If you are like most people, you think you are your Ego. But, is this a correct assumption? Maybe it’s just a mask. And we need to take off the mask to find the real you.
What is Ego
You’ve probably heard someone say, “I will never change, that’s just who I am.” And, to some extent they are right. We can become so fixated by the mechanisms of Ego, our personality, and instincts, that we “think” that’s who we are. This is an easy pattern to fall into because it is our default setting.
We are not our Ego. It is, however, a necessary tool that connects our bodies to the thread of consciousness. It is a default mechanism. We can’t live without it, but we should live behind it and allow it to control our thinking. This is exactly what happens to most of us, most of the time. We slip back behind the mask of Ego because it is easy.
Wearing Ego as a Mask
When we live behind the mask of Ego, we fixate. This means we react according to the automatic responses, which are a part of our default programming. This is why many people confuse Ego with the real you. We think we are our Ego so we don’t question it.
We grow up thinking we are our Ego because no one ever teaches us how to take off the mask. We identify with the automatic patterns of the Ego thinking that’s me. We never realize we have other options.
When we Ego is in control, it often allows any unhealthy traits of our personality and instincts to take control. If we can just learn to take off the mask, then we can choose whether to follow these thought patterns. The bottom line, when we are wearing Ego as a mask we lose control.
Ego Is Not the Enemy
Here’s the truth. Allow the Ego to control is comfortable. It’s the default setting of our personality. We do this because it makes life easier. The intent of this tool is to help us learn the basic aspects of using our bodies and language. With Ego in control of the unconscious activities, we can focus on learning how to walk, run, use our arms, identify sounds and develop language skills.
It’s a wonderful tool connecting our nervous system to our consciousness. Our personality and instincts are the main components of the Ego. When we fixate, our Ego dominates our thinking. It becomes our mask. The mask that hides the real you and all the spiritual gifts that await. So, what is ego? Ego is not the enemy but a tool we misuse it. Wearing Ego as a mask keeps the real you from being in control.
So, it’s important to realize, you aren’t your ego, it’s just a tool. Ego is a mask we learn to wear. It’s a mask that we can take off as we grow. Then we can fully inhabit all the gifts of our consciousness. This is the awakening process. This is the essence of spiritual exploration.
We Can Learn and Grow
Everyone can learn to some extent. The aspect of our personality, which is dominant, is the default setting. We can learn about it and learn to move beyond the default settings. There are other options, other ways of thinking and perceiving. If we take the time to apply ourselves, we can learn that we are much more than just a personality.
Our mind is much more than the gray matter that sits between our ears. Consciousness also connects us to our intuition and emotions. Together, these tools enable us to experience this reality through a singular point of experience at a specific point in time. Why then do we think we have an internal fight between our hearts and our mind?
The Eastern Mind
There are several analogies showing the mind in battle with the heart. This is a typical Western view. But this is just one way of looking at what’s going on. Another way is to see this war as our fixation with the default settings of personality and instinct. It’s like the driver of a car thinking they are the car. We aren’t the car. We are the driver.
The Eastern concept of mind differs from the narrow Western concept. It’s a way of seeing us as a part of the consciousness of everything. The Eastern concept of the mind extends the boundaries beyond our head and beyond our body. We are a vibration among the other vibrations in creation. When we nurture our connection to consciousness through spiritual practice, we are more in touch with the real driver of the car.
So, why do we get stuck on the idea that we are “the car” instead of the driver? This happens for two reasons. First, they aren’t taught how to access anything other than their default settings. Again, the ego is not the enemy. We allow it to steer more than necessary.
Second, our culture is training us to be consumers, not thinkers. It programs us to believe we will find fulfillment if buy things. But this doesn’t work. The pleasure of buying wears off quickly. It is a strategy to keep us buying things. What we need is a method to get beyond the default settings and explore other options of perception, thinking, feeling and experiencing.
The Enneagram of personality profile
The Enneagram of Personality is a system of cognitive science. It’s a blend of both science and spiritual tradition. So, it draws on several sources for its psychometric knowledge. The development of this process is ongoing. Testing with scientific methodology verifies the underlying theory and outcomes of this system. What’s more, this system is deep enough to satisfy the desired details for clinicians. Yet, it uses language, almost everyone can use it. This makes it a practical tool for self-discovery and inner wisdom. It answers the question, what is Ego by explaining its components.
The Enneagram of Personality Profile is one of the basic tools of spiritual exploration. This is the best tool for most people to learn about the mechanism of Ego. It’s an intellectual approach that illuminates the process behind how we think and value things. If you understand the components of your ego, personality, and instincts, then you become more aware of the automatic responses you have and can learn when to use them as strengths. This is the way you learn about the mask of our default personality and then can take it off.
What is Ego? Ego is not the enemy, we simply need to learn how to use it correctly. Instead of wearing ego as a mask, we need to learn how to take it off.
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Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s Book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia