Freeing The Ego
ENLIGHTENMENT is a state of mind that we are all seeking whether we know it or not. We are looking at 5 Myths that make it difficult for us to achieve that aim. Myth No. 1 was recently posted (click to read). And now here’s Myths No’s. 2 and 3.
2. I will be enlightened as soon as I learn how to stop my thoughts.
This is a common misconception. The reality is that you don’t need to stop your thoughts to awaken; you just need to stop identifying with them. But this is not so easy because most of us have spent a lifetime doing just that.
The key is to observe them; to silently watch them. Get some space between you and the arising thought and notice that you are present before the thought, during the thought, and after the thought, so the thought cannot be you.
3. Enlightenment means I will be free of the ego.
The ego is necessary for the body’s survival and is what tells us when to run from danger or defend ourselves. However, although we rarely find ourselves in actual physical life or death situations, the ego approaches our psychological disturbances with this same fight or flight response. If someone insults us or cuts us off in traffic, the ego kicks in and feels threatened.
The key is to see that we are not our ego. By observing it as it gets triggered we can start to put some space between us and it. The more space, the less pull it has over us. Pretty soon the ego begins to feel like a spoiled child who is always whining and complaining because it wants what it wants when it wants it. The ego’s mantra is, “Me, me, me!”
Rather than get angry at “the child,” we can begin to love it and assure it that it’s safe. By not taking our ego so seriously, we literally begin to lighten up. Again, no need to get rid of the ego—clearly seeing it is not ‘you’ is enough…
Dan’s Quote: “With self awareness the ego can be our friend.
______________Without self awareness it can be our foe”