In a Nutshell | Spotting the Tricks of our Ego and Getting Over Ourselves

The human mind is like a fragment of stained glass in a gorgeous stained glass window: it’s part of something greater, but by itself, it’s only a small piece…It is our goal then, through the process of incarnating, to figure out how we fit into the Big Picture. Trouble is, we think our fragmented self—our ego-consciousness—is the end-all and be-all…

The ego then is a separate fragment that is under the illusion that to enlarge itself will mean to blow itself up…But we need to do exactly that: let go and expand. In short, we need to get over ourselves…

Awareness doesn’t just show up, served to us on a silver platter; we have to fight for it. It won’t come easy or cheap. But sticking with the isolated ego state is no picnic either…What stops us are the tricks that the ego uses to keep its me-Tarzan-mojo going…

For starters, the ego will trot out every conceivable negativity known to humankind…We can bundle all these ugly traits under the triumvirate of pride, self-will and fear, which are the main ways the big, bad Lower Self avoids self-improvement…The ego also maintains its separateness by pridefully putting up an artificial conflict between itself and everyone else: “I must prove to the world how much better I am; I must out-do everyone”…Comparing and competing only sharpens our sense of separation…

It is also pride that makes us live for the sake of how we appear in others eyes, rather than for the sake of truth and real feelings and our own interests. Our whole goal then is to create an impression…We tuck a lot of prideful behaviors behind our ego, including all our defensive strategies—submission, aggression and withdrawal—and their cover-up masks which are intended to hide them—power masks, love masks and serenity masks…These are all tricks of the ego designed to keep us small. No joke, that’s what the ego is going for…

Per the ego, we must stay very afraid. For instance, we fear exposing our real feelings, which denies relating deeply with others. Here are a few more things up the ego’s sleeve: inattentiveness, absentmindedness and lack of concentration. For how can we possibly transcend ourselves if we can’t pay attention?…The tricks of the ego are intended to keep us in isolation. But we’re like ventriloquists the way we throw our refusal to move on something like another person’s idiosyncrasies or shortcomings…

The way out of this jam is for the ego to overcome its temptation to stay little—to stay put…We must grope in the dark, using whatever parts of ourselves we have at our disposal, to understand how the ego operates and then cut off its funding…

The ego is made from the same material we ultimately want to reunite with. So it’s not to be ignored, insulted or denied…The healthy parts of the ego are the parts that hold the light for self-discovery. The weak, sick parts often want to give up simply because we can’t stand ourselves for one more day…. when we transcend our ego, we tear down unnecessary fences and expand the scope of our field of operation. We bring in more reality…Then the true mosaic of life, made up of eternal truth and beauty and love, becomes ours.

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