As one gets acquainted with spiritual masters, texts and “people”; they really emphasize on cutting the ego. And the more you try to get rid of it; the more you strengthen it. The process can get very complicated; when you to try to kill something that you believe is your identity. I never understood what to do about this thing called Ego and how do i kill it. And this whole process became very negative for me because i wanted to get rid of something that’s part of so-called ‘me’… why should I do it? Is this thing called Ego such a villain? Who is it harming any ways? Ofcourse only me.
Then i took a step back and tried to observe what is this ego; what is that I should be getting rid of? And as I observed; i saw many masks; masks that i was using to protect myself from the outer world; masks made out of fear, out of greed; out of self-preservation. And as i observe some started to wither off just with the simple act of looking at them. Many others are still there. But i don’t want to be judgmental and be remorseful about it. Then there are some masks we ought to use in the external world; the only difference is that now this time i do it consciously knowing that it is a mask not the Real Self. Atleast am getting used to the idea that am not any of these! And guess it may take more than a life time for me to get rid of them all or may be less than a life.
So in my experience, the only way to leg go off this thing called ‘ego’ is to let go of the need to have a reputation one believes one needs to have. The need to be seen as someone; someone as kind, as selfless, as arrogant, as helpful, as selfish, as spiritual. All these also become masks and become part of our perceived identity.
Guess; we always want to have an image of ourselves and then we keep projecting the same outwards by our behaviour to others without ever really verifying it. And by continuously reinforcing these masks; they start to appear real. And thus forms this complex mesh of everything that we are not. I have found it restrictive to hold on to these masks, these ideas. And as we start working our way in; it all appears to get more entangled. Well! we also need them to function in this world. But what doesn’t change is the Core. And it’s from there one needs to play with these masks. No from out to in but from In to Out. Who you really IS stays constant.
And then there is this talk about the difference of ego and egotism! Hmmph! Doesn’t that go without saying that egotism is bad; it is fatal even if you are not a so called spiritualist. May be that’s not what sages are talking about; getting rid of these fragilely formed identities is imperative.
Letting go of ego is letting go the idea you have about yourself. It may be a negative idea; a positive; both or neither of it. The idea is to let go off the Idea; the perceived identity of Who am I? We always answer this question by describing our professions, qualifications, personality traits, certain pleasant and unpleasant adjectives. Is that it??? It is impossible to imagine this and nothing is more dreadful than to shed the identity that we believe defines ‘who am i’ and remain unfazed to witness what comes up. Only Witness.
The idea is to let go any idea that comes forward to answer this question; who am I.
And am just getting started to play with this. 🙂