The Being has been cited in the Upanishad as follows:
Katopanishad – 1.2.2
श्रेयश्च प्रेयश्च मनुष्यमेतः तौ सम्परीत्य विविनक्ति धीरः ।
श्रेयो हि धीरोऽभि प्रेयसो वृणीते प्रेयो मन्दो योगक्षेमाद्वृणीते ॥ २॥
śreya̍ś ca preyaś ca ma̱nuṣya̍m etas tau sa̱ṁparī̍tya vi̱vina̍kti dhīrah |
śreyo̍ hi dhī̱ro’bhi̍preyaso vṛṇīte preyo ma̱ndo yoga̍-kṣemād vṛṇīte || 2 ||
Both the good and the pleasant present themselves to a human being. The calm soul examines them well and discriminates by living from the space of the Being. S/he prefers the good to the pleasant; but the foolish one with the ego chooses the pleasant out of greed and avarice, as s/he is living in the self-created space of the ego. Lets’ see how the two are different…
Ego is a self-generated identity of who we believe we are i.e., our personality, likes and dislikes etc.
It is constant chatter that keeps us locked up in our minds and away from the actual being. It’s actually a personality created by the story we tell ourselves repeatedly. Our stories are just that and they don’t really make us who we are at the core of ourselves.
Whilst ego is an aspect of us, it’s not truly who we are in essence of the being. When we operate from the ego, we are generally obsessed with right and wrong, blame and shame, etc. We are not acting from loving space but from a place of judgment. We are not acting from a place of how can I serve the other but what do I get/how do I look. Learning to identify the traits of the ego, and then working to consciously make a different choice will drastically change one’s life.
There are 3 ways to manage ego to live a more loving and peaceful life:
- Learn not to take things personal so ego cannot take hold of our lives. Love is our natural state of being, so we must learn to live with it consciously.
- Forgive sooner than later. Ego loves being right as it sustains itself this way. Do not allow ego to choke your heart and instead choose love that stems from your true self.
- Let go and grow from it. Let go of trying to be seen or heard as right. Our higher self doesn’t need validation so move away from need to be seen or heard but rather as they are in truth.
The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is no longer the ego but just a conditioned mind pattern as awareness and ego cannot co- exist. Awareness can help you move to alignment with self by managing ego to not be the dominant process of your mind. In the process you become more loving, peaceful and authentic, and aligned to your true self.
I can relate to the time when I had to let go of ego. Letting go of a marriage of three decades is not easy and the ego kept me trapped in ‘I have to look good so cannot go apart!’ Once I realised that love & respect were no longer present and certain other things were compromised on, I had to go through the pain of learning to let go and ‘make things work’ as it was time to move on.
After letting go, I had to get into a space of forgiveness of self and the other, and that too was a whole new journey that made me change inside out. I realised I was more calm and therefore more aligned with my soul when I breathed freely without the ‘need to be right’ and ‘don’t care about what others say as it’s my journey!’ feeling. I was okay with my new title and just being me without worry about being judged. I was more joyful and showed up as a stronger being too.