How To Handle The Ego In Others

ReactionAre you bothered by the ego in others?

The quickest way to dispel someone else’s ego is to let go of the ego in yourself. Meaning, that you detach yourself from the thoughts you are having about who they are, who you are, and how both of you should be.

Only egos recognize other egos, only spirit recognizes spirit.


“How To Cure An Addiction To Drama”

Does drama seem to follow you wherever you go?  Do you just want a moment of peace, but find that it is ever elusive?  In my own life I can see moments where unhappiness and drama reigned supreme, and while I genuinely wanted peace, the ego within me lived for and on those dramatic moments.

When situations seem out of control, and your reactions seem like the only appropriate responses to such craziness, take a step back and witness your sense of self becoming all wrapped up in those outer situations.  Feel the need to react, and watch the tirade of thoughts that follow. This creates a small space that is enough room for your true self that only wants peace to shine through and provide clarity and equanimity.

I’m so excited that OWN is re-broadcasting the webcast of Oprah and Eckhart Tolle’s chapter by chapter discussion of A New Earth.  One of the great gems of wisdom from these discussions is this clarifying piece on how to cure an addiction to drama.  If you witness yourself complaining, blaming, or discussing the shortcomings of others, (and really who doesn’t), this video is a breath of fresh air:



You Are Missing Something

Joey and Katie Lolla '12But it is not what you think it is!

On Friday and Saturday nights the world of social media blows up with pictures and comments about the fun parties, plans, and events that it seems everyone is taking part in.  But for every selfie taken at a club there is a person looking at it and feeling like they’re missing out.

The pictures do make those events look fun.  And I’m sure many of those weekend parties truly are a great time.  But you aren’t actually missing anything by not being there.  A picture on Facebook doesn’t come close to the complexity of the actual experience of an individual.  Even if you are at home alone, your experience is no less or more than anyone else’s.  If you were in that situation there is no telling what the actual experience would be in comparison to the vision you have of it in your mind.

Creating scenarios contrary to your current experience that you think would enrich your life or make you “more” than you are right now is a favorite activity of the ego.  It is just another way the ego can take control of your attention, and bring you out of alignment with the reality of the present moment.  You aren’t missing the party, you are missing the now.

Wishing you were there when you are here is creating suffering for yourself.  If those people in the pictures seem to be having a better time than you it is not because of the party, but rather your own thoughts are keeping you out of the space of infinite joy, possibility, and peace.

If your sense of self is wrapped up in the thoughts you have, and those thoughts are telling you that you cannot be at peace now, you are experiencing ego.  So if you see the good times being had by others and feel a twinge of discomfort and suddenly become ill at ease with your present situation, congratulations!  You have become aware of the ego directly.  That awareness is the beginning of the end of the ego, and the start of the experience of your true self, real joy, and lasting peace.


The Easiest Way To Get Rid Of The Ego

Mimi and KatieHow can you become aware of the ego in you?  The ego is the sense of self that is created when your identity becomes all wrapped up in form: thought forms, what you have/don’t have, the state of the body, situations.  And while an identity based on that which will inevitably change leads to suffering, the good news is that becoming aware of the ego is the easiest way to go beyond it and discover your true self.

Any moment when you watch your thoughts without judgment provides just such an opportunity.  But for me, the ego becomes extremely obvious when I am criticized.

As a child the slightest hint of disapproval from another would reduce me to tears.  By the time I was a teenager I was fed up with this reaction that I felt powerless to control.  The suffering created by the disapproval of others was so obviously disproportionate to the experiences themselves that the dysfunction was easily recognizable.  

What I didn’t understand at the time was that my identity was wrapped up in form, mainly in the thought forms, opinions, I perceived others held of me.  When this ego identity was diminished by criticism the ego promptly rebuilt itself through my identification with the reaction to this diminishment, negative emotions and unhappy thoughts about myself and my situation.  My ego also easily remained in place through identification with negative thoughts about the person who had first diminished it.

When someone criticizes or offends you, watch your mind. It will come up with thought after thought until you either find one to identify with, or until it quiets down from the lack of momentum created by your conscious presence.

One of Eckhart Tolle’s most helpful exercises is to occasionally allow the diminishment of your ego.  When someone criticizes you, don’t immediately retaliate or condemn the other person.  Allow the ego to die a little bit.  (Just be careful that the ego doesn’t sneak back in through identification with the mental position of the other person or a negative self-image.)  It feels uncomfortable at first, but gives way to a peace that makes that moment of tension seem wholly insignificant.


The Problem With Being Right

Dr. Wayne DyerHave you ever been in a situation where you were absolutely in the right, but were unable to convince someone else who had a differing viewpoint?  When you are right, and someone else is wrong, especially about basic facts (e.g. when water is frozen it becomes ice), it can be frustrating to say the least.

When I’m in the middle of an argument I can feel the infuriation rise the more I try to convince the other person of my side.  The other day when I was attempting to explain how to read a piece of sheet music to my friend, who disagreed with my interpretation, it became clear to me that the more I tried to convince him of my understanding, the more frustrated I became.  In the midst of the argument I asked myself, “why?”  When it isn’t a matter of life or death, is convincing another of your “rightness” really worth it?

The need to be right, even when you are, can erode relationships and prevent us from seeing each other as the complex, mysterious human beings we truly are.  The need to be right is also the perfect doorway for the ego to take over your life.  Identifying with a mental position and fighting for the life of that position is ego.

Next time an argument starts to go off the rails, take back control from the ego by letting go of the need to convince another person of your position.  But be careful that the ego doesn’t sneak back in through judgment of the other person based upon their thoughts.  When I let go of a mental position and feel satisfied because I am the “bigger person” I have let the ego take control in the most opportune moment for its demise.  On the other side of identification with thought is true communication, greater understanding, and better relationships.


Why News Commentary Is Made To Fail

AC360I rarely watch television news, but that wasn’t always the case.  For one year in college I was a news junkie.  Throughout that transformative, yet tumultuous, year in my life, I watched hours of news programming each day.

This was partly a form of comfort. While immersed in the news, the voice in my head was temporarily replaced by that of the news anchor.  Instead of learning about the nature of my mind, and the suffering created by thought, I was trading in an unsatisfactory identification with my life situation for a new identification with the stories on the news.

The energy of past pain, the pain body, that is strengthened and experienced anew by the energy of current suffering, was awake within me and relished this new identification with news stories.  After all, those stories carried the same low frequency energy of the past pain; they were its new lifeblood.

A few nights ago I felt compelled to watch Anderson Cooper 360.  After hearing several stories and endless commentary I realized why news commentary is often detrimental and unhelpful to the situations they discuss.

What do Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and even local news have in common?  They all consist of people discussing the ins and outs of other people’s situations.  To the ego life is a mental screen of thought. Yet, real life is that which is felt, witnessed, and experienced by an individual.   The surest way to pass on those uniquely experienced and understood life lessons is to share from the depths of your own experience, or as a commentator to reflect on your shared human experience.

When we hear commentary trying to assess, label, and judge a situation we get further and further away from any real meaning. Commentators transform into voices identified with mental positions, and are no longer engaged in a discussion about a real human being’s unique life experience.  News commentary is the collective ego, strengthening the ego in all those they debase to a mere story.

What is really going on in any given situation can never be fully understood.  Without that felt realization, news commentary will continue to be void of conscious awareness, ignorant of the beings it has turned into objects, and continue to strengthen the collective human ego.

Full disclosure, I am writing a commentary on why the current state of commentary is unhelpful.  While I attempt to offer the best and most honest areas of my current understanding, I too know the excitement and strong appeal of purporting opinions on the lives and actions of others.  With that in mind, I acknowledge the state of the exchange of ideas that we are currently experiencing in this day and age, which I am not separate from, but wholeheartedly envision a world of communication with a remembrance of the unity and profundity of each human being.


How We Unconsciously Open The Door For The Ego

Divided 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?

By Peter Spero

By Peter Spero

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.


9 Unconscious Ways The Ego Takes Over Your Life

Reflected LightThe ego needs a lot of things.  Without wanting, the mind made self loses steam, and your true self beyond the voice in your head begins to emerge.  Finding out the nature of your true self beyond what your thoughts are attached to is one of the greatest adventures of being a human.  But how can this actually be done?

To the mind, it appears that there is nothing beyond itself, because it only recognizes things.  Space is incomprehensible to a thought whose meaning is always attached to some-thing.  Yet, space is our home.  We are consciousness, that which is aware and watching.  We are the space in which all things arise.  When you balance your life with space you have access to the power that created the universe.

In Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth he offers pointers to help create more inner space, and diminish the egoic mind.  One of these pointers is to become aware of patterns that operate in your life which attempt to inflate or repair the egoic sense of self.  The list of these patterns literally makes me laugh out loud, because I have seen each one operate in my life at one time or another.  Experimenting with letting go of these patterns whenever you become aware of them can at first feel uncomfortable, but then give rise to a powerful feeling of spaciousness and peace.  The true self then has room to emerge.   I hope reading these “ways in which people unconsciously try to emphasize their form­-identity,” as Tolle puts it, is as amusing and enlightening to you as it was to me:

  1. Demanding recognition for something you did and getting angry or upset if you don’t get it
  2. Trying to get attention by talking about your problems, the story of your illnesses, or making a scene
  3. Giving your opinion when nobody has asked for it and it makes no difference to the situation
  4. Being more concerned with how the other person sees you than with the other person, which is to say, using other people for egoic reflection or as ego enhancers
  5. Trying to make an impression on others through possessions, knowledge, good looks, status, physical strength, and so on
  6. Bringing about temporary ego inflation through angry reaction against something to someone
  7. Taking things personally, feeling offended
  8. Making yourself right and others wrong through futile mental or verbal complaining
  9. Wanting to be seen, or to appear important (Tolle)

The 6 Thoughts That Are Keeping You Unhappy


“Whenever there is unhappiness in the background of your life (or even in the foreground), you can see which of these thoughts applies and fill in your own content according to your personal situation:

‘There is something that needs to happen in my life before I can be at peace (happy, fulfilled, etc.). And I resent that it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe my resentment will finally make it happen.’

‘Something happened in the past that should not have happened, and I resent that. If that hadn’t happened, I would be at peace now.’

‘Something is happening now that should not be happening, and it is preventing me from being at peace now.’

Often the unconscious beliefs are directed toward a person and so “happening” becomes “doing”:

‘You should do this or that so that I can be at peace. And I resent that you haven’t done it yet. Maybe my resentment will make you do it.’

‘Something you (or I) did, said, or failed to do in the past is preventing me from being at peace now.’

‘What you are doing or failing to do now is preventing me from being at peace.’” (Tolle 114)

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?  Seeing them without content lays bare the structure of the egoic mind that does not recognize the present moment, living in the phantom past and future.  Shining the light of your own awareness on the voice of the ego is the beginning of its end.


The Thoughts In My Head Care A Lot About The Thoughts In Your Head

enterWhat can we learn through the comments on Facebook posts?  Or rather, what is the lesson behind all internet comment threads?  I have to guess there are many; have you read that stuff lately?  If in millions of years these internet comments are found by aliens what would they glean about humanity?  When you take out the content of comments, and are left with merely the structure of the comment itself, I find the biggest take away is this: the thoughts in my head care a lot about the thoughts in your head.  They would see us humans engaged in a constant back and forth, a never-ending cycle of opinions.  Alas, this too is just a display of thought.

What causes my thoughts to react so strongly to yours?  As can be observed in many a YouTube comment section, the content of discussion can be anything, and the reaction will be present and passionate.  Have you ever read something in your News Feed that just bothered you?  Did you end up replying to the initial statement?  I know I have, many times.  And it feels important.  But in reality, the thoughts in my head are just reacting to the thoughts in your head.  When thoughts do this they give themselves renewed life.  A thought in reaction can keep gaining until it completely absorbs your attention to the point where you don’t even notice you’re thinking anymore.

At this point, instead of referring to the thought reaction as merely thoughts, we call it ego.  Ego is attachment to thoughts.  This displays itself quite clearly through internet comments.  Since the people are not present, the thoughts themselves are left bare, living their own life until you see them for what they really are.  The internet leaves ego right out in the open, precariously perched in the perfect position for you to become aware of it.  The moment you notice the comments you are reading and writing are not who you are, the ego is no longer in control, and you can begin to experience you true self beyond thought.  Our ego, our mind; it is all one.  Our thoughts egg each other on, because they are truly one flow of energy, gaining life momentum through our interactions.

Sometimes I scroll through Facebook and don’t notice what I’m doing, don’t realize the reaction switch is in the on position.  Sometimes I scroll through and feel my ego rising up with each reaction.  It is in those moments that I can most clearly see the separation, see what I am not, and start to experience what I am.  Becoming aware of the ego is the beginning of its end.  Where do you notice the ego playing itself out in your world?