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.
This is an easy pattern to fall into because it 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.
We can’t live without the Ego, but we should not our lives behind it and so allow it to control all thinking and experience. This is exactly what happens to many people because the default mode of Ego wants to take control. It is easy to slip back behind the mask of Ego.
So, we need to learn how to use Ego properly. If we learn how to use it correctly, then we open up a whole universe of options that are hidden. Otherwise, Ego uses us.
The Ego is a Comfortable 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, and this is why many people confuse the 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. We don’t realize it is the default setting.
When we 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 is difficult to see how it uses us. 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. When we allow the Ego to take control it is comfortable. It’s our default setting. When we do this because it makes life easier. 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 learn 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 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? 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. This is the awakening process. This is the essence of spiritual exploration.
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, then we can move beyond them. This will give us 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.
There are several tools that help us expand awareness. We can expand conscious awareness through analytical tools like the Enneagram and Comparative Analysis. We can expand the bandwidth of awareness by enhancing our observational skills and through 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 our mind?
The Eastern Mind
The Eastern philosophy is about achieving balance. The basis of Western thinking is self-centered commercialism. This philosophy of thinking puts the mind in battle with the heart. 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.
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 desires to be present. The Observer of your awareness wants the opportunity to how 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 concept 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 real driver of the car.
When we are in control, the elements of the mind becomes balanced. This enables us to access all of our mental and spiritual tools.
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. 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 the desired details for clinicians, yet it uses plan language so almost everyone can understand 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, 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.
Our Ego is not the enemy, we need to learn how to use it correctly. Instead of wearing the ego as a mask, we need to learn how to take it off and take control. We need to use Ego properly. This is the 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