Recently a writer for a book was interviewing me. At the end of the interview she asked me if I felt that the ego had a place in spiritual work and if I thought one could or should get rid of the ego. She was wondering if we could operate in our lives without the ego.
As I have written in the past and as well as in my new book I feel that the ego is the part of us that perceives space and time. For example, the ego tells us how much we have to press the gas pedal to drive. It has a sense of how fast we are going. The spiritual side of us is not aware of speed limits. So yes we need the ego to live in our ordinary lives.
When doing spiritual healing work such as transmutation the ego can get in the way. It is the ego that perceives us separate from the rest of life. In transmutation we are going for union with all that is alive. One purpose of the shaman’s dances and songs is to help to move the ego out of the way so that the power of the universe can come through. One cannot be in union with the spirits, the divine, or the creator when one is fully in an egoic state of consciousness. It blocks the spiritual divine forces from being able to come through.
Krishnamurti used to say that the human mind is infinitely divisive. As we feel separate from others and divine forces we tend to think to survive that we must judge others and compete with others. This philosophy does not work when we are trying to transmute personal and environmental pollution.
Here is a very simple exercise that you can use when yourself moving into an angry or judgmental state:
Think of something very simple that is absolutely precious to you. It might be a baby animal, or a smell, taste, or feeling, or an image of a dew drop on a plant, or a dragonfly, or a bird you love, etc. Think of something that makes you smile and remember how precious life is. When you find what reminds you of the preciousness of life, bring this image, sound, smell, taste, into your awareness when you need help connecting you back to the truth that we are connected to all of life.
This month journey or meditate on other methods you can use to snap yourself out of an angry or judgmental state.