When we hear about the ego we think of an abstract idea that is very difficult to associate with the actual experience of being human. We are aware that we have certain patterns of responses and that those responses may be ego manifestation, but beyond that we don’t what it feels like, or to recognise when it is at work within and so going out to the world.
So here is a really simple definition of ‘Ego’ – Fear. The fact that fear has been given a separate word for its manifestation in being human has actually only served to confuse more than help. So by accepting that ego is in fact a fear response, then your first acknowledgement to yourself is that you are perceiving and responding to the world with fear every time you are feeling a negative emotion.
By negative emotion it could be anything from ‘meh’ and boredom, to suicidal depression and all emotions/feelings experienced within that spectrum. Even with out a high level of emotional awareness, you are aware when you are feeling resistance to an idea, action or experience. You know, if nothing else, when you are not feeling contentment, happy or anticipation.
The tricky thing about ego is that as a fear response, it becomes self protecting out of fear. What happens if I don’t view the world as a threat? – fear response – I better stay with what I know than what I don’t know = no change is made in finding your now moment of peace.
Remember fear is a result of a past experience about future events. It is not necessary to know what the past experience is – only to know that you are focused on responding to your future in this moment with fear. As you become aware of it, the simple affirmation is to say – I am feeling fear right now in this moment, I don’t know why or where it comes from (even if you do know it isn’t necessary to acknowledge the why or where because they don’t exist in your now), but I’m ok with this fear, I can BE this fear.
If you would like to have a good analogy of accepting ego (fear) then read the story about Buddha’s moment of enlightenment. He becomes intrinsically aware of his ego and the battle that it is raging against him. As he accepts his ego (stops fighting it), so the fear (manifest in the visual demon attack) dissipates. What is interesting to note is that he didn’t rid himself of ego straight away in this story. And whilst the story it was 3 moments of awareness of ego, it is highly likely that he practiced it far more and over a number of years.