Awesome Dude’s Burning Question: “Is one of the reasons why many people can’t cure their disease or illness due to their ego? Even though people want their illness to go away, is it their ego that has clung to the illness as part of the identity? If it is, then that explains a lot. Also, is the ego a bad thing that needs to be removed?”
Dear Awesome Dude,
That damn ego again. Ask anyone doing personal development and spiritual work and chances are, you’ll hear harrowing tales of their evil ego. They were rude to their colleague? Well, that was that stupid ego feeling all insecure. Blowup with the boyfriend? Clearly, this was the ego feeling threatened. Feeling uncomfortable around someone who just said something you don’t like? Obviously, they are an ego controlled moron. And now you want to blame illness on the poor ego, too. Oh the humanity! When will it end?
The truth is, while we like to blame our negative behaviors on our egos, there’s a fundamental misunderstanding going on here. The ego isn’t like some evil little troll that lives within you, who tries to sabotage you. It does not need to be tamed, killed or gotten rid of. Think about this – why would We (the big We, like Who We Really Are “We”), in our infinite wisdom, create these bodies (super cool biological machines), design our brains (awesome super computers and telecommunication devices) and then add a little saboteur? What would be the point in that? Unless you subscribe to the theory that there’s a force of evil which is always trying to tempt you away from good, and that your ego is possibly the devil’s mouthpiece, there to convince you that you’re worthless and stupid and will never succeed, the idea of the troll-ego makes no sense. If you subscribe to that theory, by the way, may I just gently point out to you that you’re on the wrong blog. Around these parts, the devil does not exist and God is not a douchebag.
So, what the hell is the Ego, then?
People in the personal development world like to make the word “ego” synonymous with “negative characteristics”. So, whenever they do or say or think anything that they judge to be “bad” or unwanted, they call that the ego. “The ego made me do it” (fucking ego). And “the dingo ate my baby” (fucking dingo).
But that’s, well, how do I put this… BULLSHIT. Complete and utter, come out the backside of a full grown, hump the hell out of a heifer bull, shit. Your ego didn’t make you act like a douchebag. That was all you, I’m afraid. All. You.
The ego is part of the glorious human design, and like everything in this wonderful, physical construct, it’s actually designed to serve us. And, like everything in this wonderful, physical construct, it can be misunderstood and misused and then blamed for any and all consequences of that misuse. That’s a bit like taking a walking stick and beating someone to death with it and then blaming the stick for it (fucking stick).
This misconception is why you’ll rarely hear me talking about the “ego”. I prefer to use a different, less negatively charged word. I talk and write about the “mind”. “Oooh!”, you might say. “But I’ve heard you talk about the mind loads of times! I never realized the mind was a troll!” It’s not. And neither is the ego (will a mind by another name stink as bad? That’s Shakespeare right there, people. I know… impressive, right? Wait, was that my ego?).
The insecure mind/ego
Your mind is tasked with keeping you alive, with protecting you, and with automation. It learns a set of “rules”, how the world works and how you fit into it and then filters everything you perceive through these rules.
For example, you may have learned from your parents that strangers are bad and not to be trusted. In that case, your mind would remind you with a bit of fear every time you see a stranger. You’d think this would come in handy until you go out into the real world and find out that everyone’s a freaking stranger, leaving you afraid and anxiously cowering in the dark of your unlit living room. Some people might call this “social anxiety”.
Your mind may have been taught that no matter how hard you work, you will never succeed, and that failure feels bad. So, whenever your mind sees you trying to achieve something new, it jumps in to remind you that this will not and cannot end well.
If your mind has learned that all men are douchebags and will, if given half a chance, rip your heart out and stomp on it until it’s nothing but a bloody stain on the floor, it will jump in and protect you by making you say stupid things to guys, insuring that you’ll be forever alone. And safe. And alone. With cats. Probably.
The problem doesn’t lie with the mind. It lies with the rules it’s been taught, the software it’s been programmed with, the… wait for it… beliefs it has accepted as its truth.
The useful mind
The mind is actually a very useful tool. It helps you to automate processes. A lot of your actions and reactions happen without any conscious thought on your part. These are your habits, based on the rules your mind has accepted. Your day would be quite stressful if it wasn’t for the mind making sure you can drive without really thinking about the mechanics of it, chew food without focusing on your jaw muscles, or even avoid that car coming down the street without having to consciously look out for danger at all times. Your mind keeps you functioning and safe. Your mind can also wake you up at 6 a.m. every morning, remind you to brush your teeth before you’re even truly awake, cause you to be automatically friendly to old people (having learned that old people are awesome), and avoid danger. Let’s face it; the mind is actually pretty awesome. If used correctly, that is.
Why we shouldn’t blame the ego
Whenever someone blames their ego for the fact that they reacted from a place of fear or insecurity, they give away their power. They’re actually saying “I had no control over this. There’s nothing I can do. It was my ego! (fucking ego)”. And believe me, I’m not saying that you should blame yourself for your fear (“I acted out of fear because I’m a bad person…”). That would serve no purpose at all, and if that’s your inclination, having an ego to blame actually feels better.
But after just a short while, blaming the ego stops bringing any kind of relief. Because doing so is still mired in powerlessness – if it’s your ego doing all the damage, then how are you supposed to make any changes? Sure, you can try to kill the ego, but it’ll never let you. Plus, you need the ego to survive.
Now, I know that many of you out there will want to interrupt me at this time, and declare what I just wrote to be wrong. There is, after all, such a thing as ego death. Right? Well, the term gets bandied about, that’s true, but it’s not technically accurate. You can’t kill the ego and you don’t want to. You can, however, shift so many beliefs that your entire identity shifts. In that case, the ego would put up a fight and the resulting battle, which I can tell you from personal experience is NOT comfortable in the least, would then be referred to as “ego death”.
Basically, you’re making so many changes to your belief system at once that a ton of your automated processes are no longer valid. Many, many of your fears are challenged at once, and your ego no longer knows how to react. At this point, you may feel like you no longer know who you are. I assure you, that’s temporary. You simply make new decisions about who you are as you go and you get more and more comfortable in your new skin, so to speak. This is, to be clear, not a technique to be attempted by the faint of heart. It’s a quantum leap and, I can’t stress this enough, highly uncomfortable. It’s also not necessary. Some of just apparently just like the drama (fucking drama).
How the Ego fits in with Illness
Now that I’ve defined the ego, I can touch on your question about illness. You don’t get sick because your ego. Illness is the result of resistance – limiting beliefs that are not serving you. What’s more, it’s actually a manifestation that’s quite far down the progression of the negative feedback you’ll receive when you activate that resistance. In other words, you don’t just get sick. First, you feel negative emotion, then more negative emotion, then ever progressively worse negative emotion, then you’ll have some experiences that feel bad, and only if you’ve ignored all of those, will you get sick. This is the Cattle Prod method of growth, and it’s not pleasant, but it works.
It is possible, however, to make that illness part of your identity, as you stated in your question. This would be secondary resistance, caused by focusing on the manifestation and pushing against it. So, you would have the resistance that created the illness, and then further resistance caused by focusing negatively on the illness. It is, for example, possible to become so scared about a cancer diagnosis, that you can create another illness (often a second type of cancer). I still wouldn’t blame this on the ego, though, as the decision to focus on the illness in the way you are doing is still your choice (whether you know it’s a choice or not).
If you want to know more about illness and healing, I can recommend the following blog posts:
LOA and Healing or Changing The Physical Body
An Example Of Manifesting Healing By Shifting A Belief
Why Do We Need Different Healing Methods?
The way most people focus on the ego is actually massively disempowering. When you understand the mechanical construct of manifestation (which is what Deliberate Receiving is all about), and that the ego itself is just the mind, the computer running the programs that you installed on it (knowingly or unknowingly), and that the programs that aren’t serving you can be changed, you become empowered to receive the reality you truly want.
In other words, stop blaming the poor ego and take responsibility for your vibration. Own your shit. That’s how you get the life you want. That’s how you move towards joy. That’s when things get truly awesome (fucking awesome!).
I realised something this morning…It is a while now I am working on myself, peeling off layers of resistance and working on manifesting the big things. Then taking a shower this morning I was also expecting an important work call and was sort of worrying to miss it and not enjoying the shower. Then it hit. BAM! I am also in control of this experience. This little thing. I relaxed, and believed that the call will come when I am ready to take it and out of the shower. …so..it did. As I stepped out, the phone rang. I answered it dripping wet, but I did not miss it and I was not in the shower anymore. As I get better with this I can work in some time to get dressed as well 🙂
boy : Do not try and bend the ego. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
boy: There is no Ego.
WOW Melody! So awesome. This was such a thought provoking post. WOW, you amaze me every single time. I just love you!
Someone once described the ego to me as a collection of stories that created the personality/identity that you have which allows you to interact with and navigate through the world. Very similar to what Melody has defined the ego as.
Thank you for this wonderful post, which completely resonated with me. I also get goosebumps (not the pleasant kind) when people around me talk about the evil nemesis of the ego and how it needs to be destroyed. A lot of it seems to be coming directly out of Eckhart Tolle, although there are obviously other spiritual sources that denounce the ego in a similar way. I think it’s not a matter of killing the ego (which would be impossible since it’s the interface through which we perceive and interact with the world) but of re-parenting it because “it” has been brought up badly (by the family, the educational system, the patchwork of society), with all kinds of detrimental beliefs that are against the highest interests and aspirations of the self. I see the ego as a plurality of little sub-personalities, which are not just beliefs but come complete with their own systems of meanings, reactions, and habits. The metaphor that works for me is of a roomful of many small children having a tantrum, who should not be punished or banished to a corner, but held lovingly until their tantrums subside. Ultimately whatever you resist … persists. Perhaps it’s one of the reasons why spiritual types who are incessantly doing battle against their ego, seem to be so full of it.
I love your definition of the ego as “the interface through which we perceive & interact with the world”. Interesting how someone can put something a certain way that just clicks — and this clicked with me.
I’ve honestly come to believe, over years of working with this stuff, that the greatest limitation to our ability to conceptualize, understand and apply LOA is simply the limitations of our own language. I don’t know if we need new words, or if we just need to learn to use the ones we have more effectively. But I do know that when I can find a word or phrase that perfectly describes what I *feel* about something, it’s as though a little light bulb flashes on deep in my brain & I have the delicious “aha!” moment of recognition & understanding.
So thanks to Melody and everyone else here who helps make the stumbling journey through these thickets a little easier.
Bloody revelatory, as always Melody.
It’s kinda like you’re a naturopath for LOA. I’m one, y’see. And forever trying to ‘unpick’ unhelpful misconceptions that have sprouted like mouldy mung beans re. health. All these rules and beliefs and fixations that only serve to complicate things when really, people would be much better off eating, living intuitively. And smashing (awesome quality) ice cream when they felt like it. Because our bodies know what’s clever, and less is more.
You keep it real, simple, and I don’t think I’m alone in reading your posts with an exclamation mark hopping wildly above my head. It’s so freakin obvious, and you help us remember.
Kudos from Australia. Please come and visit us and spread the love! There’s lots of rabid/shiny dingo pups, promise! X
I hadn’t thought of it before but I really appreciate that you talk in terms of ‘mind’ and not ‘ego’ – ‘ego’ has too many Freudian and psychoanalytical associations for me that I find uncomfortable/a load of balls. Talking about your mind feels a lot more like you’re talking about a whole experience rather than some bad part of yourself that’s out to get you.
Also, ‘Complete and utter, come out the backside of a full grown, hump the hell out of a heifer bull, shit’ is just the best hahaa 😀
Thank you for the belly laugh this morning. What a funny post!!
Great post, and useful – I have been working on understanding the difference between my brain/mind and how it starts to spin its wheels if it doesn’t have a specific job, and my deeper self.
A question for you:
“I’m not saying that you should blame yourself for your fear (“I acted out of fear because I’m a bad person…”).”
I totally do that and am trying on changing it. Any tips for those of us trying to find a new approach to an old habit of this type?
Yeh that’s fine but it’s still fucking hard to change limiting beliefs.
Aw’ my comment was not published… Are we only allowed to agree with what’s in the posts?
I wrote a post about ego death back in May and we’re on the same page. That makes me all giddy!!!! 🙂
Of course, you explained it a lot better than I did. It’s hard to put it into words. I think once you really get the hang of this stuff your “ego” will start working with you. I like to think of the ego as the mind and the spirit as the heart. 🙂
And yeah…..kinda going through a quantum leap right now – or have been the past couple of weeks – complete with very uncomfortable physical symptoms and all. Not fun. But damn I know it’s gonna be worth it when it’s over. (fucking quantum leaps). ha!
Nobody says it better than you. Thanks for cutting through the crap and getting to the point!
Can’t wait for your next post!
Another day of synchronicity and I LOVE it (the ego topic just came up earlier). Also, I was just getting ready to go to your website and look up postings on illness! WOW! I’m getting really good AND quick at manifesting. 🙂 As always Melody thank you for the laughter!
Why all the soap box screaming? 🙂 It’s just a matter of vocabulary. I don’t think the person who wrote in used the word “ego” to avoid taking responsibility. A lot of people use that term to describe the resistance, what you call “limiting beliefs”, especially the belief that they’re the center of everyone’s world (some call it unhealthy narcissism) which is often a way to overcompensate low self-esteem. This belief results in very uncomfortable emotions and poor decision making, because people blow things out of proportion when they have a huge “ego” (there, I said it again 😛 ), sometimes resulting in illness, etc.
Yes, it’s within them, and they’re not powerless over it, but still they may need to “kill it”, which is simply a way of saying “shifting the belief” for good eventually, which is not always very easy and can sometimes be a long process (sometimes not, as you stated), hence the strong word “kill” (just “wounding” it gives it a chance to come back and bring more unwanted chaos! lol).
So everybody seems to agree here, just using a different vocabulary, don’t you think?
I haven’t laughed so much in ages! :-). Thank you!!!!! x
I really loved this post because I think you did a really good job of defining exactly what ‘ego’ is…it can be hard to verbalize it, but as usual, you were able to demonstrate so clearly. You are right about the negative connotation of the word, and that can cause us issues in myriad ways. I love how you referred to it as a troll. Interesting point about the ‘panic’ people may feel as they change and shift beliefs, particularly at a rapid rate. It is easy to feel like you are ‘losing yourself’ but it is kind of fun actually.
I think it’s really fun! I’ve always experienced it in more of a long, drawn out way though. I love realising that I like and think and want things now that I would never have expected or thought possible for me – it’s like being able to experience being a few different people in one lifetime.
I just read the blogpost you linked to in your comment there and it was definitely a perfect timing post. Thanks, I like the down to earth way you explain things it’s really relatable 🙂
My changes come in different forms..sometimes I have quantum leap-like periods and other times I will look back and see things unfolded over a longer period of time. Being able to experience different people in the same lifetime–that is such a good way to put it. Thanks for the compliments about the post, I’m glad you liked it and found it helpful! I just like sharing my own experience and perspective in hopes it can help others make the great changes in their life I have made in mine.