July 16th, 2008
The Ego is a construct explained by many spiritual authors and Buddist teachings. For a long time,I have been fascinated to learn about ego and its effects on our state of being. In reading work by Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson and Eckard Tolle, I have compiled a description of the ego and higher self.
The Ego is the part of us that keeps us separate in this world – in relationships, in nature, and from God. Dyer writes the ego means to “edge God out”. The Ego is the part of us that is stuck in negative critical thinking filled with judgements. The Ego is never in the present; rather it is focused on the past or future and filled with fear. The ego is fear based rather than love based. So for example the ego will interpret situations in a negative frame – looking for what is wrong. The Ego is not at peace – either in anguish about past events or worried about the future. Ego creates or feels conflict and turmoil. It is difficult for the ego to be present as the mind is always spinning and obsessing; the Buddhists would call the “monkey mind”. The ego either feels inferior or superior in situations and often unconscious about feeling or acting this way.
We all have ego as we are human. To transform out of ego to experience life in compassion and love; we want to move to our “Higher self”.The higher self is conscious of feelings and its goal is to be present. For it is only in the present we can feel inner peace. Higher Self looks for the good and what is helpful; looking to reframe negative situations. The Higher Self feels connected to everything (nature, people, God) and this connectedness brings inner peace. The Higher Self is love based rather than fear based. In other words it looks for compassion rather than judgement.
What are some ways to move toward the Higher Self?
Using positive questions when feeling critical or judgemental to move out of this state is a great tool to move out of negativity. Some great questions include:
What’s another way to look at this situation that is more helpful or healing?
How can I look at this with more compassion?
If my friend thought this, what would I say to help them?
What can I do now to move out of this bad place, thought..?
What evidence do I have that this situation is really awful?
Right now, do I need to be right or am I seeking peace?
Eckard Tolle and many Buddhist teachings, teach us the importance of breath mediation to bring us back to the present when we are stuck in past or obsessing about the future. Just taking moments to come back to breath. You can’t be stuck in past or future when you’re still. When you are still and breathing, you are present. And when you are present you can begin to feel the inner peace the of your Higher Self.