Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

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rp89
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Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by rp89 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:13 pm

Hi all,

Im new to this forum! Great to meet you all!

I have a question about the ego as described in the Power of Now.

So years ago I judged myself for everything. I thought I was not good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough… You know the drill. I have spent years of my life finding the answers on the internet on why people behave the way they do, how to no longer make assumptions, how judgment about you is always a reflection of their own beliefs and have nothing to do with you, and how my beliefs of the world are not necessarily true, but a result of what society teached me. E.g. as a child you learn that if you behave you get rewarded, and so I lived my life the way others wanted. If I didn’t do that, I judged myself.

Now by finding answers on these questions I actually came to peace with myself on many levels. I don’t judge myself anymore as I did before. Finding satisfying answers that explain human behaviour helped me in being more myself and it stopped the inner judge.

However, I still have some points on which I can’t find satisfying answers on the internet. That still keep me thinking (mostly in the past). Then I came across the “Power of Now” and I realise this has been the ego all the time, and not me. While I thought all those years that I worked on myself, I actually was looking for evidence to shut up the ego. To reshape the ego into something that is far closer to myself. It has its results; the ego got more silent and even positive. It now actually tells me how beautiful I am, how smart I am and what I already accomplished. Every day. It actually became my friend to which I talk to all day. But like all friends, of course my ego sometimes still tries to be negative. And that’s my current struggle and my last remaining issue.

Now my question is; does the Power of Now suggest to completely let go of the ego? Or only use it when it’s positive? When it becomes negative, is this the moment I should just be the observer and let it talk without spending energy on it? I do think that since I reshaped my ego, its now much easier to ignore it when it pops up negatively. I believe that when the ego is so far from yourself, it’s much harder to ignore it.

Some advise would be really helpful. Thanks.

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Re: Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by Sighclone » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:37 pm

Welcome rp!
Now my question is; does the Power of Now suggest to completely let go of the ego? Or only use it when it’s positive? When it becomes negative, is this the moment I should just be the observer and let it talk without spending energy on it? I do think that since I reshaped my ego, its now much easier to ignore it when it pops up negatively. I believe that when the ego is so far from yourself, it’s much harder to ignore it.
ET's discovery "I cannot live with myself any more..." was the fundamental recognition that there were two entities: 1) his ego and 2) who he really was, which has been variously defined as Pure Awareness, Unity Consciousness, Brahaman, Ishvara, Presence, Source, Self, etc.

So recognition of the "ego" as a "separate inside self" is vital. But it also recognizes a separation from 'who you really are' from that entity. For you to write this post and talk about "my ego" suggests you perceive that separation. In a way, "ego" is a verb. Parts of the ego arise and can arise directly from stillness...(you say "pops up negatively.")

You say "I reshaped my ego." Who did that reshaping? Was it the ego becoming 'spiritualized,' and tweaking itself to conform with a new self-image? (That is a trap, but not inescapable.) Or was the "reshaping" something you did, pre-Eckhart Tolle, to minimize the judging...I'm going to assume that is what you meant.

Your last sentence about 'distance' from the ego giving it power is interesting, and I'd like to hear a bit more about it, but the ego is tenacious. Its last efforts to drive the ship can be sneaky. Kind of like the image of a castaway on a life-raft: "help, help, I might drown out here WHICH MEANS YOU WILL DIE.." The response is, of course, "No, I will not die, because I cannot die, because I was never born, I reside everywhere, and you are an artifact of culture, family and habit. Part of you is my 'personality,' which continues as this body-mind moves and interacts in the relative world. But you are the desperate self-protective and defensive identity that has assumed the role of boss of this particular expression/embodiment of the Universe. However you are not the boss of anything except your own sad and false self."

So, yes, the more you feel removed from the last desperate gasps of the ego, those cries will be more distant ontologically from who "you have become." And they will be more foreign. But all of the assertions of the ego are the same, really, and they are based in the fear of dying. Before you began to Realize Self, your sense of self was dependent on a whole collection of beliefs about "who I am, and what I need, and what helps me and what threatens me." And some goofball like Eckhart Tolle with his suggestion that "the person you thought you were is a phony" is immensely threatening.

Being "the observer" is a state in spiritual development known in other traditions as 'the Witness' - or 'the Divine Witness.' It is real, but it is not the final 'new identity' for you. Implicit and important to nonduality is no separation between "the Witness" and "what is witnessed."

I'll close with a note from Jean Klein:
The witness is only a crutch to bring you to understand that you are not a doer. Once you are free from doership there will be a change of axis and the energy once directed towards the object will shift to the subject aspect, to the witnessing. In the end all residues of subjectivity dissolve and the witness with them. You discover yourself as that in which the object and subject exist, but you are neither one nor the other. Then there is only living silence.”
Other authors we like are Adyashanti, Gary Weber, Amoda Maa, Rupert Spira and Jacqueline O'Keeffe. The Science and Nonduality Conference has many other teachers/speakers also: scienceandnonduality.com.

Thanks for joining - sounds like you are having wonderful progress!

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by rp89 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:36 pm

Thanks Andy for your response, really helpful!
You say "I reshaped my ego." Who did that reshaping? Was it the ego becoming 'spiritualized,' and tweaking itself to conform with a new self-image? (That is a trap, but not inescapable.) Or was the "reshaping" something you did, pre-Eckhart Tolle, to minimize the judging...I'm going to assume that is what you meant.
I believe it was me. I used to act the way others wanted me to act, with the fear of the ego judging me if I did otherwise. So I dived into learning about human behavior to actually teach the ego it's fine to be who you want to be. My new self-image as you mention. It's that feeling that when you do certain stuff and you know it's 100% you who wants it.

So by this reshaping, my ego is now telling me that I look good, that I wear nice clothes, and that I do a great job at work. It reminds me now and then that people respect me, confirming to me how I was wrong all that time ago. Even when it's negative, we together try to find evidence to turn it positive and reshape further. But for some things it just doesnt find a satisfying answer. I once had this sexual encounter that went pretty bad, and now every time I have a sexual encounter, the ego is reminding me of it. Now you can understand how that will go. And no matter for all the great excuses I can find on the internet, the ego just doesnt take it.

Now what I struggle with is if I should let go of my ego all together. But who is then going to tell me all the nice things? Others wont, because everyone is busy with themselves. You could argue of course if you even need these kind of compliments? The ego (thinking) cant live without, but can I? It would be very silent though. Then what reason will I still have to look nice at a party? If the ego doesnt care, and I dont care.
Your last sentence about 'distance' from the ego giving it power is interesting, and I'd like to hear a bit more about it, but the ego is tenacious.
So let me explain that. If you ego is so different from your true self, it's really hard to ignore it. It's like someone bashing on your door all day long telling you that you're not worth it; now good luck with ignoring that. While now Im in the position that the ego is like a friend that sometimes annoys me; but I can easily walk away from it, most of the times.

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Re: Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by Sighclone » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:58 am

Feelings that arise and are negative are what Adyashanti refers to as expressions of the "Wound of Unworthiness." His suggestions to heal that are useful but not free:
https://www.adyashanti.org/index.php?fi ... rod_id=648.

You have spent enough time studying your egoic self that you deserve a second or third perspective; if you haven't listened to or read Adyashanti - he is great. So is Tara Brach (anything she has done.) But my favorite recommendation for you is Amoda Maa's "Embodied Enlightenment." She adds a feminine perspective on nonduality and awakening, and expands on much of Eckhart Tolle's work.

There are techniques to dissolve these little eruptions; Byron Katie's "the work" and The Sedona Method are cognitive actions to dispel such egoic and destructive and unhelpful thoughts.

There is nothing wrong with wearing nice clothes. But it is worth remembering your intention in wearing nice clothes and going to parties. Wanting to meet someone and have a good relationship is fine. (But you may find that "awakening" is not a topic that is particularly popular.) Clean and stylish appearance and a satisfactory body-image are reasonable and do not imply obsessiveness with appearance. You are much more than your clothes and make-up. Buddha spoke of the "middle road" often - if you find a "middle road" in all these areas, there will be lots of room for deeper discussions. Your appeal will radiate and resonate with the right people. Be careful how you judge those who approach you - you may be applying old egoic standards.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by turiya » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:06 pm

I love that Jean Klein quote, Andy.

Especially the last 5 words: "...there is only living silence."

:D
“We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather are we Reality itself illusorily conceived.” - Wei Wu Wei

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Re: Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by turiya » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:11 pm

Have you seen this Eckhart video, rp89? :

https://www.eckharttollenow.com/s/gb6vjl

You are not good.
You are not bad.
You are.

Be You and then all that isn't You will melt away, like ice in warm water.

:wink:
“We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather are we Reality itself illusorily conceived.” - Wei Wu Wei

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Re: Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by Sighclone » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:50 pm

Thanks, Turiya. ET always talks about our ultimate identity. And that is fine, and his comments are true. But even after we have realized that powerful truth, the ego marches. It cannot survive the crucible of Pure Awareness, of course, but sometimes we need to stoke the fire in the crucible by resting in Stillness, where the glory of What Truly Is replaces dissatisfaction our ego finds with its limited view of What Is.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by Dcdc » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:30 pm

rp89 wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:36 pm
Thanks Andy for your response, really helpful!
You say "I reshaped my ego." Who did that reshaping? Was it the ego becoming 'spiritualized,' and tweaking itself to conform with a new self-image? (That is a trap, but not inescapable.) Or was the "reshaping" something you did, pre-Eckhart Tolle, to minimize the judging...I'm going to assume that is what you meant.
I believe it was me. I used to act the way others wanted me to act, with the fear of the ego judging me if I did otherwise. So I dived into learning about human behavior to actually teach the ego it's fine to be who you want to be. My new self-image as you mention. It's that feeling that when you do certain stuff and you know it's 100% you who wants it.

So by this reshaping, my ego is now telling me that I look good, that I wear nice clothes, and that I do a great job at work. It reminds me now and then that people respect me, confirming to me how I was wrong all that time ago. Even when it's negative, we together try to find evidence to turn it positive and reshape further. But for some things it just doesnt find a satisfying answer. I once had this sexual encounter that went pretty bad, and now every time I have a sexual encounter, the ego is reminding me of it. Now you can understand how that will go. And no matter for all the great excuses I can find on the internet, the ego just doesnt take it.

Now what I struggle with is if I should let go of my ego all together. But who is then going to tell me all the nice things? Others wont, because everyone is busy with themselves. You could argue of course if you even need these kind of compliments? The ego (thinking) cant live without, but can I? It would be very silent though. Then what reason will I still have to look nice at a party? If the ego doesnt care, and I dont care.
Your last sentence about 'distance' from the ego giving it power is interesting, and I'd like to hear a bit more about it, but the ego is tenacious.
So let me explain that. If you ego is so different from your true self, it's really hard to ignore it. It's like someone bashing on your door all day long telling you that you're not worth it; now good luck with ignoring that. While now Im in the position that the ego is like a friend that sometimes annoys me; but I can easily walk away from it, most of the times.
Hello, my friend. I'm sorry for my english, it's not my first language, hehehehe.

Your ego (the identify you created throghout your memory) creates and/or are involved in scenarios that aren't real; that are illusions. These scenarios/stories can be sometimes good and sometimes bad (depending of the ego, the moment of life, and, as you said, how much "teaching" and "caring" that ego received in some subject), and the human knowledge (as psychoanalysis, researches as you did, psychology and so on) tries to help that ego, as you did as well.

But, as you said, although this kind of work is good (because a less challenging ego makes things easier, in my opinion), it doesn't solve 100% the suffering, because you'll still depend of the story/scenario that your mind creates; and these scenarios are fake!

So, answering your question: in my opinion, yes, you should let go the ego. But it's important to see that you will always need your ego in some level, because we live in a society that was created by ego (you have a name, an adress, job, etc). So, I think it's enough to realize that you are not your ego, bring yourself to the present moment and just enjoy/live the real world, not fake ones - even if they are "good" and have voices that tell you nice things, hehehehe.

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Re: Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by rp89 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:41 pm

Very helpfull answers people! I actually start to realise that my ego went from very negative (not good enough, smart enough, beautifull enough) to a perfectionist (I am smart, im beautifull) after my research. But this does result in the ego still jugdging me when things arent perfect. So although the echo is much closer to who I am now, it still makes itself hear in a negative form when things are not perfect. And thats conpletely draining me. So I do believe I should ignore the ego the moment it goes against me.

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Re: Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by rp89 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:37 pm

turiya wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:11 pm
Have you seen this Eckhart video, rp89? :

https://www.eckharttollenow.com/s/gb6vjl

You are not good.
You are not bad.
You are.

Be You and then all that isn't You will melt away, like ice in warm water.

:wink:
Great video btw, nails it down! The part where he says: "The progression people make is 1: you have a dysfunctional relationship with yourself. 2: becoming more loving to yourself with stickers on your bathroom mirror (described as the intimidate phase). And 3: You realise there are 2 of you.

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Re: Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by turiya » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:52 pm

:D
“We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather are we Reality itself illusorily conceived.” - Wei Wu Wei

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Re: Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by PureLand » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:41 pm

The states comes and goes. One moment you can feel totally objective, selfless and the next moment the state of mind can fall into egotistical mode easily. This is how it works. There comes a point in spiritual development that even when you try to take your thoughts seriously, you can't do it. Which means even when you try to be unhappy(in ordinary human way) it's not possible be unhappy. Maybe sadness still occurs but it doesn't effect your core being. You start be aware of the divine nature of everything involuntarily all the time. You have permanent peace, joy, happiness, stillness regardless of what is happening outside or inside you. Untill we start to experience these stages its normal to experience ego identification time to time. Ofcourse trying to get to these stages(which is trying to get to the future) is not beneficial. Allowing and experiencing the present moment objectively as much as possible without trying to change is necessary.

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Re: Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by rp89 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:41 pm

I wanted to share an update with you as I made some progress and see things even more clear now.

I was triggered by the following situation. I had to give a presentation at my company for around 100 people. I prepared it very well, was very confident about it, and was really looking forward to all the positive reactions I would got. Now the moment I started presenting my "flight or fight" response was triggered and I was sweating a lot. I didn't understand why this happened because I felt so positive about it. After doing some research I discovered my "perfect ego" playing a role in this.

So to recap the stages I went through:
- I thought I was not good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough…
- I judged myself for this and got confirmation from others.
- I spent years of my life finding evidence that made me change my beliefs about myself.
- I now honestly can say to myself that Im pretty and smart (e.g. I have a good job).
- I actually have a very positive self image of my self, BUT... and now it comes... this resulted in the creation of a "perfect ego".

I have a very positive self image, but is nothing more than a different type of ego. I thought I was authentic now, so it was pretty shocking to discover this is still ego. The creation of a perfect version in order to defend itself from the negative self image I had before. This was the reason of the sweating during my presentation; Im to afraid to loose the thought of not being perfect. If people tell me my shirt doesn't look nice, or I am stupid, I still feel very hurt, because it hurts this 'perfect' self image.

Im now in the stage that I really have to let go of perfect ego. I believe that if I let go of my ego / self image, no opinion from others can hurt me. But Im not sure what will be left of me if I let go of self image. Who am I if im not that guy that wants to look pretty everyday and works very hard to deliver results at his job?

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Re: Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by Sighclone » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:18 pm

Hi rp -

It seems your ego is sending the same message as before, which is "you are not enough." Now it has simply added 'not perfect' to that fundamental message. Recognized apart from nondual teachings, "perfection" in human activity is impossible. Excellence is possible, and 'perfectly' enjoyable. Do try Byron Katie's technique "the work" (here: http://thework.com/en ). Your trigger phrase is "I must be perfect." Also, public speaking is not totally comfortable for most people, regardless of their egoic positions...you are very exposed. Practice is helpful.

I do think there are some 'healthy' self-image thoughts and beliefs. And they are terribly mundane: "I wear acceptable clothing." "I can be friendly." "I work hard." "Many people enjoy my company." "I can laugh, "I like to (whatever cook? ski?, run?, read, etc.)" "I have honored my parents as much as I have been able." Etc. You do, of course, have a separate unique identity in the relative world of society, mainly recognized as your "personality." It is only after discovering that your true identity is much much larger and inclusive and nonlocal that the "ego" is fully observed to be provisional and relative and deeply embedded in your body and mind. There is no folly in understanding the conditioned "stories" that have contributed, favorably or unfavorably to what you label as your ego. Conventional counseling can unearth those, too. But ultimately, as you know well, these are just recognizing the fabrics and designs of a costume.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Should I let go of my ego 'friend'?

Post by rp89 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:31 pm

Thanks Sighclone. I liked your statement "It seems your ego is sending the same message as before, which is "you are not enough." Now it has simply added 'not perfect' to that fundamental message.". Thats indeed true.

Came across this video which explains nicely how a positive self image can still hurt you (which at first sounded very contradicting to me - how can a positive self image be wrong): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ-D-8aCRR4. The fear of loosing that self image.

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