I first learned the true definition of the Ego when I read Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth; Awakening to Your LIfe’s Purpose. This was, (shockingly), prompted by Oprah and an online class she conducted surrounding the content of the book in 2008. It was mind-blowing AND eye-opening to say the very least. One of the central themes of the book is to describe, understand, and ultimately, break free from our own ego. Before I read this book, I thought that only certain people had egos. That to have an ego and to be egotistical, meant that you were exceptionally arrogant and into yourself all the time. It wasn’t an adjective I would have willingly bestowed upon myself… until, I read this book. Fact is, we all have egos and they are all larger than life. Every second of everyday we go about thinking our way into bigger ones because our thoughts are the oxygen that fuel the ego’s flames.
One of the definitions Eckhart uses to describe the ego is on p. 27, “…a misperception of who you are, an illusory sense of identity.” Basically, every label you have ever used to describe yourself both publicly and privately; mother, father, conservative, liberal, fat, stupid, doctor, liar, martyr… each one of those words elicit an emotion, a perception, all of which activates a feeling inside of you that you choose to either identify with or reject. That is your ego trying to define and put limits on you. Have you ever noticed yourself get upset when someone puts forth an opposing political viewpoint? Don’t you sometimes get down right ENRAGED at people who can’t see what you clearly see so well? That is because the idea they are putting forth is a challenge to your ego or the misperception of who you think you are.
I like to use visual aids for clarity, so let’s use one here. An egg. An egg is a symbol used in many different cultures and religions as a representation of life. Why shouldn’t it be? It is where so much life begins. On a basic, structural level, it has a core surrounded by a gelatinous substance, encased in an elliptical, hard shell.
Think of the core, as your true self. The part of you that contains the energy of all life. It’s your truest, most sacred self; free of definition, restrictions and limitations. It is everything you were ever meant to be and already are. It is also the part of you that is connected to all other forms of life.
Think of the gelatinous egg-white, (albumin), as your ego. It is larger than the core and has the important job of protecting the core, or your true self. It is constantly swirling, shifting and can even get cloudy depending on what it’s being fed. It prevents the core from getting too jostled or touching the sides of the shell where it might get bruised.
Then you have the shell. The house. And for that matter, the car, the boat, the Coach purse, the Mercedes-Benz and this season’s knee-high boots. This is what the world sees. Unfortunately, this is what we all use to judge everything else that’s inside.
Even the proportions are poetic. An egg is 11% shell, 58% egg white and 31% yolk. The smallest part of ourselves is the shell and yet that is where many of us spend 90% of our focus. As far as our insides are concerned, the largest part of us is our ego and the smaller, more dense core is a mere 31%. And still, it is an elegant, perfect system for developing life as well as a tasty and nutritious breakfast. The healthiest chickens produce the brightest and richly flavored yolks and if you’ve ever had a good quality egg, you know that the yolk, ”tastes like buttah.”
This analogy could go on and on and on…
Since starting this blog something insane is happening in my life. No, Oprah has not called me…yet. What is happening is a metamorphosis of sorts. Layers of my ego are being stripped away and like an egg, I am being broken open. I am feeling exposed at my core; raw and tender, and strangely, stronger than ever. The reason this is happening is because of the intention that I stated for this blog endeavor. That intention is to become more conscious and to use my life and experiences as a mirror to reflect a light into the world. I have drawn to my life the ability to pay attention more closely, more keenly… more.
It is ultimately, Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
When I pressed publish on this blog I called forth consciousness into my life. It’s like when you ask God for strength… you don’t get strength, you get the opportunity to be strong. That is what is happening with me right now. I am becoming more spiritually healthy, and my core is getting brighter and richer.
Now ready for your mind to be blown, AND your eyes, opened? Let’s start big, and then go small, shall we?
Starting to see a pattern? I am, and it’s all connected. All you have to do is…
open your eyes.