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Are you pondering, ‘What is the Ego in spirituality?’ It’s a natural question to ask if you’re going through a spiritual awakening and becoming more aware of the separate parts of your system. The Ego is very important and very misunderstood. This post explains its role.

What is the Ego in spirituality?

The word ‘Ego’ is often used today to mean proud or arrogant, but there’s a deeper, spiritual meaning.

It’s one of the 4 compartments of the mind contained in the human avatar.

The Ego is represented by the unconscious mind and it’s the repository of beliefs we start to collect about ourselves from the moment we’re born into a human body.

When we’re very young this is things like, ‘I’m human’, ‘I’m a girl’, ‘My name is Sophia’.

As we get older, it can include things like, ‘I’m good at maths’, ‘I don’t like garlic’.

Or more harmfully, ‘I always fail’, ‘I’m stupid’, ‘I’m ugly’.

So as you can see, the Ego is very powerful and can shape the way we think profoundly.

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Why do we have an Ego?

Our Ego exists to help us ‘keep ourselves together’ when we’re born into a human life.

In the higher dimensions, we don’t have boundaries between ourselves as we do down here.

I think of it as a kind of ‘soul soup’.

We experience ourselves as part of a collective and there’s no barrier between our thoughts and experience.

So being born into a human body can be very disorienting for a soul because it’s cut off from this shared experience.

It needs a new way to define itself, otherwise it could easily disintegrate

So the Ego plays this very important role – it gives us a way to think about ourselves, prior to our spiritual awakening.

It’s looking after us.

Sophia, my higher self, refers to the Ego as the ‘Id’ or I D, which is, in fact, the title Freud gave this part of the mind.

(Slightly confusingly, what he called the Ego is actually the conscious mind, or soul.)

So the Ego is your ‘ID’ – your identity.

Diverse group of young people.

Is the Ego ‘bad’?

No, the Ego is not ‘bad’.

It’s just that, when we’re asking, ‘What is the Ego in spirituality?’ we’re usually thinking about it from the perspective of ‘Ego death.

We’re told the Ego is something we need to ‘get rid of’.

There is a grain of truth in this, because, during a spiritual awakening, we’re reclaiming our true soul nature.

That means we’re able to experience ourselves as immortal, immaterial souls from our incarnated perspective on Earth.

We can’t usually access the ‘soul soup’ in the same way we do in the higher dimensions, at least not all the time.

However, we start to understand we’re made of more than one part, and that we’re intimately connected to ‘the whole’.

We start to think of ourself as ‘a soul’ and that means we don’t need the Ego in the same way.

We have a new perspective.

However, even as we’re going through this process, we should recognise that the Ego is a valuable part of our system and has performed great service for us.

It should be respected and honoured, just as the body should.

Woman meditating outdoors.

What happens to the Ego during spiritual awakening?

During the awakening process, the Ego can hold us back, because of the ‘self-limiting’ beliefs it’s often collected.

There’s no limits in soul world!

But in its role as ‘protector’, the Ego is trying to remove us from harmful situations.

That includes situations where it thinks we might ‘fail’.

This is why it collects beliefs like, ‘I’m no good at such and such’, or ‘she’d never go out with me’, for example.

But when we start to reclaim our true soul nature during awakening, we come to understand there’s no such thing as failure.

There’s only learning.

So at a certain point there develops a tension between Ego and soul, or unconscious and conscious mind.

The soul wants to go for it! The Ego doesn’t.

So it’s true that, during spiritual awakening, we go through a process (largely unconsciously) of ‘shedding our Ego’.

This opens the door to fulfilling our potential in this lifetime.

Two young men playing tug of war outdoors.

We never shed our Ego completely

It’s impossible to shed our Ego entirely. We retain at least 5 percent, even after full awakening.

That’s because it’s what makes us unique.

As we progress through our soul lessons, incarnating in life after life, we become more and more similar.

It’s our journey back to the ‘supreme being’ or God, or ‘the Source’ (whichever you prefer).

Ultimately, when we’ve completed our lessons, we will be exactly the same as the ‘ultimate oversoul’.

So the Ego, spiritually, allows us to retain our unique identity while we’re incarnated on Earth, even if we’re fully integrated with our higher selves (the goal of awakening).

Find out more about spiritual awakening in this blog post.

An enormous golden Buddha rising into the sky above a temple.

Forming a partnership with your Ego is more powerful than trying to suppress it

Rather than trying to ‘get rid’ of your Ego, you can actually work with it to the overall benefit of your system.

You need to persuade it that your conscious mind (the soul) has got everything in hand and can take it from here.

Thank your Ego for everything it’s done to protect you, but ask it to let your soul take the lead.

You can do this in meditation.

Later in your awakening, as you become fully integrated with your higher self, you may need to go through the process again.

It’s important to reassure your Ego that your higher self is able to lead and protect the system.

Remember that the Ego typically doesn’t like change or risk, and may try to take back some control whenever it feels worried or threatened.

An adult’s and child’s hand, high fiving.

What to do if your Ego tries to keep control

You can tell if you’re Ego is trying to assert itself, because some of your thinking and behaviours will change.

For example you might:

  • Become less tolerant
  • Be less empathetic
  • Lose some of your motivation and drive
  • Restart bad habits you lost during your earlier awakening
  • Revert to thinking of yourself as an ‘I’ rather than a ‘We’

If this happens to you, it’s essential to come from a place of understanding and love.

Your Ego is trying to protect you.

Quite possibly it’s scared.

To reassure it, you need to spend time with it in contemplation, and explain that you have everything in hand.

Remind it that it can never disappear, a part of it will always remain.

Tell it it’s a valuable part of your team.

You may need to do this over several sessions, depending how far you are into your awakening.

Man comforting an upset child.

The Ego is the ‘child’ of your system

Thinking of the Ego as a child helps us to adjust our attitudes to it.

We understand that it needs to be loved and cared for and understood.

I regularly meet with my ego in meditation and she always presents to me as myself at around six years old.

It may help you to visualise your Ego as yourself around this age.

See yourself giving them a hug and comforting them.  You’ll be surprised at the positive effect this can have.

A grandmother hugging a grandchild.

I hope I’ve answered your question, ‘What is the Ego in spirituality?’

It’s a vital part of your system, which has loved and protected you since the moment you were born.

It’s tried hard to keep you safe, ready for the day when your soul could break through and take charge.

So, please be kind to your Ego and thank it for all it’s done for you.

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