When we wonder what it is like to fly like a bird, and we have that weird thought of base jumping off a cliff or free-falling out of an airplane in order to find out what it feels like, what is it in our mind or soul that tells us that that action might just be not in our best interest?
My way of understanding this is that the idea of ego and spirit-self are a bit like the cartoon angel and devil that stand on your shoulders, each offering different perspectives of whatever you are considering.
Ego, to me, is the equivalent of the cartoon devil-aspect although not evil at all. In fact, ego is rather essential. Ego is the aspect of Self that stops us doing things that can cause us harm. That’s actually what its job is. It is that aspect of Self that reminds us that we really do need to have a shower, get dressed and maybe eat breakfast if we are going to get through the day. It’s the aspect of Self that reminds us that however late we are for work, running across the road in the middle of peak traffic is a totally crazy idea. The reason that I equate ego with the devil-aspect is because ego can get too big for its own boots!
We are here, on this planet to experience what it is to be human, and ego is the very part of us that warns us that some experiences are really not worth the risk. It’s an important job, and sometimes our ego can get too puffed up with the responsibility and then it has a tendency to overstep the mark!
The problem is, ego works with limited knowledge. Its knowledge base is all about keeping your human body safe. It’s a job that’s often not very exciting, and relying on common sense, really doesn’t use a whole lot of brain power.
The other aspect, the cartoon angel sitting on our other shoulder, represents our Spirit self, which is able to access a higher level of our mind’s abilities, and it does so at such a rapid pace, that the result is what we term ‘instinctual’. In other words, we can instinctually Know something without obviously understanding how we know. Information is accessed and processed too fast and too accurately for ego to understand and, not understanding of the processes, can lead to distrust and even fear. Distrust and fear trigger the survival response and keeping our human body alive and in good working order is exactly what ego is about.
We are trained, right from our earliest years, to depend upon this limiting function. We are taught to trust the things we can easily see or explain, but to distrust that which is different, unknown or unusual. That training, in some situations, can be lifesaving. In others, it can be the anchor that holds you back from achieving your potential.
As I dig into this, I am on the edge of seeing through the protective sphere of my ego and into the deeper self. The deeper self, the Spirit Self and its intuitive leaps and Knowing, is what allows us to understand and grasp, that we are all – every single Being, every blade of grass, droplet of water or particle of dust – from the same source.
And that thought can be too big for ego to comfortably comprehend.
That is why we have to take conscious control. It’s ego’s job to protect us from our more idiotic ideas, from what is fearful – and something that is too big to be able to explain is often something to be fearful of. We have to take control of ego if we want to delve into that deeper understanding – if we want to strive for Enlightenment.
Ego tries to be all things; to stretch itself beyond what it is designed to do: which is to protect the human self from exceeding what ego understands – and it tries to protect those around us that we perceive may also need help and protection, or knowledge. It is ego that tells us that we are the one to be able to help: that we hold the knowledge and the skills – but do we? Could our over-zealous ego be convincing us that we are the Master when really we are the student?
Is this the ‘devil’ or the ‘angel’ standing on your shoulder?
“No, don’t jump off that cliff to see if you can fly. You know you can’t so don’t be an idiot.”
And is this the ‘angel’ or the ‘devil’ standing on your shoulder?
“Of course you can fix that other person’s problem – it’s not going to cause you physical harm by trying and you do believe you have all the skills…..”
And what about this? Could this be ego?
I read a great book, it changed my life and now I want to use that knowledge to help other people.
This is why an out of control ego can be dangerous, and this is how ego gets too big for its boots. Interesting – hmm?
It’s very muddied I know, but it seems at this point that balancing ego, acting consciously and understanding its role and its essential limitations, is the place we must be in order to deeply explore the spirit self and our connection to all there is.
Thank you for taking the time to read my meanderings. It means a lot to me – especially if you could like and subscribe, and maybe even share.
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