Ego is a thought-structure based in separation where the brain takes itself to be “me” and looks at the world as the “other”. The brain does need a sense of “me” in order to function, and it serves a practical value in physical life. However, once this sense of “me” becomes acutely rigid and strong, it can become a huge source of resistance to the movement of life. A “positive me” or a “negative me” are both equally dysfunctional when awareness is totally lost in this identity. The “positive me” has as much capacity to do harm in the form of a sense of superiority which can take the expression of arrogance, snobbishness, depravity, insensitivity, negative selfishness (tendency to exploit others), narcissism and shallowness. The “negative me” obviously is toxic in its expressions of self-pity, self-hatred, neediness, over-sensitivity, victim mindset, incompetence and meekness. The “me” structure gains force, and solidity, through the constant attention that is showered to it due to unconscious identification (when you are lost in thinking of yourself as purely the “me” or ego).
The ego can never feel whole, its very foundation is based in the thought of separation, and hence it’s always disconnected with life in someway. The stronger the force of ego, the more acute the disconnection. However, the ego has a practical purpose in physical living, and its presence is inevitable in the brain, and as long as the ego is “light” there is never a problem because it does not stand in resistance to life’s movement. I like to use the word “transparent” – when the ego becomes transparent it’s no longer a problem, but when its rock solid, and dense, it’s a huge source of resistance (which obviously results in suffering). Close to 99% of your suffering is induced by the resistance of ego to the movement of life-stream. The other 1% is purely normal/natural resistance which is present in a physical body, which is required to stay physical.
A strong ego is bound to suffer
When the ego becomes “light”, and transparent, I call it the “positive ego” because now it’s no longer a source of resistance but stays true to its practical value of giving a meaningful expression to your physical experience. Some people naturally have a light ego, but it’s quite rare. In most cases one needs to awaken out of identification with ego, go through a phase of “letting go” of this identification, allowing the force/intensity of the ego’s resistance to dissolve, so that it finally becomes light and transparent. When the ego becomes light, you become free of resistance on a permanent basis – you just become a resistance-free being. In this place, you function purely from the connection with your life-stream, allowing your natural expression and experiencing life from a place of inner wholeness.
When you awaken, and start observing the ego movement in the mind, it soon becomes clear to you that the ego is never going to be happy, not for long. It has temporary moments of satiation, but it gets back to its rabid restlessness in a bid to keep adding something to it structure, it’s constantly hungry for approval, attention, entertainment, possession and “the future”, and hence is never at peace with itself. The paradox is that the ego wants to feel whole, and it’s the ego that’s the source of the feeling of incompleteness (due to resistance), and hence it’s a catch 22 situation. To feel whole the ego needs to thin out, but the ego wants to stand its ground chasing wholeness from the outside, never really finding it.
The ego always has a delusion that something/someone in the future will make it whole, it’s quite a tragic movement because this is a perfect setup for a life of constant disappointment and restlessness. Moreover, the ego is so lost in its focus on its “petty” personal issues that it lives a highly shallow and surface-level experience without any real connection with the wholeness, or depth, of life. It’s the force of ego that attaches itself to all kinds of fears, amplifying it and adding them to its identity (along with the various labels). In the absence of the force/momentum of ego, it’s impossible to have obsessive thoughts because the brain on its own does not have the power to generate obsession – it requires the anchor of ego to fuel or obsess a thought. If there was no ego intrusion, the brain would sync up with your life-stream quite easily and hence will have a harmonious movement.
Addiction to the ego is difficult to let go
When you’ve been addicted to the ego for so many years, to actually allow it to dissolve in force causes some severe withdrawal symptoms for a while. However, you would need to choose between the temporary unpleasantness of withdrawal from the ego over the constant suffering of identification with it. As long as the ego has a strong hold it’s not possible to be resistance-free, because the ego can easily create conflict with the movement of your life-stream. The ego structure contains a lot of external conditioning, limiting beliefs, false perceptions, separatist ideas and shallow outlook, which constantly stands in resistance to the movement of your life-stream, which is always rooted in wholeness and totality, causing a conflict between your physical and non-physical natures.
If you watch the ego structure of your brain, or watch the ego in others, it becomes very obvious how incredibly shallow it is in its outlook. Such a shallowness totally contradicts your true nature of wholeness. It’s an evidence of the strong force that ego has accumulated that most people cannot even sense that they are being shallow – they feel totally justified, and okay, in being shallow. The ego’s desires (which are mostly just “lack based” thoughts) can be deeply in conflict with your natural expression, because the “ego” is not actually you, to a large extent it’s a creation of external conditioning of the outside. It’s also very difficult to distinguish if a desire is coming from the egoic perspective or from your natural expression, because they both feel like a desire – though the former is mostly just a lack-based thought, while the latter is a natural outflow. The only way to come to a clarity is by allowing the force of ego to dissolve, so that what remains is purely your true, natural, expression.
Physical life by itself is a great aid in helping in deconstructing the force of ego, because the ego thrives on attachment whereas physical life is a constant flux of change/dissolution which creates a sense of loss in the ego. When the ego faces a real loss, or a perception of a loss, its starts breaking down, however most of us don’t allow it to become transparent by allowing this deconstruction – we constantly keep trying to “repair” it up out of a fear that we would be lost without the force of ego. Fear is also a transformative “fire” that has the capacity to burn down the rigid grip of ego, that’s why I always give the pointer of “allow the fear fully” because when you do so you always break-down the force of your ego (which always wants to escape fear).
Different pointers are required at different phases
The very pointer of “let go” is for you to stop fueling the ego (which is at the root of all negativity) and just allow it to ebb away in force. Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds because the ego has the tendency to use this pointer as a technique and create a new identity out of it, which leads to another form of negativity where you are trying to deny yourself through suppression. This is the reason why a lot of spiritual people get stuck/suppressed in seeking to get “rid” of the ego, because they lack a deeper understanding of physical life. So it’s required to give different pointers, and understandings, to keep the ego from becoming stuck on one pointer (thus making a technique out of it). In the end it’s not some technique that takes you to freedom, it’s a deeper and clear understanding that does.
It’s not easy to just let go without any understanding of what’s being let go of, and it also requires a stability in your awareness before you can even be conscious of the dysfunctions of the strong force of ego in you. Hence different pointers are required, for different people, depending on the phase they are in. Moreover, the ego has the tendency to take any pointer and make it into a technique (creating a new identify of sorts), and hence another pointer is required to break free from the unconscious identification with the previous pointer. Eventually, anyone who starts becoming aware comes to a point where they see through the dysfunction of their ego structure – it usually happens when they’ve exhausted all the techniques, strategies or in the face of a “loss”.
Eventually, when the force of ego dissolves you realize that all the pointers were only required to dissolve the resistances created by the ego. Note that it’s not the ego structure of the brain that needs to dissolve, only its “force”, or momentum, needs to dissolve. The ego is not a problem (and serves an inherent value in physicality) where it’s light and non-intrusive towards the movement of your life-stream. The way to dissolve the force of ego is to see through it completely, so that you are no longer deluded by its pull – once this happens you automatically start letting go of it.