You don’t kill the ego, because to kill the ego means to kill your human self. Over the years, I’ve heard so many in spiritual and new age communities assert, with great conviction, that the only way to achieve enlightenment is to kill their ego. These people fail to realise, however, that without the ego, you couldn’t exist as an individual; also, one’s sense of individuality goes far beyond the limited confines of the physical plane…
The Vedic teachings are some of the oldest in the world, some believe that they go back as far as Atlantis. In these texts, and also the Bhagavad-Gita and Upanishads, which summarise the four Vedas in their totality─they speak of the three worlds.
“Trailokya (Sanskrit: त्रैलोक्य; Pali: tiloka, Wylie: khams gsum ; Chinese: 三界) has been translated as “three worlds,” “three spheres,” “three planes of existence,” “three realms” and “three regions.” These three worlds are identified in Hinduism and appear in early Buddhist texts.”
These three worlds, according to Paramahansa Yogananda are the physical, astral and causal (mental) planes. On each plane, we have a corresponding body which gives us our individuality. The most subtle body of the three is the mental body or mind, which provides the pure essence of the soul with a limited framework so it can have countless experiences throughout the three spheres of creation.
Notice how the bodies and planes of existence correlate exactly? The physical body and the physical plane, astral body, astral realm and the mental body and causal plane. What people do not understand is that everything in their reality is their ego─the space/time framework itself is the ego, as it provides us with an experience of linearity, which enables us to go through a process of change and remembrance of our innate divinity. The soul is perpetually in a timeless state, but where there is no time, there is no change or growth─we need to ego to exist, period.
Many, including some of the most popular spiritual teachers in the world, define the negative voice between their ears as their ego; they correlate their conditioning with their individuality. But, if people are conditioned to fit in with society by adopting the same beliefs, perspectives and tendencies as everyone else then that’s the complete opposite of individuality. All too often, people lose their true self by immersing themselves in the stream of society only to realise that they’re not being who they are; but who everyone else thinks they should be.
“Most of the things we believe about ourselves and the world around us are false notions we’ve bought into via our interactions with others. Such conformity is the opposite of individuality, yet many define our conditioning as our ego; do see the contradiction? The true ego has nothing to do with who other people believe we should be.”
─The Labyrinth: Rewiring the Nodes in the Maze of your Mind
The conditionings that have been impressed upon the ego as a result of your experiences in the world isn’t the ego per se, but simply the beliefs and behaviours one has installed into their mind.
In the picture above, we see a wonderful illustration of what I’m attempting to articulate. The true ego is a blank canvas or in this case, a blank house. You get to decide what colour you’ll paint it, which door you’ll have, what kind of fence and so on.
Our true self isn’t a person, but consciousness. In this cosmic drama, we’re playing the role of a human being. If you’ve incarnated as a human (which I’m sure you have if you’re reading this), beyond this reality in the more subtle astral realm, you’ll still be you─a person, with a spark of individuality no other being in existence, is capable of replicating, in your astral body, which is another ego.
Just as no two snowflakes are identical, so too is every sentient being in the universe dowered with individuality. No one is capable of being you, and that is your power so embrace it. Why would you want to kill that aspect of yourself? Your true personality is divine. ‘Spiritual’ people desiring the kill their ego are being fooled by the belief that they can’t be a soul and a person─simultaneously. That is what life is all about; finding that balance, having a foot in each world─and taking both by storm.
“At the most fundamental level of our beings, we’re all projections of the same consciousness; we are one, in this sense. The ego exists for a divine purpose. Let’s accept our oneness as a fact so we can thrive in our God-given individuality simultaneously. We have our individuality for a reason: without it, we wouldn’t exist, period.”
─The Labyrinth: Rewiring the Nodes in the Maze of your Mind
The Hindu God Krishna is often depicted playing the flute, which is representative of the human spine and its seven chakras or energy centres. The divine wishes to express itself through each and every one of us in a unique way; becoming homogenous isn’t the point of having a human life. The source has a song to play in this uni-verse that it can only play through you─don’t deprive the world of that song.
Even when you’re in the state of no-self, by embracing the present moment in its totality, you go beyond the personality and become nothing but awareness, however, that awareness is still perceiving life through the physical senses. In the state of oneness, you still have an individual focus.
Your individual focus is your ego─you’ll always appear as separate from others and perceive the reality in front of you, whether its physical or astral, through a set of eyes. Refining your ego by dissecting the unconscious beliefs and behaviours that aren’t aligned with your true self is the purpose of the spiritual journey. When you let go of what you’re not, you can more easily embody who or what you’ve always been.
The voice in your head isn’t your true ego, it’s who you’ve been told to be by other people since the moment you shot out the womb. When you believe in the lies between your ears, then you’re allowing them to define you. However, if you master the art of watching your thoughts without allowing them to trigger you, then you’re on the path of discovering the true you, not only as a soul but as a person too.
When I look back throughout history at some of the most influential people who have walked the Earth, such as Christ, Buddha, Krishna, Beethoven, Mozart, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Bruce Lee or John Lennon─every single one of these people had a strong personality that was able to rouse the divinity within others and inspire them. They fully accepted themselves as a person and their lives reflected that acceptance.
“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”
So, contrary to popular belief, you can know the truth of oneness while simultaneously thriving in your individuality. In fact─there’s no other way to live a happy life. Human beings are social creatures─a collective consciousness. We are not meant to live or spend most of our time alone, but together, with our family and friends, embracing life in its entirety.
The collective resembles a jigsaw puzzle, with each piece representing a person. You’ve been created by the source as a specific shape and size─this is your true self. However, if you’re being someone you’re not by allowing other’s opinions to form the basis of your identity then you won’t fit into the big picture. By believing your fitting in, you’re actually ostracising yourself from the collective consciousness. Again, people believe their conditioning (who they’ve been told to be by others) is their ego but its the complete opposite. You can only fit in with the collective by shunning those lies and expressing your soul qualities through an untarnished ego, which is divine.
The soul, in a sense, is the ego if you think about it. If your consciousness is one with all that is, then the concept of an individualised soul is illusory─the ego is that illusion. Not all illusions are negative; this one is a necessary component to have an individual experience, whether, physical, astral or causal.
As you saw in the illustration above, the decorations on the house aren’t the house. Once you become truly present and mindful of what you’re doing, the canvas of the ego turns blank again. I touch on this in my book:
“Lao Tzu said the universe surrenders to the mind that’s still for this reason; the canvas of physical reality turns blank every time you embody stillness. He understood the neutrality of all circumstances and that we can change how we look at things once we still the winds of madness between our ears. When a challenging situation manifests in your life, retreat into your core and be still. The answers to your questions, the solutions to your challenges are within you. When you know how to access this portable paradise, you’ll come to see just how inwardly free you already are.”
So, embrace your individuality; you have it for a reason. There is nothing, nonspiritual about physical reality because every single atom is made from spirit or consciousness. Align with your truth, and strip the colours from your house that don’t represent who you truly are.
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