What your ego is and how to stop it from obscuring your inner peace and unconditional love
Removing the ego
So, for the ambitious: How do we remove the ego? Being aware and conscious not only lets you remain unaffected by the ego, it also reduces it slowly.
If letting the ego work on your thoughts strengthens the ego, then not feeding it with your thoughts will slowly diminish it.
By knowing that you are behaving, reacting, or thinking under the influence of these filters, you begin to see them for what they are. The more conscious you are, the more patterns, roles, and identities you discover. Its like a snowball it starts slow at first, but builds momentum fast. Soon you begin to see alternatives to acting and thinking the way you have always done.
And as you develop the courage and the inner strength to begin acting in a way that fits with your core the core of peace, love, and joy the blotches will fade away. The ego cannot survive without thoughts or actions to feed it.
At this point, one might think, whats to stop us from acting in a worse way? Once we have found our filters and realised we can act differently, why dont we become even more violent? Why dont we become more selfish? Because it is impossible to be conscious and choose to hurt others.
Hurting others doesnt feel good and in the overall scheme you are only hurting yourself. And nobody will ever consciously choose to hurt themselves only the ego will. If you are behaving negatively -whether big or small you are not conscious. You are an unconscious person who now has a few concepts and ideas about consciousness and spirituality in your head.
And how do we distinguish between charitable acts from the ego and charity from the core? Be alert are you getting something out of being nice? When you smile at someone, or give someone a helping hand, do you want something? Recognition, praise, or a favour in return? If so, it is the ego. But if you can genuinely give without thinking about getting something in return, your action comes from the spaces between the ego.
Suffering and your blotches
There is another way you can remove the ego. By removing, piece by piece, everything you have identified with. But most people dont come across this by choice it happens to them instead. How does it work?
As mentioned, each blotch, or portion of your ego, represents something, such as identification with objects, groups, your physical body, and so on. What happens when one of these is removed?
Lets take a beautiful woman who is identified with her looks. What happens when she loses it? It can be a slow decline, due to age perhaps, or it can be fast, like an accident that leaves her disfigured. It doesnt matter. Neither does what she lose it can be money, car, social standing, political affiliation, or lover. The result is the same.
The large purple chunk at the bottom, her identification with her looks, has been forcibly ripped out. If she didnt want to lose it, the pain to her psyche is the equivalent of ripping off her arm.
From here, there are two possible outcomes.
One: the pain causes a different blotch, possibly bigger and stronger, to take its place. What would it be? You can probably guess. It can be bitterness, anger, rage, depression, or cynicism. Or it can be victimisation the woman would end up as someone who seems to take pride in their role as victim who gets a twisted form of pleasure out of complaining and moaning.
This reaction is also possible if you remove a part of your identity by choice. If you have been identified with your money, you can give it all up and become a hermit. But you might have just replaced that part of your ego with another one a spiritual identity and thus better than the unimproved masses.
Warning: This is not some kind of endorsement for you to go out and do something stupid. If you are identified with your looks, disfiguring yourself is not a way to enlightenment. Neither is throwing away your fortune. Whatever you have identified with, just be aware of it, and dont become so attached to it. Do not let it become part of your identity.
But what is the other possibility? After the initial impact of the loss is over, before the new identity sets in, something inside you notices the space that remains.
Something notices that what is left is not pain; it notices that underneath all the blotches is not emptiness, or death. Paradoxically, the bigger the part that was ripped out, the more the core is revealed.
So it explores. It is curious. It wants to know. It accepts the loss, but doesnt follow the instinctive drive to fill that empty space with another blotch, another role, another filter.
And what remains? The core, the true consciousness. It cannot be defined, for defining it would reduce it to a concept, and it would become part of the form, the ego. But I do know one thing. Its beautiful.
Thanks to Eckhart Tolle, Krishnamurti, and Alan Watts for inspiring this post. Please check out their material if you want to know more!