Whether self-deprecating or self-inflating the mind loves to attach itself to thoughts of “who you are.” Temporary satisfaction comes with any type of ego inflation, any instance of identification with thoughts about yourself. The ego can manifest through identification with physical things, situations, and thought forms.
I first heard this explained by Eckhart Tolle and my own experience verifies it again and again. Yesterday’s post was a great example of how my ego gained strength through identifying with the situation of not having internet access or TV.
Attaching your identity to a thought about yourself, whether it is good or bad, gives rise to the ego. The good or bad thoughts are not the reality of your being, of your consciousness.
What happens when you compare yourself to another? How does it feel?
My loving and talented older brother is a very disciplined and motivated jazz pianist. I love him and I love his success, for any success is a victory for us all. I myself have never had a clear path, the motivation to move in a specific direction, or the discipline that would allow me to do so. All of these things are of course attainable but if I compare my journey to that of my brother’s, I will inevitably give rise to the ego.
All comparison is a doorway in which the ego will enter. I could inflate my ego by creating an identity of being lost and without direction, or I could go the other way and inflate my ego by identifying with my association with, and the successes of, my brother. It really doesn’t matter to the ego, which thoughts I choose to identify with, as long as I buy into the identification.
Is there a way out? How do you disinvite the ego when it has already come in the front door and is seated firmly at the center of your attention?
The way out is to notice the thoughts, and recognize rising identification with thought. Another brilliant lesson from Tolle is that the moment of seeing is the beginning of the end of the ego. All that is required is your presence.
The moment you gaze upon an instance of identification with thought, you have stepped out of the ego and into your true self. And from there you need not create new identification, because you are already in the midst of your greatest power, the present moment. In the light of the present the highest potential of your being has space in which to arise, to guide your life, and to manifest unimaginable and beautiful dreams. Instead of seeking to create yourself through identification, you can now sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.