If you are like most people, you think you are your Ego. Is this a correct assumption? The Ego is just a mask. And we need to take off the mask to find the real you.
Learning to Use 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. If you think you are your personality, then change is difficult.
We fall into this easy thinking pattern because our personality is our default setting. It’s important to realize we are not our Ego. It is a necessary tool that connects our bodies to the thread of consciousness. The Ego is our default mechanism.
The Ego is a Comfortable Mask
We can’t live without the Ego. It is a necessary tool. On the other hand, we should not live our lives behind all the time. It will take control of thinking. When you live in this default mode, they don’t realize their Ego is in control. They mistake the automatic responses of personality and instinct for the real person. People are so used to living with the mask that they don’t know they can take it off.
So, we learn to use Ego properly, and then we open up a whole universe of hidden options. Otherwise, the Ego uses us.
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. We don’t know it is the default setting.
When our Ego is in control, it often allows any unhealthy traits of our personality and instincts to take control. We see Ego use other people, but it isn’t easy to see how it uses us. If we can learn to take off the mask, we can choose 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. When we allow the Ego to take control, it is comfortable. Letting Ego take control isn’t bad in all situations. It helps us focus our attention so we can learn. Its original purpose is to help us acclimate to our bodies. We need to learn how to walk, run, use our arms, identify sounds, and develop language skills.
The Ego gets in the way of presence. When we are present, the Ego loses control. The ego has its purpose. It is a beautiful tool connecting our nervous system to our consciousness. Our personality and instincts are the key components of the Ego. These components house some of our most powerful thinking scripts and behavioral tendencies. Many people believe these are part of our genetic heritage.
When our Ego dominates our thinking, it becomes our mask. This is what we mean by fixating—the “mask of Ego” that hides the real you. Then we become so used to it that we fail to take it off. The mask hides us from our “true self.” It also hides access to all the other spiritual gifts locked in our psyche.
So, what is ego? The ego is not the enemy but a tool we allow to control our awareness. Wearing the Ego as a mask keeps the real you from being in control.
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. When we access these gifts, it starts the awakening process.
Learning to Use Ego as a Tool
Everyone can learn to take back control of their awareness. The key is learning about the default settings of personality and instinct. Once we see these mechanisms of the mind, we can move beyond them. With this knowledge, we open the door to 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.
Several tools help us expand awareness. We can raise conscious awareness through analytical tools like the Enneagram and Comparative Analysis. We can expand the bandwidth of awareness by enhancing our observational skills and meditation.
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 minds?
The Eastern Mind
One of the main goals of Eastern philosophy is about achieving balance. In contrast, the basis of Western thinking is self-centered commercialism. Western thought creates a conflict between the mind and the heart. It’s like the driver of a car, thinking they are the car. We aren’t the car. We are the driver, not the car or the passenger.
Our goal in life is to grow. To do this, we need to take back the wheel. We need to use Ego properly when we need automatic responses. The default setting to help us acclimate our consciousness to our bodies. But we should not live behind the mask of the Ego. We are not present. The real you wants to be present. The Observer of your awareness wants the opportunity to show up and experience life fully.
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 idea of the mind extends the boundaries beyond our bodies. 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 car’s real driver.
When we are in control, the elements of the mind becomes balanced. It enables us to regain balance and access our mental and spiritual tools.
So, why do we get stuck on the idea that we are “the car” instead of the driver? This issue 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 we buy things. But this doesn’t work, and the pleasure of buying wears off. It is a strategy to keep us from buying things. What we need is a method to get beyond the default settings. We need to 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 method verifies the underlying theory and outcomes of this system.
This system is deep enough to satisfy clinicians, yet it uses plan language so almost everyone can understand it. It makes the Enneagram 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 essential spiritual exploration tools. Many consider this the best tool 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 learn to understand your ego’s automatic responses, you can learn to use them to your benefit. Once you see Ego is just a mask, you can take it off.
Our Ego is not the enemy, and we need to learn how to use it correctly. Instead of wearing the ego as a mask, we need to know how to take it off and take control. We need to use Ego properly. Learning to take off the mask is a natural progression of self-development. If we let Ego use us, we spend our entire life in default mode.
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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia