Ego - what ego?

I have been pondering this word “ego” for many years now. It crops up a lot in spiritual circles and in the personal development world… but what do we mean?

When someone says something like “it’s just my ego getting in the way” or “so and so has such a big ego” I realise that something in me cringes slightly. Not from embarrassment but more from a sense that it doesn't fit what is happening at the time and for me, can point to lack of empathy for what is there.

I often end up saying that our poor ego gets a bad name!

Speaking from my own experience (rather than any academic or psychological/spiritual definition of ego) I have never found “an ego” - that is, some kind of discreet entity that lives inside me doing its ego thing. It simple is not like that for me. But before you might think I am saying I have gone beyond this… I will add, I have found many processes in me that could be called “ego like” if you wanted to label them. They are many…trust me. And as i notice them i sense they are not even things really, but more like processes. And I am open to the fact that maybe there is an “ego” as yet unfound!

It seems to me that to call all that “ego” is an unhelpful label that might create distance and a lack of empathy and curiosity for what is actually there. It can be a useful shorthand perhaps but to actually begin to change those deep seated self oriented processes, I think we need to get beneath the label of ego and sense freshly what is there. Read More...