinations, talents, or my natural modes and arts for expressing myself, because these are intrinsic to me and I have carried them with me and cultivated them from lifetime to lifetime.

My experiences have given me knowledge, understanding, and challenges which have tempered parts of who I am, distorted my perception and expression of others, but also taught me to change and grow in the ways that I have needed to. Regardless of our successes or failures, limitations or strengths, suffering or jubilation, dreams and desires, and certainly in spite of what religion you practice, what your political views are, where you were born, where your ancestors came from, what mark you got on your history exam, what your sexual orientation or gender identity happens to be – you are a being distinct from and not dictated by these superficial classifiers, qualifiers, and descriptors.

Those are all external, transient, and in some cases learned things which people often classify themselves with and derive a sense of identity from. Yet they are mostly patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving which we have built up over our lifetimes, which ultimately do either two things: they cultivate, reveal, express, thus liberate, who we truly are; or they result in us falsely identifying and defining ourselves leading to a suppression, contortion, and masking of an expression of our true nature. Yet in neither case are they intrinsically who we are. Therefore, the patterns, beliefs, and behaviors which suppress and mask the true expression of who we are is what the ego is.

We are the beings beneath all of these layers that have been built up through our lives, and each one of us is far more than what we have realized ourselves to be. Understanding and being able to discern between the ego from the part of us beneath these superficial trappings is the first step towards choosing to consciously focus on, discover, and cultivate a deeper expression of our intrinsic, unlimited, spiritual nature. This is the only path that leads to fulfillment, because fulfillment is the result of us expressing all of what we are. Only then will our nature be satisfied.

[Liberation From The Ego]

Image Source: Pixabay

The Birth Of The Ego

Since the beginning of our lives, we have been absorbing information. We have been absorbing knowledge, words, phrases, patterns of speech, habits, beliefs, cultural traits, traditions, conversational skills, social tactics, ingrained ideas of social hierarchy and subsequent behavior, cultural and racial prejudices, patterns of emotion and emotional responses, movements and body language – all of which mirrors that of our parents, siblings, close friends, teachers, the values of our culture, people we see on TV, really anyone that we admire and/or spend a lot of time with, all with little to no conscious thought, or any recognition that we are doing so. All of this we have absorbed, internalized, and amalgamated throughout our lives into how we see the world, and into processes and patterns of behavior, emotion, and interaction with others and the world.

This is how the ego was born. You could say that in some ways the ego is the amalgamation of all of this information and how our experiences have altered our beliefs, self-image, and behavior. But that is not our true identity, our true self. The trauma of suffering, pain and failure impacted our ‘personality’ and self-image just as much as our successes and triumphs did. For this reason our ego can form as a response to this pain and suffering and in order to protect ourselves from it, but with the detriment of suppressing our natural behavior and being with learned behavior in response to this pain.

Everyone has experiences in their lifetime which have caused sufficiently intense emotional and mental pain as to distort our behavior so that we can avoid situations like that in the future, so that we can avoid that pain. However, that pain is masking a natural and true expression of ourselves, and by avoiding it, we are just reinforcing the suppression of ourselves, and also perpetuating our suffering.

We have each learned to contort and suppress ourselves on such deep levels and for so long that now these areas are so difficult to see because this pain and this behavior of suppression has come to feel natural to us after all these years. The majority of us are not aware of it, and are severely suffering because of it, even if you are successful, even if you are wealthy. We all experience this to some degree, and the markers of individuals who have resolved these issues to some degree are not wealth, power, success, or recognition, but happiness, peace, fulfillment, and satisfaction.

The only way to resolve these behaviors consciously is to engage in practices like meditation and yoga which cultivate mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy with ourselves which eventually over time takes us to depths were these blockages are thrown into stark relief and thus revealed. However they are revealed as we move into these depths by the light of our true nature – new ways of feeling and levels of emotion, new ways of thinking, new ways of expressing ourselves, our talents and abilities – which contrast our learned behavioral patterns of the ego. This cycle of discovery of a new facet of our being, which throws the distortion of our ego into stark relief, and then our subsequent commitment and choice act on this more powerful and true liberated part of ourselves, perpetuate in a cycle where we release these emotions over time and thus our learned behaviors of suppression, dissolving the ego. Essentially, we must face the pain so that we can find the light within it, unravel and amplify the light to release the pain.

Due to this suppression of ourselves we develop behaviors to alleviate the pressure of the resultant build up of emotion and energy culminating in certain negative behaviors. The most widespread example is addiction in all its forms, and it is commonly thought that the problem is the addiction itself, as opposed to the complex of powerful, painful emotions and behaviors which suppress the genuine nature fundamentally resulting in a build up of pressure that only substance or addictive behavior can temporarily alleviate. I do not believe that these issues are often addressed properly with actual practices and techniques that resolve the issues deeply within the very core of the being based on a path of self-discovery leading towards a healthy, balanced, and brilliant expression of themselves. The best way for an individual to alleviate this suffering is to shatter the limited, broken, and vile self-image the individual carries within them with a genuine experience of the brilliance of who they are actually. [I will write on this soon, and link here.]

Our experiences along with the information and traits we have absorbed affect our behavior in a myriad of ways. From whether we are filled with anxiety and a short temper when learning new things, or whether we are calm, confident, and patient. These behaviors also influence everything from how we respond to and deal with change, challenges, relationships, being vulnerable, honest, intimate and open with other human beings, to how we respond to defeat, failure, fear, loss, pain, and all forms of adversity, pure and simple.

Our experiences and our self-image derived from those experiences influences our behaviour and emotions on all levels. However, while each one of those things influence how we are and how we express ourselves in truly powerful yet subtle ways, which could be either incredibly detrimental or liberating, all of these things may or may not be compatible with our true self and how we would naturally be. Yet all of this information has had a large influence in the shaping of our perception of our identity, our self-image, our ego.

However, our self-images and egos are by their very nature limited and false representations of who we truly are. With all of this lifetime’s worth of information cluttering up our minds it is impossible to get a clear and accurate perception of who we are, let alone the world. Everything that we have learned, everything that we have been taught – and told – to believe about ourselves and the world, where did it come from? For this information clutters and distorts our perception of everything. This was the birth of the ego, and it begins occurring since the very moment that we opened eyes. For we took in everything, and we still do.

This is not good or bad – it is simply how human beings learn. There is nothing wrong with this ability humans possess to absorb information, for it truly is incredible and is our greatest strength as a species underlying our superb ability to adapt to any environment, survive, learn, grow, and evolve. It is a human quality which can be harnessed by an individual to achieve great things intellectually, creatively, professionally, and in every theater of their lives.

However, it is important that we understand that we have a choice in the matter, which is what separates us as a species. We are part of nature, but we have the ability to grow consciously to change ourselves and our lives. We can choose to look within us, and unravel what is erroneous behavior and thinking born of trauma or societal and parental programming – ego – and what is Spirit, what is our true self. From there we can decide consciously how to change our own behavior to more accurately represent who we have discovered ourselves to be. We do not need to be unconsciously plagued by behaviors we internalized in youth and over our lives, which are detrimental to our lives and to ourselves.

Liberating Spirit From Ego :: Beneath Our Personality

I feel that we have, collectively to some degree, a certain unstated perception or belief that we are who we are, for better or worse, and that we now possess strengths, weaknesses, and a personality which is now fixed and cannot be changed.

This is an incorrect conclusion drawn from the erroneous assumption that we have any great understanding of who and what we are, because we really don’t. Those of us who have disciplined themselves over years of pain, adversity, and suffering to face themselves, unravel the mysteries of their nature, and extricate their true selves from the confines of the ego will affirm that they are more of a mystery to themselves now than ever before, but that they revel in ecstasy every day at the beauty, potential, exhilaration and wonder of this specific mystery.

It is important to recognize how our relationship to ourselves, what we know of our true talents, abilities, voice, self-expression, and nature, is at least potentially stunted, because in all probability, due to the very nature our society and its systems (such as education) our natural self is a muscle we have partially – or never – used.

Even with that being the case, the whole process itself is one of lifelong refinement of the ego to better represent who we truly are, which in itself is a moving target because our understanding is always being refined the more that we learn, discover, know, and understand. The whole process of spiritual (and personal) development, mastery, and evolution is founded on this perpetual process of refining our ego so that we may realize and liberate a deeper, truer, and fuller expression of who we are in our lives.

As we change the nature of our thoughts, habits and behaviors, we do not change them to ‘change who we are’, but to better express who we are. The ego within us is the complex of our limiting behaviors and beliefs, all of which culminate in a self-image that is in some ways false, incomplete, and limiting. Therefore our ego can be defined as all of those things that we need to change in order to liberate our natural self, and become unhindered in the expression of who we actually are. Yet even once we have liberated ourselves from our limited self-image to some degree, we still have an ego, that limited identity, because at all stages as our awareness of our true potential expands and changes we will continue to discover ways in which to refine ourselves to more completely express our highest nature, genuine self, and Spirit in all that we do and are.

In short, there is so much that we do not know and understand about ourselves, so much more to discover. It is our ego which is the embodiment of a self-image that perpetuates a tiny, limited, ugly, distorted, and impure, fraction of who we truly are. Yet each stage along the path reveals a little more of our suffering and the areas in which we have room for improvement where we have allowed the insecurity our ego was born from to occlude our divine nature, revealing little by little the true power, beauty, and mystery of a human being. We do not know the full extent of what we are. We never can. But we can choose consciously the path that will set on us on this journey of discovery and expression, from lifetime to lifetime, of our infinite nature.

“Life is [Universal Awareness] in action. And it is only through lack of the understanding of applied thought and feeling that mankind is constantly interrupting the pure flow of that perfect essence of life which would without interference naturally express its perfection everywhere.” – St. Germain

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Understanding The Ego

Our ego is both our greatest hindrance, and our greatest teacher. It is all of the things within us – limiting beliefs and thinking patterns, habitual emotional state and mood, our perspective, our processes for approaching things, and essentially our habits and what we do – that is not in accordance with who we are.

There are some definitions of the ego as being essentially our personality, however that is not how I define it.  I was this term and the concept of the ego to differentiate that which we are not from that which we are, the shadow self as Jung called it, from our genuine self, our spiritual self, and the person that we are when we are on purpose and at our best.

The first step towards becoming expressing our genuine nature and highest self in all that we do is to first understand what the ego is, and how it is different from our genuine self. First we learn to differentiate between the two, recognizing what is a higher form of expression and reaction, and what is lower, for us personally relative to our own unique compendium of experiences and intimacy with ourselves which no other individual can match, thus we are the experts of our own nature and thus are in the best position to analyze and change. But then we learn to recognize that both of these aspects of ourselves are us, and that our actions are what decide where we channel our energy, and what we choose to validate and amplify.

It is our actions, ultimately, which decide which aspect of ourselves that we cultivate. And true personal growth and development is the result of simply choosing to amplify and cultivate our higher tendencies more often throughout the day, choosing not to give energy to our lower impulses, and thus over time growing and cultivate our true self, as opposed to our ego.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of [the Universe]. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of [Infinite Awareness] that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

What is the Ego?

The ego is the aspect of ourselves which is in contradiction to our true nature. It is the part of ourselves which we do not like, and which we are repulsed by when we act in accordance with those impulses, and especially when we look back at those actions and have to confront the fact that yes, indeed, we did do those things. I am certain that this is a universal experience for all non-sociopathic people.

There is true strength and power in accepting our failures, our shortcomings, and our weaknesses. But to ever accept that we do not like something about ourselves, and then to believe that that is an unchangeable and permanent aspect of who we are is ludicrous. To believe that is an attitude of weakness and self-defeating. I personally believe that our ego is and exists in order to highlight those areas that we need to grow and develop ourselves. It is the perfect mirror for gauging our process of growth, self-development and self-improvement, and the cultivate of our highest expression.

[To believe that we do not have a weakness is utterly false, especially when we gauge ourselves against other people. Though not for the same of comparison or competition. Just for the sake of getting an accurate perception of where we are and what our qualities are. I use this approach in all of my arts when I want to get a gauge of my level of skill and progress, for example I will always only ever compare myself against the musicians that I truly admire for a dose of humility, but also for honest gauge of skill. As opposed to being inflated by pride and ego when you compare yourself against beginners or against people who known nothing about the art you practice, I prefer a dose of humility.]

The fact of the matter is that we often behave in ways that we perceive and believe as being not conducive to who we actually are, nor who we want to be… nor even in accordance with who we think that we are. That to me is an extremely curious reaction and event. To do something and to have a thought reacting to emotional and I would say intuitively to that action which is ultimately saying ‘That action was not me.’ Certainly in some cases we say that to protect ourselves. We despise that behaviour, that part of ourselves, and so we want to avoid taking responsibility for that action, and also identifying with that action by distancing ourselves from it by saying that it is not an expression of who we are.

However, I also believe that intuitively we know and have that instictive gut-reaction that tells us immediately that that specific behaviour was wrong, firstly being innappropriate to our own sense of morality, of right and wrong, but also that we know intuitively that whatever that part of ourselves was that acted in that way, it is not an expression of our true nature.

We have all done things that we are not proud of, made mistakes if you will. But because we do something that we are not proud of does not mean that that behaviour defines us eternally, nor that we should live with self-disgust for the rest of our lives for what we did – or perhaps did not – do. If I make a comment that offends someone, it doesn’t brand me eternally as an asshole for that one action. Perhaps I meant no offence, and the person simply interpreted incorrectly (or completely inanely, which may be the case and which also is something I have no control over); or I simply spoke unwisely, and I will seek to be more conscious and thoughtful in the future; or I meant offense which speaks to a deeper issue I need to work on, yet which still does not make me an asshole forevermore, and simply means that I have a bent of nature which is distorted against who I actually am which I will seek to change.

Perceiving The Ego

What I have found is that we act against our nature, even when we don’t realize it, we do so for two main reasons: the first is due to the fact that our behaviors are oftentimes so deeply ingrained that we do not even realize them; the second factor is that we do not have enough awareness of our who we are, our genuine self, to make the distinction in the first place.

So many of our reactions and conditioned emotional responses are so deeply ingrained, perhaps from childhood, that they are automatic, engaging before conscious thought. These behaviors are so deeply seated, learned and practiced throughout our lifetime, that they happen without conscious thought, on the level of instinct. For example, we may not realize that we make a certain face when we are pleased with ourselves (perhaps when we get a compliment), which also speaks to an internal event that is the conditioned emotional response of self-satisfaction and pomposity. Nor do we realize that both of which, the countenance and the emotional reaction, are perhaps something we learned in part from one of our parents. These types of things are unconscious because they were learned early through sheer mimikry, and repeated so often throughout our lives that they feel natural to us, even though they may not be. Most people will have absolutely no clue that we are doing them. Moreover, when we find little traits like this, especially those that we dislike, especially if these is some animosity with the parent in question, they are even more uncomfortable and difficult to accept and acknowledge.

The other important thing is that even though these things may be in the way of our growth and development, we cannot see them and we wouldn’t be able to identify them as such because we have no objectivity within ourselves from that behaviour. Do you see? If we are never looking back at ourselves and seeking to see and understand ourselves as we are, beneath the facade of accomplishments and decoration with which people often obscure themselves, specifically because of a lack of initial self-awareness, then we will never see what is beneath.

People are, or at least seem to be, afraid of looking within themselves. Nobody wants to sit down in silence, with only their thoughts and emotions – what is going on inside of them – as a companion. People seek distraction, for a whole host of reasons, but mostly because of fear. Fear of darkness and fear of the unknown, and probably fear of hearing truth because it throws a wrench into their worldview and carefully crafted self-image upon which they have built a modicum of stability that they call their lives: ordered, clean, filled to the brim to leave no room for any uncomfortable disillusionment born of looking in the mirror, or rather, within ourselves and seeing what we are directly.

Then stress is born from the fact that we have based our lives on all of these things that are transient, and oftentimes external to us, while the foundation our lives we have also perched on an incomplete, structurally unsound, and unbalanced self-image that is fundamentally limited and untrue, and certainly not easy to change. This fear based on an instinctive knowledge that we are empty inside – not because we are actually empty inside, but because we have not shone the light of our awareness back towards ourselves and thus we are almost completely unknown to ourselves, is the first source of fear, worry, and stress. The second source of this stress on the other hand is that we are constantly worrying about those external things that we have based our lives upon changing, which are transient by nature! Thereby we are perpetually afraid of any change that could potentially removing things from our identity that we have so carefully and so deeply attached ourselves to; or we are worried about updating those external things with the trendiest new fashions, apparel, and equipment with which we determine our worth. Our cars determine our worth and our virility, because we have no internally founded sense of self-worth. Our confidence waxes and wanes with our physical appearance that day, how our hair happened to look, or according to who is in the room and how wealthy they are, or how physically attractive they are, how expensive their dress is, or how important of people they are. If we suddenly had all of those things removed and taken away, we would realize just how empty we are without all of those things around us. Which is good, because perhaps this would be the dramatic, existential, ‘near-death’ type of experience that most people require to shock them into a moment of objectivity and clarity where they question all that they think they are and think that they know, where they finally begin to ask the most important question: “Who they fuck am I and what am I doing here?”

Lastly, our stress and anxiety, which directly influences the frenetic pace and superficial lifestyle that the majority of us perpetuate, is directly due to the fact of a deep knowledge and awareness that all is not right. I think that on some level many of us realize that we have built our lives upon a foundation of sand: upon a self-image and identity that we know is not who we really are, nor who we are meant to be, and that we are trudging along a path that is not in the direction that we actually desire to go.

Looking within ourselves and learning about who we are is the most important focus that we can have in our lives. But why? What does it even matter? Well, I shall tell you. First of all, this practice hones and refines us. It removes the layers within us, those layers of pain and suffering born of intense emotional experience and twisted perception that arise from certain of our experiences, gradually revealing that which we truly are.

Moreover, this practice brings us into a direct confrontation with what is going on inside of us, while at the same time allowing us to see two different aspects to who we are: we can see a learned identity, and we will see our genuine self, who we actually are. For it does so by opening the doors of perception to an experience of an aspect of ourselves that is incredibly difficult to experience under any other conditions. This is the experience of our true nature, our intuition, our purpose in life, and One Consciousness so that we may live the highest caliber of lives. Yet when we look within ourselves we will be confronted with a whole new world, as well as the awareness of an internal split. This fractured internal state is what I call the ego.

//

We are not actually these bodies. Nor are we what we have in this lifetime, or what we have accomplished. We are not our children, or our parents, or our friends. We are not the knowledge that we have accumulated, nor the skills that we possess. Even while we try to use all of these things as a buffer between ourselves and the world, which we are desperately trying to use to define ourselves with, holding them up within us, speaking about them at every available opportunity, as soon as there is the slightest hint of silence, the space between breaths in a conversation, where we think: ‘Here it is, now is my chance to insert myself and my identity into existence so that this other person (whoever it is almost doesn’t matter… although I would mind if they were someone important, but anyone will do) can bask in the glory of these handful of treasures that define all that I am’. ‘I am a vegan.’ ‘I like Jazz.’ ‘I’ve been to Spain.’ ‘I think global warming is a serious issue because I am a gentle, wise, compassionate, Earth-conscious environmentalist.’

It is little schemes like this that we have stooped to in order to find and define ourselves, and impress ourselves upon the world, or even impress the world with ourselves. But these little things prove our insecurity and how little we know of ourselves, even while at the same time they validate the ego, as was the singular intention all along, whether we were conscious of it or not. It seems that, in our world driven by competition, the whole point is to constantly seek to ‘one up’ everyone around us, as if we are constantly seeking to validate and refine the ranking system of all human beings from 1 to 7.2 billion, defining our worth on this very precise scale, figuring out who we are above, so that we can lord over them, and who we are below, so that we can either avoid them like the plague, serve them to increase our relative worth, and scheme to dethrone them.

This is what the ego is. These are the petty games that the ego plays. And it is, in essence, all of these little attachments combined that support and comprise our own, individual, personal ego. Everything that we can and do attach ourselves to is ego. It doesn’t matter if it is a friend or a lover, and art which we have formed our identity around, or some special trait, special talent, or special interest that we have chosen to embody as being that thing that we are, which sets us apart, which makes us unique. All of these conditionals, in other words.

Our ego occurs when we attach ourselves to and identify with any of the following: our jobs, work, status, achievements, financial wealth, our physical appearance, clothing, possessions, bodies, illnesses, our education, beliefs, religion, limitations (of character, abilities, talent, and so on), political views, and our experiences (both positive and negative).

All of these things are transitory. And by attaching ourselves to them we are basing ourselves on impermanence which is in direct conflict with our true nature. Moreover, all of the things listed above have nothing to do with who we are. At most they are an expression of who we are, such as when we are doing what we are passionate about to earn a living, and living our life purpose. But even if you absolutely adore what you do, it still doesn’t define you, because how could it?

The Birth Of The Ego

Since we were born we have been taking everyone’s word for the way things are. When we are young we look at something and ask, What is that? or How does that work? and those around us make the mistake of telling us, and we leave it at that without actually observing and contemplating the thing in depth for ourselves. Instead of responding the a question with the answer, maybe it is sometimes appropriate to ask questions in return? (‘what do you think that is?’ What do you think it does?’ How do you think it works?’ How would you find out how it works?) That is how our whole educational system is designed, and how most people behave towards children in general since we haven’t known that there is a better way.

If we gave ourselves the freedom and the gift of solitude, away from all external distractions where we could think, observe, and contemplate all things in peace, then we would naturally come to an understanding of who we are. This understanding is of absolute importance.

As we discover ourselves we will experience a consciousness shift leading us along a path of spiritual awakening to a direct experience of the universal mind. It is necessary to discover for ourselves who we are, without any external input or distractions, because only that will give us knowledge and understanding of our own hearts, minds, and desires, which enables us to follow our passions which blossom into our life purpose. This is something that is not understood in our world, to the great misfortune of humanity.

We are bombarded with information daily, and with all of that cluttering up our minds it is nearly impossible to get a clear perception of ourselves, let alone the world. We know only what we have been told, and taught to believe. With all of that information teeming around in our subconscious and conscious minds it clutters and distorts our perception of everything. This was the birth of the ego and it begins occurring since the very moment that we open our beautiful, bright, kaleidoscope eyes as infants.

For we took in everything, and we still do.

We learn from our parents, siblings, friends, and everyone we come into contact with. We are shown television, movies, and shows, and that immediately traps our attention and focuses it away from ourselves, and onto that which is not real. We see commercials for toys on the television and our parents give us these plastic gifts with such joy and excitement, which confuses us, and we begin to think these things are important and that they improve, fulfill, or enrich us in some way.

We see our parents stressing about their jobs which they talk about every night at dinner, always talking about money this, and money that, and slowly the idea forms in many people that it is money that is what is important. Then they are constantly away from us because they are at work so we begin to believe that work is really important. Then we get asked in kindergarten what we want to be when we grow up and we think about work some more, but we are never asked the most important question of all:

What are we now?

See how it is all coming together? This is where we originally began to separate ourselves from our true, infinite, and divine nature. When we were born we were a child of the Universe: pristine, pure, and perfect in every respect. Ready to learn, to experience and express ourselves, yet with a destiny already inherent within who we are, not necessarily because it was foreordained or anything, but because what we accomplish and create is an ultimate expression of who we are. Then we learnt to be a child of Man and learnt their ways which got in the way of the ways of the divine which we are naturally programmed and inclined to act in accordance with. That is the answer to the question what is ego which can be summed up beautifully in these few words:

“Life is [Universal Awareness] in action. And it is only through lack of the understanding of applied thought and feeling that mankind is constantly interrupting the pure flow of that perfect essence of life which would without interference naturally express its perfection everywhere.”
– St. Germain

Our True Nature

On the other hand, our true nature is pure, formless consciousness which has very specific qualities. This is, in part, that which we are when we honestly and unconditionally express ourselves. When we do what we choose to do with (ideally) no desire to prove anything at all. Instead filled with the deep and profound exhilaration of acting and doing what we are unaccountable in love with doing, filled only with the unquenchable desire to be what we are and express that which is within us.

When we can have an open conversation with another person, with nothing to prove, nothing to gain, nothing to confirm or deny: just open sharing of what we are, what we think, and what we feel. When we define and base our perception of ourselves on anything that is not pure, formless, and eternal consciousness, then we are basing ourselves off of illusion and thus perpetuating the ego – the split between our true nature and false identity.

We are beings far too vast, unfathomable, multidimensional and multifaceted to be summed up in a few words. We are eternally changing; fluidly growing, transforming, and evolving always moving towards a higher level of consciousness. We are awareness in action, expressing, perceiving, conceiving, and expressing, thus we cannot be defined by what we are doing, let alone by our physical bodies, or appearance; we can only be defined by how conscious we are of our infinite awareness. How unlimited we have become through our efforts.

What we do and create, say and think, does say something about us. Yet not nearly as much as most people think it does. My interest on the one had speak volumes of the type of person that I am, what I think about and find to be important, and what I create contains a piece of me, a piece of what I am. Yet those things say nothing at all about me, because that piece was freely given, and yet without it I am still complete. It is a glimpse of my mind, my emotions, my identity, and my spirit; yet not the thing itself.

When we identify with our doings, our appearances, our possessions and so on, we are only creating a separate identity from the aspect of ourselves which is infinite consciousness. This thing that we create, which is what I call the ego, is merely an identity that was established for us at an early age that we began to believe in to the point that we forgot what we were deep within ourselves, where impenetrable silence contains all the possibility that we, waiting to be explored, comprehended, embodied and then expressed. And yet never diminished or tainted by any of it. That is what we really are beneath the ego, which is an identity, more like a realization, that takes years to attain because firstly, it is a gradual process, but more importantly, because it is such a dramatically different experience that it takes time for us to come to terms with it, and also to detach ourselves from old ways of processing, living, and being.

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