What’s in an Ego?
To let go or not to let go?
You hear a lot from certain spiritual teachers about letting go of or destroying the ego, but in psychological terms, the ego is the most precious part of the id, ego, superego trifecta. It mediates between the id and superego. It is the vanguard of reality and common sense.
The ego is what we need more of, not less. It doesn’t obscure. It clarifies.
I think there’s often (not always) a fundamental difference in the perception of the ego in spiritual terms and in psychological terms. People often define them differently.
The way I view the ego, it’s a combination of things:
A set of personality traits chosen and expressed by the soul, which is carried with that soul when it crosses over and then the beliefs which are created by and integrated with it as you grow and have experiences here on the earth plane. These aspects of belief are “left behind” when the soul leaves, although all experiences are recorded. The ego itself is our mechanism through which we are able to have an incarnate human experience.
When spiritual people talk about dissolution of the ego, what they mean is usually the illusion of separation (identity) and beliefs (particularly the negative ones about the self) that get integrated with the soul portion while physically incarnate. It’s this aspect of the ego which causes issues, particularly when it is unhealthy (full of unhealthy beliefs about the self and the remnants of various psychological traumas). When the ego is built with unhealthy beliefs, it perceives that it is not loved and that there is a lack of love, and it acts accordingly.
To truly destroy one’s ego would be to cease having a human experience. If we were to do that while still existing in a human body, it would look like being zenned out in a transcendental meditation all day every day. There’s not a lot of growing, learning, or experiencing involved in that.
To me, it’s not about letting go of the ego. It’s about letting go of the negative aspects of the ego, accepting, integrating and healing the shadow self. Deconstructing the ego down to its bare bones–the personality that the spirit came in with–and rebuilding it in the image of the higher self, bringing yourself into alignment with your higher consciousness, which is love-based, and sees itself as a reflection of all that is, thereby harnessing the ego and bringing it into alignment with higher consciousness, and becoming a living embodiment of love on earth.
How many of you have heard it both ways and were really confused about what it meant and why it was conflicting?
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Look up the meanings behind commonly used spiritual terminology and concepts in the Spirituality Encyclopedia.