Ego death is bullshit?!
How can someone who considers themselves a spiritual person committed to inner peace, healing, and compassion think that ego death is a bad thing?
This is the evil, self-centered Ego we’re talking about!
I understand your objections and know where you’re coming from.
So many problems, both personal and global, are created because of this thing we call The Ego.
It’s the mask we wear. Our need to save face. The urge to be in constant competition with others. It tells lies, cheats, steals, kills, starts wars, makes enemies of friends, and stops at nothing in the name of self-preservation.
And that’s exactly my point.
The ego is terrified.
Everything it does is based on fear.
It’s scared because it is our inner child that never felt safe, loved, seen, respected, or accepted.
And so our ego developed specific coping mechanisms and personality traits based on what it thought it needed for pure survival.
And you’re still here on earth reading this so I think it’s done a pretty great job of getting you through!
There are people who have taken the ego death approach, found truth, oneness, liberation, and connection.
Some great spiritual teachers, gurus, saints, and everyday common people have experienced pure Heaven and Unconditional Love and Enlightenment.
And then, cruelly, it faded.
The ego comes back.
Maybe to a lesser degree than before, but there it is.
I don’t believe we are meant to completely do away with our ego. I think we are here to have a human experience and improve our relationship with the ego and therefore, life itself.
Human life is a collaboration and cooperation between Self and Source. We are here to find the balance. To learn lessons. To come to know our Selves – our Source.
We can glimpse a tiny fraction of egolessness but our mission on Earth is to bring what we learn from that expanded awareness into everyday mundane life.
Maybe it’s not the ego itself that is to blame, but our lack of awareness, compassion, guidance, and collaboration with it.
Most of us have no real and true relationship with ourselves.
Thou Shall Not Kill
“Killing” your ego entirely is not the answer.
In fact, I think it’s a really bad idea that’s been glorified by the New Age community.
It is impossible to live without an ego in this society.
Why would we want to kill it when we need it for daily life? Without fear how would we survive each day? Our fear taught us lessons about life, how to take care of ourselves, and get things done. How do you learn to create safety for yourself and others without all that the ego has taught us?
But of course, it would be better if we weren’t letting the ego be ruled by fear all the time. We want to remain conscious, aware, and compassionate. We all want less suffering in our lives and it does seem to be coming from that pesky ego that’s all “me, me, me!”
I think you can have an “ego death” experience but we are not meant to live there forever. At some point, we need to integrate all the parts we have separated from within ourselves.
We need to come back down to earth to live this embodied human experience.
It’s why we’re here.
Integration is where healing begins.
Integration is true Unconditional Love.
It’s fully accepting all parts of yourself that you needed to abandon or repress when you were threatened in the past.
And that’s where we can start.
With the acceptance that we all have darkness and light within us. Heaven and Hell exist within your own heart.
Open the heart and you’ll start seeing that everyone is doing the best they can with the information they have at the time. We are all living in different realities with different filters clouding our perception. We can only see a tiny piece of our own truth.
We are not meant to see the whole truth. But we can work on continuing to open and integrate in order to see more clearly and come closer to that all-encompassing Truth every day.
So instead of murdering parts of yourself, let’s take a more gentle approach.
The Ego is scared enough as it is, right?
We can start practicing every day by noticing when our ego is triggered. This will come in the form of emotions. Our emotions are powerful messages for us, both “positive” and “negative.”
Awareness is the key. Understanding yourself and your responses to people or circumstances is extremely important. Once we see ourselves and our reactions more clearly, we can start to become more centered and grounded as we begin to shift our perceptions.
When someone makes you angry, try to recognize yourself in what they did. Maybe you see that their motivation was to protect someone they love. Have you ever done something that hurt someone else in order to protect someone you love?
Do “weak” people drive you crazy? Did you learn to be “strong” and “independent” to survive the verbal and emotional attacks of your father growing up? Did you repress your emotions and the part of yourself that was vulnerable and proclaim that you don’t need to rely on anyone? Because when you did you were let down or neglected?
Do inconsiderate or unempathetic people upset you? Did you learn to be hyperaware of the emotional temperature of everyone around you in order to avoid outbursts or abuse from others?
If someone hurt you, they have probably acted in fear. Or you are reacting in fear.
There is a reason we get irritated or triggered by the behavior of others. It’s important to do the inner work and love each and every part of ourselves that we have rejected so that we can heal.
This doesn’t mean we don’t speak up and let others know how we wish to be treated. It doesn’t mean abuse was your fault.
Boundaries are important.
But it does mean taking responsibility for your own integration and healing.
It’s not easy.
As you begin this practice remember to stay patient with yourself. There is no need for judgment when that is your own ego coming through the backdoor. Don’t beat yourself up if you judge yourself though. Because that again, is the ego.
Journal writing prompts can also help you develop greater awareness.
After a while, you’ll begin to laugh at how silly this little game it plays is. It’s the only thing it knows. And it really is only trying to protect you. From rejection, danger, pain, and anything else that it fears.
When you look at it this way you can grow more compassion for it. It wants to take care of you but you will begin to take care of it.
I’ll be writing more about the inner child aka the ego in future posts so we can start cultivating a better relationship with it.
Ego Death is a very bad thing that all to often leads one down a tragic path. That is a path where no hope exists and never will. Allowing your ego to come out and interact with others in a positive manner brings about change some good, some bad but the ability to put some of those changes to work for us so we can begin to work on making ourselves better each day. It may take time to see that change completed but to make the journey for a more fulfilled life will be smoother.
Thanks for your comment, Jerry. I think the spiritual community is starting to recognize the importance of self-awareness, setting healthy boundaries, and building a strong sense of self as opposed to just focusing on ego death. This is not the only path to enlightenment. If most people on the spiritual path have issues with self-esteem, codependency, and lack of self-respect… then “ego death” will only exacerbate these issues and people will become even more lost.