Ego And Happiness
Let’s take a moment and look at our ego — that thinking part of our brain. It’s not hard to see how, when all humans used to live in the wilderness, that these thinking machines would come in handy. It’s very useful, when there’s danger everywhere, to have these danger detectors. The ego is always looking out for danger. It’s why humans have survived all these years.
Flash forward to today, where we live in relative safety. Where tigers, bears, snakes and spiders are no longer a danger to most of us. Then, let’s throw the news media into the mix. Now we have these fear-generators in our heads sensing danger all the time and around every corner, from economic uncertainty to war to civil unrest. Now the worst stories of the day, even if they’re happening on the other side of the world, feel like they’re happening on the TV screen in your living room or on the phone in your hand.
It doesn’t matter if we witness something on a screen or right in front of us. The brain perceives it all the same. It doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction, text or film. The stories we see become part of us, and one way the mind deals with danger is to further strengthen the ego. We begin to identify more deeply with our labels. We harden our mind and we puff out our chest. The bigger the ego, the bigger the walls we put up. But, what feels like defending ourselves can easily become our own mental prison.
We must become aware of the nature of our ego. We must understand that the ego means well but it is no longer needed 24/7. Once we understand who we really are (More on this in my YouTube video) beyond the ego, we can stop fixating on the voice in our head. We can recognize that it is not our true selves or some voice of God, but just simply the survival mechanism from an age long ago. And, we can finally stop giving it all our attention and it can simply become like the background noise at a restaurant — barely audible, unimportant, and nondisruptive to our inner peace and lasting happiness.
Whenever you feel like your ego is taking control of you, remember this:
We think that the world we see is being projected onto our minds. But the truth is, our mind is projected onto the world. Everything we see and experience is a projection of our minds. It’s seen through the lens of our past, our conditioning, our trauma, and the story about our life that we tell ourselves.
Simply becoming aware of this fact helps us recognize our place within our experience, lessens our identification as the “I” of the ego, and becomes aware of the fact that we are aware of ourselves. When we understand the nature of the ego we can identify its tricks, we can bring conscious intention to it, and we can discover the key to living with mental peace and joy. I talk more about dissolving our ego and using it as the powerful tool that it is in my podcast.
In meditation, we can see through the clouds of thoughts that obscure our view and we can observe life as the miracle it truly is.
Often people wonder if attachments are ego-based. I’ve been asked, “Why do we develop attachments if they only cause suffering? How do we break free from the grip of attachments and how do we still form healthy and loving bonds?” I answer these questions and more in my latest podcast.
How Not to Take Things Personally
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