For context, I do not speak of ego in the psychological and psychoanalytical sense – I speak of it in a spiritual context, whereby the ego is a limitation to the realisation of God as ever-present and the source of all existence. I have written other pieces (which can be found here) on the ego’s development in a psychological/psychoanalytical context.
The Egos Illusion
One’s illusory perception of the world is a consequence of taking positions. The ego is dualistically structured, meaning it sees everything as a perpetrator/victim. If you take a right side, then the left side must be wrong. It creates separation by virtue of its nature.
The ego says things like ‘but what about so and so’ (murder, abuse, war, rape, paedophilia etc.) It comes up with all of its morals and ethics to defend its position. The ego is taking the positions and defending them to survive – it is doing what a survivor does.
By refusing to take positions, we relinquish this self-imposed political game. All this requires is to be aware when the ego tries to cling to a judgement call. Unchaining yourself from positionality is one of the most significant steps when transcending the levels of consciousness.
The secret pay-off for the ego is the juice it gets by ‘being right’. It also thrives on negativity as we see in the ‘race to the bottom’ – you’ll hear this when two people have a conversation about who has it worse in life. The worse a situation can be made out to be, the better it is for the ego – because it gets the energy source from winning.
It is not only the juice from its own source, however. The ego loves to receive energy from others’ sympathy while it wallows in self-pity at life’s seeming injustices. It loves being a martyr to life and circumstance.
Inner development work reveals that the ego delights in nurturing its justifications – the illusion is that although it feels self-nurturing, it is life inhibiting and concealing higher levels of being.
At higher levels of consciousness, forgiveness and compassion replace the necessity of being right. The ego despises these things because there is no longer any ‘juice’ to feed off. This is a decision we can all make in every moment – we can ask, ‘what is with us that is having the pay-off here?’
Forgiveness requires no external energy source – it is benign and nurturing through its supply. The reluctance to forgive is the refusal to relinquish the juice of the ego.
The ego also clings to its own beliefs that ‘the person doesn’t deserve it’. The reality is that it is the forgiver, not the forgiven, who benefit the most. Nothing good comes from holding hatred and a need for revenge.
A great example to support this idea is Eva Kor. Eva and her twin sister were in Auschwitz during the second world war. In 1993 Eva took a Nazi doctor back to Auschwitz and showed the world the immense power of forgiveness. Of course, she had a lot of backlash from the crowd, merely highlighted the importance of forgiveness further.
Eva’s words – ‘The day I forgave the Nazis, privately I forgave my parents whom I hated all my life for not having saved me from Auschwitz. Children expect their parents to protect them; mine couldn’t. And then I forgave myself for hating my parents. Forgiveness is really nothing more than an act of self-healing and self-empowerment. I call it a miracle medicine. It is free, it works and has no side effects.’