The disciple said : “ The other day I watched the presentation of a writer of spiritual topics. In his latest book, he spoke about conquering ego. Someone in the audience asked him: “Your ego probably increased once your book became a best seller. How did you avoid that?” The writer smiled and said that he wrote it with the idea of helping others and the popularity of his book was only icing on the cake. I believe it was a nice answer, but the writer didn’t reply to the question. What could you share with me about ego, master?
Ego is there whether your book is a best seller or not. Observe how obstacles or advantages in Life are behind that ego. However there is a compelling difference according to your level of consciousness on how you look at it.
While in the world, to overcome obstacles in Life or to experience fame are both opportunities for the normal person to increase ego, by showcasing their ‘success story;’ for the one who is ready to change into greater consciousness, those obstacles are ways to polish the diamond of goodness inside. How inner goodness comes out? Through the conscious experience of your own darkness.
Then the disciple asked: “And what is the perception of advantages in Life, that is when everything is good for the one with greater consciousness?” The master smiled and said: “ That one knows that even though his book was written through him, he did not do it. Therefore, how ego could come up? Greater consciousness will allow you to see the insubstantiality, frail and illusory image of that “I,” ego. Everything changes continuously, remember? Even that perception of “I.” It is in that awareness how ego dissolves and not in mental understanding of words.”
The master paused and the continued: “ ‘I wrote the book’ brings a force, a one sided front. That sets up those who will be for and also against that book because they did not like it. If the author feels insulted, he will not separate from his book and his ideas. Greater identification means greater experience of suffering through his fight but also greater experience of pleasure when the media pampers his book. Duality. A person may need to have a degree of conscious awareness to observe this within himself. A ‘normal’ person is not able to. His ‘I’ or ego will be built and caressed through those supporting his identity with the book; but also his ego will be built through his fight or rejection of those who feel against it. Either way, ego will be built.”
“Pardon me,” said the disciple, “but what do you mean by conscious awareness?”
The master said: “It means to be attentive in the moment that ego appears during an episode of Life. Recognize the trigger and the emotional response within. Recognize the identification which originates the ‘I.’ For centuries it has been said that ego is bad. Many wanted to conquer it. However, ego is neither bad nor good. The reality of ego is in being a continuous illusion of separation through identification with something. When we say “I” there is consistency, solidity of something inconsistent.
The disciple added: “But master, how to separate from ego in every day life when we use the word ‘I’ continuously, which is needed to properly communicate ?”
The master said: Ego is not a word. Say the word ‘I’ when you communicate but be aware of who that is while saying it. The key is to BE Aware. I told you enough about ego. Observe this example and its ramifications within yourself.”