Let go of Ego

Ego

The vast majority of people are existing but not living. They go about their daily lives in an unconscious manner. Oftentimes you see them try to protect the life they do not live. How did we get here?

There are fundamental questions to be asked in life but many have not bothered to ask these questions. “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?”, “What is my purpose?”, are questions worth asking. Asking these questions is a step towards getting out of unconsciousness and into consciousness.

You have been conditioned, conditioned by your past. This has left you running a pattern. On a deeper level, you are not being who you truly are. You are trying to live up to the image you have of yourself. What image? A constructed image your ego came up with.

Your ego is a false sense of self you have. You have identified with your ego so you do not see yourself separate from your ego. To identify is to “make same.” This identification with the ego is preventing you from being who you are. Instead you play a role in order to match the image of yourself the ego has constructed.

Most of the problems we have are as a result of the ego. The ego causes problems in the family, at workplace, in relationships, and in other areas. The ego causes problems and wants to solve the problems. But ego cannot solve problems. Why? Ego is the problem. Imagine the commissioner of police trying to solve a murder case where he is the murderer. This is just like the ego trying to solve problems where it is the cause.

Consider a famous musical artiste. Let us call this artiste Tego. Before Tego got famous, he already has ego. When he got famous ego offered him bigger illusions in order to keep itself alive. “Now you are famous,” ego said, “You must not be seen dressing like this to the public. You must not be seen together with this person. That car you are presently using is below your status. Your fans adore you and to keep them you must keep on releasing hits…” Ego goes on and on. Tego now identifies himself with things that are transient in nature – clothes, car, house, looks. The best any of these can do is to temporarily satisfy him. Before long, that which had satisfied him will turn out to be unsatisfying and even meaningless. What does the ego do then? It offers Tego bigger illusions. The ego does this to keep itself alive. The more illusions Tego buys into, the more he is obscured from being who he truly is. The whole thing is not fulfilling him. He has an image of himself which is false. He has identified with this false image and all he does is to play roles that will fit the false image he has of himself. He tries to play the role his fans expect him to play and this is a burden on him. Regardless of the applause he is getting from his fans, hardly does anyone of them truly care about him. What they are concerned about is the image of Tego they have. They say they love Tego but what they ought to say is, “We have this image of Tego and we love that image.” As long as Tego keeps playing the role that would keep the image alive, they will profess their love for Tego. When Tego stops playing the role, they dump him.

For Tego to be who he truly is, he has to start by questioning the illusions ego offer. The ego does not like questions. It tries to keep Tego busy so that questions will not be asked. Questions threaten the existence of ego. When Tego sees the illusions of the ego for what they are, he is already conscious. Consciousness dissolves the ego. Consciousness and the ego cannot coexist just as light and darkness cannot coexist. Darkness is the absence of light. When light comes, darkness cannot withstand it. This is the same way ego cannot withstand consciousness.

As Tego becomes conscious, he realizes that he does not need to look for anything outside of himself to find peace, love, and joy. Peace, love, and joy are aspects of his true nature and so he has them already. The ego obscured him from experiencing peace, love, and joy but now he is able to experience them. He now sees how frustrating it was to keep living up to a mental construct of himself. Now he knows how light it is to be who he is instead of trying to be what he is not. 

Godwin Nwaokike is the author of Growing Through Life and Live The Mission.

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