The ego, as others have aptly described it, is the “self identified with the body.”
This is an erroneous state of being. It ignores the spiritual and eternal self and embraces the self of the world – the body. When one’s mind is fixated on the body, then one see’s a world of scarcity, lack, pain, hate, anger, lust, desire, war, murder. To be fair, the body also experiences joy, pleasure, sensation and wonder. However, the deep inspirations, and the depths of joy is really a product of the soul.
Where the ego goes wrong, is when it thinks it is a body and is neither connected to anyone nor anything else (including God.) It then worries about how it will survive. It considers taking from others so that it might continue to live.
Sometimes the ego expands enough to include a few others (a family, a race, or a nation.) These are still egoic, as they still adhere to the philosophy that they must protect itself to survive.
The Spiritual Mind
The spiritual mind – your Higher Mind, that God Mind within you – That field of energy we call the Higher Mind, is active right now
within you… within me. Sometimes we forget it in favor of the ego.
In the world view of the spiritual mind, it knows that YOU (capitalized for emphasis of the eternal YOU and not the body called ‘you’) are eternal. You have returned to this world of existence to continue a process of spiritual growth. It knows no sense of lack, as it is connected to a Divine source. It has a bond to the Divine that is complete and unbreakable. The words “worry” and “concern” do not exist in it’s dictionary. It is inspiration itself!
In each spiritual practice I have encountered, the term ego has arisen. It is in deed a Western term, but it goes back to the core of most esoteric and spiritual concepts (from East to the West.) The idea of the dissolving of the “I” is found in the spiritualized alchemical practices of Western esotericists. It is also found in Egyptian teachings, in the writings of Kabbalists as well as the Eastern traditions of mysticism. In Buddhism and Hinduism, the idea of merging into a Oneness is found.
You are free to do as you please. But your ego will not serve you. Nor will mine serve me. Instead it serves itself. It’s failure creates “negative” karma. Quite correctly, there is no negative karma – after all, those “negative” experiences serve to remind us of our past failure and ht need to self correct.
When “bad things happen to good people,” we must look deeper then the idea of “it’s random acts of negativity.” No, our world is our product, and we created it in some way or some fashion… either from actions in this life or the past. It is by accepting, and vowing to self-correct (so that no more return comes our way) that we move closer to the Divine nature within each of us.
This is a goal, because it leads to our greatest joy and happiness. If you want to be miserable, then follow the ego. Follow it through it’s lust, desires, fleeting joys and fleeting excitements… only to crash again into an energy field of depression, worry and concern. I can’t say for certain if reincarnation is a truism. But it seems quite likely it would be and so it is potentially possible that one would return again and again into the world of formation, to have more opportunities to clean up more aspects of their nature. To further grow to reestablish one’s identity with God and reintegrate into the world of the Divine.
Forgetting the Ego
So we come to the subject of this lecture, “Forgetting the Ego.” What I mean by that is the practice for dropping the ego (forgetting it) and embracing the Divine. It’s simplistic as a practice. In fact, in my personal practice, I have found the more intricate the theurgic practice, the more ego we identify with!
Instead, if I opt for a mystical approach (an INWARD approach), then the ego is not built up.
Here is how I forget the ego:
As I am more mentally aware of the present moment, I began to see my ego rise up. It may take the form of intolerance, frustration, anger, selfish desire or gluttony. As it begins to rise up (meaning, take focus in my mind’s awareness), I acknowledge it is the ego and forget it. Mentally, I associate with my Higher Mind, and ask the question, “who was that making that noise? I forgot.”
What is left is not the ego. It is the opposite – it is the spiritual mind.
For this to work a few things must be in regular practice:
- Meditation (specifically Mindful Meditation)
- Mindfulness in daily life (being in the moment of now)
- A spiritual practice of some sort (that leads inwards, rather then outwards)
- Getting in touch with deep feelings of Love and Compassion
Without mindfulness, it is very difficult to catch the mind as it is in the thralls of ego. The natural state of people is to live each moment under the control of the ego. In order to break free we must acknowledge that:
- There is more to life then this physical body
- That the ego is a false state of being
- God (The Divine Source) exists within us
Those acknowledgements come to us as the fruit from the tree of Mindfulness. By being Mindful, following a spiritual path, meditating each day – we become aware of these truths. Mindfulness can be practiced outside of formal meditation – in such a state, we become aware of our moment by moment thoughts and can quickly spot and eliminate the ego as it begins to take focus.
In closing I would like to provide an illustration of the self. I once had a dream where I stood with a spiritual being looking at the sun at the horizon. I asked this person besides me, why I’m not better. He pointed to the horizon and asked what I saw. I saw a setting sun at the horizon. I replied, “The horizon.”
“Can you walk there?” he asked.
As I pondered that, I realized. The sun was a symbol of perfection, a symbol of the Divine source. But his question was interesting. I couldn’t just walk there. The more you walk the horizon never gets closer. That is a symbol for action and activity we do thinking we are being “religious” or “spiritual,” but they lead us no where.
As I began to realize this, the person I was with said to me, “…and so you’re true self is already at the horizon. What your goal is, is to realize you are already there.”
To read the entire dream, I’ve posted it at this link: http://findingunity.org/horizon/
The point of this illustration, is to show who you really are. You are at the spiritual Horizon with the Divine, already. But we must forget the ego. Forget this “self identified with the body” and establish a connection and identification with the self already joined with the Divine.