My Spiritual Definition of the Ego
In order to understand yourself better and know what you are dealing with, you need to understand your own inner voice, the Ego.
I define the Ego this way:
Your constant stream of thoughts (your inner voice) and feelings, many of which originate in your past and continue to get replayed. These partly come from your beliefs about yourself and the world.
This is a simplified way of looking at yourself that has worked wonders for me. It is how I see and read others. You could go more in depth and talk about the origins of thoughts and feelings and the difference between feelings and emotions. It makes it too complicated though and is not really necessary I think.
What you need to know is that your thoughts and feelings arise automatically without you doing anything. You can produce your own thoughts and feelings but if you don’t do that consciously, it will happen unconsciously. Just like breathing, we can control our own breath but luckily the autonomous system takes over when we forget about it again:-)
Thoughts and feelings arise automatically which implies that you are not them. You are identified with them and they rule/guide your behavior and the person you identify yourself to be. In reality though, they are not you. They are produced independently of you. This will become integrated knowledge that will fill you with peace when you start to work with yourself over time.
About Your Thoughts and Feelings
I define your Ego as the one who produces your constant stream of thoughts and feelings (your inner voice coupled with feelings). These thoughts and feelings are reactions to, or comments on, whatever you are doing or experiencing right now. They are produced based on internal and external circumstances like the situation you are in, what someone says to you, what you observe, the weather, your mood, if you feel pain or discomfort, etc. etc.
These reactions are usually habitual. So you will have the same reaction today as you had to a similar situation or incident in the past.
What does that mean? It means that it has become a habit that you get annoyed when standing in line at the grocery store. It has become a habit that you feel hurt when someone criticizes you (whether it’s constructive or not). It has become a habit to feel justified when you snap at someone if you feel tired or the person first snapped at you. It has become a habit that you get crabby whenever you are sick or feel pain.
We react to our thoughts and feelings and because these are simply habits, we react in a very habitual way. We say: It’s just who I am.
If you live a life of routine, where little new is happening, almost all of your thoughts and feelings are habitual.
About Your Belief System
Your thoughts and feelings are to a large degree governed by your belief system. If you have a belief that you can never stick to an exercise routine, then your thoughts and feelings will support you in that. If you have a belief that organic food isn’t necessarily more healthy, then you’ll have a tendency to discard research that suggests it is. When you see research supporting your belief (conventional farming is just as healthy), it will strenghten that belief. The stronger the belief, the harder it is to change it. A belief that has a feeling attached to it can be very hard to change.
If you believe that it’s important to be close to your family and you feel strongly about that, it can be difficult to change that belief. You’ll be inclined to stick to your family no matter what, even if it doesn’t serve you.
This is simply the way the Ego works. It happens automatically and it takes conscious effort and awareness to be able to change that.
According to Dr. Bruce Lipton we act and react unconsciously 95% of the time.
This means that we act and react on our habitual thoughts and feelings,
which come from our past, 95% of the time.
It’s important to note that your thoughts, feelings and beliefs can be both positive and negative. The Ego doesn’t care what they are. The Ego is in that way not interested in keeping you happy, or sad, for that matter.
The more you observe yourself and become consciously aware of your thoughts, feelings, reactions and overall behavior, the more you’ll learn about yourself and where you want to make changes. If you are on a spiritual journey, I want to stress how important it is to be in control of your Ego and not let it run away with you. In that sense the spiritual journey is not only about a spiritual awakening, it’s also about creating an Ego that supports a peaceful, loving, joyful and compassionate you.
This takes practice, or you could say that it takes starting a lot of new habits.
My own spiritual journey started with clearing and removing issues, negative thougths and feelings from my past. This coupled with other exercises eventually led to the separation of my Ego. I then started the process of perceiving my thoughts and feelings from a third-person perspective.
The process took years and over time filled me with more and more peace. I focused a lot more on my Ego than on an actual spiritual awakening. What happened though was that the more I disconnected from my Ego, the more I found the true me. I started to live more and more from my higher self. I’ve kept working on my Ego until now where my heart (chakra) is fully open and my Ego more or less fully supports me.
There are different paths that you can take to get to where you want to be. When you know how your Ego works, you can be aware of it and consciously disengage from the repetitive patterns it presents to you daily. This is a way to get back to who you really are as you erase and reprogram yourself from the inside out.