For most people, it dominates every waking moment. It makes us sick, it makes us hurt others. It refuses to allow us serenity. And it is illusive because we think it is ourselves.
So what is this Ego, that I speak of?
Echkart Tolle says it best in his book “The Power of Now”:
As you grow up, you form a mental image of who you are, based on your personal and cultural conditioning. We may call this phantom self the ego. It consists of mind activity and can only be kept going through continuous thinking. The term ego means different things to different people, but when I use it here it means a false self, created by unconscious identification with the mind.
To the ego, the present moment hardly exists. Only past and future are considered important. This total reversal of the truth accounts for the fact that in the ego mode the mind is so dysfunctional. It is always concerned with keeping the past alive, because without it – who are you? It constantly projects itself into the future to ensure its continued survival and to seek some kind of release or fulfillment there. It says: ‘One day, when this, that or the other happens, I am going to be okay, happy, at peace.’ – Eckhart Tolle
Wow… that’s a scary insight. Our minds create what is essentially a separate manifestation with a will… an agenda. It wants to feel important so it makes us identify with it. We think we are our ego.
So, to escape this … insanity, we have to constantly self-reflect. We take a step back (or out) and observe our thoughts. It’s very easy to identify what is the ego and what is not when you stop to look.
This calls into question the value of everything in our lives. Everything we buy, every abuse we dish out on ourselves (overeating, debasing, self-defeating attitudes), the way we treat the people around us… why do we do all this?
Unconsciousness is the environment that Ego thrives. We must pay attention. We must look inward.
Ultimately, this all comes down to being consciously aware of the present moment. Be here now… and allow your mind stop for a moment.