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Ego is your sense of individuality. It is the powerful illusion that exists in us all and creates the appearance of separation from the whole (the Universal Mind or All That Is or God).
Ego's greatest fear is death of itself. Mankind experiences this fear by its own fear of physical death. An atheist probably fears this the most as they have no afterlife to place their ego. They will fight and fear death till the very end. A person who is self realized knows that there is no death.
All that you accumulate is a reflection of your ego. Your car, house, clothing, and even your mate and children are a statement to this. You might wonder at why a child would be a reflection of your ego, but I can't count the times I've heard both men and women say, "I need to have a child to carry on my name." Or more often, to carry on their identity in some form. Adoption is rarely as palatable as a person's own child because it is not theirs, and if they do adopt, they often want it to be like them in terms of ethnicity. Of course, then there are those that have managed their egos and don't care about that and just want to give a good life to a child.
Because ego's greatest fear is its own death, it keeps a fanatical vigilance over its survival. Try and remove your ego, and you will have started a war.
What does ego do for us? Well, one of the things it does is rob us of a life of peace, bliss and wholeness. Ịf we do not understand ego and let it run our lives, then we have bought into separation, division, and duality. In essence, we do not live in wholeness because we want what is "good" but not what is "bad." We don't want ALL of life; we want PART of life! This will guarantee your misery!
Energy simply exists and there is no good and there is no bad, just ego labeling your experiences. As long as we are fighting evil's battle over "good and evil" then we will still be fighting. An example is this when you feel hurt because someone insulted you. This is ego. Feel great with praise? This is ego. A managed ego state (or egoless state) is free from emotional attachment and reaction from the judgment of others. When ego is attacked or hurt, it does what ego does: fights and hurts back for ego is not love, it is separation.
So how is this partial living made evident?
One is when we hate our fellow man. To hate is to separate. And despite the following quote: "But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Matthew 5:44 people go on hating (including the members of every religion on this planet!). If you are truly one with all and see through the illusion of ego, then to hate your neighbor is hating yourself. Rejecting your fellow man is rejecting yourself. Love thy neighbor, and you love yourself.
Another ego fact made evident is the process of limiting. Words are limiting; emotions are limiting for you are blocked and biased. This is why a meditation method is to focus on nothingness because nothingness is really everything-ness. Words limit. As soon as we form a thought, we have limited ourselves. This does not mean don't think or feel, just know that when you do, you are only seeing, feeling, and experiencing part of the whole.
When you run from the whole and chase the parts, you start to create blocks. If I chase good and block bad I start to create a fear that bad will occur. The judgment of bad is again ego's labeling. I'll give you an example of this blocking. As a child grows up, their ego starts to develop. The powerful presence in their life is their parents. If a parent does something (or even the lack of doing something such as giving love) this causes the young person's ego to react, causing pain. This does not feel good so they start to suppress the inward flow of this emotion, or in some instances, they overreact for the rest of their lives resulting in the millions of obsessive compulsive, neurotic, anxious, phobic and suicidal people on this planet! They block their chakras, grow ill and eventually perish.
Accept the illusion of ego by knowing that we all have it as something to deal with and that we chose to take on ego because in one way, it servers a valuable purpose. We chose separation to experience the process of becoming whole again. In other words, if God is All That Is, why did it create the illusion of what it is not? It did it to experience itself through "separation and reunification." But to create something that is not part of All That is, is impossible, so all that we are left with is a series of illusions. So our ego is the illusion of separation so that we can experience the joy of becoming whole again.
The misery is when we don't see this illusion and let the illusion dictate our existence.
Once you acknowledge, understand, and accept ego, you can start to manage it, and eventually be free of it.
Because ego's greatest fear is the death of itself, we cannot "attack it head on." We have to be more subtle in our approach of ego. It also does no good to suppress it for suppression is not resolution.
How I personally deal with my ego state is to become friends with it. When I feel something that makes my ego react (an insult for example), I allow that feeling to come to the surface (non suppression). I analyze the triggers that then fire off in my brain (adrenaline, fear, etc.) and then I reprogram it with new emotions (love, laughter, and compassion). I allow the initial ego feelings to pass, and then I bring warmth and gratitude to the situation. I either thank the person for giving me this opportunity to grow, or I send them compassion for showing me that they are the pain in me and I am the pain in them. If they attack me, there is hurt in them, if I react, then there is pain in me. Healing is required of us both.
I really try and look at an attacking person as an aspect of me (wholeness). They are merely suffering individuals. This does not require my retribution, but my love. This is very hard to do though as long as ego is present, but it is doable.
This is a lifelong endeavor. It starts with acknowledgement, lives through understanding and acceptance and finds resolution in love.
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