The inner self is part of what we really are, and ego comes in when we fail to see ourselves as whole, fulfilled entity with no separateness. Our cultures, our upbringing, our inherent problems in life make us realize that we do not possess that wholeness, and we tend to maximize the urge to own, control and keep to ourselves what we think is lacking in us. Ego has been equated to selfishness and unwillingness to live a communal life style.
We are because others are
We all have this tendency to give priority to what is ours, who we are and what we own. Many times as humans, we have that inner consciousness of self that we want to protect, portray, impose or demonstrate. This inclination to separate oneself from the other part of the universe may at times be so strong that what comes first is always his/hers. This is normal and everyone has that aspect of life but it may be seen as harmful to self and others when it exceeds normal limit whereby we lose the awareness of the idea that we are because others are. This sentiment referred as ego is when we put in our mind that we are clipped and stuck in a cage that does not even exist.
Again, it is that state of mind that puts a line between self and others, mine and others. This sense of self which is natural and common in everyone of us, can be healthy and at times unhealthy, and hence a handicap to relating well with others.
False self does not lead to progress
Nothing is so bad than to have an ego mind, because as many say, we are born with an infant’s egocentric predisposition to experience the world completely in relation to our personal needs and desires. It becomes an issue when the ego in us grows to limit possibility to open up and share our life experiences with others. Brahmanada, an Indian poet suggested that, to be freed from an ego mind, one must be detached from petty desires, to become free from the bondage of ego, to love our neighbors as ourselves, to serve selflessly, and to act without attachment to the fruits of our actions.
Everyone wants life to be better and change, we work to transform our lives and we approach others to learn from them and on daily basis we are thriving to maximize what can increase our joy and happiness even if at times we have to sacrifice our happiness to gain more. An ego mind will remain stuck and will fight any change as coming out from the comfort zone remains quite impossible. They fight any process of transformation and prefer to remain in a false self where all is centered on and around them. Letting go to embrace new realities becomes hard and hence, progress remains impossible or difficult.
How can one fight against an ego mind?
After having known how ego mind can create harm not only to oneself but also others, we may need to thrive to get out of this. As with ego, we are obstinate about what we know and we hold on that knowledge as the truth. Hence, there is a need to learn to quiet the mind, be still of heart, and focus our attention inwards opening ourselves to this new experience of greater awareness. In the silence of deep introspection, when the mind becomes quiet, it is possible to enter a point of deep awareness and consciousness. Meditation that helped many will be the real tool, an easy means to heal our ego mind.
A wise man told me, meditation is a space for inner knowing, and I think, the more the mind gets freed from unworthy worry, desires, fears of unknown danger, the wider the space that grows within us that can accommodate new knowledge dimension where the ‘Other’ finds a place and we end up cultivating love and compassion as we become aware of the world around us, the world we integrally take part in. Since breaking long-fed habits may take more efforts and time, some simple tools such as pausing altruistic acts like giving out stuff and donating items, offering our time and means to others gradually free us from our ego as we come to know that “I am because they are”.