The Ego is not our enemy. It’s a tool, but most people live with this mechanism turned on all the time, so they confuse it for themselves. However, the real you would like to take off this mask and be fully present more often. You simply need to learn how to use your Ego.
The Comfortable Mask
We can’t live without the Ego; it’s a necessary tool. We should not live 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 themselves. People are so used to living with the mask that they don’t know they can take it off.
“Life is, but a mask worn on the face of death. And is death but another mask? ‘How many can say,’ asks the Aztec poet, ‘that there is, or is not, a truth beyond?” — Joseph Campbell (1)
So, you learn how to use your Ego properly. When we do this, we open up a whole universe of hidden options. Otherwise, the Ego uses us.
No one teaches us how to take off the mask. We grow up thinking the mask is who we are. The automatic patterns of the Ego become our identity. The Ego becomes our identity. We never realize we have other options. We don’t know that there other options.
When our Ego is in control, it allows any unhealthy traits of our personality and instincts to take control. We can see how Ego uses other people, but it isn’t easy to see how it uses us. If we learn to remove the mask, we can choose which thought patterns to change. We lose control when we live in the default mode.
Learning How to Use Your Ego
You’ve probably heard someone say; I will never change, that’s who I am, and they are right to some extent. We can become so fixated by the mechanisms of our Ego, personality, and instincts that we think that’s who we are. If you believe 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 the mechanisms of the Ego. An Ego is a necessary tool that connects our bodies to the thread of consciousness. The Ego is our default mechanism.
“Well, one of the problems about being psychoanalyzed is, as Nietzsche said, Be careful lest in casting out your devils that you cast out the best thing that’s in you. So many people who are really in deep analysis look as though and act as though they have been filleted. There’s no bone there, there’s no stuff! How to get rid of Ego as dictator and turn it into messenger and servant and scout, to be in your service, is the trick.” — Joseph Campbell
The trick, as Mr. Campbell says, is learning to use Ego. To use this tool appropriately, we must understand its nature and function.
Ego Is Not the Enemy
Here’s the truth. When the Ego is in control, it is comfortable; it’s our comfort zone. 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 must learn how to walk, run, use our arms and hands, identify sounds, and develop language skills. The default settings of this mechanism enable us to direct our focus. When we focus our attention, we can hone and develop many skills and abilities.
The Ego is not the enemy, but it does impede us from being fully present. Presence allows the real you to show up. It’s what we need for effective interpersonal interactions. When we are present, we can access both the analytical and intuitive aspects of the mind. So, presence helps us make better decisions. When we are present, the Ego loses control.
Our personality and instincts are the key components of the Ego. These components house some of our most potent 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. It’s what we mean by fixating—the “mask of Ego” that hides the real you. We become so comfortable behind it that we fail to take it off. The mask hides 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. The Ego is a mask that can learn to take off. Then we can fully inhabit all the gifts of our consciousness. When we access these gifts, it starts the awakening process. We need more people who are awake and aware.
How 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, ways of thinking, and perceiving. If we take the time to apply ourselves, we can learn that we are more than just a personality type.
Several tools can help us expand awareness. Tools like the Enneagram and Comparative Analysis teach us about who we are. And we can develop self-awareness by enhancing our observational skills and meditation.
Our mind is much more than the gray matter 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 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 to achieve 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 supposed to be the driver, not the car or the passenger. The Ego moves to the passenger seat when we take back the wheel. It’s the difference between life happening for you or to you.
You can take control of your presence when you learn how to use your Ego as a tool. 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 component of the mind helps us acclimate our consciousness to our bodies.
We should not live behind the mask of the Ego. We are not present. The Observer of our consciousness wants to be present. The Observer is the real you. It’s the person you talk to inside your head. The Observer of your awareness wants the opportunity to show up and experience life fully.
The concept of the Eastern mind differs from the Western mindset. 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 creatures of 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 become 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, we do not learn to access anything beyond these 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. What we need is a method to get beyond the default settings. We must explore other perceptions, thinking, feeling, and experiencing options.
The Enneagram of personality profile
The Enneagram of Personality is a blend of science and spiritual tradition. It draws on several sources for its psychometric knowledge. The accuracy of this tool is ongoing. Testing with the scientific method verifies this system’s underlying theory and outcomes.
This system is deep enough to satisfy clinicians, yet it uses plain 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 method to learn about the mechanism of the 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.
You need to learn how to use your Ego properly. Learning to take off the disguise is a natural progression of self-development. If we let the Ego control us, we live in default mode.
(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces.