The Ego: Shedding Your Plastic Wrap

Back during the first Spirit Science Podcast there was much discussion about what the ego was and if we should work to eliminate it or not. The general consensus is that we should embrace our egos but be wary of them as they are a part of ourselves. I’ve had some time to reflect on this and thought I’d offer a slightly different take on it.

I know there are people out there who wish to embrace their ego because they equivocate it with individuality. I don’t necessarily hold that point of view myself. If I did, I would encourage people to let their egos grow.

The ego is dead

Because I used the word “hipster” in my blog, I am now legally required to use a hipster Ariel image. I know, it’s ridiculous, but the law is the law.

Here is how I see the ego: It is this fake, dead thing that tries to be the self, but instead only parodies it and stereotypes it. It is not you, rather it is society’s label of you. It is your own false perception of you, given by society. To me, there is nothing really individual about it. The Enneagram shows nine common examples of egos, and to the extent that you follow those stereotypes, you are predictable. We all know a type four, for example, who chooses to stand out by dressing and acting in unique ways (goths, hipsters, etc.). Is this, however, what it really means to be an individual? Fours who do this, tend to give off a vibe that they are trying too hard to be individuals. What does it really mean to be an individual? It mean a lot of things, it means letting go of a lot of false perceptions of yourself, one of which is that you have to be an individual. Of course, ironically, once you stop trying to be an individual, you just kind of fall into it.

Similarly, you cannot free yourself from your ego by knowing more, or by being more stubborn, more successful, or anything else.You free yourself by simply being, by seeing your ego for what it is: a fake, dead, stereotype of yourself.

The ego isn’t you

Being free of the ego does not mean sacrificing your personality. It means removing the false and fake things that are in the way of your true personality. When you are free of the ego, you approach life from a much more light-hearted place because you don’t have to hold onto that garbage anymore! When you work on your awareness of your self, you realize how precious little most things the ego cares about actually matter. There are so many things in the way, so many things blocking that beautiful snowflake underneath, but the snowflake is there. It always has been.

You can see it when someone has cast off their ego, because it’s rare and beautiful. They are individuals in the true sense of the word, not because they try to be, or dress in a certain way, or hold a certain identity about themselves, but because it’s part of the essence of what they are. When there is no ego on someone, you can tell if you look closely, because there is something about them that just grabs you, and it is nothing they have done on purpose or have engineered to ensnare you, it’s just who they are.

Until next time, enjoy liberating yourself.

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