Your Ego Serves as a Vessel for Your Spiritual State of Consciousness
In contrast to your Spiritual State of Consciousness is your Ego. Your Ego is the coordination and integration of your Physical, Emotional, and Mental States of Consciousness. A dominating Ego can hijack your spiritual Intent and create Distress. These three States of Consciousness are closely related and are accustomed to working together as one. Your Ego is the part of your Consciousness that you use daily and are the most familiar with. It is what most people recognize or identify with when they think of themselves or they’re Consciousness. It is the aspect of your Consciousness that registers your thoughts and feelings and carries out your Actions.
The Ego is all about itself. Your Ego is the governor and protector of your body. It is the part of your Consciousness that embodies self-love and self-preservation, and it interprets Life in terms of what it perceives is best for itself. Your Ego allows you to express yourself and Take Action in the physical world to satisfy its wants, desires, and needs.
Your Ego also serves as a vessel through which your Spiritual State of Consciousness can engage and express itself in the denser fields of existence in the physical world. Your Spiritual State of Consciousness is so subtle that it cannot express its intent directly in the physical world on its own; it needs your Ego’s cooperation. When your Ego works in conjunction with your Spiritual State of Consciousness, with all Four States of Consciousness united and working together as one, the integrity and synergistic power of your overall Consciousness increases dramatically.
Since your Ego occupies a large portion (three-fourths) of your Consciousness, it can easily overwhelm and dominate the remaining subtle, spiritual portion (one quarter) at times. If your Ego becomes dominant, it may misconstrue or hijack your pure spiritual intent and reinterpret it in terms of itself. Your Ego essentially isolates itself temporarily and becomes self-focused. If this happens, your Awareness becomes fragmented, and internal conflict and Distress are produced.
A few religions and philosophies recognize the mischief that the Ego can do and therefore try to control, suppress, or ignore it. But the Ego serves a useful purpose, and it should be Purified and Refined rather than shunned.
It is often difficult to become Aware of when your Ego is dominating, as it is very clever at interpreting your spiritual intent from its own perspective. Since the Ego’s focus is only itself, it can easily justify its Actions; and from its own perspective everything seems fine.
When your Spiritual State of Consciousness cannot freely express itself and its intent becomes misinterpreted by your Ego, Distress is created. This Distress is the Red Flag from your Spiritual State of Consciousness. It may manifest as a feeling of being disconnected, lost, or as if something is missing in your Life. Perhaps you might feel uneasy or restless, as though you should be doing something but don’t know what. Life may become dull, less rewarding, and lose its meaning. If your Ego is at odds with your spiritual intent, you may feel uncomfortable, confused, and conflicted about the direction your Life is taking.
If you are having difficulty recognizing when your Ego is dominating, we suggest taking a proactive approach that entails examining your Actions to see if they are in harmony with your Spirit and your Life. As you develop this ability, you will be able to differentiate between your spiritual self and your Ego more easily. You will begin to Realize how often your Ego dominates, and you will be able to detect this in others as well. Your Awareness will also reveal opportunities you never noticed before, and you will be able to Respond in a broader, more inclusive manner. As your Awareness Expands, you will become more sensitive to your spiritual self and more cognizant of when it is in Distress.
Keep in mind that Ego consists of three different States of Consciousness (Physical, Emotional, and Mental), any of which can become individually Distressed. Therefore, if you notice any Distress in any of these three States, it is best to address them before attempting to Refine the Spiritual State of Consciousness. Only when the Ego is free from Distress and your Awareness of your Spiritual State of Consciousness becomes more apparent can you begin to identify and address spiritual Distress.
How to Transcend Your Ego
1. Examine. Take a sheet of paper and write INITIAL RESPONSE at the top. Now think of an Event that either was somewhat challenging or evoked a sense of pride within you. Once you have selected the Event, give it a name, and write the name under the heading Initial Response. Now begin recording how you Responded during this Event.
As you describe how you Responded, also explore why you Responded in that way. Try to determine how much your Ego was influencing or modifying your Response. You can accomplish this by Shifting your focus more on the motive behind your Response and less on the Response itself. Your objective in this step is to examine and uncover the motive behind your Response.
If you focus solely on your Response, it can be very misleading. For example, helping another person is often viewed as a very generous and spiritual Act. However, if your motive for helping someone is to gain praise, reward, or some other self-serving benefit, then your Ego is directing the Action.
Examine your Response through the lens of the Physical, Emotional, Mental, and Spiritual States of Consciousness. You can use the following questions as a template to help determine which States of Consciousness may be over-influencing your Response in any manner:
a) Physical Perspective: How did I Respond physically? What was I trying to accomplish, and why? What physical Pleasure or benefit did I think my Response would provide? Was I trying to avoid any physical Pain or discomfort?
b) Emotional Perspective: How did I Respond emotionally? Was any sadness, anxiety, fear, jealousy, or anger triggered; and, if so, how did it figure into my Response? Was I more concerned with how I looked or how I would be perceived by others as opposed to what I was really feeling? Was I seeking attention or approval? Was I trying to avoid ridicule?
c) Mental Perspective: How did I Respond mentally? Was I worried or disappointed in the way things went, either during or after the Event; and, if so, how did that affect my Response? Was I trying to call attention to myself through exaggeration, bragging, or showing off to get what I wanted? Did I show a lack of respect for others with my Response? Was I selfish or overconfident? Did I use phrases such as I’m always right; You had better listen to me; I know better; You’re stupid; See, I told you so, etc.?
d) Ego Perspective: We’re my actions all about me and what I could get or how much I could benefit at the expense of someone else? Did my Response or lack of Response benefit me unjustly or unfairly? Did I compromise my Beliefs or what I know is honest, just, fair, and reasonable? Did I lack integrity? Were my thoughts, words, feelings, and Actions inconsistent with each other?
The true intent behind an Action qualifies the Action. Your Ego can be very stealthy. It can create reasons and justifications for doing things that are really driven by its own needs but that are dressed up like your spiritual intent. Keep in mind that your Ego is always involved in any Response you take. That is its purpose: to allow your Spiritual State of Consciousness to express itself. Only you can search your heart and Consciousness to find the true reason and driving Force or motive behind your Actions.
2. Identify. Take out a fresh sheet of paper and write SPIRITUAL RESPONSE at the top. If you could go back in time to the Event you are examining and “redo” it, how would you Respond now that you Understand how your Ego can affect your Response? Would you do anything differently, and if so, what? Strive to identify a Response that can act as a catalyst to improve circumstances, one that embodies truth, fairness, and learning for everyone involved.
If you are having trouble identifying or Envisioning what you could do differently, try pretending that you are watching a wise, humble, compassionate person playing your part on a stage. Record how you Believe this actor would Respond to the same Event; also record what you Believe would be running through this actor’s mind as they think about and Respond to the Event. You might also try pretending that your Spiritual State of Consciousness is the parent looking down upon the child of your Ego and instructing it how to behave. When removing the focus off yourself (i.e., your Ego), you revert to your Spiritual State of Consciousness by default. Your objective is to identify your spiritual intent without distortion or interference from your Ego.
Not all situations can be resolved in a manner in which everyone benefits, especially in circumstances where someone is out to harm you or others. Nevertheless, let your Spiritual State of Consciousness guide you, and Respond in a fashion that embodies your highest, purest, most noble self.
Strive to create the best possible Outcome that your current level of understanding and experience allows. Record your ideal Spiritual Response on the sheet of paper in front of you and continue to the next step.
3. Realize. Now look at both sheets of paper in front of you and contrast your Initial Response with your Spiritual Response. If your Initial Response is different from your Spiritual Response, your Ego is distorting your spiritual intent and not expressing it in its highest terms.
You are now presented with a choice. Would you prefer to honor your Ego or your Spiritual State of Consciousness? This Dilemma is often depicted as a devil and angel both whispering into your ears as they try to persuade you to choose their side. However, in our opinion, this is less of a choice and more of an opportunity.
It is an opportunity to Realize that honoring your Spiritual State of Consciousness and embracing a Spiritual Response is really honoring all your States of Consciousness; and all Four States will benefit from less Distress and more learning, growth, and understanding.
Although your Spirit works for the whole, your Ego is part of that whole. Your Spirit always has your best, overall, long-term interests in mind. This does not seem to be the case with your Ego, as your Ego will sometimes sacrifice long-term growth, Understanding, and the greater good for the short-term Pleasure it can enjoy.
When the Ego and Spirit work for one common goal, both benefit; however, the driving Force in these instances is the Spirit, and the Ego’s benefit is an added bonus, not the sole objective.
Once you Realize that deferring to your Spiritual State of Consciousness will allow all your other States of Consciousness to benefit and that your overall Consciousness will become whole and more potent, there is really no choice but to follow the better option. In the past you may not have been Aware of this alternative, so it may not have appeared as an option (and thus choice) for you.
4. Subjugate. To subjugate means to bring under control and governance. To subjugate the Ego means to bring it under the control and governance of the Spiritual State of Consciousness.
It is one thing to Realize something; it is another to embrace and Act on it. In this final step, instead of following a limiting, Conditioned way of Responding, embrace your spiritual intent, and allow it to be the driving Force in your Life.
The next time a similar Event presents itself, use it as an opportunity to Respond in the best way you can from this grand, inclusive perspective. Become more Aware of how Responding in this fashion makes you and others think, feel, and Respond in return.
You will likely begin to experience people treating you differently and responding to you in ways that you may never have experienced before. Life will begin to take on a qualitatively new feel, and things will seem to flow more smoothly, as you will be harmonizing with the Flow of Life rather than trying to distort or bend it to your Ego’s preferences.
The results from this can be dramatic. Become Aware of how Events now unfold in your Life and notice the new and finer types of opportunities that begin to present themselves. Distress will loosen and melt away, and contentment and joy will take its place.
As you open yourself up to a new, Expanded way of seeing and experiencing Life, you’re old, limiting, Conditioned ways of Responding will seem ineffective, restrictive, and even primitive in comparison.
The more your Spiritual State of Consciousness takes the lead and establishes its governance, the more your Ego Realizes that it benefits more by following Spiritual Consciousness. This may take some time, but eventually your Ego will surrender itself to your Spiritual State of Consciousness and become a cooperative and obedient extension of it.
Your effectiveness to make changes in your Life and to improve every circumstance you encounter will increase, as you will now have the full, coordinated power of your Consciousness and Universal Life Force driving and guiding you.
An important point to keep in mind is that your Ego is not something that should be ignored, suppressed, or dismantled. It has its rightful place and purpose; that is, to take direction from your Spiritual State of Consciousness and carry out its instructions.
Your Ego consisting of your mind, emotions, and body is the vehicle through which your Spirit Acts.
Your Spiritual State of Consciousness is always present as a silent, inner guide. Unfortunately, its subtle influence is often suppressed and drowned out by the many thoughts, wants, desires, and attractions of your Ego.
When your Ego drowns out your spiritual intent or redefines it in terms of itself, you lose contact with your center and source of being. Conversely, keeping this communication channel open and clear allows you to express the finest, purest aspects of your Consciousness and self; and, as a result, you will Act in a more enlightened manner.
Acting from your highest self may require giving up some things that provide short-term Pleasure for your Ego. However, as we stated before, it is not so much giving up yourself or Ego as it is integrating yourself or Ego into a whole and greater state of being. The Pleasures of the Spiritual State of Consciousness are longer lasting and more rewarding than the short-term Pleasures of the Ego. Think for a moment of a parent raising a child.
Most parents would say that raising a child requires the sacrifice of their own desires and the devotion of their time, energy, and resources to meet that child’s needs. Yet they also say that it is more than worth it and that if they had to do it all over again, they would.
The short-term inconveniences and discomforts are insignificant in comparison to the long-term and eternal Pleasure and rewards it provides. The same is true with following your Spiritual State of Consciousness. You will be following what you Believe at the deepest levels of your being. And as your Spiritual State of Consciousness and Ego unite, your intent, thoughts, words, emotions, and Actions will all unite and create a Force greater than the sum of its parts.
Your focus is to make your Ego transparent and to let your Spiritual State of Consciousness shine through and unify all your States of your Consciousness. Remember, the focus of the Ego and the focus of the Spiritual State of Consciousness are different. The Ego’s focus is on itself; the Spirit’s focus is on all of Life. When these two areas of foci unite and become one, there is synergy and integrity.
This becomes more apparent as you expand your Awareness beyond yourself and replace self-centered goals with a broader perspective that includes the whole. It is not about losing or giving up yourself; it is about integrating yourself within the whole of Life. Life is not just about you. You are only a small, temporary part of the collective and eternal NOW of Life. But you are also a very important part of this collective, as everything you do affects everything else on some level; the repercussions of your thoughts, words, emotions, and Actions ripple out and affect all of Life as the future unfolds.
Everyone has their own unique potential and opportunity to make a great contribution to Life in this world, and it all comes down to making that choice. Shift your focus to what is best overall for everyone concerned, not just for you and not just for the short term.
Broaden your perspective. Try to see the totality and evolution of the Universal Life Force of which you are a part.
If you become Aware of and live your Life from this grander perspective, not only will your Ego benefit to a greater degree than if it Acted alone, but also you will be helping all the people around you to learn, grow, and evolve.
You will move from a sheltered or selfish existence to an Expansive and compassionate one, and you will Realize your true place and participation in the oneness of the Universal Life Force that pervades all of Life.
Co-Author of “The Manual For Life & Consciousness”
CEO of ” The Center For Self Development “