Chapter 2: The Ego-Self
An excerpt from You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
Because the ego has taught us that we are separate from our brothers and sisters, we believe it is safe for us to judge them. So we judge our brothers and sisters for how we feel, because we believe they are the ones who caused us pain. But because judging a brother or sister is an unnatural act, it simply feels wrong. Regardless of how much the ego promised us that we would be safe, sooner or later we realize that the judgment of our brother or sister has also hurt us, for we have now lost our peace of mind and joy. Still, the ego continues to advise us to carry this judgment within ourselves for as long as possible. It advises us that this is making us stronger, and making our brother or sister weaker. But somewhere within, we begin to realize that what the ego said was true and safe – is not.
The ego has us see ourselves as a drop of water on its rowboat. We are in the middle of the ocean and the ego continually tells us that we do not belong in the ocean. We can see and feel the ocean and something within tells us that it is there we belong. But the ego tells us that if we jump into the ocean we will drown. It tells us that as long as we are with the ego we will be safe. So day by day, we move back and forth on the ego’s rowboat. We feel a small sense of safety but also of limitation, separation and loneliness and the ego has us blame the ocean for this. It tells us that it is because of the ocean that we feel limited, separate and alone and we buy into it because we believe that we are literally in the same boat as our ego.
My friend, there is a natural pull we feel toward this ocean, but we can reject its pull if that is our choice. Yet our rejection of it does not stop it from calling us home.
The ego wants us to suffer as much as possible without getting to the point where we question its advice or existence. It does not want us to question why we think and act the way we do. Questioning makes the ego nervous. This is when it begins to plan its defense. If we choose to look at ourselves, it might tell us that we’re being absurd and unreasonable, that we’re going through a phase. People and the world around us that are run by egos will never offer us support in our attempts at growth. The ego sees these attempts at growth as dangerous to its survival. Yet, somehow we know all this, and that’s the reason many people try to keep what they are doing to support their own spiritual growth to themselves.
The ego believes there is power in judgment. It would have us believe that the more we judge another, the more power we have over that person. The ego equates power and judgment with strength and control. Those ruled by the ego believe that strength and power are obtained and maintained by their ability to control others.
The ego wants us to think of it in negative terms, it wants us to judge it. It controls us, and maintains and obtains power through our judgment of it. This gives it more power than if we were to simply ignore or forgive it. Its plan is this – the more we judge it, the more attention we give it. The more attention we give it, the greater part of our lives it becomes. Thus, its relationship with us is strengthened. It wants us to become angry, judge it, and see it as evil, for it understands that if we see it as evil, we will unconsciously perceive a part of our own selves as evil. The ego lives for the day when we will consider the possibility that the capacity for evil lives within us, and that it is a natural part of who we are. If we see the ego as evil and we believe that evil is a natural part of who we are, then we and the ego must be the same. It would serve us well to understand that the ego is not an evil aspect of ourselves; it is simply a misperception that we hold about ourselves, and nothing else.
The ego also wants us to operate according to its perception of the world and wishes for us to operate based on its belief system. The ego’s many wishes for us are as follows:
- It wants us to live in the world, but not feel part of it.
- It wants us to know we are suffering, and think we can do nothing about it.
- It wants us to be surrounded by others, but feel lonely and alone.
- It wants us to fear our brothers and sisters, and God.
- It wants us to live our lives in search of love, but never find it.
- It wants us to know that there is something missing in our lives, but never understand what it is.
- It wants us to communicate, as long as that communication separates us from our brothers and sisters.
This text can be found in the book - You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy.
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