Understanding Your Ego

A reader asks: I’m discovering egoic compulsions that I didn’t know I had before. Is this a good thing? How does this process work within relationships?

Eckhart responds: Sometimes, with awareness, you become aware of things that were unconscious before. Then it seems as if you were becoming more egoic, when egoic patterns rise to consciousness they are suddenly observed. You’re beginning to see all the aspects of your ego that, before, you didn’t even know were there. You’ve identified so much with your reaction to patterns that you enable this approach. The people with the biggest egos have never even heard of ego. So, if you know that you have an ego and occasionally you see it in action, it means that consciousness is rising and the ego is no more than a conditioned pattern in the mind.

Verbalize your ego. That brings it to the light of consciousness. Whatever you feel, make a commitment to be very open and just express what you feel. Be very conscious of accusing, and blaming, and needing to be right. One of the most deep-seated ego patterns is the unconscious need to be right. Huge arguments can develop over the tiniest things. “The moon is 300,000 kilometers from the earth.” “No, it’s not. It’s 3,000,000 kilometers from the earth.” Ego comes in and immediately a huge argument out of nothing, so if you are aware of it, you can do something about it. Truly hear what the other person is saying, and then let those words become secondary. You’re listening, but what is more important is the energy field that is behind the listening. This is presence. I call it space in the relationship, this ability to be present with the other person.

A relationship with a partner is a good opportunity for observing your ego. If you live alone, you might be under the delusion that you don’t have an ego anymore, especially if it is not being challenged elsewhere. With a partner or a good friend, you can express to him or her that when the ego or the pain body arises, want that phenomena to be pointed out. If you can make this process conscious rather than trying to keep it down or simply acting out blindly, you will benefit. So, when you’re listening to the other, the most important thing is the listening presence within you. That can transform the relationship at that moment. If both partners have presence, when one loses presence, the other one can be present for them.

Comments

victor 2nd March 2012 12:14 pm

Another form the Ego adopts to control you is raw Fear.
For those young mystics who are trying to subdue their Ego - the Ego will show you another side to it's stealth and cunningness.Especially if you are in an unconscious (non awareness) state or deep in the dream state. To shake you off it's trail the Ego will manifest dangerous dreamlike situations.It will project something real-like like animals/insects (moth) flying in your head. This it does to shake you off or get you to stop trying to remove it from it's seat of power of control over you But if you can become aware that it is only ego creation and get beyond it's shananigans, and recognise it's picture-play then you will discover the Ego is a paper Tiger.
I do not know for a fact, but I think the Ego is a programmed piece of the brain to distract you from ever discovering GOD.

victor

Advertisement

Keep updated with Spirit Library

Author Information

Eckhart Tolle

Spiritual Teacher and author was born in Germany and educated at the Universities of London and Cambridge. At the age of twenty-nine a profound inner transformation radically changed the course of his life. The next few years were devoted to understanding, integrating and deepening that transformation, which marked the beginning of an intense inward journey.

Books from Eckhart Tolle

A New Earth Cover image
Eckhart Tolle
 
The Power of Now Cover image
Eckhart Tolle
 
Stillness Speaks Cover image
Eckhart Tolle
 
 

Advertisement

Eckhart Tolle Archives