Celtic Knot PanelIt's important to understand the ego and its influence in each human life and humanity as a whole. The ego is the sense and belief of being a separate self, an entity separate from others. The ego grows from the mind's identification with the human form. The stronger the ego, the more it is identified with the human form and its sense of importance in and against the world. The extreme ego has a hardened mental shell that protects itself from others and distances itself from others. It clashes with others, often other egos with hardened mental shells. We are talking here of a clenched fists, angry, hateful, destructive ego, narcissistic and sadistic. It's sounds harsh, but that's the extreme of the ego. It will cause misery and suffering to others wherever it goes.

Human history has seen this kind of ego dominate others and enrol others in its egotistic aims. We should be cautious of giving power to ego dominated people, yet it continues to happen. Sometimes people see a person with a strong ego as charismatic, and that may be the case, as it can often present as a distinctive personality with a certain charm and flair. A good lesson to learn is to recognise the ego when you see it, and to know its pitfalls.

Recognising the ego in others can also lead us to recognising the ego in us. Ultimately we experience the body, the perceptions, the feelings, the thoughts, and the identity within the mind. We experience the ego identity. It is not who we are. It is more like the opposite of who we are. The ego is the sense of separate self. Our true nature is the infinite and undivided selfless self. The ego is incomplete. It needs and wants. Our true nature is complete, without need or want.

The ego is the phantom ego, the mistaken identity, the great pretender, the false king. It is a bundle of thought forms that cling to its imagined identity with the human body. We perceive this. We are the Awareness that perceives the play of the ego and the world. It is through this sense of identity that we perceive the world.

What do we do about this pesky ego? There are things that we can do to lessen its control (it loves to control). Recognising that you are not the thoughts is a good starting place. See that the thoughts that arise are perceived by you but not thought by you. When thoughts about 'me' and 'mine' and 'others' run along, step back and know that you are perceiving them. Recognise that there are no limits to anything. There are no things. There are no limits that define who you are.

There are also practical actions that can be taken:

Peace - be at peace. Allow peace to permeate through the mind, the ego, the body, and to others and the world. You are the peace at the heart of being. You are unshakeable stillness. You cannot stop the motion of the world, but you can recognise the peace and stillness of your being. This allows peace to permeate through the human nature in its contact with others.

Acceptance - accept the mind, the ego, the body, others and the world. Let it be. Don't get caught up in it. It's okay for the world to be as it is. Know that you are unaffected by the ego's problems. This acceptance and realisation brings a centring of your being. It helps withdraw the mistaken sense and belief of identity and ego.

Love - be the love that you are. Allow love, the highest love, to shine through the mind and the ego, out into the world. Show kindness to others. Be selfless and caring and non-judgemental. Help where you can. But know that you are not the doer. You are not a body, ego or mind. This expression of love and kindness comes from the heart of your being and shines through the human form, bringing light into the world.