Today I had a discussion with a friend about what the ego really is. In the recent past when I spent time with people who meditate they used to say how damaging the ego is. If you look up what the Id Ego and Super-ego are as defined by Freud they mean something very different than how the `spiritual`community defines it to be.
What is ego? Is it really a negative thing which should be purged and deleted?
Ego is self preservation it is needed to survive and maintain your physical body. Most individuals do not understand that the ego is not arrogance it is a mechanism of reflection and basic maintenance. The ego helps you to oversee that which is harmful to you in your environment. The ego also helps you decide what food/drinks are good to consume so that you give to yourself that which is truly nourishing rather than what will fulfill addictions and patterns. What most people do not understand is that the ego itself is not a roadblock to evolution; it is a instinctual part of our brain which helps us to master decisions as to how we can support our physical bodies to have benevolent experiences in the here and now.
What is truly damaging for the mind are the thoughts which pollute your consciousness. The quality of your thoughts is determined by your intention and your present focus. The ego isn’t a negative thing although at times your thoughts can be. When you have thoughts or judgements which are negative or degrading to yourself and others in our contemporary culture these are actually rewarded and encouraged. When you segregate yourself or define yourself by the values of hierarchy then this is negative thinking and is damaging to yourself and to creation as well. Thoughts and thought energy in general can act as a prison for your soul and consciousness since overthinking is a form of grasping/attachment. As the Buddhists teach grasping or attaching to anything whether it is for the good or bad is a form of suffering no matter what results you are seeking.
When you overthink you will always be stuck in suffering. The ego is simply the operator showing us the way to navigate through our physical worlds. Our thoughts especially those about how we fit into hierarchy or compare ourselves to others is what we should purge. All of creation is unified in the field of love we do not need to strive to become anything other than the full expression of our true selves. Love yourself and give yourself a space to come alive in the truth of who and what you really are. Let go and let love. -written by Chelsea Cooley aka Chela