What your ego is and how to stop it from obscuring your inner peace and unconditional love
Identification with roles
Just as painful are not the objects or people but the roles we identify with. Almost everyone has roles, but just like objects and people, the more seriously you take the role the more it obscures your inner peace.
Even fairly beneficial roles are subject to this. Take a kind woman who defines herself as a loving mother. What happens when all her children grow up and begin to want independence? The stronger the role, the harder it is for the ego to let go.
In the egos efforts to hold on to a part of itself, it might turn the same loving mother into a controlling tyrant. She might purposely hold back their growth into independent adults so they will always need her and be by her side. Or she might turn into a bitter, lonely, complainer.
The dangers of other roles are more obvious. If you had grown into the role of a tough guy, you might start an argument to defend a slight that wouldnt otherwise have meant anything. What would that cost you? Your happiness, your girlfriend, or in extreme cases, your life?
Roles are not restricted to the individual. Some egos find their strongest identity as part of a group these can range from violent street gangs to a Tuesday book club, from your religion to your race and your country.
Obviously these group roles are the most dangerous. Most, if not all, of the darkest times in human history were caused by – you guessed it racial, national, and religious pride.
Your shift to consciousness
Now imagine all the above scenarios in your head. Remember John and Vivian? How would you react if you went bankrupt? Who do you automatically side with when you see a strange couple arguing?
What have you identified with? Are there any possessions that you would be particularly anguished to lose? Have you been identified with your looks or your physical prowess? Your affiliation with a particular group, big or small? Your social status and standing?
Can you identify your filters, your blotches? Can you recognise your ego when it is directing your thoughts, your emotions, and your actions? Can you trace each filter back to its origin?
This practice is hard; even more so since many of these filters have been around for so long that you cant recognise their existence anymore. But with each piece of the ego you recognise, you raise your consciousness and therefore your joy and power.
And it is especially hard when the ego evokes emotions. If you were a woman who had been beaten by an ex-lover, you might experience a huge rush of reactions immediately when you see another woman get beaten. The trigger happens so fast that it is so much harder to catch it. Can you remain conscious enough in the face of your personal triggers to realise that it is the ego and not your core that is reacting?
This unexplored action and reaction to life is the spiritual meaning of unconsciousness. You dont know what you are doing or rather; you don’t know that you have choices.
If unrecognised, your filters mean that you have only one way to react in any given situation. Vivian, for example, cannot do anything BUT fall into depression when her business dies, because thats all her filters allow her to do.
The awakening of consciousness is recognising these filters, and realising that Yes, I have choices. I dont have to let it affect me like this; its only the ego inside me, only old patterns and habits. I can behave in a different way.
But that doesnt mean that you automatically become free and enlightened this knowledge is just the first step. Knowing better doesnt mean you can do better. You have to raise your consciousness before you can do better.
Just because you know that you dont have to fall into depression over bankruptcy, doesnt mean that you wont. So how do you go about reclaiming your power? First, lets analyse the start of all our actions the thought.