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The Ego

Commentary by Peter Shepherd
About the Ego
“Be your own best friend and you will have a friend for life.” ~ Harold Becker
Ego and egotism are two things entirely. We each have an ego, as defined by Freud - it is our thinking mind's sense of identity. Egotism, however, is a symptom of a fearful mind. When, through personal growth, the mind is increasingly created by our loving source, then ego becomes transparent. The reactive ego tends to be negative, the mindful presence to be positive. Which is the true you?
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” ~ Winston Churchill
Why courage to listen? Because we are opening up to alternative ideas and as a result our precious beliefs and fixed ideas may be threatened and our ego rightness put in question. But without genuine listening there is no chance of real progress being made. To move ahead, we need not be afraid to speak from the heart nor to listen generously.
“To set up what you like against what you dislike - this is the disease of the mind.” ~ Seng-T'san
Splitting everything into two's... love/hate, beautiful/ugly, good/bad, etc. is an aspect of left-brain analysis - the judging ego. But it's in quite the opposite direction to the spiritual tendency to accept without conditions - the loving compassion that recognizes oneness. Oneness and separation also make a whole; neither are therefore 'good' or bad' as such, they are part of the human condition that we incarnate to experience.
“If we want to awaken, we don't need to eradicate the ego, we simply need to be conscious of the deeper self as well.” ~ Timothy Freke
Both sides of a dichotomy in life (yin and yang, light and dark, good and bad, individual and integrated, etc) form a whole; both apply at the same time, neither can exist without the other, like the two sides of a coin. We can be human beings and enlightened spiritually all at once - not just one or the other as is often implied. Mindful awareness can accompany the body-mind and ego, and provides a valuable missing context.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~ Lao Tzu
The mental sense of self, or ego, is a surface mask for a deeper identity, the true self, so often hidden or asleep. Let go... and become the 'butterfly' that you are destined to become.
About the Ego

Here’s some further reading on this theme...

How Do You Keep Your Ego Feeling Good? ~ by Gabriella Kortsch, Ph.D.

The ego is a funny thing. If you don't stop to think about it you could believe that it's actually who you are as opposed to it just being a part yourself – your psychological self - that doesn't necessarily work in your favor. It can be quite insidious in the way it sneaks into your vision of yourself, making you think that what it thinks truly is you, and comes from you, and some of the things this ego thinks (and makes you believe) tell you that: you are right, or better, or more important, or more powerful, or more righteous, or more spiritual, or more suitable than another, or many others. Such a belief generally blows people up - on some level of false pride - to several times their size. Continues...

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With Commentary by Peter Shepherd
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