Eastern Teachers say we need to kill the ego, get rid of it and subdue it energetically. Not all Eastern teachers express it this way, but most speak of the ego as being a great distraction and obstacle to true spiritual development. The term ego refers to the small self with all of its concerns, attitudes, opinions and desires. The ego is the part of our conscious mind that preserves a sense of ourselves as a material body existing in time and space. We have colloquial words for it that help us explain behavior in such words as “ego trip” when a person is acting like they are the most important person in the whole world. We say someone has a big ego when their attitude is one of being more important than anyone else. We call a person egotistical when they display an air of being better and more important than anyone else.

In Western language, we would say that the ego is the self-preserving and protective part of our mind that determines safety and security. The ego is the security guard of the psyche that has a job to do but often uses heavy-handed methods to secure the perimeter and set up surveillance around the psychological castle. In a biological sense, ego is what holds the fascia and muscle tissue on the bones. It is what helps us feel that we are our own person in time and space.

The problem is that the ego will steal whatever ground we give it and take control as much as it possibly can. The ego tells us that it can solve all problems and figure anything out that needs to be evaluated. It pompously proclaims its ability to access files in our minds on any subject and pull information from those files giving us answers to almost everything. It is like a dog that jumps up on people until it is trained. It sometimes bites people when it feels exceptionally lofty and entitled in its pride. If we let the ego run things, it takes over and tries to control all parts of us. The more power we give it, the more it thinks it can control everything in our world and then we experience separation and disconnection from other people.

The ego cannot know the feeling side of our nature and is confounded when feelings are present. Feelings trump thinking. Feelings are deeper and simpler. Ego cannot do anything with a real feeling except try to cause fear and worry in our minds, so that we will rely on the ego to solve our problems. The ego must be controlled, not killed, because it was never designed to know that much. We should take back the control over our lives, using our real feelings to guide us instead of the thousand attachments of the ego. The ego is not equipped to lead, only to follow. The ego is an impostor on the throne and will fight tooth and nail to keep its position. The ego is a control freak pretending to know and unable to experience true wisdom. Humility will take the ego off its throne.

Father Peter Bowes

Author's Bio: 

Father Peter Bowes has devoted his life in service to God; for over 20 years, he has served as a Priest and Master Teacher. Currently, he serves as Co-Director of the Order of Christ/Sophia, teaching and ministering to his spiritual students, and guiding fifteen Centers of Light and their ministers around the country. He travels between these Centers year-round, teaching and lecturing, as well as performing his music as a singer-songwriter of Mystical Christian folk rock. Many of the elements of the Mystical Christian teachings can be heard and experienced in Father Peter's music, encouraging the listener to seek and discover the Truth within. Listen to his music on Sophia Radio. When not traveling, Father Peter lives at the Center of Light in Chicago, IL.