Some people have called me egotistical. That’s a throwaway line those uncommitted to life toss around. Similar to how men of no accomplishment love warning you, “Stay humble.” Or they shout, “Pride cometh before a fall.” While that may be true, isn’t it arrogant (ego) to imagine you’re in a position to predict another man’s future? As if you know so much!
Ego is real, and I’ve been dealing with the mofo a lot recently. Life has been good, that’s not the issue. I’ll write more on that soon.
Ego is the bounded self.
Ego keeps our physical bodies alive. Fueled by dopamine, carnal desires, and fear. When people talk of fighting the Ego, they mean (if they take the work seriously) rejecting our base nature and connecting to the higher self. Love and connection. Easier said than done. I fail daily.
One way to illustrate Ego is like this:
Imagine you’re in your twenties. Going to Vegas. Lots of money in your pocket. You tell your friends. Everyone goes, “Hell yes!” (Unless you’re religious, that’s a different subject.)
Tell those same friends that you’re going to go to Costa Rica for a ayahuasca experience. “Whoa! Aren’t you afraid? Something bad might happen.”
As if drinking alcohol, spending money, and fornicating with strangers can’t have a bad outcome? A much worse one.
You should fear a “vacation” to Vegas more than a heroic dose of psilocybin while wearing an eye mask.
Ego says give me more sin, more money, more of what we often have enough us.
Ego says don’t challenge me. Don’t kill me.
When the ego dies, as sometimes happens during medicine journeys, you become connected to universal love or source, and see how pettiness and fear has driven most of our life’s choices.
One of the best “near death experiences,” I’ve heard is from Ric Elias on Peter Attia.
Ric Elias was on Flight 1549, the one we know as the water landing flight. The passengers were saved by Capt. Sully.
Saving the passengers was an impossibility.
Everyone on that flight got to know what it was like to die.
What do you feel when you’re about to die?
Elias had five minutes. He felt guilty that he didn’t switch seats with an elderly passenger who could have used the legroom. (She didn’t ask him, but he saw her walking and thought he should let her have his seat.)
He worried about his family.
He felt a deep sense of loss, not for himself, but for them.
“Will they be OK?”
Watch the full interview or listen to it.
I guarantee you’ll cry.
My own experience of ego death led me to similar realizations.
We all say that we value our families most of all. We think this on an intellectual level. Then we look at how we spend our time and what we worry about.
I would wake up offended by nonsense. First thought was whether my social media accounts grew. It would give a high when someone “successful” or “famous” would follow me. Life was about money, getting laid, being jacked and ripped.
Ego says go make more money, because your family needs it! You’re not neglecting them. You’re providing.
When facing death, none of that entered my mind. The lies vanished.
I said goodbye to people I loved and hoped they’d be OK.
Will everyone be OK?
That’s the question you ask out of love, not Ego.
Ego’s mission and our mission?
Ego dies, and then you’re back in your body.
Spiritual beings in physical bodies.
Our spirits are infinite. Without ego we would walk off a cliff. Children have no survival instinct, they are pure spirit.
The question is why we were embedded in bodies, and our mission here on Earth.
I believe it’s to sanctify the soul, and that much talk of egoism is centered in Gnosticism.
What I’m certain of is that you won’t find ego on the other side of fear.
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Having children puts the needs of the ego in competition with the needs of the soul from Day One. How you resolve that competition within yourself is the key to parenting, in my opinion. "Will they be OK" is the fear that led me to quit drinking four years ago, in fact. I also know "parents" who clung to the needs of the ego through the whole experience. I'm confident that I missed nothing by spending my time with my children.
About 5 yrs ago I thought I was going to die. Best thing that ever happened to me in the long run (at the time it sucked)
All I could think about was my wife and kids and how I wouldn’t be around to protect them. Who would make sure my son makes it through his adolescent yrs and ensure my daughter finds the a man with a good soul.
Another aspect I dwelled on is being so meek in certain situations and not having more confidence. Loved this writing