This is what Ego is not – Calm, Lovely, Serene. Ego fragments reality into such complexity that I’m better able to tell (or show) you what it isn’t than to encapsulate what it is. Ego is not your true nature. The true nature of your mind is like this clear lake. This is precisely why Ego’s efforts to organize your life and world most often leave you frustrated and disappointed.
This begins even before you know your name, what your first caregivers call you. Chances are when you first spoke your own name it was to give voice to a desire.
Or you screamed in complaint. You’ve been wanting some things and avoiding others ever since. It’s ego’s job to organize your reality to get you what you want, and, in the healthy person, to do so without hurting others. Ah, but there’s a catch. Once we get what we want, we either find we don’t want it after all or we immediately focus on the next person, place, or thing we want and fail to enjoy what we’ve got.
The Ego’s favorite word is MORE, even far beyond the point where what we possess has become unmanageable.
This is the essence of the process called Addiction. But that’s another topic.
We’re all familiar with the Ego/Mind’s focus on naming, analyzing, dissecting, and separating reality into bits and pieces, and, we become Lost in all this thinking. How do we find who we ARE, rather than who our Ego (or someone else’s Ego) thinks we are? Too often the words posited to manage Ego are war metaphors – control, tame, subjugate. Try that. Believe me, the Ego is up for the battle. While you’re making your plans to corral it, cowboy (or girl), it’s riding off into the sunset with your horses!
Another way this plays out is illustrated in that famous cartoon of the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other. It’s called a cartoon for a reason. Splitting your Self off into good and bad only drives you further away from your true nature. So what to do about the Ego? Observe it. Get to know it. You’ll need to adopt the alertness of a grazing animal, or the patience and focus of a bird.
If you can be that graceful while you’re at it, that’s a bonus! Seriously, we can learn about a state of alert presence from creatures that were here before we came on the scene.
What do we do with our observations on the Ego? Realize that IT’S NOT YOU! The Ego is not who you are. If it is, then whose watching it do it’s insane Ego dance?
That’s YOU. You are the stillness, the state of presence, the watcher. The more time you can spend in that Stillness, the more you dis-identify from Ego’s machinations. The more you can laugh at it. (Don’t laugh at someone else’s Ego. That’ll get you in trouble).
You must spend time with your Ego and other Ego’s out in the unreal world. But once you get it, that you’re not your Ego, you’ll never let it run your life again. Not entirely, anyway. You do share a body with it. So making friends is a good idea. You’ll find yourself seeking to spend more time in Nature, where Stillness is easily found.