Transcending the ego (quotes)

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What is the ego?

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The ego is your sense of being a self, separate from other selves

  • Ego: The self especially as contrasted with another self or the world. Meriam Webster
  • Ego: The “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought. Dictionary.com
  • Ego: The division of the psyche that is conscious, is responsible for our feelings of selfhood, and most directly interacts with external reality.  American Heritage Dictionary
  • The ego is our sense of being an individual ‘I’. Tim Freke
  • The very first step in understanding is in giving up the false concept of ‘I’ as a separate entity. It is also the last step. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • The mind is nothing other than the ‘I-thought’. The mind and the ego are one and the same. Ramana Maharshi
  • Ego comes about through a split in the human psyche in which identity separates into two parts that we could call “I” and “me” or “me” and “myself.” Every ego is therefore schizophrenic, to use the world in its popular meaning of split personality. You live with a mental image of yourself, a conceptual self that you have a relationship with. Life itself becomes conceptualized and separated from who you are when you speak of “my life.” Eckhart Tolle
  • Ego synthesized is selfhood, the sense of self-importance, that you really matter … nothing could be further from the truth. Frederick Lenz
  • Every ego is continuously struggling for survival, trying to protect and enlarge itself. To uphold the I-thought, it needs the opposite thought of “the other.” The conceptual “I” cannot survive without the conceptual “other.” Eckhart Tolle
  • For some spiritual traditions the ego is not the ‘I’, but rather our human personality. When we identify with the person we appear to be we are unconscious of the deep self. The ego is our ‘lower self’, which connives to prevent us realizing that it isn’t who we really are. When we act or think in ways we don’t like… that’s the ego playing up. Tim Freke
  • The ego is an idea. But it influences our awareness. It gives us a certain sense of identity. It gets in our way, because we believe that that is what we are. We have to learn to see through the ego, learn what it consists of: concepts, ideas, assumptions, the self-image and so on. We need to learn to see through all that, so that we can drop our armor and become more open. Hameed Ali by Han
  • The ego is our sense of self or “I.” When you say things like “I am [your name].” “I have a [job, house, car, mother, father, spouse, child, headache].”  “I think [insert a thought].”  That’s the ego. It’s possessive because it experiences itself as separate from everything else.  Scott Jeffrey
  • The ego is the (false) identification of the nonlocal subject with a limited individual self associated with the learned programs. Amit Goswami
  • The ego is the idea that I am separate. Osho
  • The ego is the image we construct of the apparent experiencer of our everyday actions, thoughts, and feelings. Amit Goswami
  • The ego isn’t actually an entity. Rather, it is the sense of being a separate individual. We feel like individuals, although we are in actuality manifestations, or expressions, of One Being…Encased in this human body, we have lost awareness of our true nature and are meant to rediscover the truth. Gina Lake
  • The ego seeks to divide and separate. Spirit seeks to unify and heal.  A Course in Miracles
  • The first awareness of the child comes with his ego. He becomes aware of the “I”, not of the Self. Really, he becomes aware first of the “thou”. The child first becomes aware of his mother. Then, reflectively, he becomes aware of himself. First he becomes aware of objects around him. Then, by and by, he begins to feel that he is separate. This feeling of separation gives the feeling of ego, and because the child first becomes aware of the ego, ego becomes a covering on the Self. Rajneesh
  • The fragmentation of the self has its origin not only in the incomplete worldview of material realism but also in the nature of the ego-identity. Amit Goswami
  • The mind’s primary illusion is the differentiation of consciousness into a basic duality of a personal I/ego/self as being separate from the Infinite Self as the source of consciousness/awareness. David R. Hawkins
  • THE SELF (the “I”) is not a thing but a relationship between conscious experience and the immediate physical environment. In a conscious experience, the world appears to be divided into subject and object(s). Upon reflection in the mirror of memory, this division produces the dominant experience of the ego. Amit Goswami
  • To accept duality is to earn identity. Joss Whedon
  • To uphold the I-thought, the ego needs the opposite thought of “the other.” The conceptual “I” cannot survive without the conceptual “other.” Eckhart Tolle
  • We begin to assume a separate, individual self (ego) that chooses and that has free will. Amit Goswami
  • We intuit that we have a self separate from the world, an individual self that is conscious of what is going on in our minds and bodies, a self that wills (freely?) some of the actions of the body. Amit Goswami
  • We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms. Most of us have the sensation that “I myself” is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body — a center which “confronts” an “external” world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange. Everyday figures of speech reflect this illusion. “I came into this world.” “You must face reality.” “The conquest of nature.” Alan Watts
  • You have already understood the basic mechanics of the unconscious state: identification with the mind, which creates a false self, the ego, as a substitute for your true self rooted in Being. You become as a “branch cut off from the vine,” as Jesus puts it. Eckhart Tolle
  • As the ego boundaries become stronger, we gradually ‘Fall’ into separateness. Steve Taylor
  • The pronoun I is the name that most of us put to the sense that we are the thinkers of our thoughts and the experiencers of our experience. It is the sense that we have of possessing (rather than of merely being) a continuum of experience.  Sam Harris
  • The self that does not survive scrutiny is the subject of experience in each present moment—the feeling of being a thinker of thoughts inside one’s head, the sense of being an owner or inhabitant of a physical body, which this false self seems to appropriate as a kind of vehicle.  Sam Harris
  • We seem to be riding around inside our bodies. We feel like inner subjects that can use the body as a kind of object. Sam Harris
  • A centralizing image of a personal self emerges as the belief of an individual personal self as an agent, i.e., the ‘thinker’ of thoughts, the ‘doer’ of actions, and the repository of guilt and self-blame. David R. Hawkins
  • The mind attempts to hoodwink us into believing that we are an individual “I” who runs the show of life. Suzanne Segal
  • Awake to who you truly areIllusionOnenessConsciousness
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The ego is your mind’s image of who you think you are…

  • The sense of self that is derived from our thinking—which includes all one’s memories, one’s conditioning, and one’s sense of self—is a conceptual one that is derived from the past. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear. Deepak Chopra
  • Throughout the history of humanity, it has been said that the self we know — the individual ego – – is a very limited form of identity. Ignorant of our true selves we derive a false sense of identity from what we have, or what we do — from our possessions, our role in the world, how others see us, etc. Because the world on which it is based is continually changing, this derived sense of identity is always under threat, and our attempts to maintain it are responsible for much of our “self- centered” behaviour. Peter Russell
  • Ego is simply an idea of who you are that you carry around with you. Wayne Dyer
  • A centralizing image of a personal self emerges as the belief of an individual personal self as an agent, i.e., the ‘thinker’ of thoughts, the ‘doer’ of actions, and the repository of guilt and self-blame. David R. Hawkins
  • As you grow up, you form a mental image of who you are, based on your personal and cultural conditioning. We may call this phantom self the ego. It consists of mind activity and can only be kept going through constant thinking. The term ego means different things to different people, but when I use it here it means a false self, created by unconscious identification with the mind. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego is divided into a self-image and a shadow image—the first propagated and the second suppressed. Amit Goswami
  • The Oxford dictionary defines self as, “a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others.” The sense of self is how we perceive ourself and how we believe others perceive us. It is how we feel unique and different from others. Aimee Davies
  • The mind
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… a fiction that the mind grasps at and tries to keep alive with great fervour

  • So ego, then, is the absence of true knowledge of who we really are, together with its result: a doomed clutching on, at all costs, to a cobbled together and makeshift image of ourselves, an inevitably chameleon charlatan self that keeps changing and has to, to keep alive the fiction of its existence. Ego is then defined as incessant movements of grasping at a delusory notion of “I” and “mine,” self and other, and all the concepts, ideas, desires, and activity that will sustain that false construction. The fact that we need to grasp at all and go on and on grasping shows that in the depths of our being we know that the self does not inherently exist. The ego’s greatest triumph is to inveigle us into believing its best interests are our best interests, and even into identifying our very survival with its own. This is a savage irony, considering that ego and its grasping are at the root of all our suffering. Yet ego is so convincing, and we have been its dupe for so long, that the thought that we might ever become egoless terrifies us.  Sogyal Rinpoche
  • We create an image of who we are inside our self. The image then becomes very deeply entrenched, and it becomes the thing that we attribute responsibility to – we say “I”, “I” did this because “I” wanted to, because “I” am a good person or because “I” am a bad person. The loop is the fact that we represent our selves, our desires, hopes, dreads and dreams: it is the way in which we conceive of ourselves, rather than the way we conceive of Mount Everest or of a tree. And I say it exists entirely in the loop: the self is an hallucination hallucinated by an hallucination. Douglas R. Hofstadter
  • According to the teaching of the Buddha, the idea of self is an imaginary, false belief which has no corresponding reality, and it produces harmful thoughts of ‘me’ and ‘mine,’ selfish desire, craving, attachment, hatred, ill-will, conceit, pride, egoism, and other defilements, impurities, and problems. Robert Wright
  • Central to the Buddha’s teaching is the doctrine of anatman: “not-self.” This does not deny that the notion of an “I” works in the everyday world. In fact, we need a solid, stable ego to function in society. However, “I” is not real in an ultimate sense. It is a “name”: a fictional construct that bears no correspondence to what is really the case. Because of this disjunction all kinds of problems ensue. Once our minds have constructed the notion of “I,” it becomes our central reference point. We attach to it and identify with it totally. We attempt to advance what appears to be its interests, to defend it against real or apparent threats and menaces. And we look for ego-affirmation at every turn: confirmation that we exist and are valued. The Gordian Knot of preoccupations arising from all this absorbs us exclusively, at times to the point of obsession. This is, however, a narrow and constricted way of being. Though we cannot see it when caught in the convolutions of ego, there is something in us that is larger and deeper: a wholly other way of being. John Snelling
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The ego is the belief that your consciousness is limited to a body, sharing the ultimate fate of the body

  • Thinking imagines that I, Awareness, shares the limits and the destiny of the mind and body. With this belief a limited, temporary self comes into apparent existence on whose behalf most subsequent thoughts, feelings, activities and relationships are undertaken. Rupert Spira
  • How does infinite Consciousness rise in the form of the finite mind? It simultaneously creates and identifies itself with a body. This conjunction of infinite Consciousness plus the limitations of the body produces what is called the finite mind. In other words, the finite mind borrows its quality of knowing from infinite Consciousness, and it borrows its apparent limitations from the body. As a result, in between Consciousness and the body stands an entity called ‘personal consciousness’, ‘the ego’, ‘the separate self’, or ‘the finite mind’. Rupert Spira
  • In ignorance we identify with a limited version of the cosmic subject; we conclude, I am this body-mind. Amit Goswami
  • Separateness arises from identifying the Self with the body, which is made up of the elements; when this physical identification dissolves, there can be no more separate self. The Upanishad
  • The apparent person neither dissolves nor it is still there. The apparent person is non-existent. Period. The apparent person is simply the exclusive identification of Consciousness with a body/mind, and this apparent identification takes place in thought only. It never really happens.  Rupert Spira
  • What you think you are is a belief to be undone. A Course in Miracles
  • Consciousness identifies itself exclusively with a body/mind in order to enjoy and suffer what that has to offer. Rupert Spira  
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The ego is a bundle of thoughts and emotions

  • ‘Ego’ as used hereafter generally refers to a collection of thoughts that are presumed to be representative of one’s personal reality and identity, with a shading of implication that the grouping of thoughts and beliefs is purposeful. The purpose is to maintain the illusion of the personal self as the inner ‘cause’ of one’s existence and activities, including thoughts and feelings. David R. Hawkins
  • Ego is a conglomeration of recurring thought forms and conditioned mental-emotional patterns that are invested with a sense of I, a sense of self. Eckhart Tolle
  • Ego is simply an idea of who you are that you carry around with you. Wayne Dyer
  • The ego consists of thought and emotion, of a bundle of memories you identify with as “me and my story,” of habitual roles you play without knowing it, of collective identifications such as nationality, religion, race, social class, or political allegiance. It also contains personal identifications, not only with possessions, but also with opinions, external appearance, long- standing resentments, or concepts of yourself as better than or not as good as others, as a success or failure. Eckhart Tolle
  • Memory and hope constantly incite us to the extensions of the self which play so large a part in our daily life. Josiah Royce
  • Mind is merely a collection of thoughts, or a collection of impressions which makes up this “me”, this self-image. Ramesh Balsekar
  • Our entire network of fearful perceptions, all stemming from that first false belief in our separation from God and one another, is called the ego. Marrianne Williamson
  • Rupert is just a thought occurring in the present moment. Rupert Spira
  • The central core of all your mind activity consists of certain repetitive and persistent thoughts, emotions, and reactive patterns that you identify with most strongly. This entity is the ego itself. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego is a cluster of recurring thoughts. Eckhart Tolle
  • The thought forms of “me” and “mine,” of “more than,” of “I want,” “I need,” “I must have,” and of “not enough” pertain not to content but to the structure of the ego. The content is interchangeable. Eckhart Tolle
  • We have to learn to see through the ego, learn what it consists of: concepts, ideas, assumptions, the self-image and so on. We need to learn to see through all that, so that we can drop our armor and become more open. Han van den Boogaard
  • The mind is only a bundle of thoughts. The thoughts have their root in the I-thought. Whoever investigates the True “I” enjoys the stillness of bliss. Ramana Maharshi
  • There is no such thing in reality as an ego; it is merely illusory. It is made up of a compilation of arbitrary points of view supplied by mentation and powered by feelings and emotions. These desires represent the attachments that the Buddha spoke of as the bondage of suffering. With absolute humility, the ego dissolves. It is a collection of arbitrary mentations that gain force only because of vanity and habit. If one lets go of the vanity of thought, it dissolves. All thought is vanity. All opinions are vanities. The pleasure of vanity is therefore the basis of the ego—unplug it and it collapses. David R. Hawkins
  • ThinkingEmotion
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The ego is a program that the mind runs

  • The mind is like a computer. It runs programs. Most of the software has been poorly written. It is written in the language of fear. Frederick Lenz
  • The ego is mostly a collection of archetypes, programs, or set patterns of behavior. The Taoists call this series of programs the acquired mind—a set of mundane conditioning we collect since birth. Scott Jeffrey
  • The ego is strongly affected by internal stimuli (uncollapsed coherent superpositions) from the unconscious. Amit Goswami
  • The egoic mind is completely conditioned by the past. Eckhart Tolle
  • The most compelling experience of “I” is as the ego—the apparent doer, coder, processor, and integrator of our programs. Amit Goswami
  • We are not the personalities that our egos are so valiantly defending. Our personalities are simply the result of our current programming. Ken Keyes Jr.
  • Ego: The conditioned aspect of the self. Amit Goswami
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Characteristics of the ego

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The ego is totally identified with the mind and its thoughts

  • Ego is no more than this: identification with form, which primarily means thought forms. Eckhart Tolle
  • When each thought absorbs your attention completely, it means you identify with the voice in your head. Thought then becomes invested with a sense of self. This is the ego, a mind- made “me.” That mentally constructed self feels incomplete and precarious. That’s why fearing and wanting are its predominant emotions and motivating forces. Eckhart Tolle
  • The term ego means different things to different people, but when I use it here it means a false self, created by unconscious identification with the mind. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego, as a collection of our past experiences, is continually offering miserable lines of thought. It’s as if there were a stream with little fish swimming by, and when we hook one of them there is a judgment. The ego is constantly judging everybody and everything.  It has its constant little chit chat about things that can happen in the future, things about the past, too, and these are the little fish that swim by.  And what we learn to do—this is why it takes work—is to not reach out and grab a fish.  Hugh Prather
  • The more you buy into thoughts about your identity, the more you cut yourself off from who you really are. Reuben Lowe
  • Ego is no more than complete identification with form—physical forms, thought forms, emotional forms. Eckhart Tolle
  • Not all thinking and all emotion are of the ego. They turn into ego only when you identify with them and they take you over completely, that is to say, when they become ‘I.’ Eckhart Tolle
  • Having an ego is what it feels like to be thinking without knowing that you are thinking. Sam Harris
  • The ego is the unobserved mind. Eckhart Tolle
  • Ego is identification with the thinking mind. Eckhart Tolle
  • Ego is no more than this: identification with form, which primarily means thought forms. Eckhart Tolle
  • Ego is the thinking mind. Ramesh Balsekar
  • For thousands of years, humanity has been increasingly mind-possessed, failing to recognize the possessing entity as “not self.” Through complete identification with the mind, a false sense of self – the ego – came into existence. The density of the ego depends on the degree to which you the consciousness – are identified with your mind, with thinking. Thinking is no more than a tiny aspect of the totality of consciousness, the totality of who you are. Eckhart Tolle
  • Thinking, or more precisely identification with thinking, gives rise to and maintains the ego, which, in our Western society in particular, is out of control. It believes it is real and tries hard to maintain its supremacy. Negative states of mind, such as anger, resentment, fear, envy, and jealousy, are products of the ego. Eckhart Tolle
  • The person clings to emotions, thoughts,  and other  elements  of  the  aggregates  as  if  they  were  personal belongings. But they’re not.  Robert Wright
  • The apparent person is a sensation with a thought attached to it. Rupert Spira
  • The ego is not an entity. It acts as if is, it seems to be an entity that has taken possession of you but ultimately it’s only a particular way for your mind to function. An identification with the mind.  Eckhart Tolle
  • The thoughts that we identity with make up the relative self. The relative self only comes to know and understand itself through comparison and judgement with other people and things.  This is the basis of duality.  Christopher Renzo
  • Ego is when thought is endowed with a sense of self. Eckhart Tolle
  • When you think about something, you separate yourself from it. Frederick Lenz
  • The ego/mind believes that if it stops thinking/feeling, the personal self will die. David R. Hawkins
  • Thinking is the basis of every social relationship and cultural institution we have. It is also the foundation of science. But our habitual identification with thought—that is, our failure to recognize thoughts as thoughts, as appearances in consciousness—is a primary source of human suffering. It also gives rise to the illusion that a separate self is living inside one’s head.  Sam Harris
  • It is the identification with these thoughts—that is, the failure to recognize them as they spontaneously appear in consciousness—that produces the feeling of “I.”   Sam Harris
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The ego is identified with emotions

  • In addition to the movement of thought, although not entirely separate from it, there is another dimension to the ego: emotion. This is not to say that all thinking and all emotion are of the ego. The turn into ego only when you identify with them and they take you over completely, that is to say, when they become “I.” Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego is not only the unobserved mind, the voice in the head which pretends to be you, but also the unobserved emotions that are the body’s reaction to what the voice in the head is saying. Eckhart Tolle
  • When you live through the mind-made self comprised of thought and emotion that is the ego, the basis for your identity is precarious because thought and emotion are by their very nature ephemeral, fleeting. Eckhart Tolle
  • Emotion
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Ego identifies with memory…

  • The ego is stored information about past states of consciousness may be recalled into consciousness. Thus it becomes possible for consciousness to see its own reflection in the mirror of memory—though always (violating the metaphor a little) with a time lag. It is in these terms, I believe, that the ego is to be defined. Fred Attneave
  • The ego is memory and desire. Osho
  • The idea of being a person, an ego, is nothing other than an image held together by memory. Jean Klein
  • We strive to perceive oneself from a unified perspective, but it is virtually impossible to do so. Human perception of the self is an illusion. We constantly sift through shifting memories. We experience the present under the fragrance cast by the past and under the illusionary aura of the future. Kilroy J. Oldster
  • “What is this “I”?… You will, on close introspection, find that what you really mean by “I” is the ground-stuff upon which experiences and memories are collected. Peter Russell
  • Memory
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… creating a “story of me”

  • The brain’s own storytelling is the centripetal force of the self. Maria Popova
  • The mind’s job is to think, like the heart’s job is to beat. It’s constantly trying to piece together a coherent conceptual story to help us live well and stay safe. Tim Freke
  • With depression you tend to get hooked by stories from the past: about all the things that actually have gone wrong. The thinking self then uses that history to convince you that the future is going to be just more of the same. Russ Harris
  • Every story is a variation on a single theme: This shouldn’t be happening. I shouldn’t have to experience this. God is unjust. Life isn’t fair. Byron Katie
  • Letting go of stories of self
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The ego constantly wants to strengthen the image of who you think you are…

  • Whatever form it takes, the unconscious drive behind ego is to strengthen the image of who I think I am. Eckhart Tolle
  • Whatever behaviour the ego manifests, the hidden motivating force is always the same: the need to stand out, be special, be in control; the need for power, for attention, for more. And, of course, the need to feel a sense of separation, that is to say, the need for opposition, enemies. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego is like a clever monkey, which can co-opt anything, even the most spiritual practices, so as to expand itself. Jean- Yves Leloup
  • Me, me, me! Mine, mine, mine! I’m right, I’m right, I’m right. What’s in it for me? How do I use this? How do I take advantage of it? This is the way of the ego. Own this within yourself and you will begin to release yourself from it. Leonard Jacobson
  • The three predominant states of egoic relationship are: wanting, thwarted wanting (anger, resentment, blaming, complaining), and indifference. Eckhart Tolle
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…a preoccupation which becomes a primary obsession…

  • Once our minds have constructed the notion of “I,” it becomes our central reference point. We attach to it and identify with it totally. We attempt to advance what appears to be its interests, to defend it against real or apparent threats and menaces. And we look for ego-affirmation at every turn: confirmation that we exist and are valued. The Gordian Knot of preoccupations arising from all this absorbs us exclusively, at times to the point of obsession. John Snelling
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… and in so doing, the ego is greatly governed by fear and desire

  • The underlying emotion that governs all the activity of the ego is fear. The fear of being nobody, the fear of nonexistence, the fear of death. All its activities are ultimately designed to eliminate this fear, but the most the ego can ever do is to cover it up temporarily with an intimate relationship, a new possession, or winning at this or that. Illusion will never satisfy you. Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free. Eckhart Tolle
  • Most people’s lives are run by desire and fear. Desire is the need to add something to yourself in order to be yourself more fully. All fear is the fear of losing something and thereby becoming diminished and being less. These two movements obscure the fact that Being cannot be given or taken away. Being in its fullness is already within you, Now. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego exists because we go on pedalling desire, because we go on striving to get something, because we go on jumping ahead of ourselves. Osho
  • The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness. John O’Donohue
  • The world is always greater than your desires; plenty is never enough. Aleksandar Hemon
  • The ego appears to be the product of fear, and its purpose is to control the next instant of experience and ensure its survival. It seems to vacillate between fear of the future and regret over the past, and the desire and sense of time that repel action stems from the illusion of lack. David R. Hawkins
  • The little me had to carry the burden of the fear of death, whereas the real Me is immortal and beyond all time and space. David R. Hawkins
  • Why fear? Because the ego arises by identification with form, and deep down it knows that no forms are permanent, that they are all fleeting. So there is always a sense of insecurity around the ego even if on the outside it appears confident. Eckhart Tolle
  • FearDesireCravings
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The ego constantly grasps for satisfaction and fulfilment…

  • Ego has a voracious appetite, the more you feed it, the hungrier it gets. Nathaniel Bronner Jr.
  • The ego lusts for satisfaction. It has a prideful ferocious appetite for its version of “truth.” It is the most challenging aspect to conquer; the cause for most spiritual turmoil.  Hodge
  • Most egos have conflicting wants. They want different things at different times or may not even know what they want except that they don’t want what is: the present moment. Unease, restlessness, boredom, anxiety, dissatisfaction, are the result of unfulfilled wanting. Wanting is structural, so no amount of content can provide lasting fulfillment as long as that mental structure remains in place. Eckhart Tolle
  • No content will satisfy you, as long as the egoic structure remains in place. No matter what you have or get, you won’t be happy. You will always be looking for something else that promises greater fulfillment, that promises to make your incomplete sense of self complete and fill that sense of lack you feel within. Eckhart Tolle
  • No ego can last for long without the need for more. Therefore, wanting keeps the ego alive much more than having. The ego wants to want more than it wants to have. And so the shallow satisfaction of having is always replaced by more wanting. This is the psychological need for more, that is to say, more things to identify with. It is an addictive need, not an authentic one. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego is driven by base pleasures, negative emotions, and trying to meet Maslow’s basic human needs. The appetite of the lower soul is insatiable and, if left unchecked, it goes on for eons. Scott Jeffrey
  • The ego tells you to fill space. Your spirit tells you to let space fill you. Alan Cohen
  • The ego wants to want more than it wants to have. And so the shallow satisfaction of having is always replaced by more wanting. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego’s titles are amassed from its accumulation of experiences and traits, and are thus constantly changing, even as its bodily instrumentation undergoes metamorphosis. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • The egoic self is always engaged in seeking. It is seeking more of this or that to add to itself, to make itself feel more complete. This explains the ego’s compulsive preoccupation with future. Eckhart Tolle
  • When you think or speak about yourself, when you say, “I,” what you usually refer to is “me and my story.” This is the “I” of your likes and dislikes, fears and desires, the “I” that is never satisfied for long. It is a mind-made sense of who you are, conditioned by the past and seeking to find its fulfillment in the future. Eckhart Tolle
  • Fulfilment
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…looking desperately to outside forms to complete itself…

  • People will often enter into a compulsive pursuit of ego gratification and things to identify with in order to fill this hole they feel within. So they strive after possessions, money, success, power, recognition, or a special relationship, basically so that they can feel better about themselves, feel more complete. But even when they attain all these things, they soon find that the hole is still there, that it is bottomless… Eckhart Tolle
  • The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, person and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego tends to equate having with Being: I have therefore I am. And the more I have, the more I am. Eckhart Tolle
  • Your ego’s biggest trick is getting you to spend your entire lifetime looking outside yourself for something you already are. Michael Jeffreys
  • Your ego also believes that you are your acquisitions, achievements, and accolades. This ego will want you to constantly acquire evidence of your importance… On the other hand, your imagination is the concept of Spirit within you. …with imagination, we have the power to be anything we desire to be. Wayne Dyer
  • When you say, “I am my nationality,” “I am my job,” “I am my political opinions,” “I am my age,” you superimpose a mountain of ideas on a simple, everlasting reality, on existence itself. Swami Muktananda
  • I would define the ego as a concept originating from the “I am” experience, pure being without attributes, the absolute certitude we have that we exist. When I conceptualize this experience, I name it “I” or “I am”. There is nothing wrong with the pure concept “I am”. The ego comes in the moment I say, “I am this or that”. The “this or that” superimposes a limitation onto something that, up until now, was limitless. Francis Lucille
  • Usually we derive our sense of self from the various things that mark us out as individuals–our bodies and their appearance, our history, our nationality, the roles we play, our work, our social and financial status, what we own, what others think of us, and so on. We also derive an identity from the thoughts and feelings we have, from our beliefs and values, from our creative and intellectual abilities, from our character and personality. These, and many other aspects of our lives, contribute to our sense of who we are. Such an identity is, however, forever at the mercy of events, forever vulnerable, and forever in need of protection and support. If anything on which our identity depends changes, or threatens to change, our very sense of self is threatened. If bne criticizes us, for example, we may feel far more upset than the criticism warrants, responding in ways that have more to do with defending or reinforcing our damaged self-image than with addressing the criticism itself.  Peter Russell
  • The ultimate aim of the ego is not to see something, but to be something. Muhammad Iqbal
  • The ego’s needs are endless. It feels vulnerable and threatened and so lives in a state of fear and want. Eckhart Tolle
  • The mind is incessantly looking not only for food for thought; it is looking for food for its identity, its sense of self. This is how the ego comes into existence and continuously re-creates itself. Eckhart Tolle
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… but the ego’s sense of incompleteness is bottomless and can never be filled in this way  

  • Another aspect of the emotional pain that is an intrinsic part of the egoic mind is a deep- seated sense of lack or incompleteness, of not being whole… If it is unconscious, it will only be felt directly as an intense craving, wanting and needing. People will often enter into a compulsive pursuit of ego- gratification and things to identify with in order to fill this hole they feel within. So they strive after money, success, power, recognition, or a special relationship, basically so they can feel better about themselves, feel more complete.  But even when they attain all these things, they soon find that the hole is still there, that is is bottomless.  Eckhart Tolle
  • The mind can never be satisfied. Wallace Stevens
  • …there’s nothing inherently wrong with the desires of the Wanting Mind—it’s just that we are doomed to disappointment when we think they’ll bring any kind of lasting fulfilment. Brent Kessel
  • The ego wants more and more (possessions, reputation, approval, attaining goals, even food) to gain a sense of completeness. But these are all short lived. They don’t fill the empty space. So I’m always left wanting. Completeness is never attainable this way. Eckhart Tolle
  • The more successful you become, the more the demands of your ego will increase. In the beginning, you simply want to succeed, but your ego will not be satisfied. When you become a little more successful your ego wants to kill your competition. And when you become even more successful, it wants to make you the universal king. There’s no telling what ego wants because our desire doesn’t have any limit; therefore, its demands continually increase. Gehlek Rinpoche
  • The ego tells you to fill space. Your spirit tells you to let space fill you. Alan Cohen
  • At the feast of ego everyone leaves hungry.
  • Wanting keeps the ego alive much more than having. The ego wants to want more than it wants to have. And so the shallow satisfaction of having is always replaced by more wanting. This is the psychological need for more, that is to say, more things to identify with. It is an addictive need, not an authentic one. Eckhart Tolle
  • Paradoxically, what keeps the so-called consumer society going is the fact that trying to find yourself through things doesn’t work: The ego satisfaction is short-lived and so you keep looking for more, keep buying, keep consuming. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego identifies with having, but its satisfaction in having is a relatively shallow and short­lived one. Concealed within it remains a deep­ seated sense of dissatisfaction, of incompleteness, of “not enough.” “I don’t have enough yet,” by which the ego really means, “I am not enough yet.” Eckhart Tolle
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The ego is persistent

  • The ego is like the root of a banyan tree, you think you have removed it all then one fine morning you see a sprout flourishing again. Ramakrishna
  • The ego, that inner neurotic who insists on running the mental show, is wily and doesn’t relinquish its power without a struggle. Michale Pollan
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The ego identifies with form

  • Ego is always identification with form, seeking yourself and thereby losing yourself in some form. Eckhart Tolle
  • Ego arises when your sense of Beingness, of “I Am,” which is formless consciousness, gets mixed up with form. This is the meaning of identification. This is forgetfulness of Being, the primary error, the illusion of absolute separateness that turns reality into a nightmare. Eckhart Tolle
  • Ego-identification with things creates attachment to things, obsession with things. Eckhart Tolle
  • Egos only differ on the surface. Deep down they are all the same. In what way are they the same? They live on identification and separation. Eckhart Tolle
  • The unconscious compulsion to enhance one’s identity through association with an object is built into the very structure of the egoic mind. Eckhart Tolle
  • The way I use the word Ego is complete and utter identification with your form identity. Form identity itself (that is the facts about you as a person) is not the Ego.  Eckhart Tolle
  • To many, “you” is is who you think you are. This is the you with whom you are most familiar. It is your idea of who you are, including your body, your mind, your personality, everything that makes you a temporally continuous member of the human species. But this You is actually a highly subjective selection of everything that everybody has ever told you about yourself: you have retained what you believed and agreed with and discarded what you didn’t. This personalized mental/emotional construct, this character-in-the-play-of-your-life, is called the ego. It is the feeling of selfhood, the identification of (consciousness) with a name, a body, a personality, and a personal history.   Roger Stephens
  • One of the most basic mind structures through which the ego comes into existence is identification. The word “identification” is derived from the Latin word idem, meaning “same” and facere, which means “to make.” So when I identify with something, I “make it the same.” The same as what? The same as I. I endow it with a sense of self, and so it becomes part of my “identity.” Eckhart Tolle
  • The person clings to emotions,  thoughts,  and other  elements  of  the  aggregates  as  if  they  were  personal belongings. But they’re not.  Robert Wright
  • The apparent person neither dissolves nor it is still there. The apparent person is non-existent. Period. The apparent person is simply the exclusive identification of Consciousness with a body/mind, and this apparent identification takes place in thought only. It never really happens.  Rupert Spira
  • The ego is just waiting to identify with anything. Whether it’s your misery or being a great meditator, it seeks some identification. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego is the identified consciousness. When the impersonal Consciousness identifies itself with the personal organism, the ego arises. Ramesh Balsekar
  • What kind of things you identify with will vary from person to person according to age, gender, income, social class, fashion, the surrounding culture, and so on. What you identify with is all to do with content; whereas, the unconscious compulsion to identify is structural. It is one of the most basic ways in which the egoic mind operates. Eckhart Tolle
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The ego feels separate from others

  • Ego is no more than complete identification with form—physical forms, thought forms, emotional forms. This results in a total unawareness of my connectedness with the whole, my intrinsic oneness with the Source. This forgetfulness is original sin, suffering, delusion. When this delusion of utter separateness underlies and governs what I think, say, and do, what kind of world do I create? To find the answer to this, observe how humans relate to each other, read a history book, or watch the news on television tonight. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego isn’t actually an entity. Rather, it is the sense of being a separate individual. We feel like individuals, although we are in actuality manifestations, or expressions, of One Being…Encased in this human body, we have lost awareness of our true nature and are meant to rediscover the truth. Gina Lake
  • Your will is the ego part of you that believes you’re separate from others, separate from what you’d like to accomplish or have, and separate from God. It also believes that you are your acquisitions, achievements, and accolades. This ego will want you to constantly acquire evidence of your importance… On the other hand, your imagination is the concept of Spirit within you. …with imagination, we have the power to be anything we desire to be. Wayne Dyer
  • One of the mind’s most dear creations is the idea of the person and, closest to home, of a very special person which each one of us calls “I”: a separate, enduring ego or self. In a moment, then, the seamless universe is cut in two. There is “I” — and there is all the rest. That means conflict — and pain, for “I” cannot control that fathomless vastness against which it is set. It will try, of course, as a flea might pit itself against an elephant, but it is a vain enterprise. John Snelling
  • The separate self is not an entity; it is an activity: the activity of thinking and feeling that our essential nature of pure Awareness shares the limits and the destiny of the body and mind. Rupert Spira
  • The problem is that we have allowed our egos, the part of us which believes that we are separate from God and separate from each other, to dominate our lives. Wayne Dyer
  • That’s just your ego, trying to make sure it stays in charge. This is what ego does. It keeps you feeling separate, keeps you with a sense of duality, tries to convince you that you’re flawed and broken and alone instead of whole. Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The ego is a servant which has been elevated to the rank of master, a part claiming to be the whole, which is why the ego will always lead us astray, whatever its announced motives. The ego is a function, a direct consequence, of the presumption that we are separate beings. Since it is simply not true that we are separate, anything based on that presumption will necessarily be wrong, and will necessarily lead to imbalance. Roger Stephens
  • What is the ego? But a dream of what you really are.  A thought you are apart from your Creator and a wish to be what He created not.  It is a thing of madness, not reality at all.  A name for namelessness is all it is.  A symbol of impossibility; a choice for options that do not exist. We name it but to help us understand that it is nothing but an ancient thought that what is made has immortality.  But what could come of this except a dream which, like all dreams, can only end in death?  A Course in Miracles
  • The ego creates separation, and separation creates suffering. Eckhart Tolle
  • R,x   Oneness
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The ego feels separate from God

  • Our earthly identity is all that is separating us from God – and it is the thinnest of veils, a manufactured fiction, which we cling to as if not only our existence, but the existence of God himself, depended on it. Bob Cergol
  • The problem is that we have allowed our egos, the part of us which believes that we are separate from God and separate from each other, to dominate our lives. Wayne Dyer
  • With the disappearance of God the Ego moves forward to become the sole divinity. Dorothee Solle
  • You have to recognize that God isn’t something outside of you – a cosmic bellboy to whom you pray in order to get this or that if you do the right things. Those kinds of understandings are all ego talk. Wayne Dyer
  • The ego hates losing – even to God. Richard Rohr
  • Our entire network of fearful perceptions, all stemming from that first false belief in our separation from God and one another, is called the ego. Marrianne Williamson
  • You need your ego to survive in the three-dimensional world, but you need only that part of the ego which processes information. The rest – pride, arrogance, defensiveness, fear – is worse than useless. The rest of the ego separates you from wisdom, joy, and God. Brian L. Weiss
  • All of us, including myself, have come from this place called God, and it is that God within each and every one of us that directs our lives, unless we leave it and take on something called the ego, which is really hard to let go of. Wayne Dyer
  • God
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The ego wants to feel superior to others in order to strengthen itself…

  • The ego loves to emphasise the otherness of others so it can feel stronger in its fictitious sense of self. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego promotes turmoil because it wants to substantiate your separateness from everyone, including God. It will push you in the direction of judgment and comparison, and cause you to insist on being right and best. You know your highest self by listening to the voice that only wants you to be at peace.  Wayne Dyer
  • All you need to know and observe in yourself is this: Whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that’s the ego in you. Eckhart Tolle
  • A lot of people have this ego need that makes them want to believe that Earth is the center of the universe and humans are the most important species, the supreme expression of creation. Ann Druyan’
  • Ego: The need to be better than, more than, recognized for, far past any reasonable utility. Ryan Holiday
  • Specialness is yet another ego game. Scott Jeffrey
  • Pride
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… which it achieves through constantly comparing itself to others and judging them

  • The ego lives through comparison. How you are seen by others turns into how you see yourself. The ego’s sense of self- worth is in most cases bound up with the worth you have in the eyes of others. You need others to give you a sense of self, and if you live in a culture that to a large extent equates self- worth with how much and what you have, if you cannot look through this collective delusion, you will be condemned to chasing after things for the rest of your life in the vain hope of finding your worth and completion of your sense of self there. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego is constantly judging everybody and everything. It has its constant little chit chat about things that can happen in the future, things about the past, too, and these are the little fish that swim by. And what we learn to do—this is why it takes work—is to not reach out and grab a fish.  Hugh Prather
  • The more limited, the more narrowly egoic the view of yourself, the more you will see, focus on, and react to the egoic limitations, the unconsciousness in others. Their “faults” or what you perceive as their faults become to you their identity. His means you will see only the ego in them and thus strengthen the ego in yourself. Instead of looking “through” the ego in others, you are looking “at” the ego. Who is looking at the ego? The ego in you. Eckhart Tolle
  • JudgementComparison
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The ego lives on comparison and envy

  • If you have a strong ego and something good happens to an acquaintance of yours, [it] makes you feel bad. It’s called envy. … The ego thinks something has been taken away from you because somebody else has received something good. It’s a complete illusion, but that’s the madness of the ego. Eckhart Tolle
  • In your dealings with people, can you detect subtle feelings of either superiority or inferiority toward them? You are looking at the ego, which lives through comparison. Envy is a by-product of the ego, which feels diminished if something good happens to someone else, or someone has more, knows more, or can do more than you. The ego’s identity depends on comparison and feeds on more. It will grasp at anything. If all else fails, you can strengthen your fictitious sense of self through seeing yourself as more unfairly treated by life or more ill than someone else. What are the stories, the fictions from which you derive your sense of self? Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego lives by comparisons. A Course in Miracles
  • The ego lives through comparison. How you are seen by others turns into how you see yourself. Eckhart Tolle
  • ComparisonEnvy
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The ego lives on conflict

  • The egoic sense of self needs conflict because its sense of a separate identity gets strengthened in fighting against this or that, and in demonstrating that this is “me” and that is not “me.” Not infrequently, tribes, nations, and religions derive a strengthened sense of collective identity from having enemies. Who would the “believer” be without the “unbeliever?” Eckhart Tolle
  • The separate, inside self is like a middleman, dividing our essential Being of ever-present, unlimited Awareness from all experience. This division places us in a relationship of conflict, always seeking to hold onto, resist or change the current situation, never letting it be the one thing it always is – just what it is. Without the middleman, the relationship between ourself and all experience is one of natural, effortless intimacy. This intimacy is the experience of love in relation to people and animals, happiness in relation to situations, and beauty in relation to objects. Rupert Spira
  • The special have enemies, for they are different and not the same. A Course in Miracles
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The ego constantly evaluates things as good or bad

  • I have an intuitive sense that fundamental to sustaining the sense of being a separate individual, is the tendency of the mind to split the whole of creation into a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ side, where the one is wanted and the other is unwanted. Leo Hartong
  • Imagination builds the image of the self and thought then functions within its shadows. From this self-concept grows the conflict between what is and what should be, the conflict in duality. Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • Let go of the need to evaluate all as good or bad
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The ego uses others for its own self-interest of building itself up

  • As long as the ego runs your life, most of your thoughts, emotions, and actions arise from desire and fear. In relationships you then either want or fear something from the other person. What you want from them may be pleasure or material gain, recognition, praise or attention, or a strengthening of your sense of self through comparison and through establishing that you are, have, or know more than they. What you fear is that the opposite may be the case, and they may diminish your sense of self in some way. Eckhart Tolle
  • Your interest in others is egoistic, self-concerned, self-oriented. You are not interested in others as persons, but only as far as they enrich, or enoble your own image of yourself. And the ultimate in selfishness is to care only for the protection, preservation and multiplication of one’s own body. By body I mean all that is related to your name and shape – your family, tribe, country, race, etc. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • Personalities don’t love. They want something. Byron Katie
  • What is commonly called ‘falling in love’ is in most cases an intensification of egoistic wanting and needing. You become addicted to another person, or rather to your image of that person. It has nothing to do with true love, which contains no wanting whatsoever. Eckhart Tolle
  • Love can be a brand of egoism that ignores the feelings of its mark, while insisting on its own selfish demands. Centurion Tenebrea
  • But when you take yourself for somebody, all relationships are from object to object, man to woman, mother to son, personality to personality. And there is no communication, no possibility for love. John Klein
  • When I’m lost in separateness, I connect with someone only through my idea of who that person is in my story. And this means that there’s always a subtle sense of alienation. Tim Freke
  • Relationships are used by the darkness to keep people revolving around the ego’s demands. For a moment, people see the light of the divine in each other. They run to it and then quickly forget the light they once saw as their fears reclaim their consciousness. Thus begins the ongoing battle to protect one’s own ‘rights’, in case they be forgotten or betrayed. The tally of what is owed is counted, the guilt of perceived wrong doings is cast upon the other, one’s freedom must be paid as the price for ‘love’, and it is only in short periods of peace when all of this is forgotten. Those moments are the precious windows of the Soul. Donna Goddard
  • The ego needs others, but its dilemma is that deep down it hates and fears them. Jean-Paul Sartre’s statement “Hell is other people” is the voice of the ego. Eckhart Tolle
  • It is the nature of the ego to take, and the nature of the spirit to share. Proverb
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The ego constantly seeks approval

  • In object-referral we are constantly seeking the approval of others. Our thinking and our behavior are always in anticipation of a response. It is therefore fear-based. Deepak Chopra
  • A shy person who is afraid of the attention of others is not free of ego but has an ambivalent ego that both wants and fears attention from others. The fear is that the attention may take the form of disapproval or criticism, that is to say, something that diminishes the sense of self rather than enhances it. So the shy person’s fear of attention is greater than his or her need of attention. Eckhart Tolle
  • Approval seeking
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The ego is unconscious

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The ego loves to complain

  • Complaining is one of the ego’s favorite strategies for strengthening itself. Every complaint is a little story the mind makes up that you completely believe in. Whether you complain aloud or only in thought makes no difference. Some egos that perhaps don’t have much else to identify with easily survive on complaining alone. When you are in the grip of such and ego, complaining, especially about other people, is habitual and, of course, unconscious, which means you don’t know what you are doing. Applying negative mental labels to people, either to their face or more commonly when you speak about them to others or even just think about them, is often part of this pattern. Eckhart Tolle
  • Complaining
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The ego constantly seeks control

  • Chaos is what we’ve lost touch with. This is why it is given a bad name. It is feared by the dominant archetype of our world, which is Ego, which clenches because its existence is defined in terms of control. Terence McKenna
  • The ego relies on the familiar. It is reluctant to experience the unknown, which is the very essence of life. Deepak Chopra
  • In object- referral we also feel an intense need to control things. We feel an intense need for external power. The need for to control things, and the need for external power are needs that are based on fear. Deepak Chopra
  • The ego’s need for a false sense of control can block the flow of positive energy that will actually bring you the ideal circumstances you are searching for. It is fear-based thinking and can undermine your progress. Christin Sander
  • The ego constantly competes with the spirit for control over your inner voice. Darren Johnson
  • Ego can’t sleep. It micro-manages. It disempowers. It reduces our capability. It excels in control. Robert K. Greenleaf
  • Control
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The ego seeks to be right…

  • If you identify with a mental position, then if you are wrong, your mind-based sense of self is seriously threatened with annihilation. So you as the ego cannot afford to be wrong. To be wrong is to die. Wars have been fought over this, and countless relationships have broken down. Eckhart Tolle
  • There is nothing that strengthens the ego more than being right. The ego loves to make wrong in order to be right. Ego takes everything personally. Emotion arises, defensiveness, perhaps even aggression. Are you defending the truth? No, the truth, in any case, needs no defense. Eckhart Tolle
  • Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it. Colin Powell
  • Let go of the need to be right
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… and in so doing, likes to make others wrong

  • Anger or resentment strengthen the ego enormously by increasing the sense of separateness, emphasizing the otherness of others and creating a seemingly unassailable fortresslike mental position of ‘rightness.’ Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego needs problems, conflict, and “enemies” to strengthen the sense of separateness on which its identity depends. Eckhart Tolle
  • If someone corrects you, and you feel offended, then YOU have an EGO problem. Nouman Ali Khan
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The ego lives on resistance to what is

  • Resistance is a result of our mind being attached to having things a certain way rather than the way they actually are. It is a mental habit of the ego that we need to become aware of in order to see the consequences. Only then can we see into our thought system and realize that nothing could be more of a waste of time than to resist and complain about what already is. Lee L Jampolsky
  • The ego could be defined simply in this way: a dysfunctional relationship with the present moment. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego is sustained by continuous resistance. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego loves its resentment of reality. What is reality? Whatever is. Buddha called it tatata – the suchness of life, which is no more than the suchness of this moment. Opposition toward that suchness is one of the main features of the ego. Eckhart Tolle
  • Non-resistance
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The ego looks to the past and future for fulfilment …

  • When you live through the ego, you always reduce the present moment to a means to an end. You live for the future, and when you achieve your goals, they don’t satisfy you, at least not for long. When you give more attention to the doing than to the future result that you want to achieve through it, you break the old egoic conditioning. Your doing then becomes not only a great deal more effective, but infinitely more fulfilling and joyful. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego looks to past for identity and the future for fulfillment. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego treats the present moment in 3 ways: 1. As a means to an end. 2. As an obstacle. 3. As an enemy. Eckhart Tolle
  • The futureThe pastFulfilment
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… always covering up the present moment…

  • From an experiential point of view, what is ego covering up? It’s covering up our experience of just being here, just fully being where we are, so that we can relate with the immediacy of our experience. Egolessness is a state of mind that has complete confidence in the sacredness of the world. It is unconditional well-being, unconditional joy that includes all the different qualities of our experience. Pema Chodron
  • To the ego, the present moment hardly exists. Only past and future are considered important. This total reversal of the truth accounts for the fact that in the ego mode the mind is so dysfunctional. It is always concerned with keeping the past alive, because without it – who are you? Eckhart Tolle
  • To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. Eckhart Tolle
  • Live in the present
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…using the present moment as a means to an ends

  • To the ego, the present moment hardly exists. Only past and future are considered important. This total reversal of the truth accounts for the fact that in the ego mode the mind is so dysfunctional. It is always concerned with keeping the past alive, because without it – who are you? It constantly projects itself into the future to ensure its continued survival and to seek some kind of release or fulfillment there. It says: “One day, when this, that, or the other happens, I am going to be okay, happy, at 19 peace.” Even when the ego seems to be concerned with the present, it is not the present that it sees: It misperceives it completely because it looks at it through the eyes of the past. Or it reduces the present to a means to an end, an end that always lies in the mind-projected future. Observe your mind and you’ll see that this is how it works. The present moment holds the key to liberation. But you cannot find the present moment as long as you are your mind. Eckhart Tolle
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The ego is terrified of death

  • The ego is frightened by death, because ego is part of the incarnation and ends with it. That is why we learn to identify with our soul, as the soul continues after death. For the soul, death is just another moment. Ram Das
  • Ego is a ghost who is terrified of dying. Mooji
  • Fear seems to have many causes. Fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of being hurt, and so on, but ultimately all fear is the ego’s fear of death, of annihilation. Eckhart Tolle
  • FearDeath
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The ego is not just personal but can also be collective

  • The ego, and particularly the collective ego, strengthens itself through emphasizing the “otherness” of others. In other words, the ego needs an “enemy” for its continued survival. Hence its refusal to compromise. Eckhart Tolle
  • Some churches, sects, cults, or religious movements are basically collective egoic entities, as rigidly identified with their mental positions as the followers of any political ideology that is closed to any alternative interpretation of reality. Eckhart Tolle
  • The collective ego of tribes, nations, and religious organizations also frequently contains a strong element of paranoia: us against the evil others. It is the cause of much human suffering. The Spanish Inquisition, the persecution and burning of heretics and “witches,” the relations between nations leading up to the First and Second World Wars, Communism throughout its history, the “Cold War,” McCarthyism in America in the 1950s, prolonged violent conflict in the Middle East are all painful episodes in human history dominated by extreme collective paranoia. Eckhart Tolle
  • The human ego in its collective aspect as “us” against “them” is even more insane than the “me,” the individual ego, although the mechanism is the same. By far the greater part of violence that humans have inflicted on each other is not the work of criminals or the mentally deranged, but of normal, respectable citizens in the service of the collective ego. Eckhart Tolle
  • A collective ego manifests the same characteristics as the personal ego, such as the need for conflict and enemies, the need for more, the need to be right against others who are wrong, and so on. Sooner or later, the collective will come into conflict with other collectives, because it unconsciously seeks conflict and it needs opposition to define its boundary and thus its identity. Eckhart Tolle
  • A collective ego is usually more unconscious than the individuals that make up that ego. For example, crowds (which are temporary collective egoic entities) are capable of committing atrocities that the individual away from the crowd would not be. Nations not infrequently engage in behavior that would be immediately recognizable as psychopathic in an individual. Eckhart Tolle
  • By far the greater part of violence that humans inflicted on each other is not the work of criminals or mentally deranged, but of normal, respectable citizens service of the collective ego. One can go so far as to say that on this planet “normal” equals insane. What is it that lies at the root of this insanity? Complete identification with thought and emotion, that is to say, ego. Eckhart Tolle
  • The insanity of the collective egoic mind, amplified by science and technology, is rapidly taking our species to the brink of disaster. Evolve or die: that is our only choice now. Eckhart Tolle
  • For total greed, rapacity, heartlessness, and irresponsibility there is nothing to match a nation. Lewis Thomas
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The effects of the ego

 

The ego has become a form of dysfunction and collective insanity with many negative effects

  • It is not a question of guilt. But as long as you are run by the egoic mind, you are part of the collective insanity. Perhaps you haven’t looked very deeply into the human condition in its state of dominance by the egoic mind. Open your eyes and see the fear, the despair, the greed, and the violence that are all-pervasive. See the heinous cruelty and suffering on an unimaginable scale that humans have inflicted and continue to inflict on each other as well as on other life forms on the planet. You don’t need to condemn. Just observe. That is sin. That is insanity. That is unconsciousness. Above all, don’t forget to observe your own mind. Seek out the root of the insanity there. Eckhart Tolle
  • As long as you are run by the egoic mind, you are part of the collective insanity. Perhaps you haven’t looked very deeply into the human condition in its state of dominance by the egoic mind. Open your eyes and see the fear, the despair, the greed, and the violence that are all-pervasive. See the heinous cruelty and suffering on an unimaginable scale that humans have inflicted and continue to inflict on each other as well as on other life forms on the planet. You don’t need to condemn. Just observe. That is sin. That is insanity. That is unconsciousness. Eckhart Tolle
  • Responding to a radical crisis that threatens our very survival – this is humanity’s challenge now. The dysfunction of the egoic human mind, recognized already more than 2,500 years ago by the ancient wisdom teachers and now magnified through science and technology, is for the first time threatening the survival of the planet. Eckhart Tolle
  • All bad qualities centre round the ego. When the ego is gone, Realisation results by itself. There are neither good nor bad qualities in the Self. The Self is free from all qualities. Qualities pertain to the mind only. Ramana Maharshi
  • The ego is very important — the ego got the book written. But it’s also what punishes us, what keeps us locked in our grooves of thought, and it’s what defends us against the world and against our own consciousness. Michael Pollan
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The ego increases stress and decreases well-being

  • The voice of the ego continuously disrupts the body’s natural state of well-being. Almost every human body is under a great deal of strain and stress, not because it is threatened by some external factor but from within the mind. The body has an ego attached to it, and it cannot but respond to all the dysfunctional thought patterns that make up the ego. Thus, a stream of negative emotion accompanies the stream of incessant and compulsive thinking. Eckhart Tolle
  • Those who seek happiness in pleasure, wealth, glory, power, and heroics are as naive as the child who tries to catch a rainbow and wear it as a coat. Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly
  • Duality and separation create a basic sense of anxiety within our mind. At the same time, the thought-chatter of our ego creates a constant disturbance inside us, so that our being is never still or peaceful. And since our mind is tinged with anxiety already (as a result of duality and separation), our thought-chatter is often negatively based, creating worries and problems. And finally, as we’ll see later, the energy of our being has a natural quality of happiness. But when the ego develops and monopolizes the energy of our being, we lose touch with this natural well-being. Steve Taylor
  • In the liberated state, the ego no longer drives our thinking and behavior. When it drops away we discover that the ease and safety we had been seeking are already there; they are qualities of our true nature. But it is the nature of the ego to plan and worry, to seek the things it wants, avoid the things it doesn’t want. In so doing creates it tension and resistance, which veils our true nature, hiding from us the very peace of mind that we are seeking. Peter Russell
  • The hallucination of separateness prevents one from seeing that to cherish the ego is to cherish misery. We do not realize that our so-called love and concern for the individual is simply the other face of our own fear of death or rejection. In his exaggerated valuation of separate identity, the personal ego is sawing off the branch on which he is sitting, and then getting more and more anxious about the coming crash! Alan Watts
  • Well-beingHappiness
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The ego causes unhappiness

  • The ego’s form of happiness can’t exist without unhappiness. The ego will be happy when something good happens but unhappy when it ends. Eckhart Tolle
  • The whole movement of happiness, unhappiness, happiness, unhappiness, could be called unhappiness. You’re suffering because your state of mind is in flux, moving back and forth. The ego’s happiness is really a form of suffering, because it cannot live without unhappiness. Eckhart Tolle
  • Why are you unhappy? Because nearly everything that you say and do is for your “self”—and there isn’t one. Chinese Proverb
  • Our egos torment us in various ways, and they close us to all sorts of mental information, whether it’s emotions or the interests of others. They tend to objectify everything but the one subject that is you. So putting aside your ego for a period of time is a really interesting –– and I think a potentially therapeutic –– experience. Michael Pollan
  • Unhappiness
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The ego causes a waste of psychic energy

  • When your internal reference point is the ego, when you seek power and control over other people or seek approval from others, you spend energy in a wasteful way. Deepak Chopra
  • The belief in a separate self that we must protect sucks up so much psychic energy. Anthony Lambert
  • The separate entity thrives on trying to make the mind peaceful, and in doing so only perpetuates the agitation that is at the heart of itself. Leave the mind to be as it is, and remain as you are. Rupert Spira
  • Energy management
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The ego causes resistance and suffering

  • Equating the physical sense-perceived body that is destined to grow old, wither, and die with “I” always leads to suffering sooner or later. Eckhart Tolle
  • A person in the grip of ego, however, does not recognize suffering as suffering, but will look upon it as the only appropriate response in any given situation. The ego in is blindness is incapable of seeing the suffering it inflicts on itself and on others. Eckhart Tolle
  • Misery nourishes your ego — that’s why you see so many miserable people in the world. The basic, central point is the ego. Osho
  • The ego secretly ‘loves’ and clings to the position of victim-hood and extracts a distorted pleasure and grim justification from pain and suffering. David R. Hawkins
  • The ego says, I shouldn’t have to suffer, and that thought makes you suffer so much more. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego creates separation, and separation creates suffering. Eckhart Tolle
  • Suffering builds character and impels you to penetrate life’s secrets. It’s the path of great artists, great religious leaders, great social reformers. The problem is not suffering per se, but rather our identification with our own ego: our divided, dualistic, cramped view of things. ‘We are too ego-centered,’ Suzuki tells Cage.’ The ego-shell in which we live is the hardest thing to outgrow. We seem to carry it all the time from childhood up to the time we finally pass away.’ Kay Larson
  • Take the focus off of the self and onto others to emphasize unity. The key is to overcome the grip of the ego that drives so much of our everyday lives. Self-centered thinking is the driver of so much suffering. When we see these things, we realize that not only do we suffer, but so do many of our human brothers and sisters. So when we look at the same event from a wider perspective, we will reduce the worrying and our own suffering. The Dalai Lama
  • The ego will endure the worst agonies of neurotic misery rather than consent to one minute of diminishment of its sense of importance. Helen M. Luke
  • There can be a great deal of unconscious ego investment in pain and suffering. Eckhart Tolle
  • The notion of a fixed-self leads me to cling tightly to what I perceive of as the views and opinions of this person. Clinging to views is a major cause of suffering in all of our lives: “I’m right. You’re wrong.” Toni Bernhard J.D.
  • SufferingNon-resistance
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The ego creates problems

  • Almost all of our problems are caused by our self-concern. Leo Babauta
  • All the big problems of the world today are routed in the philosophy of separateness and dualism. Satish Kumar
  • Problem solving
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The ego creates pride and greed

  • The doctrine of deliverance that Buddha preached was the freedom from the slavery of ignorance which darkens our consciousness and tends to limit it within the boundaries of our personal self. It is this Avidya, this ignorance, this limiting of consciousness that creates the hard separateness of the ego, and thus becomes the source of all pride and greed and cruelty incidental to self-seeking. Rabindranath Tagore
  • The physical needs for food, water, shelter, clothing, and basic comforts could be easily met for all humans on the planet, were it not for the imbalance of resources created by the insane and rapacious need for more, the greed of the ego. It finds collective expression in the economic structures of this world, such as the huge corporations, which are egoic entities that compete with each other for more. Their only blind aim is profit. They pursue that aim with absolute ruthlessness. Nature, animals, people, even their own employees, are no more than digits on a balance sheet, lifeless objects to be used, then discarded. Eckhart Tolle
  • PrideGreed
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The ego causes conflict

  • Any time you have hurt feelings it is always your ego. Eckhart Tolle
  • Built into the very structure of the egoic self is a need to oppose, resist, and exclude to maintain the sense of separateness on which its continued survival depends. So there is “me” against the “other,” “us” against “them.” The ego needs to be in conflict with something or someone. That explains why you are looking for peace and joy and love but cannot tolerate them for very long. You say you want happiness but are addicted to your unhappiness. Your unhappiness ultimately arises not from the circumstances of your life but from the conditioning of your mind. Eckhart Tolle
  • What we now want is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth… and the elimination of egoism and pride which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife. Nikola Tesla
  • Conflict management
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The ego causes alienation from others

  • The paradox is that although the drive behind excessive self-focus is to seek greater happiness for yourself, it ends up doing exactly the opposite. When you focus too much on yourself, you become disconnected and alienated from others. In the end, you also become alienated from yourself, since the need for connection with others is such a fundamental part of who we are as human beings. The Dalai Lama
  • The ego hurts you like this: you become obsessed with the one person who does not love you and blind to the rest who do. Warsan Shire
  • When you feel defensive about anything, you have identified yourself with an illusion. You therefore feel weak because you’re alone. A Course in Miracles
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The ego creates guilt

  • Guilt is the caviar of the ego. Geraldine Evans
  • Inasmuch as the self is presumed to be a causal agent, it is therefore also the object of guilt, pride, fear, and all the emotions. David R. Hawkins
  • Guilt
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The ego creates shyness

  • Shyness is just egoism out of its depth. Penelope Keith
  • Shyness
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The ego drowns out the inner voice of the heart and soul…

  • The ego is that ugly little troll that lives underneath the bridge between your mind and your heart. Gael Greene
  • The ego constantly competes with the spirit for control over your inner voice. Darren L. Johnson
  • Anytime there is a struggle between doing what is actually right and doing what seems right, then your ego is interfering with your decision. Darren L. Johnson
  • Self is the only prison that can ever bind the soul. Henry Van Dyke
  • Behind everyone’s learned behaviors and odd eccentricities lurks a soul, ready to make contact if only coaxed out through a crack in the ego. Ram Dass
  • I fed my ego, but not my soul. Yakov Smirnoff
  • The ego is like too many dark clouds around the sun – the sun gets lost. Rajneesh
  • The heartThe soul
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… blocking us from lasting, authentic love and peace

  • The ego can achieve simple pleasures: momentary satisfaction with its achievements, happiness with its new car, for instance. But it cannot itself create any of the higher feelings. Take love, for example:  the only love the ego knows is strategic, a manipulative transaction in which it gives to get.  It gives kindness to be liked, praise to be praised, approval to be approved of, and love to be loved.  This conditional love is shallow at best and usually turns into hurt or even hate when the transaction doesn’t go as planned.     Similarly, the ego is not the source of compassion, joy, or forgiveness, either.  When these feelings come, all the ego can do is identify with them and start down the path of unworthiness or imagine that it has reached new spiritual heights. The ego is at most a voyeur when there is a positive feeling and at worst an impostor.  Ultimately, the ego’s inability to maintain any kind of positive feeling state results in a kind of low- level or background state of dissatisfaction that is the very note of the ego.  Richard Moss
  • Ego says, Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace. Spirit says, Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place. Marianne Williamson
  • You have no choice. You must leave your ego on the doorstep before you enter love. Kamand Kojouri
  • LoveInner peace
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The ego diminishes and narrows our perception of the world around us

  • In ordinary life a lot of our psychic energy is taken up with ‘preoccupation with the self’, but in a state of ‘flow’ we forget ourselves, and so the psychic energy we normally waste is retained. Steve Taylor
  • Our strong ego structure needs a great deal of energy in order to function, in the same way that a massive house with dozens of rooms requires – and uses up – a lot of electricity. In particular, our constant thought-chatter uses up a lot of energy. As the modern-day American mystic Bernadette Roberts puts it, ‘The continual movement [of thoughts] inward and outward, back and forward … consumes an untold amount of energy that is otherwise left free when the mind is restricted to the now-moment. Steve Taylor
  • The actual structure of the ego requires a lot of energy to be maintained too, in the same way that the physical structures of the body, such as our bones and internal organs, need a constant input of energy to maintain themselves. Steve Taylor
  • With the ego ‘gobbling up’ so much of our mental energy, there’s very little available for us to use in perceiving the world around us. Steve Taylor
  • We seem to have developed a psychological mechanism specifically for the purpose of reducing the psychic energy we use up through perception. In our mind there is a ‘desensitizing mechanism’ which turns the is-ness of our surroundings to familiarity, as a way of conserving energy. This is what happens when we ‘get used to’ things. Steve Taylor
  • This mechanism acts on all our perceptions. It edits out the reality of all our experience. It makes the world dreary to us so that we don’t need to pay attention to it, in order to ensure that the ego always has enough energy to meet its requirements. Steve Taylor
  • The desensitizing mechanism switches our attention off to the life, harmony and oneness of the world and the all-pervading spirit-force that generates those qualities. Steve Taylor
  • Perception
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The ego is a barrier to any sense of oneness

  • Me and mine” become the biggest barriers in cultivating the feeling of oneness and harmony with the rest of humanity. Pulkit Mathur
  • Oneness
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The ego blocks truth and understanding

  • An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead. Carl Jung
  • Truth,   Understanding
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The ego blocks connection to God

  • Man’s obsessive consciousness of, and insistence on being, a separate self is the final and most formidable obstacle to the unitive knowledge of God. Aldous Huxley
  • To the extent that there is attachment to ‘I,’ ‘me,’ ‘mine/ there is no attachment to, and therefore no unitive knowledge of, the divine Ground. Aldous Huxley
  • The Ego is a veil between humans and God‚ In prayer all are equal. Rumi
  • You know what ego stands for: Edging Out God! Truett Cathy
  • Our earthly identity is all that is separating us from God – and it is the thinnest of veils, a manufactured fiction, which we cling to as if not only our existence, but the existence of God himself, depended on it. Bob Cergol
  • GodConnection
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The ego blocks flow

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The ego blocks joy

  • Self-consciousness is the destroyer of erotic joy. Ian Mcewan
  • The less there is of you, the more you experience the sublime. Joseph Campbell
  • There is joy in self-forgetfulness. So I try to make the light in others’ eyes my sun, the music in others’ ears my symphony, the smile on others’ lips my happiness. Helen Keller
  • If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Deepak Chopra
  • Joy
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Awakening from the ego

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Transcending the ego is what many spiritual practices are about …

  • Spiritual practices help us move from identifying with the ego to identifying with the soul. Baba Ram Dass
  • The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self. Albert Einstein
  • The foundation of the Buddha’s teachings lies in compassion, and the reason for practicing the teachings is to wipe out the persistence of ego, the number-one enemy of compassion. The Dalai Lama
  • Zen asks us to let go of our focus on the ego, to empty ourselves of our selfish attachments, to destroy our mental constructs, and simply be present to the light. Zen teacher
  • In the East, all the religions preach egolessness. So in the East, everybody is against the ego from the very beginning. Osho
  • The undoing of the identification with the ego/ self is the primary focus of spiritual evolution and is the enigma that has baffled even the most erudite minds of history. David R. Hawkins
  • This is why I am not overly enthusiastic about the various “spiritual exercises” in meditation or yoga which some consider essential for release from the ego. For when practiced in order to “get” some kind of spiritual illumination or awakening, they strengthen the fallacy that the ego can toss itself away by a tug at its own bootstraps. Alan Watts
  • Forget the dancer, the center of the ego; become the dance. That is meditation. Rajneesh
  • Spirituality
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… so that we can awaken to the beautiful, divine essence hidden beneath (our true Self)

  • Two people have been living in you all your life. One is the ego, garrulous, demanding, hysterical, calculating; the other is the hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to. Sogyal Rinpoche
  • The false self is like a veil that hides the paradise that we’re seeking. Cynthia Bourgeault
  • You are a beautiful soul hidden by the trench coat of the ego. Mike Dolan
  • I am unhappy if I think I am my things – job, friends, appearance, money. Sure, I can have fun with them, but not confuse with Who I Am. They have nothing to do with displaying or experiencing my True Self – and that is what I came to do. Neale Donald Walsch
  • I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being. Hafez of Shiraz
  • Our soul, our true self, is the most mysterious, essential, and magical dimension of our being. In fact, it is not a separate reality, as traditional Western thought views it, but the cohesive force that unites our body, heart, and mind. It is not a ghost trapped somehow in the physical machinery of our body but the very essence of our being.  Gabrielle Roth
  • Though the soul is not a thing, it is our beingness, that which gives us being. So its presence and absence are visible. Its presence manifests in being awake, attentive, energetic, alive.  It is the spark of life.  It is absent or dampened when we lack vitality, elan, energy.  It is the true self we are seeking in all our explorations, and yet it is not somewhere “out there” but right here now, underneath the false roles we’re always casting ourselves in. Gabrielle Roth
  • No matter how confused or deluded we may be at the moment, the underlying and essential nature of our being is clear and pure. Lama Yeshe
  • What he had yearned to embrace was not the flesh but a downy spirit, a spark, the impalpable angel that inhabits the flesh. Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Your essence is the sweetest symphony, may it serve your senses, seduce your soul, and serenade your spirit. Robert Beno
  • Awaken to who you really are

 

A great spiritual truth is you are not your ego but something far deeper and greater

  • It can be quite transformative to realize that you are not what you thought you were, that you are not your beliefs, that you are not your personality, that you are not your ego. You are something other than that, something that resides on the inside, at the innermost core of your being. Adyashanti
  • I could see that everything I had identified as really me, was not really me, but was just a pattern of strategies to avoid some kind of abyss or emptiness. Gangaji
  • Spiritual truth challenges the ego’s presumption that it is sovereign. David R. Hawkins
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Spiritual awakening is all about transcending the ego and awakening to who you really are

  • Enlightenment means waking up to what you truly are and then being that. Adyashanti
  • The word enlightenment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way, but it is simply your natural state of felt oneness with Being. Eckhart Tolle
  • Awakening isn’t about becoming extraordinary. If anything, it’s about becoming ordinary. It’s about becoming who we really, really are. Adyashanti
  • The highest goal of spirituality is Self-realization, but what does that mean? It means to feel your Self as a living reality in this moment, and there is always only this moment. Gay Hendricks
  • Awakening is the process of overcoming your false self and discovering your True Self. It begins when you decide to grab the tiger by the tail and ends with the tiger tenderly licking the sweat off your brow and face. Steve Baxter
  • Enlightenment is the direct result of freedom from the illusion of a separate self. A profound understanding of this ultimate simplicity provides all that is required for an awakening to enlightenment. Gary Crowley
  • Enlightenment is, in the end, nothing more than the natural state of being. Adyashanti
  • Enlightenment is knowing what I really am. And what I am not. I awaken to my true nature. Adyashanti
  • Now don’t think that awakening is the end. Awakening is the end of seeking, the end of the seeker, but it is the beginning of a life lived from your true nature. Adyashanti
  • Enlightenment is ego’s ultimate disappointment. Chögyam Trungpa
  • Spiritual awakening is an awakening of a dimension of reality beyond the confines of the ego. The ego is our exclusive sense of self or “I.” This awakening occurs when, for whatever reason, the ego somehow let’s go so that a Higher Self or Spirit can arise within.  Scott Jeffrey
  • Let each one remember that he will make progress in all spiritual things only insofar as he rids himself of self-love, self-will and self-interest. Ignatius Loyola
  • Spiritual truth challenges the ego’s presumption that it is sovereign. David R. Hawkins
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In essence, spiritual awakening is therefore a death of the ego

  • The ego is scared because awakening to the Truth will destroy it. It’s a destructive process. Adyashanti
  • Total annihilation is a prerequisite for enlightenment. You can’t be one without the other. Steven Norquist
  • When the ego dies, the soul awakes. Gandhi
  • Enlightenment is the direct, abiding realization that YOU don’t exist. Anything else, ain’t it. Adyashanti
  • … fundamentally, most people want to remain separate and in control. Simply put, most people want to keep dreaming that they are special, unique, and separate… more than they want to wake up to the perfect unity of an Unknown which leaves no room for any separation from the whole. Adyashanti
  • Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found. Pema Chodron
  • One must die; that is, one must free oneself from a thousand petty attachments and identifications. . . . One is attached to everything in one’s life, attached to one’s imagination, attached to one’s stupidity, attached even to one’s sufferings, possibly to the sufferings more than to everything else. . . . Attachment to things, identifications with things, keep alive a thousand useless “I”s in a person. These “I”s must die in order that the big I may be born. But how can they be made to die?  They do not want to die.  It is at this point that the possibility of awakening comes to the rescue.  To awaken means to recognize one’s nothingness. G.I. Gurdjieff
  • What is actually the birth of our spiritual identity feels to the ego like death. The ego, our small and separate sense of self, is an imposter personality. It is a false self.  It resists our genuinely remembering God, because in the recognition of our oneness with him lies the death of the ego and the end of all fear.  Marianne Williamson
  • Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die” — and find that there is no death. Eckhart Tolle
  • The path of dying to self and being reborn leads to life abundant. Jesus
  • Die! Die to the ego, die to your past, and you will be resurrected. That resurrection will make you go beyond death, beyond time, beyond misery. Rajneesh
  • But the soul must abandon her own being. This is where the death that is spiritual begins. If the soul is to undergo this death, then she must take leave of herself and all things, holding herself and all things to be as insignificant as they were before they existed … I do not mean that the being of the soul falls into nothingness as she was before she was created, rather we should understand this cessation to be the eradication of possessing and having. Meister Eckhart
  • This identification of self with spiritual not-self can be achieved only by dying to selfness and living to spirit. Aldous Huxley
  • Death
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Transcend the ego by realising it is an illusion

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Transcend the ego by letting go of your attachment to your illusionary sense of self

  • Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be. Alan Watts
  • Disillusionment with yourself must precede Enlightenment. Vernon Howard
  • The greatest miracle is the experiencing of your essential self as prior to any words, thoughts, mental labels, and images. For this to happen, you need to disentangle your sense of I, of Beingness, from all the things it has become mixed up with, that is to say, identified with. Eckhart Tolle
  • The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self. Albert Einstein
  • An hour reflecting on one’s own non-existence is better than a year of religious devotions with the thought that one exists. Abu Sa’id Lbn Abi-L-Khayr
  • Before we can become who we really are, we must become conscious of the fact that the person who we think we are, here and now, is at best an impostor and a stranger. Thomas Merton
  • The less there is of ‘I,’ the more there is of God. Meister Eckhart
  • To feel life is meaningless unless “I” can be permanent is like having desperately fallen in love with an inch. Alan Watts
  • I keep calling it the I-thought. It’s a thought. There is no I. This gives you a clue. Robert Adams
  • Illusion
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Recognise that the ego, the separate self, is ultimately a persistent illusion with no true existence, independent of consciousness

  • A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and his feelings as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. Albert Einstein
  • A non-existent self can’t really be “abolished,” but its nonexistence can be recognized. What we want to abolish is the illusion, the mistake that has no inherent existence in the first place… whatever we judge to be disagreeable or harmful. But as soon as we recognize that the self has no true existence, all these attracting and repelling impulses will vanish… The self has neither beginning nor end, and therefore in the present it has no more existence than the mind attributes to it. Matthieu Ricard
  • Because of the general stress levels in society today, and because these stresses, by their very nature, will easily upset a normally sane person’s equilibrium, there is ample room in the system for a lot of professionals and charlatans making a lot of money by claiming to have access to a cure, regimen, vitamin, or talisman which will totally perfect your ego. These remedies don’t work because they are all founded on a false presumption: the belief that the ego is real. The purpose of self-discovery is not to discard the ego or to somehow perfect it; the purpose is to recognize the ego for whatever it is, but to do so from an awakened perspective which is behind or beyond the ego. Who is having the dream called you?   Roger Stephens
  • Ego is a social institution with no physical reality. The ego is simply your symbol of yourself. Just as the word “water” is a noise that symbolizes a certain liquid without being it, so too the idea of ego symbolizes the role you play, who you are, but it is not the same as your living organism. Alan Watts
  • Events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer thereof. Buddha
  • How can we know that the conventional sense of self is an illusion? When we look closely, it vanishes. This is compelling in the same way that the disappearance of any illusion is: You thought something was there, but upon closer inspection, you see that it isn’t. Sam Harris
  • It is a hindrance to consider that there is a personal self, or an ‘I’, or an ego that is doing the striving or seeking or that will become enlightened. It is much easier to realize there is no such thing as the ego or an ‘I’ identity that is doing any seeking, but instead, it is an impersonal aspect of consciousness that is doing the exploring and seeking. David R. Hawkins
  • Looked at from the perspective of the everyday world of appearances, the everywhere of the thinking ego — summoning into its presence whatever it pleases from any distance in time or space, which thought traverses with a velocity greater than light’s — is a nowhere. Hannah Arendt
  • Our intuitive sense of self is an effortless and fundamental human experience. But it is nothing more than an elaborate illusion. Under scrutiny, many common-sense beliefs about selfhood begin to unravel. Some thinkers even go as far as claiming that there is no such thing as the self. Jan Westerhoff
  • Our perceiving self is nowhere to be found within the world-picture, because it itself is the world-picture. Erwin Schrodinger
  • So, many of our core beliefs about ourselves do not withstand scrutiny. This presents a tremendous challenge for our everyday view of ourselves, as it suggests that in a very fundamental sense we are not real. Instead, our self is comparable to an illusion – but without anybody there that experiences the illusion. Jan Westerhoff
  • The Buddha taught 2,500 years ago that there is no substantial self to make war on. The self, he said, is an illusion, a confection of emotions, fears, desires, wants, and strivings—what he called attachments—that get in the way of personal growth and transformation. Larry Dossey
  • The Buddhist doctrine of impermanence includes the notion that there is no ego, no self which is the persistent subject of our varying experiences. Buddhism holds that the idea of a separate individual self is an illusion, just another form of maya, an intellectual concept which has no reality. Fritjof Capra
  • The ego does not cling to you; you cling to it; and it has no real existence. Steven Payeur
  • The ego is a concept, a symbol, even a delusion — not a biological process or physical reality. Alan Watts
  • The ego is a puzzle. It is something like darkness – which you can see, which you can feel, which can obstruct your way but which does not exist. It has no positivity. It is simply an absence, an absence of light. The ego is only an absence of awareness. Osho
  • The ego is neither bad nor an enemy, but merely an illusion to release so that something far better can replace it. David R. Hawkins
  • The ego is only an illusion, but a very influential one. Letting the ego-illusion become your identity can prevent you from knowing your true self. Ego, the false idea of believing that you are what you have or what you do, is a backwards way of assessing and living life. Wayne Dyer
  • The first illusion-busting step involves tossing out today’s dead universe paradigm. The second illusion-busting step is to toss out the “I” feeling. Robert Lanza
  • The mind filters every experience through the question, “What does this mean for me?” It interprets reality and its surroundings in a way that places the self at the center. This self is ultimately a fiction.  Scott Kiloby
  • The real maya is the separateness. Feeling and thinking that we are really separate from the whole is the illusion. Amit Goswami
  • The self is a temporary and illusory limitation. Rupert Spira
  • The sense of self—the sense that there is a thinker behind one’s thoughts, an experiencer amid the flow of experience—is an illusion. Sam Harris
  • The separate self has no independent existence outside consciousness. It is simply an appearance in consciousness. Anthony Lambert
  • The thinking mind, the ego, the “me” are all the same. They are different names for the same thing, which is an illusion. Ramesh Balsekar
  • There is no separate, inside self and no separate outside object, other or world. Rather there is one seamless, intimate totality, always changing when viewed from the perspective of objects, never changing when viewed from the perspective of the totality.  Rupert Spira
  • There is no such thing as an ego. The ego is simply an idea, substantiated at the level of the body with feelings, that mistakenly identifies Awareness with an object. Rupert Spira
  • There is no way for us to be anything other than perfect transcendent Being unfolding, yet there is this illusion of separateness. Sri Aurobindo
  • There is no you; there is just this! Leo Hartong
  • There isn’t any substantial ego at all. The ego is a kind of flip, a knowing of knowing, a fearing of fearing. It’s a curlicue, an extra jazz to experience, a sort of double-take or reverberation, a dithering of consciousness which is the same as anxiety. Alan Watts
  • There’s a natural feeling of self, of “I,” which makes you think “I’m cold, I’m hungry, I’m walking,” and so forth. By itself, that feeling is neutral. It doesn’t specifically lead to either happiness or suffering. But then comes the idea that the self is a kind of constant that lasts all your life, regardless of all the physical and mental changes you go through. You get attached to the idea of being a self, “myself,” a “person,” and of “my” body, “my” name, “my” mind, and so on. Buddhism accepts that there is a continuum of consciousness, but denies any existence of a solid, permanent, and autonomous self anywhere in that continuum. The essence of Buddhist practice is therefore to get rid of that illusion of a self which so falsifies our view of the world. Matthieu Ricard
  • This self is nowhere to be found. It cannot be seen amid the particulars of experience, and it cannot be seen when experience itself is viewed as a totality. However, its absence can be found—and when it is, the feeling of being a self disappears. Sam Harris
  • We do not have to eradicate a separate self in order to be knowingly eternal, infinite awareness or God’s infinite, self-aware being. There is no separate self to be eliminated. To attempt to dissolve or annihilate a separate self simply perpetuates its illusory existence. Rupert Spira
  • What is the ego? Nothingness, but in a form that seems like something.  In a world of form the ego cannot be denied for it alone seems real. 
  • IllusionConsciousness
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There is no ego; there is only consciousness and that is what we are

  • This finite mind, personal consciousness or ego never actually comes into existence. If Consciousness is infinite, how could it possibly know something that is finite? What room is there in infinity for finiteness? As soon as a finite object would arise in infinite Consciousness, the finiteness of that object would displace a little bit of Consciousness’s infiniteness, and therefore Consciousness would cease being infinite, and that cannot be. Rupert Spira
  • What is the ego? The portion of human awareness which experiences itself as entirely separate from its source in the divine awareness, and indeed regards awareness as its own private property, a consciousness that it “possesses”.  When we use the word “I”, we often imply our “ego” as if it were the source of our awareness, as if it were an awareness separate from that of all others.  Peter Wilberg
  • It is not possible for Consciousness to know a finite object or self, so for whom is there a finite object or self? For whom is there personal consciousness? For whom is there an ego? Not for Consciousness; not for that which truly is. That which truly is, is and knows itself alone. The finite mind is only a real finite mind from the illusory point of view of the finite mind. The separate self is only a real separate self from its own illusory point of view. Rupert Spira
  • The apparently separate self or finite ‘I’ around whom all experience revolves is the true and only ‘I’ of eternal, infinite awareness – the ‘I’ of God’s infinite, self-aware being that shines in each of our minds as the knowledge ‘I am’ – temporarily coloured by thoughts, images, feelings, sensations and perceptions but never being or becoming anything other than itself. Rupert Spira
  • The ‘I’ of the separate self is the true and only ‘I’ of infinite awareness, seemingly mixed with and, therefore, apparently limited by the objective qualities of experience.  Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness
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Even science increasingly agrees that there is no self or “experiencer” behind our eyes

  • The current situation is ironic. Modern science, the declared enemy of a spiritual realm, is in this instance in the service of spirituality. The message of science—that the self is an illusion—is consistent with many great wisdom traditions and may be a step along one’s spiritual path. In this way, science has become an unwitting ally of spirituality. Larry Dossey
  • The daily experience of the self is so familiar, and yet the brain science shows that this sense of the self is an illusion. Psychologist Susan Blackmore makes the point that the word ‘illusion’ does not mean that it does not exist — rather, an illusion is not what it seems. We all certainly experience some form of self, but what we experience is a powerful depiction generated by our brains for our own benefit. Bruce Hood
  • Experiments have repeatedly proven that this seeming separation between ourselves and anything else is subject to point of view—what Einstein called a reference frame—and therefore has no inherent bedrock reality. Robert Lanza
  • For decades, the idea of the self has been the victim of a demolition derby within science. A steady torrent of books from materialistic scientists has made war on the sense of self—one’s basic, essential sense of being, the object of one’s introspection, what makes me “me” and not someone else. These days, scientists seem to vie with one another as to who can do the most thorough job of trashing the whole idea. Larry Dossey
  • In the 1960s, Nobel laureate and neurophysiologist Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga severed the corpus callosum in several individuals with intractable epilepsy. They discovered that the left hemisphere of the brain could be aware of things the right hemisphere was unaware of, and vice versa. This suggested that the idea of a single, undivided sense of self is an illusion. Larry Dossey
  • In the 1970s, neurophysiologist Benjamin Libet discovered that certain bodily movements were registered in the brain 350 milliseconds before an individual was consciously aware of deciding to move that particular body part. This challenged the assumption of free will. It is as if the brain is telling the conscious self what to do, not vice versa. Larry Dossey
  • Neuroscientists find no evidence of an individual self located somewhere in the brain. Instead they propose that what we call “I” is but a mental construct derived from bodily experience. We draw a distinction between “me” and “not me” and create a sense of self for the “me” part. From a biological point of view, this distinction is most valuable. Taking care of the needs of this self, is taking care of our physical needs. We seek whatever promotes our well-being and avoid those that threaten it. Peter Russell
  • Recently I was trying to explain to an intelligent woman the problem of understanding how it is we perceive anything at all, and I was not having any success. She could not see why there was a problem. Finally in despair I asked her how she herself thought she saw the world. She replied that she probably had somewhere in her head something like a television set. ‘So who,’ I asked, ‘is looking at it?’ She now saw this problem immediately. Francis Crick
  • Behind our faces there is no secret self which governs our acts and receives our impressions; we are, solely, the series of these imaginary acts and these errant impressions. Jorge Luis Borges
  • The ‘rational soul’ of man was like an immaterial ghost in the machinery of the human body. How could the rational soul possibly interact with the brain? Descartes speculated that their interaction occurred in the pineal gland.  He thought of the soul as like a little man inside the pineal gland controlling the plumbing of the brain. Rupert Sheldrake
  • The consensus now is that there is no place in the brain where “it all comes together,” no spot in the brain where the sense of self or the soul resides. Soul and self are simply illusory constructs. These senses merely pop up—the in-word is emerge—when various parts of the brain are smoothly working together. Larry Dossey
  • The feeling that we call “I” is an illusion. There is no discrete self or ego living like a Minotaur in the labyrinth of the brain. And the feeling that there is — the sense of being perched somewhere behind your eyes, looking out at a world that is separate from yourself — can be altered or entirely extinguished. Sam Harris
  • The prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science nor with the experimental philosophy-religions of the East. Alan Watts
  • There is no homunculus, no little person within the mind observing the play of perceptions, memories, fantasies and ideas as though on a movie screen. Such a postulation would imply yet another homunculus inside the first, and so on in series through an infinite regress.  WT Stace
  • There is no independent manager in this body. Only a seeming one. Mooji
  • While we tend to conceive of the operations of the mind as unified and transparent, they’re actually chaotic and opaque. There’s no invisible boss in the brain, no central meaner, no unitary self in command of our activities and utterances. There’s no internal spectator of a Cartesian theater in our heads to applaud the march of consciousness across its stage. Daniel Dennett
  • As a matter of neurology, the sense of having a persistent and unified self must be an illusion, because it is built upon processes that, by their very nature as processes, are transitory and multifarious. There is no region of the brain that can be the seat of a soul. Sam Harris
  • The sense that we are unified subjects is a fiction, produced by a multitude of separate processes and structures of which we are not aware and over which we exert no conscious control. Sam Harris 
  • This is a matter of nearly unanimous agreement among psychologists: the conscious self is not some all-powerful executive authority. Robert Wright
  • Educated people, of course, know that perception, cognition, language, and emotion are rooted in the brain. But it is still tempting to think of the brain as it was shown in old educational cartoons, as a control panel with gauges and levers operated by a user — the self, the soul, the ghost, the person, the “me.” But cognitive neuroscience is showing that the self, too, is just another network of brain systems. Cognitive neuroscientists have not only exorcised the ghost but have shown that the brain does not even have a part that does exactly what the ghost is supposed to do: review all the facts and make a decision for the rest of the brain to carry out. Each of us feels that there is a single “I” in control. But that is an illusion that the brain works hard to produce, like the impression that our visual fields are rich in detail from edge to edge. The brain does have supervisory systems in the prefrontal lobes and anterior cingulate cortex, which can push the buttons of behavior and override habits and urges. But those systems are gadgets with specific quirks and limitations; they are not implementations of the rational free agent traditionally identified with the soul or the self.  Steven Pinker
  • The final core belief is that the self is the locus of control. Yet cognitive science has shown in numerous cases that our mind can conjure, post hoc, an intention for an action that was not brought about by us. Jan Westerhoff
  • The false sense of being an experiencer behind the eyes. This illusion is created by visual perceptions appearing to arise behind the eyes.  In reality, these visual perceptions arise in the awareness you are which is not located in space and time. Awareness is not in the head. It is dimensionless. Anthony Lambert
  • Science
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What appears to be the separate self is an illusion constructed by brain

  • Your experience of being a self, the specific experience of being you, is also a controlled hallucination generated by the brain. Now this seems like a very strange idea. Yes visual hallucinations might deceive my eyes but how could I be deceived by what it means to be me.  For most of us, the experience of being a person is familiar, so unified and so continuous that its difficult not to take it for granted but we shouldn’t take it for granted. There are in fact many different ways we experience being a self. There’s the experience of having a body and of being a body, there are experiences of perceiving the world from a first person point of view, there are experiences of intending to do things and of being the cause of things that happen in the world and there are experiences of being a continuous and distinctive person over time built from a rich set of memories and social interactions.  Now many experiences show that and psychiatrists and neurologists know that these different ways in which we experience being a self can all come apart.  And what this means is that the basic background experience of being a unified self is a rather fragile construction of the brain.  Anil Seth
  • What is it about a mere arrangement of matter and energy that gives rise to a subjective sense of self? It must be a collective property of the neurons in your brain, which have mostly stayed with you throughout life, and which will cease to exist after you die. But why a given bundle of neurons can give rise to a given sense of selfhood, and whether that subjective sense can ever reside in a different bundle of neurons, may forever remain a mystery. Jan Westerhoff
  • A person’s mental activities are entirely due to the behavior of nerve cells, glial cells, and the atoms, ions, and molecules that make up and influence them. … ‘You’, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased it, ‘You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.’” Francis Crick
  • Illusion
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What appears to be the separate self is a bundle of ever-changing perceptions arising in the awareness we are

  • Bundle theory, Theory advanced by David Hume, argues that the mind is merely a bundle of perceptions without deeper unity or cohesion, related only by resemblance, succession, and causation. Encyclopaedia Britannica
  • Hume looked into consciousness and perceived that there was nothing except fleeting mental states and concluded that the supposed “permanent ego” is non-existent. Narada Tera
  • Hume’s “bundle theory” constructs the self not as a single unified entity but as a bundle of sensations, perceptions, and thoughts lumped together. Maria Popova
  • I change every day, change my patterns, my concepts, my interpretations. I am a series of moods and sensations. I play a thousand roles. … My real self is unknown.  Anaïs Nin
  • I like to consciously think of myself as a constellation of causes and conditions that have come together at this very moment in the universe. Toni Bernhard J.D.
  • I may venture to affirm of the rest of mankind, that they are nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity, and are in a perpetual flux and movement. David Hume
  • This person I think of as a fixed entity, “Toni Bernhard,” is, instead, a constantly changing constellation of arising and passing thoughts and emotions. Toni Bernhard J.D.
  • Pretty much the same view was held by the Buddha, who believed that there is no abiding self, just a series of connected conscious experiences. Julian Baggini
  • Suppose you turn your attention inward in search of this ‘I’. You may encounter nothing more than an ever-changing stream of consciousness, a flow of thoughts and feelings in which there is no real self to be discovered. Jim Holt
  • The British empiricists John Locke and David Hume maintained that what makes you the same person over time is the continuity of your mental life, not some independent self. Larry Dossey
  • The paradox of the self — that all-pervading yet ever-shifting sieve of feelings, beliefs, values, memories, and sensibilities through which we experience the world, the locus of the central mystery of being. There is no self, and yet without it there is nothing. Maria Popova
  • There are some philosophers who imagine we are every moment conscious of what we call ‘ourself,’ that we feel its existence and its continuance in existence and so we are certain, both of its perfect identity and simplicity. For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call ‘myself’ I always stumble on some particular perception or other — of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never catch myself… and never can observe anything but the perception… nor do I conceive what is further requisite to make me a perfect non-entity.” David Hume
  • Experience
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The separate self is infinite consciousness falsely identifying with a temporary body – mind

  • In assuming the form of the finite mind, infinite awareness seems to limit itself and, as such, becomes a separate subject of experience, from whose point of view it is able to know itself as a separate object, other or world. Rupert Spira
  • There is no such entity as a finite mind or a separate self. A finite mind is the freely assumed activity of infinite awareness, through which and as which awareness knows itself as the world. The finite mind is thus the agency of God’s infinite being, never an entity in its own right. Rupert Spira
  • What is commonly referred to as ‘ego’, the separate entity, is the equivalent of the space, which is both inside and outside the jar, saying to itself, ‘I am the jar’.  Rupert Spira
  • There is only one reality – one infinite, indivisible, self-aware being with nothing in itself other than itself with which it could be limited or from which it could be separated –from which all apparent objects and selves derive their seeming existence. Rupert Spira
  • You are not in the body, the body is in you! The mind is in you! They happen to you. They are there because you find them interesting.  Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • We have confused and identified this witnessing Consciousness with the body and the mind and, as a result, we have come to think and feel that ‘I’ is something, that it is a body/ mind.  Rupert Spira
  • When the wrong identification of oneself with the body ceases, the master will be found to be none other than the Self.  Ramana Maharshi
  • The world is not external. Because you identify yourself wrongly with the body you see the world outside, and its pain becomes apparent to you. But they are not real. Seek the reality and get rid of this unreal feeling.  Ramana Maharshi
  • The mind is the means through which God can experience a multiplicity and diversity of objects.  It creates the illusion of subject and objects. And the sense of being a separate self.  It is an activity in consciousness, not an object.
  • The mind is not an independent object. The mind is nothing but the current thought arising in awareness.  When there is no current thought, the mind disappears.  Anthony Lambert
  • Ego death is awareness identifying with a body, then removing the body.  James Nolan
  • The ego is the activity of thinking and feeling that ‘I’, this Consciousness that is seeing and understanding these words, am only this body/mind and not anything else that ‘I’ perceive.  Rupert Spira
  • As we look more and more deeply into the nature of ourself we find that there is no entity there. We spend our lives serving a non-existent entity. It is only our imagination that binds us.  Rupert Spira
  • The only thing that a man has to renounce in order to attain the supreme Truth is the individual sense and nothing else.  Swami Ramdas
  • Who indeed overcomes Maya? He who gives up all attachment, who serves the great ones, and who is freed from the sense of “I and mine.”  Narada’s Bhakti Sutras
  • There is not an infinite I and a finite I. There is just one infinite I. An I that is able to assume the appearance of limitation.  Rupert Spira  
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The truth is that the body – mind is nothing but perceptions arising in the consciousness we are

  • The ego arises from the false sense of having a body. Actually the body is just the appearance of feelings, sensations and / or perceptions arising now in the awareness you are. If there are none of appearances, the body disappears. Anthony Lambert
  • The body, mind and world are all equally objects of Consciousness.  However, having mistakenly identified Consciousness with the body/ mind, we have transferred the status of subject, which properly belongs to Consciousness alone, onto the body/ mind.  In this way we have come to think and feel that it is ‘I’ as the body/ mind which experiences the world. However, the body/ mind does not witness or experience anything. It is itself witnessed, experienced.  Rupert Spira
  • We experience the mind (thoughts and images) and the body (sensations) in just the same way that we experience the world (sense perceptions). Each of these experiences is equally an object of Consciousness. The mind and the body are no less objects of Consciousness than is the world.  Rupert Spira
  • There is no separate self.  There is only the sense of being a separate self arising in awareness.  What does this “sense of self” comprise of?  Thoughts and memories. But I am not these for a thought can’t be aware.  That which is aware of them.  Also sensations and perceptions creating the impression of being a body independent of other separate objects.  But I am not that for sensations and perceptions cannot be aware.  I am not thoughts, feelings, sensations or perceptions.  I am that which is aware of them.  Anthony Lambert
  • To believe I am a separate self is to think I am a collection of sensations and thoughts. Rupert Spira
  • In this way we return the mind and the body, in our understanding, to their proper place as objects of Consciousness, along with the world. And by giving the mind and the body back to the objective realm, we are, by the same token, returning the ‘I’, in our understanding, to Consciousness.  Rupert Spira
  • We must now make a distinction between a finite mind that believes in its own separate and independent existence – that is, the separate self or ego – and a mind that has been divested of all such beliefs and feelings and, as a result, shines with the knowing of its own reality.  Rupert Spira
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The ego is not something we are but something we do

  • The ego is the activity of thinking and feeling that ‘I’, this Consciousness that is seeing and understanding these words, am only this body/mind and not anything else that ‘I’ perceive.  Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness realises that the separate entity that it previously took itself to be, is in fact simply an activity that it does, from time to time.  Rupert Spira
  • The separate self or ego is like the clenching of the fist. It is a contraction of infinite awareness into an apparently finite mind.  Rupert Spira
  • The ego/mind is fortified by habit that crumbles when its underpinnings are removed. The ego is not an enemy to be subdued but merely a compilation of unexamined habits of perception. David R. Hawkins
  • There is no such thing in reality as an ego; it is merely illusory. It is made up of a compilation of arbitrary points of view supplied by mentation and powered by feelings and emotions. These desires represent the attachments that the Buddha spoke of as the bondage of suffering. With absolute humility, the ego dissolves. It is a collection of arbitrary mentations that gain force only because of vanity and habit. If one lets go of the vanity of thought, it dissolves. All thought is vanity. All opinions are vanities. The pleasure of vanity is therefore the basis of the ego—unplug it and it collapses. David R. Hawkins
  • The ego can be thought of as a set of entrenched habits of thought that are the result of entrainment by invisible energy fields which dominate human consciousness. David R. Hawkins
  • The separate entity is something we, as Consciousness, do. It is not something we are.  Rupert Spira 
  • Ego is not an entity. It is an activity. It is an optional activity of identifying itself with a fragment that Consciousness is free to make or not, from moment to moment.   Rupert Spira
  • The ego is not an inner entity or subtle essence. Egoity is your own activity. Adi Da Samraj
  • The world of names and forms is the result of mental activity. Ignorance (Avidya) begins at the very moment when the ego takes names and forms to be separate realities.  John Klein
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The ego is the grasping and aversion of the mind

  • Ego is the movement of the mind toward objects of perception in the form of grasping, and away from objects in the form of aversion. This fundamentally is all the ego is. This movement of grasping and aversion gives rise to a sense of a separate ‘me,’ and in turn the sense of ‘me’ strengthens itself this way. Adyashanti
  • The ego is memory and desire. Osho
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The ego is a form of attention

  • The ego is nothing other than the focus of conscious attention. Alan Watts
  • The ego is associated with the direction of conscious attention. Amit Goswami
  • Attention
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The ego is nothing but a set of entrenched habits of thought arising in consciousness

  • There is no such thing in reality as an ego; it is merely illusory. It is made up of a compilation of arbitrary points of view supplied by mentation and powered by feelings and emotions. These desires represent the attachments that the Buddha spoke of as the bondage of suffering. With absolute humility, the ego dissolves. It is a collection of arbitrary mentations that gain force only because of vanity and habit. If one lets go of the vanity of thought, it dissolves. All thought is vanity. All opinions are vanities. The pleasure of vanity is therefore the basis of the ego—unplug it and it collapses.  David R. Hawkins
  • The ego can be thought of as a set of entrenched habits of thought that are the result of entrainment by invisible energy fields which dominate human consciousness. David R. Hawkins
  • The mind is only a bundle of thoughts. The thoughts have their root in the I-thought. Whoever investigates the True “I” enjoys the stillness of bliss. Ramana Maharshi
  • Ego is the movement of the mind toward objects of perception in the form of grasping, and away from objects in the form of aversion. This fundamentally is all the ego is. This movement of grasping and aversion gives rise to a sense of a separate ‘me,’ and in turn the sense of ‘me’ strengthens itself this way. Adyashanti
  • What we call the ego is not another separate self so much as a mode of being that can dominate our thinking, decisions, speech, and actions, leading us to behave in ways that are uncaring, self-centered, or manipulative. The difference is subtle, but very important. If I see the ego as a separate self, some thing, then it is easy to fall into the belief—common in many spiritual circles—that I must get rid of my ego, transcend it, or overcome it in some way. But seeing ego as a mental process, a system of thinking that I get caught in, suggests that I need to step out of that mode of thinking—to look at the world through a different lens, one less tainted by fear, insecurity and attachment. This is a much easier and more effective approach. When I notice myself caught up in egoic thinking, rather than berating myself (or my imagined ego), I can notice what is going on and step back from it. This doesn’t mean I have eliminated that way of thinking. It will surely return. And when it does, I can choose to step out of it again. Transcending the ego thus becomes an ongoing practice rather than a far-off goal. Our exploration of ego would be more fruitful if we stopped using the word as a noun, which immediately implies some “thing”, and instead thought of ego as a mental processes that can occupy our attention. For this a verb is a more appropriate part of speech. I am “ego-ing”.  Peter Russell
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The illusion of the ego arises due to several things

  • The salient experiences of the “I” are as follows: 1. Intentionality (purposeful, directional focusing toward an object, including desire, judgment, and speculation) 2. Self-awareness (sense of self) 3. Reflectivity (awareness of being aware) 4. Ego-experience (feeling that the self is a unique entity with a certain character, personality, and contingent personal history) 5. Attention (experience of the ability of the self to direct its focus toward one object or another) 6. Transpersonal-self experiences (moments of revelation or insight, as in the creative ah-ha experience) 7. Implicit experience of the self (experiences in which there is division of the world into subject and object but no explicit experience of “I”) 8. Choice and free will 9. Experiences related to the unconscious. These “I” experiences are not, of course, mutually exclusive. Quite the contrary. They are intimately connected with one another. Amit Goswami
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The illusion of the ego arises from the illusory belief that we are the thinker of our thoughts and chooser of our choices

  • We think we think, but actually it’s a thought that thinks it thinks. Will Wright
  • Like the body, the mind is not one’s real self, and like the body, it is basically impersonal. It has thoughts, but these thoughts are not a product of the self. David R. Hawkins
  • Thoughts are occurring on their own, not because they are caused by anything or anyone. David R. Hawkins
  • One can order the mind to do one thing or another, but it will refuse. To try to control the mind is like a cat chasing its tail. David R. Hawkins
  • Brain: An apparatus with which we think we think. Ambrose Bierce
  • One then realizes that the thought images are occurring spontaneously, and the thoughts are not choices made by personal decision but that the thought stream is impersonal. The thoughts are not ‘mine’ as there is no ‘me’ involved. As the physical eye sees images, it does not claim authorship of the images nor does the ear claim authorship of sound. David R. Hawkins
  • it is necessary to remove the illusion that thoughts are personal, that they are valuable, or that they belong to or originate from one’s own self. Like the body, the mind and its contents are really a product of the world. David R. Hawkins
  • The mind is in a different realm than the molecules of the brain. The brain is a receiver, not a source. Candace Pert
  • Thoughts really belong to the consciousness of the world; the individual mind merely processes them in new combinations and permutations. What are seen to be truly original thoughts appear only through the medium of genius and are invariably felt by their authors to be a gift, found or given, not self-created. David R. Hawkins
  • We may arrive at the insight that all of our thoughts are merely borrowed from the great database of consciousness and were never really our own. David R. Hawkins
  • The mind identifies with its content. It takes credit and blame for what it receives, for it would be humbling to the mind’s vanity to admit that the only thing it’s doing is experiencing, and in fact, only experiencing experiencing.  The mind doesn’t even experience the world, just sensory reports of it.  Even brilliant thoughts and deepest feelings are only experiences; ultimately, we have but one function – to experience experience.  David R. Hawkins
  • Thoughts really belong to the consciousness of the world; the individual mind merely processes them in new combinations and permutations. What are seen to be truly original thoughts appear only through the medium of genius and are invariably felt by their authors to be a gift, found or given, not self-created. David R. Hawkins
  • We witness, observe, and record apparent processions of experience. But even in awareness itself, nothing actually happens. Awareness merely registers what’s being experienced; it has no effect on it. Awareness is the all-encompassing attractor field of unlimited power identical with life itself. David R. Hawkins
  • Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think. Ambrose Bierce
  • The ego arises from the false sense of having a mind that thinks thoughts. Actually the mind is nothing but a thought arising now in awareness. If there is no current thought arising, there is no mind. Also the awareness you are does not “think thoughts”, it receives them.  It does not think, it is thought, just as we do not breathe but are breathed. And you are not a thought but that which is aware of a thought arising.  Anthony Lambert
  • The ego arises from the false sense of being a chooser.  If you investigate it deeply, you will discover that the sense of making a choice is nothing but a succession of thoughts “received” into awareness and a final thought that says “I just made a choice.”  That final thought takes the bow for a something it did not do. Anthony Lambert

 

The illusion of the ego arises because of our limited field of knowing

  • The ego arises most of all from the false sense of being a separate self is caused by the limitation in awareness’s field of knowing so that knowing seems to be limited to just one body mind.  This is a clever illusion of awareness created by filtering.  Awareness is actually knowing all experience of all body minds arising in the ever present now.  Right now, in this ever present now, you are experiencing an infinite number of experiences. Anthony Lambert

 

The illusion of the ego arises because of memories arising now in consciousness

  • The ego arises from the false sense of being a cluster of past memories. Actually, the past does not exist except as a memory arising in awareness now. You are not that memory (thought) but that which is aware of a memory arising. Anthony Lambert
  • Memory
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The illusion of the ego is perpetuated by language, especially personal pronouns

  • Both in Buddhism and Catholicism, monks and nuns were encouraged to avoid the personal pronoun and to speak of themselves in terms of circumlocutions that clearly indicated their real relationship with the cosmic reality and their fellow-creatures. When a monk speaks of himself, not as ‘I,’ but as ‘this sinner’ or ‘this unprofitable servant,’ he tends to stop taking his ‘loose and separate’ selfhood for granted, and makes himself aware of his real, organic relationship with God and his neighbours. Aldous Huxley
  • Drop nouns and pronouns and live only verbs. Osho
  • During the whole day do not refer to your “I” while thinking and acting and keep this absence of reference to the I-image in your relations with others. Jean Klein
  • Men would live exceedingly quiet if these two words, mine and thine, were taken away. Anaxagoras
  • The existence in language of such terms as I and my, leads us into a dualistic trap. We think of ourselves as separate because we speak of ourselves in that way. Amit Goswami
  • Ever since Freud … we have focused like a laser on the uniqueness of the individual. In the realm of psychotherapy there has been an extraordinary emphasis on the value of developing a ‘sense of self’ or an ‘autonomous ego’; ‘separation-individuation’ is considered essential to growing up. All of this language has to do with the Western notion of a boundaried individual human mind. Ann Jauregui
  • It is only when we have renounced our preoccupation with ‘I,’ ‘me,’ ‘mine’ that we can truly possess the world in which we live. Aldous Huxley
  • Language
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The illusion of the separate self is perpetuated by some spiritual concepts

  • Many spiritual concepts sustain and even amplify the belief in a separate, individual self. Suzanne Segal
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Even when we recognise the illusory nature of the separate self, the sense of being a separate self remains

  • Even after the Truth has been recognised, there remains that strong, obstinate impression that one is still an ego – the agent and the experiencer. This has to be carefully removed by living in a state of constant identification with the supreme non-dual Self.  Full Awakening is the eventual ceasing of all the mental impressions of being an ego.  Adi Shankaracharya
  • The ego’s voice becomes impersonal, something in the landscape that has no more personal relevance than a bird’s song or the temperature of the room. We still experience it, but we don’t experience it as our voice, and we are no longer compelled to follow it or express it. Once we gain some detachment from the ego’s voice, it’s possible to experience the Experiencer, the true self. Gina Lake
  • Don’t try to get rid of the ego-sensation. Take it, so long as it lasts, as a feature or play of the total process — like a cloud or wave, or like feeling warm or cold, or anything else that happens of itself. Getting rid of one’s ego is the last resort of invincible egoism! It simply confirms and strengthens the reality of the feeling. But when this feeling of separateness is approached and accepted like any other sensation, it evaporates like the mirage that it is. This is why I am not overly enthusiastic about the various ‘spiritual exercises’ in meditation or yoga which some consider essential for release from the ego. For when practiced in order to ‘get’ some kind of spiritual illumination or awakening, they strengthen the fallacy that the ego can toss itself away…  Alan Watts
  • “Transcending the ego” thus actually means to transcend but include the ego in a deeper and higher embrace, first in the soul or deeper psychic, then with the Witness or primordial Self, then with each previous stage taken up, enfolded, included, and embraced in the radiance of One Taste. And that means we do not “get rid” of the small ego, but rather, we inhabit it fully, live it with verve, use it as the necessary vehicle through which higher truths are communicated. Soul and Spirit include body, emotions, and mind; they do not erase them. Ken Wilber
  • As Hubert Benoit said, it is not the identification with the ego that is the problem, but the exclusive nature of the identification. When our self-identity expands beyond the ego, into the deeper psychic, then even into the Unborn and One Taste, the ego is simply taken up and subsumed in a grander identity. But the ego itself remains as the functional self in the gross realm, and it might even appropriately be intensified and made more powerful, simply because it is now plugged into the entire Kosmos. Ken Wilber
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However, we recognise the ego as a rope (a harmless illusion), not a snake, and it no longer causes us fear or suffering

  • About 500 B.C. it was written: “It easily happens that a man, when taking a bath, steps upon a wet rope and imagines that it is a snake. Horror will overcome him, and he will shake from fear, anticipating in his thought all the agonies caused by the serpent’s venomous bite. What a relief does this man experience when he sees that the rope is no snake! The cause of his fright lies in his error, his ignorance, his illusion. If the true nature of the rope is recognized, his tranquility of mind will come back to him; he will feel relieved; he will be joyful and happy. This is the state of mind of one who has recognized that there is no personal self, that the cause of all his troubles, cares, and vanities is a mirage, a shadow, a dream. Joel S. Goldsmith
  • As the rope, not understood as such, is mistaken, in the dark, for a snake, so is Spirit mistaken for the variety of this world. Gauapadacharya
  • Fear
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Even when we see though the illusion of the separate self, we still have preferences, but we are not attached

  • In the body/mind the natural functioning expresses as certain characteristics, which can be labelled as preferences. Leo Hartong
  • It is not that we reach some ‘ultimate state of pure unconditional love whereby we have no more preferences.’ That is just bullshit. The character is part of the play and will therefore continue having likes and dislikes. Leo Hartong
  • The ‘I’ cannot escape preferences, as preferences are part of the conceptual ‘I’ structure. If there is an escape option at all, it is in the realization that no escape is needed, as this ‘I’ is not all that I AM. Leo Hartong
  • The person with all its preferences, likes and dislikes is but an expression of the Self. The character and its preferences can still appear. As long as the body/mind is present, its limitations and conditioning will keep on functioning to a certain degree. Leo Hartong
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Spiritual practices to transcend the ego

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Transcending the ego often first requires having a healthy ego (self-esteem)

  • Buddhism’s goal of uncovering the “imposture of the ego,” this ego that seems so powerful and causes us so much trouble while having no existence in itself. Nevertheless, as a first step it’s important to stabilize this feeling of a self in order to distinguish all its characteristics. You could say, paradoxically, that you first need to have an ego in order to be aware that it doesn’t exist. Someone with an unstable, fragmented, amorphous personality has little chance of being able to identify that powerful feeling of “me,” as a prior step to recognizing that it doesn’t correspond to any real entity. So you need to start with a healthy and coherent self to be able to investigate it. You can shoot at a target, but not in fog. Matthieu Ricard
  • First, we need a robust sense of being a separate individual. When this is strong enough it can support a conscious awakening to our deeper being. When a strong separate self is absent, the natural process of awakening is transformed into the pathology of depersonalization. Tim Freke
  • This is something basic to be understood – the ego must come to a peak, it must be strong, it must have attained an integrity – only then can you dissolve it. A weak ego cannot be dissolved. And this becomes a problem. Rajneesh
  • The man of genius is he whose ego has acquired consciousness. He is enabled by it to distinguish the fact that others are different, to perceive the “ego” of other men, even when it is not pronounced enough for them to be conscious of it themselves. But it is only he who feels that every other man is also an ego, a monad, an individual centre of the universe, with specific manner of feeling and thinking and a distinct past, he alone is in a position to avoid making use of his neighbours as means to an end. Otto Weininger
  • Self-esteem
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Transcend the ego by expanding your state of consciousness

  • By spiritual intention and devotion, the calibrated level moves up, and as it does, the field itself supports the undoing of the ego’s dominance. David R. Hawkins
  • How to get rid of the lower self? The blossom vanishes of itself as the fruit grows, so will your lower self vanish as the divine grows in you. Ramakrishna
  • In some experiences the identity of the self with the ego is considerably less than usual. An example is the creative experience in which the experiencer often describes the act as an act of God. Another example is the “peak experience” studied by the psychologist Abraham Maslow. Such experiences occur with a clear discontinuity in contrast to the more ordinary ego-continuity of the stream of consciousness. These experiences will be called transpersonal-self experiences since the identity with the particular persona of the experiencer is not dominant.  Amit Goswami
  • In the final stage of ego-lessness there is an ‘obscure knowledge’ that All is In all – that All is actually each. This is as near, I take it, as a finite mind can ever come to ‘perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe’. Aldous Huxley
  • It is possible to transcend the usual limitations of the body, ego, space, and linear time. Stanislav Grof
  • Consciousness
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You cannot let go of the ego by fighting it or resisting it…

  • If you consider the ego to be your personal problem, that’s just more ego. Eckhart Tolle
  • Why give the ego more power by resisting and opposing it? David R. Hawkins
  • Fighting your ego is a melodrama of the ego. Deepak Chopra
  • Nonreaction to the ego of others is one of the most effective ways not only of going beyond ego in yourself but also dissolving the collective human ego. Eckhart Tolle
  • It is only ego that tries to get rid of the ego. Chris Bourne
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… or through hard searching and great effort …

  • Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator.  Do not become enlightened.  When you sit, let it be.  When you walk, let it be.  Grasp at nothing.  Resist nothing. Ajhan Chah
  • The very desire to seek spiritual enlightenment is in fact nothing but the grasping tendency of the ego itself, and thus the very search for enlightenment prevents it. The ‘perfect practice’ is therefore not to search for enlightenment but to inquire into the motive for seeking itself. You obviously seek in order to avoid the present, and yet the present alone holds the answer: to seek forever is to miss the point forever. You always already are enlightened Spirit, and therefore to seek Spirit is simply to deny Spirit. Ken Wilber
  • The moment you drop the search, you drop the ego also. Osho
  • The ego is not a thing but a subtle effort, and you cannot use effort to get rid of effort – you end up with two efforts instead of one. The ego itself is a perfect manifestation of the Divine, and it is best handled by resting in Freedom, not by trying to get rid of it, which simply increases the effort of the ego itself. Ken Wilber
  • All effort is ignorance. Francis Lucille
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… but it does require attention and discipline

  • The transition from the egoic self to the Authentic Self requires discipline… The good news is that discipline eventually becomes what I call a “blissipline” because it leads to playing our part with integrity, dignity, elegance, passion, and deep contentment. Michael Bernard Beckwith
  • Don’t think you can attain total awareness and whole enlightenment without proper discipline and practice. This is egomania. Appropriate rituals channel your emotions and life energy toward the light. Without the discipline to practice them, you will tumble constantly backward into darkness. Lao Tzu
  • AttentionSelf-discipline
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Transcend the ego through deepening your awareness

  • All that is required to become free of the ego is to be aware of it, since awareness and ego are incompatible. Eckhart Tolle
  • Having an ego is what it feels like to be thinking without knowing that you are thinking. Sam Harris
  • Ego is an absence of awareness. Osho
  • Awareness and ego cannot coexist. Eckhart Tolle
  • You think, you become that thought. And consciousness, or the state of pure awareness, is lost. Barry Long
  • “One day I will be free of the ego.” Who is talking? The ego. To become free of the ego is not really a big job but a very small one. All you need to do is be aware of your thoughts and emotions – as they happen. This is not really a “doing,” but an alert “seeing.” In that sense, it is true that there is nothing you can do to become free of the ego. When that shift happens, which is the shift from thinking to awareness, an intelligence far greater than the ego’s cleverness begins to operate in your life. Eckhart Tolle
  • The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist. Eckhart Tolle  
  • Whenever there is negativity in you, if you can be aware in that moment that there is something in you that takes pleasure in it or believes it has a useful purpose, you are becoming aware of the ego directly. The moment this happens your identity has shifted from ego to awareness. This means the ego is shrinking and awareness is growing. Eckhart Tolle
  • Take no notice of the ego and its activities but see only the light behind. Ramana Maharshi
  • Responsibility is awareness, alertness, consciousness. Ego is just unconsciousness. They cannot coexist. Rajneesh
  • When you observe the ego in yourself, you are beginning to go beyond it. Eckhart Tolle
  • You cannot fight against the ego and win, just as you cannot fight against darkness. The light of consciousness is all that is necessary. You are that light. Eckhart Tolle
  • You cannot surrender ego, because it does not exist. You can bring a little awareness, a little consciousness, a little light. Forget completely about the ego; concentrate totally on bringing alertness into your being. And the moment your consciousness has become a flame, concentrated, you will not be able to find the ego. Osho
  • Awareness
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Transcend the ego through stillness, meditation and mindfulness

  • We are fragmented into so many different aspects. We don´t know who we really are, or what aspects of ourselves we should identify with or believe in. So many contradictory voices, dictates, and feelings fight for control over our inner lives that we find ourselves scattered everywhere, in all directions, leaving nobody at home. Meditation, then, is bringing the mind home. Sogyal Rinpoche
  • Meditation is not ego-driven, that is to say, the thinking brain does not drive the meditative experience. Linda A. Lavid
  • Command your ego to silence and direct your higher self to increase the volume of its voice. Doreen Virtue
  • When we are truly silent—within and without—we surrender the ego’s need to be right. Anne D. LeClaire
  • As long as we have practiced neither concentration nor mindfulness, the ego takes itself for granted and remains its usual normal size, as big as the people around one will allow. Ayya Khema
  • The soul loves to meditate, for in contact with the Spirit lies its greatest joy. If, then you experience mental resistance during meditation, remember that reluctance to meditate comes from the ego; it doesn’t belong to the soul. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • Meditation hasn’t got a damn thing to do with anything, ’cause all it has to do with is nothing. Nothingness. Okay? It doesn’t develop the mind, it dissolves the mind. Self-improvement? Forget it, baby. It erases the self. Throws the ego out on its big brittle ass. What good is it? Good for nothing. Excellent for nothing. Yes, Lord, but when you get down to nothing, you get down to ultimate reality. It’s then and exactly then that you’re sensing the true nature of the universe, you’re linked up with the absolute Absolute, son, and unless you’re content with blowing smoke up your butt all your life, that there’s the only place to be. Bobby Case
  • All that is required to become free of the ego is to be aware of it, since awareness and ego are incompatible. Eckhart Tolle
  • In order to find out who you are, You must disappear. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • That envelope cannot be removed by any amount of will; the “I” cannot erase itself. Yet, abruptly, it does vanish. In the climax of meditation, the barrier of individuality disappears, dissolving in a sea of pure, undifferentiated awareness. Eknath Easwaran
  • The simplicity of meditation means just experiencing the ape instinct of ego. Chogyam Trungpa
  • StillnessMeditationMindfulness
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Transcend the ego by realising you are not the mind

  • It is helpful to realize that the mind is not ‘me’. It is an impertinence; it is seductive. It tries to convince you that you are it. David R. Hawkins
  • The realization that the mind is not the same as ‘I’ or ‘me’ breaks the identification of the self with the mind. David R. Hawkins
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Transcend the ego by becoming comfortable with no longer defining yourself through thought

  • He who defines himself can’t know who he really is. Lao Tzu
  • If you can be absolutely comfortable with not knowing who you are, then what’s left is who you are – the Being behind the human, a field of pure potentiality rather than something that is already defined. Give up defining yourself – to yourself and others. You won’t die. You will come to life.  Eckhart Tolle
  • You cannot know yourself. You can only know what you’re not. Eckhart Tolle
  • Be comfortable not needing to define yourself through thought. Eckhart Tolle
  • Doffing the ego’s safe glory, he finds his naked reality. Dag Hammarskjöld
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Transcend the ego by letting go of your identification with thought arising

  • Your thoughts are nothing but temporary electrical impulses. If you don’t identify them with self (or your story), they cannot harm you. Eckhart Tolle
  • The moment you notice silence, stillness arises in you. Thoughts become depersonalised. Before, I thought they were me. Eckhart Tolle
  • Not all thinking and all emotion are of the ego. They turn into ego only when you identify with them and they take you over completely, that is to say, when they become “I.” Eckhart Tolle
  • Thoughts are just moving through consciousness. They have no power. Nothing has reality until you reach it, grab it, and somehow impregnate it with the power of belief.  Adyashanti
  • Learn to let thoughts pass through without experiencing them as “me” or the whole of my reality. Eckhart Tolle
  • When you do not identify with thought, it becomes fruitful, not addictive. Thinking becomes powerful when you no longer rely on it to know who you are. Eckhart Tolle
  • You think, you become that thought. And consciousness, or the state of pure awareness, is lost. Barry Long
  • Our normal ego-self is sustained by ‘thought-chatter’, and so when the chattering stops, it dissolves away, like a balloon without air. Then the atman reveals itself underneath, like a clear blue sky beneath clouds, and we realize that the sense of well-being we feel is emanating from this true self, like heat and light emanating from the sun. Steve Taylor
  • Whenever I notice thoughts being stitched together to create a new “me,” I knocked the chair out from under them. Michael A. Singer
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The realisation of the true Self cannot be grasped by the mind…

  • A mature mind is one who understands the impossibility of knowing the ultimate, and with this understanding there is a new dimension: the dimension of being. Osho
  • The Truth cannot be grasped by the mind. Adyashanti
  • The soul understands what the mind cannot conceive. Neale Donald Walsch
  • You rely too much on brain. The brain is the most overrated organ. Woody Allen
  • If you use your mind to study reality, you will understand neither reality nor the mind. If you study reality without using your mind, you will understand both. Bodhidharma
  • Nobody can tell you who you are. It would just be another concept, so it would not change you. Who you are requires no belief. In fact, every belief is an obstacle. It does not even require your realization since you already are who you are. But without realization, who you are does not shine forth into the world. Eckhart Tolle
  • I confess that there is nothing to teach: no religion, no science, no writings which will lead your mind back to Spirit. Today I speak this way, tomorrow that, but always the Path is beyond words and beyond mind. Lao Tzu
  • Spiritual Awakening is awakening from the dream of thought. Eckhart Tolle
  • Spiritual awakening is being free from conceptualisation. It is awakening from identification with thoughts. It is awakening to the aliveness and depth of this moment.  Eckhart Tolle
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… but only through a realisation born of direct experience through being still

  • Awakening to the truth is a deep realization of what you are as an experience. What is it that is listening? What is it that is feeling? Feel it. Sense it. Welcome it. Adyashanti
  • Ultimately, awakening awareness is experiential. Alone, offered ‘truth’ is but more words in a world too cluttered with pretentious words. Experiencing ‘truth’ will affect a permanent change in you. G.’s Zaadz
  • When you are willing to stop looking for something in thought, you find everything in silence. Gangaji
  • I will experience stillness when I no longer reference the mind for reality. Not a forced silence but a natural, immense silence. The great silence. Adyashanti
  • The mind has to be empty to see clearly. Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still. Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • Stillness
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Transcend the ego through understanding

  • Curiously, the ego’s hold is weakened by acceptance, familiarity, and compassionate understanding; in contrast, it is reinforced by self-criticism, condemnation, fear, and shame. David R. Hawkins
  • There is nothing to realise. There is nothing new to gain…On the other hand a man must lose his ignorance. That is all. Ramana Maharshi
  • Understanding
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Transcend the ego by no longer identifying with it

  • If the ego is biologically rooted, genetically propagated, societally reinforced, and strongly reprogrammed, how can it be overcome? A: It can be transcended. More important is not the nature of the ego but the problem of identification with it as the ‘me’, the ‘I’, or ‘myself ’. The ego was inherited as an ‘it’ and is actually an impersonal ‘it’. The problem arises because one personalizes and identifies with it. That ‘it’ of the ego structure is not unique or individual, and it is relatively similar, with karmic variations, in everyone. What really varies from individual to individual is the degree to which one is enslaved by its programs. The degree of dominance is therefore determined by the extent to which one identifies with it. Inherently, it has no power, and the power to decline the ego’s programs increases exponentially as one progresses spiritually. That is the real meaning of the Map of Consciousness. David R. Hawkins
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Transcend the ego by surrendering all sense of being a doer

  • You don’t have to think about what needs to be done, it is just there, and you just watch the doing of it happen. You are not doing things at the direction of your ego, but at the direction of life itself, which is who you really are. Roger Stephens
  • A centralizing image of a personal self emerges as the belief of an individual personal self as an agent, i.e., the ‘thinker’ of thoughts, the ‘doer’ of actions, and the repository of guilt and self-blame. David R. Hawkins
  • It is a hindrance to consider that there is a personal self, or an ‘I’, or an ego that is doing the striving or seeking or that will become enlightened. It is much easier to realize there is no such thing as the ego or an ‘I’ identity that is doing any seeking, but instead, it is an impersonal aspect of consciousness that is doing the exploring and seeking. David R. Hawkins
  • The soul acts, to be sure, but the activity of the soul is not independent. It acts itself, but the Lord causes it to act. Moreover, the Lord in causing it to act now has regard to its former efforts, and He also caused it to act in a former existence, having regard to its efforts previous to that existence. Adi Shankara
  • The master is not a doer. He has learned the greatest secret of life: let-go. The master has drowned his ego and the idea of separation from existence itself. Rajneesh
  • The activities that you are engaged in are good. It is very good if you can perform them in a selfless spirit, renouncing egotism, giving up the idea that you are the doer. Through such action one develops love and devotion to God, and ultimately realizes Him. Sri Ramakrishna
  • Surrender all sense of being a separate self and agent
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Transcend the ego by allowing life to happen

  • While the ordinary ego is programmed to ‘getting’, spiritual intention now shifts to ‘allowing’, similar to floating in the water rather than flailing about or swimming in it. David R. Hawkins
  • The Universe knows what it’s doing. So don’t develop a big ego, and don’t be afraid. Benjamin Hoff
  • Go with the flow
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Transcend the ego by no longer identifying yourself with your life story

  • We live in a world where most people believe they are their story. “I was born in this family, this is where I was raised, these are the things that happened to me, and this is what I did.” Oprah Winfrey
  • The Work always leaves you with less of a story. Who would you be without your story? You never know until you inquire. There is no story that is you or that leads to you. Every story leads away from you. Turn it around; undo it. You are what exists before all stories. You are what remains when the story is understood. Byron Katie
  • The world is nothing but my perception of it. I see only through myself. I hear only through the filter of my story. Byron Katie
  • This is true freedom: Stepping out of your story. Eckhart Tolle
  • When you are present in this moment, you break the continuity of your story, of past & future. Then true intelligence arises, and also love. Eckhart Tolle
  • Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it. Ram Dass
  • “When you understand,” Brandy says, “that what you’re telling is just a story. It isn’t happening anymore. When you realize the story you’re telling is just words, when you can just crumble up and throw your past in the trashcan,” Brandy says, “then we’ll figure out who you’re going to be.” Chuck Palahniuk
  • Your sense of identity, of self, is reduced to a story you keep telling yourself in your head. “Me and my story.” Eckhart Tolle
  • We are, each of us, our own prisoner. We are locked up in our own story. Maxine Kumin
  • Watch the mind as it tries, in every moment, to co-opt experience by translating it into a story. It tries to draw you away from experience into a mental world that simulates experience. If it succeeds, that story becomes your experience. Gina Lake
  • When we really start to take a look at who we think we are… we start to see that while we may have various thoughts, beliefs, and identities, they do not individually or collectively tell us who we are. And yet it is astounding how completely we humans define ourselves by the content of our minds, feelings, and history. Adyashanti
  • I ask you only to stop imagining that you were born, have parents, are a body, will die and so on. Just try, make a beginning– it is not as hard as you think. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • What is THIS moment like when I experience it without a story? Without checking with mind about what anything means or doesn’t mean? Without going into past or future? Without trying to understand or get anything? What is the storyless NOW like? Only one way to find out. Michael Jeffreys
  • Let go of stories of self
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Transcend the ego by letting go of your identification with the roles you play in life

  • Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it. The next message you need is always right where you are. Ram Dass
  • Usually people are completely unaware of the roles they play. They are those roles. Eckhart Tolle
  • The joy comes when we recognize that whatever situation we may find ourselves in, it’s only a role we are playing. Jean Slatter
  • If circumstances are bad and you have to bear them, do not make them part of yourself. Play your part in life, but never forget it is only a role. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • As soon as the mind and mind identification return; you’re no longer yourself but a mental image of yourself, and you start playing games and roles again to get your ego needs met. Eckhart Tolle
  • In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring one another that our costumes of identity are on straight. Ram Dass
  • Identify with the soul. Not the role. Ram Das
  • It is simply the belief that we know who we are that keeps us from discovering who we really are. We have all spent our formative years developing and refining our egos. Egos are the personalized roles we learn to play, the convenient identifiers of who we are supposed to be. Like a job description, these life description labels are tiny enough to be grasped by our understanding, and once we get a handle on “who I guess I am”, it crystallizes into what is called an ego, a responsible and duty-bound member, first of the family and later of the society. Our loyal performance of these roles is thereafter required, and over the centuries we have elaborated all sorts of social, religious, and legal structures to hold ourselves and each other to their dutiful execution. Roger Stephens
  • The Ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear. Deepak Chopra
  • Our normal sensation of self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing — with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego. Alan Watts
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Transcend the ego through unconditional love and compassion

  • Love is a state of being, and in that state, the ‘me’, with its identifications, anxieties, and possessions is absent. Love cannot be, as long as the activities of the self, of the ‘me’, whether conscious or unconscious, continue to exist. Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • Nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos. That is the way we all see …each other in life. Vanity, fear, desire, competition– all such distortions within our own egos– condition our vision of those in relation to us. Add to those distortions to our own egos the corresponding distortions in the egos of others, and you see how cloudy the glass must become through which we look at each other. That’s how it is in all living relationships except when there is that rare case of two people who love intensely enough to burn through all those layers of opacity and see each other’s naked hearts. Tennessee Williams
  • There are only two states of consciousness that exist – the state of the ego and the state of love. The ego is the narrow state, the seed-form, the atomic stage; love is all encompassing, love is God. The center of the ego is I; the ego exists for itself. The nectar of love is the universe. Love exists for all. Rajneesh
  • When you transcend the transcendent states, you get past the ego structure, and at that point you don’t need laws, you have morality! You have inborn, natural ethics, because it is built on Love.  Edgar Mitchell
  • The way to heal the small self is to reject taking a polarized, right/wrong position, which makes it our enemy, and instead view life with loving compassion and see the intrinsic innocence of the child. We first see the innocence of the child’s consciousness and then the programming that is superimposed. It is because of the child’s lovingness and trustingness that is so programmable, and we begin to see the innocence even within those who seem most hateful. Out of compassion to see into the hearts of things, one finds the intrinsic innocence within the ego that then gets healed through that compassion and love.  We can love our humanness and that of others, and instead of condemning it, we now say, ” I see the seeming validity of that at the time.”  For example, instead of being ashamed of anger and hatred, we say to ourselves, “Well, being angry was inevitable at that time,” because a person who has never hated will not move up to Love since they have never cared that much about life.  If one does not care enough about life to have gotten angry and actually hatred, then they would be down at the level of Apathy. David R. Hawkins
  • LoveCompassion
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Transcend the ego through a sense of oneness with God

  • It is only in beholding and loving God that we can learn forgetfulness of self. Ftnelon
  • Liberation cannot be achieved except by the perception of the identity of the individual spirit with the universal Spirit. Shankara
  • Make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. Bertrand Russell
  • My idea of enlightenment is when ego and Tao are fused, and Tao is perceived as ego. Then everything happens with complete appropriateness. Terence McKenna
  • The truth of Brahman may be understood intellectually. But (even in those who so understand) the desire for personal separateness is deep-rooted and powerful, for it exists from beginningless time. It creates the notion, ‘I am the actor, I am he who experiences.’ This notion is the cause of bondage to conditional existence, birth and death. It can be removed only by the earnest effort to live constantly in union with Brahman. By the sages, the eradication of this notion and the craving for personal separateness is called Liberation. Shankara
  • There is nothing but God. God is absolutely everything. Everything is God being God. And God is without limit within and without. As God is everything, God is also ignorance. How can this be? Ignorance is self, your self, everybody’s self (which Maitreya and most teachers mistakenly call ego). Your self consists of all your opinions, past hurts, frustrations and emotions ¬ all of which were created by past choices. In other words, self is the chooser.  In this place of self, God is ignorant of God.  Barry Long
  • Oneness
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Transcend the ego by surrendering completely to the Now…

  • To let go of the ego, surrender to the now. Say yes to the form this now takes. Look deeply into the Now. The ego cannot exist in the now. It has an inner urge for the future. Eckhart Tolle
  • The decision to make the present moment into your friend is the end of the ego. The ego can never be in alignment with the present moment, which is to say, aligned with life, since its very nature compels it to ignore, resist, or devalue the Now. Eckhart Tolle
  • As long as you identify with ego-mind, you miss the obvious – your own formless presence. Mooji
  • All I can be is who I am right now; I can experience that and work with it. That’s all I can do. The rest is the dream of the ego. Charlotte J. Beck
  • The decision to make the present moment into your friend is the end of ego. Eckhart Tolle
  • Enlightenment cannot be attained if it is sought as a future goal. Give up the search. The entry point is now, not in the future. The ego can only be transcended in the now.  In the depth of you, your essence is already complete.  You are already it.  You just need to realise it.  Eckhart Tolle
  • Make it a habit to feel the inner body as often as you can. Body awareness not only anchors you in the present moment, it is a doorway out of the prison that is the ego. Eckhart Tolle
  • The letting go or acceptance of your experience and state of mind as it is, is always the act of living completely and perfectly in this moment. For we have noted that ego consciousness is a bondage of time, being essentially a complex of memories and anticipations. All egocentric action has an eye to the past or the future; in the strict present the ego does not exist. This is easier to prove by experiment rather than theory, for in concentrating simply and solely upon what is happening at this moment, anticipation and anxiety vanish. … Many masters of the spiritual life have therefore laid especial value upon the exercise of living and thinking simply in this moment, letting the past and the future drop out of the mind; for the ego drops away with them, together with its pride in the past and its fear and greed for the future. Alan Watts
  • The only place the separate self cannot stand is now. Rupert Spira
  • Dismantling the ego, quieting the mind, isn’t something you can actively undertake to do. It just happens on its own, when you consciously accept the moment you are in, when you don’t fight the present reality with thoughts of how you’d like it to be otherwise, or what you’re afraid the next moment might bring, when you don’t resist with justification or regret or blame of self or other. Jan Frazier
  • For the ego to survive, it must make time – past and future – more important than the present moment. Eckhart Tolle
  • Only Presence can free you of the ego, and you can only be present Now, not yesterday or tomorrow. only Presence can undo the past in you and thus transform your state of consciousness. Eckhart Tolle
  • So once you recognize the root of unconsciousness as identification with the mind, which of course includes the emotions, you step out of it. You become present. When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it. The mind in itself is not dysfunctional. It is a wonderful tool. Dysfunction sets in when you seek your self in it and mistake it for who you are. It then becomes the egoic mind and takes over your whole life. Eckhart Tolle
  • Live in the present
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… by accepting what is in this moment without any resistance

  • Do what you have to do. In the meantime, accept what is. Since mind and resistance are synonymous, acceptance immediately frees you from mind dominance and thus reconnects you with Being. As a result, the usual ego motivations for “doing” – fear, greed, control, defending or feeding the false sense of self – will cease to operate. An intelligence much greater than the mind is now in charge, and so a different quality of consciousness will flow into your doing. Eckhart Tolle
  • The separate self perpetuates itself by fighting itself. Do not repress thoughts and feelings. Rupert Spira
  • The decision to make the present moment into your friend is the end of the ego. The ego can never be in alignment with the present moment, which is to say, aligned with life, since its very nature compels it to ignore, resist, or devalue the Now. Time is what the ego lives on. The stronger the ego, the more time takes over your life. Almost every thought you think is then concerned with past or future, and you sense of self depends on the past for your identity and on the future for its fulfillment. Fear, anxiety, expectation, regret, guilt, anger are the dysfunctions of the time-bound state of consciousness. Eckhart Tolle
  • Non-resistance
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Transcend the ego by letting go of the need to know

  • In the most ordinary terms, egolessness is a flexible identity. It manifests as inquisitiveness, as adaptability, as humor, as playfulness. It is our capacity to relax with not knowing, not figuring everything out, with not being at all sure who we are, or who anyone else is, either. Pema Chodron
  • Let go of the need to know and fully understand
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Transcend the ego through letting go of the need to be right

  • There are three things we have to let go of. The first is the compulsion to be successful. Second, is the compulsion to be right-especially theologically right. (That’s merely an ego trip, and because of this need churches split in half, with both parties prisoners of their own egos.) Finally, there is the compulsion to be powerful, to have everything under control.  Richard Rohr
  • Let go of the need to be right
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Transcend the ego through surrender to God

  • My desire is to let go of my ego and let in His direction. Janine Turner
  • The ego-drama is nothing compared with the theo-drama. The fun begins when we let God write our stories. Robert Barron
  • The ultimate meditation is surrender to reality. The more you fight, the more you are in conflict with it, the more you will be a loser. In deep surrender, the ego disappears. And when the ego is not there, for the first time you become aware of that which has always been there. Osho
  • If, in the exact passing moment of each instant, there is a complete willingness to totally surrender to it, one can suddenly, in a flash, transcend the ego, and the way opens for Realization wherein the Light of God as Self reveals the Source of all Existence and Reality. If the ego has neither past, present, nor future to focus on, it falls silent. It is replaced by the Silence of the Presence, and thus, the way to sudden enlightenment is available at all times. David R. Hawkins
  • From the beginning nothing is. There really has never been any beginning, nor is there an end.  The universe is a dream. So is the one who is supposed to understand this!  Belief in oneself, is the only real obstruction to awakening from delusion. The Earth is but an infinitesimal fraction of the enormous illusion of the universe, not to speak of a mere person.  Yet, by identifying yourself with such a minute phenomenon as a body-mind organism with a personal sense of doership, you have forfeited your identity with the infinite Totality. Ramesh Balsekar
  • Surrender
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Transcend the ego through immersion and absorption in life

  • When you paint, you forget everything except your object. When you are too much engrossed in it, you are lost in it. And when you are lost in it, your ego diminishes. And when the ego diminishes, love infinite appears. Meher Baba
  • The best didactic for the elimination of the Ego it is found in the everyday life intensively lived. Samael Aun Weor
  • Immerse yourself in what you doFocus
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Transcend the ego through non-reaction to the ego in others

  • Non-reaction to the ego in others is one of the most effective ways not only of going beyond ego in yourself but also of dissolving the collective human ego. Eckhart Tolle
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Transcend the ego by letting go of the need to compare, control, complain and judge

  • If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time.  It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.  Deepak Chopra
  • See if you can catch, that is to say, notice, the voice in the head, perhaps in the very moment it complains about something, and recognize it for what it is: the voice of the ego, no more than a conditioned mind- pattern, a thought. Whenever you notice that voice, you will also realize that you are not the voice, but the one who is aware of it. Eckhart Tolle
  • Your ego is an avid interpreter. It is so quick to interpret events as ‘bad’ or ‘good,’ ‘wrong’ or ‘right.’ It never fails to see ‘the little picture. Robert Holden
  • The ego cannot survive without judgment. A Course in Miracles
  • When one is without ego, one becomes immediately free of all personal judgements, and perceives life and the world with divine eyes and mind. Peter Russell
  • Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.  Rainer Maria Rilke
  • ComparisonControlComplainingJudgement
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Transcend the ego by relinquishing your sense of self-importance and the need to stand out

  • If you are content with being nobody in particular, content not to stand out, you align yourself with the power of the universe. What looks like weakness to the ego is in fact the only true strength. This spiritual truth is diametrically opposed to the values of our contemporary culture and the way it conditions people to behave. Eckhart Tolle
  • Another aspect of this practice is to refrain from attempting to strengthen the self by showing off, wanting to stand out, be special, make an impression, or demand attention. It may include occasionally refraining from expressing your opinion when everybody is expressing his or hers and seeing what that feels like. Eckhart Tolle
  • We truly become special only when we believe, and act as if, we aren’t! Earon Davis
  • Personal importance or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about “me”. Don Miguel Ruiz
  • Give up your selfishness, and you shall find peace; like water mingling with water, you shall merge in absorption. Sri Guru Granth Sahib
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Transcend the ego through heartfelt gratitude

  • In the spiritual life the easiest way to conquer ego is to offer gratitude to God for five minutes daily. If you cannot offer gratitude for five minutes, then utter it for one minute. Offer your gratitude to God. Then you will feel that inside you a sweet, fragrant and beautiful flower is growing. That is the flower of humility. Sri Chinmoy
  • Gratitude
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Transcend the ego by surrendering to any suffering and suffering consciously

  • Suffering cracks open the shell of ego, and then comes a point when it has served its purpose. Suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary. Eckhart Tolle
  • When you can’t stand the endless cycle of suffering anymore, you begin to awaken. Eckhart Tolle
  • If there is pain, use it as an awareness, as meditation, as a sharpening of the soul. Rajneesh
  • Suffering, if it does not diminish love, will transport you to the furthest shore. Buddha
  • The paradox is that suffering is caused by identification with form and erodes identification with form. A lot of it is caused by the ego, although eventually suffering destroys the ego—but not until you suffer consciously. Eckhart Tolle
  • Become an alchemist. Transmute base metal into gold, suffering into consciousness, disaster into enlightenment. Eckhart Tolle
  • Suffering is a wonderful teacher. Suffering is most people’s only spiritual teacher. Suffering deepens you, it gradually erodes the mind made sense of self, the ego. And for some people the point arrives where they realize “I have suffered enough.” Eckhart Tolle
  • But when the pain that the little me creates for itself becomes intense enough, the ego will self- destruct. It has a self- destruct mechanism built in, fortunately, so eventually every ego dies. Eckhart Tolle
  • Suffering has a noble purpose: the evolution of consciousness and the burning up of the ego. Eckhart Tolle
  • There is no coming to consciousness without pain. Carl Jung
  • Pain has its own noble joy, when it starts a strong consciousness of life, from a stagnant one. John Sterling
  • Life is not suffering; it’s just that you will suffer it, rather than enjoy it, until you let go of your mind’s attachments and just go for the ride freely, no matter what happens. Dan Millman
  • Pain is inevitable as long as you are identified with your mind, which is to say as long as you are unconscious, physically speaking. I am talking here primarily of emotional pain, which is also the main cause of physical pain and physical disease. Resentment, hatred, self-pity, guilt, anger, depression, jealousy, and so on, even the slightest irritation, are all forms of pain.  Eckhart Tolle
  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could spare them from all suffering? No, it wouldn’t. They would not evolve as human beings and would remain shallow, identified with the external form of things.  Suffering drives you deeper.  The paradox is that suffering is caused by identification with form and erodes identification with form.  A lot of it is caused by the ego, although eventually suffering destroys the ego – but not until you suffer consciously.  Eckhart Tolle
  • SurrenderSuffering
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Transcend the ego through radical humility

  • What is your understanding of the core of the ego? A:  It is pride beyond all else. Pride in the form of the vanity of thought, mentation, concepts, and opinions is the basis of ignorance. The antidote is radical humility, which undoes the domination of perception. Ask for truth to be revealed instead of assuming that you already know it.  David R. Hawkins
  • In summation, it can be said that the ego is a compilation of positionalities held together by vanity and fear. It is undone by radical humility, which undermines its propagation. David R. Hawkins
  • Practice radical humility when it comes to your own accomplishments and give credit everywhere except to your ego. Wayne Dyer
  • If you learn how to make fun of yourself, your ego will go down. Nirmala Srivastava
  • The game is not about becoming somebody, it’s about becoming nobody. Ram Dass
  • The higher we develop, the more ego-less we become, until at the highest level there is no discernible identity with the ego at all. Thus, a profound humility characterizes the levels of being beyond ego. Amit Goswami
  • In Reality, everything is automatically manifesting the inherent destiny of its essence; it doesn’t need any external help to do this. With humility, one can relinquish the ego’s self-appointed role as savior of the world and surrender it straight to God. The world that the ego pictures is a projection of its own illusions and arbitrary positionalities. No such world exists. David R. Hawkins
  • Humility
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Transcend the ego through selfless service

  • Do things for others and you’ll find your self-consciousness evaporating like morning dew. Dale Carnegie
  • Most people are so stuck in their egos that everything revolves around me, me, and more me. But if you want to be rich in the truest sense of the word, it can’t only be about you. It has to include adding value to other people’s lives. T. Harv Eker
  • Hard work is painful when life is devoid of purpose. But when you live for something greater than yourself and the gratification of your own ego, then hard work becomes a labor of love. Steve Pavlina
  • I am not here for me I am not here to promote my ego  I am here to serve the Great Spirit  To be a voice for those afraid to speak  To be movement for those who are stuck  I am here to reveal a mystery  To learn something new about myself  Holly Near
  • Joy’s a subtle self, I think man’s happiest when he forgets himself. Cyril Tourneur
  • Just practice good, do good for others, without thinking of making yourself known so that you may gain reward. Really bring benefit to others, gaining nothing for yourself. This is the primary requisite for breaking free of attachments to the Self. Dogen
  • The force behind the ego’s wanting creates “enemies,” that is to say, reaction in the form of an opposing force equal in intensity. The stronger the ego, the stronger the sense of separateness between people. The only actions that do not cause opposing reactions are those that are aimed at the good of all. They are inclusive, not exclusive. They join; they don’t separate. They are not for “my” country but for all of humanity, not for “my” religion but the emergence of consciousness in all human beings, not for “my” species but for all sentient beings and all of nature. Eckhart Tolle
  • The way to freedom is through service to others. The way to happiness is through meditation and being in tune with God… break the barriers of your ego, shed selfishness, free yourself from the consciousness of the body, forget yourself, do away with this prison house of incarnations, melt your heart in all, be one with creation. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • In some cases, the personal ego seems to dissolve completely as someone dedicates his or her life to working selflessly for the greater good of the collective without demanding personal rewards, recognition, or aggrandizement. What a relief to be freed of the dreadful burden of personal self. Eckhart Tolle
  • Service
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Transcend the ego by dropping personal pronouns

  • Drop nouns and pronouns and live only verbs. Osho
  • It is only when we have renounced our preoccupation with ‘I,’ ‘me,’ ‘mine’ that we can truly possess the world in which we live. Aldous Huxley
  • Gratuitous mystification begins from the moment that we start to peer around for the beings named by our pronouns.’ Gilbert Ryle
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The ego can be temporarily dissolved with some psychedelic drugs

  • The “ego death” that Bradley describes is an extreme state brought on by psychedelic drugs that is becoming increasingly popular with online psychonauts: an initially terrifying sensation of dying, where the user enters a trance and occasionally screams, before their entire sense of self disappears and they’re left with nothing but the awareness that everything in the universe is connected. James Nolan
  • First written about by LSD advocate Timothy Leary in 1964, he defined ego death as “complete transcendence − beyond words, beyond space-time, beyond self. There are no visions, no sense of self, no thoughts. There are only pure awareness and ecstatic freedom.” James Nolan
  • Researchers believe the ego death sensation stems from the part of the brain responsible for our sense of self – the “default mode network” – being quietened by psychedelic drugs, which disrupt negative thought patterns and open up new perspectives. James Nolan
  • I had a fairly high-dose psilocybin trip and had the remarkable experience of feeling my sense of self kind of crumble into little slips of paper, like little Post-its, you know, just blown to the wind. But, oddly enough, I was still experiencing the scene. I could see it happening. And I didn’t have any panic, and I had no desire to take all of those little pieces of paper and pile them back together again. I mean, it was sort of a Humpty Dumpty moment, but without any kind of anxiety. Then, it morphed into a scene where I could see myself, and I know how paradoxical this sounds –– because who is the “I”? –– but I could see myself spread out over the landscape like a coat of paint or butter. And I beheld this scene, I was conscious of it, even though I was not in here, I was out there. But I still had access to a perspective on it. But it wasn’t my normal ego perspective, because it was completely unperturbed by this cataclysm. And just kind of took it in objectively, dispassionately. It was fine, from the perspective that I had. Michael Pollan\
  • What do psychedelics do to the human mind? The honest answer: nobody quite understands. We’re really just at the beginning of exploring that frontier. But psychedelics appear to diminish activity in one very important brain network called the default mode network. That network is very involved with operations having to do with our sense of self: how we integrate what’s happening to us in any given moment, with our abiding sense of who we are. The interesting thing about psychedelics, both LSD and psilocybin — the ingredient in magic mushrooms — is that they take this network offline. When that happens, you have this sensation of ego-dissolution: that your self is evaporating or dissolving. Michael Pollan
  • The very first study in the modern era of psychedelic research, of any importance, was a 2006 study done at Johns Hopkins by a scientist named Roland Griffiths, a very prominent drug-abuse scientist. He found that what the psychedelics did in about 80% of cases was induce a mystical experience, which is a spiritual experience that was studied closely by William James 100 years ago. It has various aspects to it. Prominent among them is this dissolving of a sense of self, but that is followed by a merging with the universe, or with nature, or other people. It’s called the noetic sense — this sense that what you’re seeing or feeling or learning on this experience has the status of revealed truth. It’s not just an opinion — it’s objectively true. Michael Pollan
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Ultimately, the ego is transcended through grace

  • It is not possible to undo the ego/experiencer complex in a linear fashion, nor is it possible without Divine assistance, which is provided by the presence of the spiritual energy itself. David R. Hawkins
  • Grace
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If not the ego, who are you?

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Investigate the source of your sense of I-ness

  • The ego’s phenomenal existence is transcended when you dive into the source from where the ‘I-thought’ rises. Ramana Maharshi
  • Reality is simply the loss of ego. Destroy the ego by seeking its identity. Because the ego is no entity it will automatically vanish, and reality will shine forth by itself. This is the direct method. Ramana Maharshi
  • To ask the mind to kill itself is like making the thief the policeman. He will go with you and pretend to catch the thief, but nothing will be gained. So you must turn inward and see where the mind rises from, and then it will cease to exist. Ramana Maharshi
  • But what exactly is this sense of “I-ness?” I use the word “I” hundreds of times a day without hesitation. I say that I am thinking or seeing something, that I have a feeling or desire, that I know or remember something. It is the most familiar, most intimate, most obvious aspect of myself. I know exactly what I mean by “I.” Until, that is, I try to describe it or define it. Then I run into trouble. Peter Russell
  • Don’t trouble yourself with endless questions about God, existence, destiny,and all the rest. Instead, find out who is the person who wants to know such things. Who is the one experiencing these mental torments? A person who made such self-inquiries with all sincerity and good effort ultimately could find no one home. He or she would discover that there is no separate individual self, only a stream of thoughts. Or, put another way, upon this realization, one would clearly see that the “self” was either nothing at all— or the entire cosmos.  Robert Lanza
  • Looking for the self is rather like being in a dark room with a flashlight, and then shining it around trying to find the source of the light. All one would find are the various objects in the room that the light falls upon. It is the same when I try to look for the subject of all experience. All I find are the various ideas, images and feelings that the attention falls upon. But these are all objects of experience; they cannot therefore be the subject of the experience. Peter Russell
  • Suppose you turn your attention inward in search of this ‘I’. You may encounter nothing more than an ever-changing stream of consciousness, a flow of thoughts and feelings in which there is no real self to be discovered. Jim Holt
  • The second, very different, line of research involves the exploration of subjective experience. People who have delved into the nature of the actual experience of self have discovered that the closer they examine this sense of “I” , the more it seems to dissolve. Time and again they find there is no independent self. There are thoughts of “I”, but no “I” that is thinking them. They find that what we take to be a sense of an omnipresent “I” is simply consciousness itself. There is no separate experiencer; there is simply a quality of being, a sense of presence, an awareness that is always there whatever our experience. They conclude that what we experience to be an independent self is a construct in the mind—very real in its appearance but of no intrinsic substance. It, like the choices it appears to make, is a consequence of processes in the brain. It has no free will of its own.  Peter Russell
  • To begin with it may seem like a watching of the apparent ‘me,’ seeing that it is just one more appearance amongst many. However, in time this ‘me’ appearance tends to appear less and less. It dies of neglect. Rupert Spira
  • To find out what is truly individual in ourselves, profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality is. Carl Jung
  • To see what the separate self is, is to see that it isn’t. Rupert Spira
  • How can we know that the conventional sense of self is an illusion? When we look closely, it vanishes. This is compelling in the same way that the disappearance of any illusion is: You thought something was there, but upon closer inspection, you see that it isn’t. Sam Harris
  • Look for whatever it is you are calling “I” without being distracted by even the subtlest undercurrent of thought—and notice what happens the moment you turn consciousness upon itself. Sam Harris
  • Gratuitous mystification begins from the moment that we start to peer around for the beings named by our pronouns.’ Gilbert Ryle
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Turn your attention to the awareness you are

  • As an apparently separate self, the highest choice we can make is to turn our attention away from the objects that we seem to know, towards the Knowing with which they are known. Making that choice effects this disentanglement of our self from the body/mind, and, as a result, our true nature stands revealed as it is. Rupert Spira
  • As ego goes, consciousness grows until it Knows – Itself. Ron Rattner
  • First, we must know ourselves as the witnesses only, dimensionless and timeless centres of observation. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • The entire movement to “get rid of” or “be free of” ego is a movement towards future. Whenever there is effort towards future, the time-bound story is running the show. The cycle of seeking continues…. In discovering that the movement towards future awakening is just more bondage to the time-bound ego, the possibility for a timeless seeing arises. This timeless seeing emanates from awareness, which cannot be sought in the future because it is what is awake right now. Future is merely a thought arising in it. Scott Kiloby
  • The core of subjectivity—the ‘I’—is identical to awareness. This ‘I’ should be differentiated from the various aspects of the physical person and its mental contents which form the ‘self.’ Arthur J. Deikman
  • The sense of being a separate self is maintained through narrow focusing or contracting around appearances that arise and fall in awareness. Awareness itself is naturally wide open and spacious. Take a moment to sit back and see that the entire experience of now is happening in that open space. Scott Kiloby
  • There is no separate self – no doer, thinker, or chooser. The sense of being a self is just an appearance (experience) arising in Awareness I am. The story of me is a thought arising now. The awareness I am is not local. All I need do is sit back in the seat of awareness and allow this experience to unfold. Anthony Lambert
  • This ‘you’ or ego seems to have awareness, but in reality, there is awareness of the you/ego. Leo Hartong
  • Can you see that this “I” is fleeting, a temporary formation, like a wave pattern on the surface of the water? Who is it that sees this? Who is it that is aware of the fleetingness of your physical and psychological form? I am. This is the deeper “I” that has nothing to do with past and future. Eckhart Tolle
  • The “you” that is observing and is aware of what is happening always stays the same. As you become more and more aware of the changeless witness within, you begin to identify with that level of consciousness. You become progressively primarily the witness rather than the experiencer of phenomena. You get closer and closer to the real Self. David R. Hawkins
  • Doing brings ego. Ego is the shadow of action. And there is only one thing that is not doing and that is awareness, watchfulness. The only thing that is not part of the world of action is pure awareness. No shadow is created by pure awareness. It is so pure that light can pass through it – it is transparent, and no shadow is created. Rajneesh
  • In being aware of being aware, there is no room for a separate self. There is just eternal, infinite awareness, resting in and as its own inherently peaceful, unconditionally fulfilled being… knowing, being and loving itself alone.  Rupert Spira
  • AwarenessAttention
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Realise your true identity as consciousness

  • All that divides us from the sea of infinite consciousness at this point is a thin envelope of personal identity. Eknath Easwaran
  • As ego goes, consciousness grows until it Knows – Itself. Ron Rattner
  • As the real experiencer (the nonlocal consciousness) I operate from outside the system—transcending my brain-mind that is localized in space-time-from behind the veil of the tangled hierarchy of my brain-mind’s systems. Amit Goswami
  • Awareness willingly limits itself – knowingly and willingly limits itself – in order to assume the form of the finite mind around whom the ego revolves, in order to bring manifestation into existence. Rupert Spira
  • One does not even have to destroy the ego or even work on it. The only simple task to be accomplished is to let go of the identification with the ego as one’s real self! David R. Hawkins
  • It is a hindrance to consider that there is a personal self, or an ‘I’, or an ego that is doing the striving or seeking or that will become enlightened. It is much easier to realize there is no such thing as the ego or an ‘I’ identity that is doing any seeking, but instead, it is an impersonal aspect of consciousness that is doing the exploring and seeking. David R. Hawkins
  • Do not think of yourself as the body, but as the joyous consciousness and immortal life behind it. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • Take no notice of the ego and its activities but see only the light behind. Ramana Maharshi
  • Ego is the immediate dictate of human consciousness. Max Planck
  • Our real nature is not our imaginary, limited ego. Our true nature is vast, all-comprehensive, and intangible as empty space. Anagarika Govinda
  • In ignorance we identify with a limited version of the cosmic subject; we conclude, I am this body-mind. As the real experiencer (the non-local consciousness) I operate from outside the system.  – transcending my brain-mind that is localised in space-time.  Amit Goswami
  • …the “I” that is never satisfied for long. It is a mind-made sense of who you are, conditioned by the past and seeking to find its fulfillment in the future. Can you see that this “I” is fleeting, a temporary formation, like a wave pattern on the surface of the water? Who is it that sees this? Who is it that is aware of the fleetingness of your physical and psychological form? I am. This is the deeper “I” that has nothing to do with past and future. Eckhart Tolle
  • The apparent person is a sensation with a thought attached to it. Does a sensation understand anything? Ask yourself, does the tingling sensation called ‘my hands’ understand these words? And now ask yourself if a thought understands anything. For instance, take the thought, “I’d like to have a cup of tea.” Does that thought understand anything? No! Thoughts do not understand. They are understood. Sensations do not understand. They are felt. nnIt is Consciousness, not a person, a body or a mind, that understands. In fact Consciousness IS understanding. It does not DO understanding. Rupert Spira
  • The ego is the identified consciousness. When the impersonal Consciousness identifies itself with the personal organism, the ego arises. Ramesh Balsekar
  • The hero of the story is the one that survives all the vicissitudes of life, the one that never fears death, the one that looks on all seeming things with equality, the one that is eternally anchored in love and truth – that one is your self, Awareness, never an individual entity. Rupert Spira
  • The point to see is that this sense of individuality is an object in the Awareness-You-Are. The confusion starts when we exclusively identify as the object; i.e. the separate character. Leo Hartong
  • The problem seems to be that good Tim is too weak to triumph over bad Tim. But actually the problem is the war itself. Peace is only possible when I stop identifying with either of these Tims and instead become conscious of my deeper identity as the ‘I’ of awareness, which is witnessing the whole silly drama, so I can embrace all of Tim with big love. Tim Freke
  • The Unknowable Knower who has room for all characters, thoughts and states. Because of its unconditional non-quality of limitless spaciousness, it has also been called ‘pure and unconditional love.’ Leo Hartong
  • When you realize your true nature as awareness, self-centered thoughts start arising in the light of awareness and are seen as empty. You stop interpreting reality in a way that creates and maintains a “you” at the center. Self-centeredness is replaced with unconditional love. Scott Kiloby
  • When you think or speak about yourself, when you say, “I,” what you usually refer to is “me and my story.” This is the “I” of your likes and dislikes, fears and desires, the “I” that is never satisfied for long. It is a mind-made sense of who you are, conditioned by the past and seeking to find its fulfillment in the future. Can you see that this “I” is fleeting, a temporary formation, like a wave pattern on the surface of the water? Who is it that sees this? Who is it that is aware of the fleetingness of your physical and psychological form? I am. This is the deeper “I” that has nothing to do with past and future. Eckhart Tolle
  • You are not a separate person. The “separate person” is an object in awareness. You are no-thing—awareness itself. Scott Kiloby
  • What you are calling “I” is itself a feeling that arises among the contents of consciousness. Consciousness is prior to it, a mere witness of it, and, therefore, free of it in principle. Sam Harris
  • The contemplative lifestyle facilitates transfer of the sense of identity from body/ mind to witness/ observer, which is more primary and closer to the Truth of the Self and Reality. The next step is the withdrawal of the sense of ‘I’ from the witness/ observer, where it moves to the faculty of consciousness/ awareness itself, which is a quality rather than a personage. There is the emergence of the awareness that all takes place spontaneously as a consequence of the overall field plus intention, and ‘you’ as the imaginary causal agent were never necessary in the first place.  David R. Hawkins
  • Consciousness
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Realise your true nature as the divine Self (God experiencing through form)

  • As long as we think we are the ego, We feel attached and fall into sorrow. But realize that you are the Self, the Lord Of life, and you will be freed from sorrow. When you realize that you are the Self, Supreme source of light, supreme source of love, You transcend the duality of life And enter into the unitive state. The Upanishad
  • There is no separate self to become enlightened. Awareness (God) is already enlightened. Just does not know it.
  • God I am absorbed in the illusion of being a person. Anthony Lambert
  • Remove the Ego and Avidya (Ignorance) is gone. Look for it, the ego vanishes, and the real Self alone remains. Ramana Maharshi
  • To become conscious of your naked essence you need to peel away all your superficial identities to reveal the deep self. Tim Freke
  • To ease the transition of identification from self to Self, it is helpful to know that the lesser becomes replaced by the greater, and thus, no loss is experienced. David R. Hawkins
  • Even after the Truth has been realized, there remains that strong, beginningless, obstinate impression that one is the agent and experiencer… This has to be carefully removed by living in a state of constant identification with the supreme Self. Sages call that cessation of mental impressions, “Liberation.” Adi Shankara
  • For see! The Self is in all beings, and all beings are in the Self. Know you are free, Free of ‘I’, Free of ‘mine.’ Be happy.  The Ashtavakra Gita
  • The experience of the self is always a defeat for the ego. Carl Jung
  • One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star. Gilbert K. Chesterton
  • God has stolen my [illusory] “I” from me and has broght me near to my [real] “I” … The colors have returned ot the pure primoridal white. The voyage has reached its end and everything other than Him has ceased to exist. All attribution, every aspect and all relation being abolished, the original state is re-established. Abd el-Kader
  • God is the collective ego of the world. Rajneesh
  • Man must be conscious of himself as a separate ego in order to be able consciously to transcend separate selfhood; he must do battle with the lower self in older that he may become identified with that higher Self within him, which is akin to the divine Not-Self; and finally he must make use of his cleverness in order to pass beyond cleverness to the intellectual vision of Truth, the immediate, unitive knowledge of the divine Ground. Aldous Huxley
  • Our self is not the ego. The ego is only an operational, temporary identity of the self. Amit Goswami
  • What gives me the unshakable sense of being an individual is not Tim. It is the ‘I’ of my deeper nature. The ‘I’ is the one that binds the fragments of Tim into the semblance of a someone. Tim Freke
  • That is the ego which rises and sinks periodically. But you exist always. That which lies beyond the ego is consciousness – the Self. Ramana Maharshi
  • The real you, the inner you, is pure, very pure. It’s loving and it’s magnanimous. It understands. It has patience.  It is tolerant-it will wait forever while your ego trots all over everywhere trying to figure life out.  It is pleasing to remember that back home there is a friend who’s waiting for you to stop being silly, who’s waiting to welcome you with open arms if and when you show up.  Stuart Wilde
  • Upon awakening, the locus of our identity shifts from the ego to the Self. Before awakening, the sense of me is associated with our personality, our body, and the ego, which includes our thoughts, beliefs, desires, feelings, roles, identities, and other conditioning. After awakening, we know ourselves as the Self, which we see as expressing itself through our particular personality and body. This shift can often be seen in the eyes of those who have awakened. Gina Lake
  • We find that there is self beyond ego. A greater self. Amit Goswami
  • We realize that the ego-self which we always thought was our true self – the chattering ‘I’ with its never-ending worries and desires – is only a kind of limited and false shadow self, a sort of impostor which has taken over our psyche. Now we become a much more stable, deep-rooted and expansive self, which can’t be damaged by rejection and doesn’t constantly hanker for attention and is free of the anxieties that oppress the ego. Steve Taylor
  • Your centre of gravity will shift from your chattering ego-mind to a deeper self. You will feel that your normal sense of ‘I’ was only really the product of the constant thoughts and desires that ran through your mind and that beneath that thought-chatter there is another self which seems more essentially you, and stronger, more complete. Steve Taylor
  • The means by which in the circumstances of a particular human life, the T was purged away so as to make room for the divine ‘not-I.’ Aldous Huxley
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Recognise your true nature as a soul having a human experience

  • Self is the only prison that can ever bind the soul. Henry Van Dyke
  • Behind everyone’s learned behaviors and odd eccentricities lurks a soul, ready to make contact if only coaxed out through a crack in the ego. Ram Dass
  • Spiritual practices help us move from identifying with the ego to identifying with the soul. Old age does that for you too. It spiritualizes people naturally. Ram Dass
  • When you are in-spirit (inspired) you have no need for the ego. Wayne Dyer
  • He who sees his soul is more than his life does not confuse the two. Gary Zukav
  • Life is God’s experience
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In reality, consciousness is only experiencing consciousness

  • Not only does Consciousness know its own Being; Consciousness never ceases to know its own Being. In reality, Consciousness never knows anything other than its own Being. Rupert Spira
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To transcend ego is to realise oneness

 

To see through the illusion of the ego is to sense deeply your oneness with all

  • Alan Watts argues, the sense of “I” and the illusion of its separateness from the rest of the universe is so pervasive and so deeply rooted in the infrastructure of our language, our institutions, and our cultural conventions that we find ourselves unable to “experience selfhood except as something superficial in the scheme of the universe.” The antidote lies in recognizing not merely that we belong to and with the rest of universe, but that there is no “rest” in the first place — we are the universe. Maria Popova
  • As Hubert Benoit said, it is not the identification with the ego that is the problem, but the exclusive nature of the identification. When our self-identity expands beyond the ego, into the deeper psychic, then even into the Unborn and One Taste, the ego is simply taken up and subsumed in a grander identity. But the ego itself remains as the functional self in the gross realm, and it might even appropriately be intensified and made more powerful, simply because it is now plugged into the entire Kosmos. Ken Wilber
  • Can you dissolve your ego? Can you abandon the idea of self and other? Can you relinquish the notions of male and female, short and long, life and death? Can you let go of all these dualities and embrace the Tao without skepticism or panic? If so, you can reach the heart of the Integral Oneness. Lao Tzu
  • Direct knowledge of the Ground cannot be had except by union, and union can be achieved only by the annihilation of the self-regarding ego, which is the barrier separating the ‘thou’ from the ‘That’ Aldous Huxley
  • The word enlightenment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way, but it is simply your natural state of felt oneness with Being. Eckhart Tolle
  • Illusory separateness—the identity with the separate “I” of self-reference (rather than the “we” of unitive consciousness). Amit Goswami
  • In seeing that the separate self is an illusion, the center falls away. When the center falls away, there is still the sense of the body. There is still the experiencing of states, emotions, thoughts and events. There is still the personality and individual skills and attributes. But it no longer feels as if you are the center of life. When the center goes, the separation, struggle, conflict, and searching go with it. Even if self-centered thoughts still arise, they are seen as empty. There is no longer identification with a totally separate “me.” There is a seeing that your real identity is something much larger than the individual body and the dream self you mistakenly took yourself to be. There are many words for this “something larger” including God, Brahman, the Tao, enlightenment, liberation, reality or Oneness. Scott Kiloby
  • It is not merely that we belong to and with the rest of universe. We are the universe. Alan Watts
  • The bad news  is  that  you  don’t  exist;  the  good  news  is  that  you’re everything.  Gary Weber
  • There is, in sanest hours, a consciousness, a thought that rises, independent, lifted out from all else, calm, like the stars, shining eternal. This is the thought of identity…. Like the shadowy dwarf in the fable, once liberated and look’d upon, it expands over the whole earth, and spreads to the roof of heaven.   Walt Whitman
  • In the Sermon on th Mount, Jesus makes a prediction that to this day few people have understood. He says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” In modern versions of the Bible, “meek” is translated as humble. Who are the meek or the humble, and what does it mean that they shall inherit the earth? The meek are the egoless. They are those who have awakened to their essential true nature as consciousness and recognize that essence in all “others,” all life-forms. They live in the surrendered state and so feel their oneness with the whole and the Source. They embody the awakened consciousness that is changing all aspects of life on our planet, including nature, because life on earth is inseparable from the human consciousness that perceives and interacts with it. That is the sense in which the meek will inherit the earth.  Eckhart Tolle
  • This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated “egos” inside bags of skin. Alan Watts
  • When your ego dissolves, it seems to me, based on my experience and my interviews with lots of people who’ve had this experience, the border between subject and object melts away. You merge with, it could be nature. It could be other people. That feels mystical. You have a sense of oneness with all of creation. So you could look at that as, “Okay, that’s a kind of, a religious experience, or an experience of the divine,” or you could say, “No, that’s just how it feels when your ego goes away.” See what I mean? I mean, they’re both true. Michael Pollan
  • Oneness
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In oneness, you expand your sense of self to include all selves

  • Care flows naturally if the “self” is widened and deepened so that protection of free Nature is felt and conceived as protection of ourselves…Just as we need no morals to make us breathe…[so] if your “self” in the wide sense embraces another being, you need no moral exhortation to show care…You care for yourself without feeling any moral pressure to do it. Fritjof Capra
  • Ecstasy is from the contemplation of things vaster than the individual and imperfectly seen perhaps, by all those that still live. William Butler Yeats
  • When not preoccupied with ourselves, we actually have a chance to expand the concept of who we are. Loss of self-consciousness can lead to self-transcendence, to a feeling that the boundaries of our being have been pushed forward. Peter Russell
  • You think you are somebody and that is where the problem begins. You’re really not somebody, you’re everybody. You objectify yourself into thinking that you are a particular state of being. Frederick Lenz
  • There no longer is a volitional personal self nor its presumed inner causal-agent quality, and the sense of ‘I’ now includes all of Existence, beyond time, dimension, or linear description. There is no longer any feeling of ‘mine’, nor any feeling of having qualities of possession or control. All is Self-existent and Self-fulfilling. David R. Hawkins
  • You are naturally attuned to the whole cosmos, and you understand that the whole cosmos is forever and always on your side because now you are on its side. In this space, you don’t feel so much that it is you doing things; your concept of you has been enlarged to include everything and everyone around you. Roger Stephens
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The rewards of transcending the ego

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Transcending the ego and getting in touch with your true self leads to a wonderful transformation…

  • If we identify with the soul, we awaken the authentic self, inspire the spirit and fuel the fire of transformation. Micheal Teal
  • To be enlightened is to be unconditionally intimate with this moment. Scott Morrison
  • The true self is certain and clear about things. The everyday self gets influenced by countless outside influences, leading to confusion. 2. The true self is stable. The everyday self shifts constantly. 3. The true self is driven by a deep sense of truth. The everyday self is driven by the ego, the unending demands of “I, me, mine.” 4. The true self is at peace. The everyday self is easily agitated and disturbed. 5. The true self is love. The everyday self, lacking love, seeks it from outside sources. Deepak Chopra
  • When ego is lost, limit is lost. You become infinite, kind, beautiful. Yogi Bhajan
  • Ego is to the true self what a flashlight is to a spotlight. John Bradshaw
  • All troubles come to an end when the ego dies. Ramakrishna
  • When ego is lost, limit is lost. You become infinite, kind, beautiful. Harbhajan Singh Yogi
  • Give up the drop and gain the whole ocean. Swami Satchidananda
  • The divine eternal fullness of life can be gained only by those who have deliberately lost the partial, separative life of craving and self-interest, of egocentric thinking, feeling, wishing and acting. Aldous Huxley
  • The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self. Albert Einstein
  • We can still function very well in the apparent world of time and space without the sense of being a separate entity. In fact, free of the limited notions of being a separate entity, and the desires and fears that are required to maintain this position, life becomes free, alive and vibrant. Experience is relieved of the demand to produce happiness for a non-existent entity and flowers as a result. Relationships are relieved of the demand to produce love and love shines in them naturally as a result. And when there is no engagement with the body, mind or world, the default position of Consciousness is not to shrink back into the isolated cell of a self-contracted entity, not to collapse back into a person. It is to remain as it is, transparent, luminous Presence, open, empty, silent and available, ready to take its shape as the totality of experience at every moment. Rupert Spira
  • When the ego dissolves, so does a bounded conception not only of our self but of our self-interest. What emerges in its place is invariably a broader, more openhearted and altruistic — that is, more spiritual — idea of what matters in life. One in which a new sense of connection, or love, however defined, seems to figure prominently. Michale Pollan
  • When you’re no longer the plaything of an illusory despot, like the shadows in Plato’s cave, your wisdom, love for others and compassion can be freely expressed. It’s a freedom from the limitations imposed by attachment to a self, not at all an anaesthesia of the will. This “opening of the eyes of wisdom” increases your strength of mind, your diligence, and your capacity to take appropriate and altruistic action. Matthieu Ricard
  • The moment one starts sharing one`s being without any motive life becomes a sweet fragrance. It is all honey. Then everything remains the same, yet nothing is the same any more. When your heart beats in harmony, in love, in joy, when you are no longer greedy, when there are no desires and no ambitions, and when there are no ego trips anymore, one is simply, ordinary, but sweet. That taste is the taste of god. Rajneesh
  • Transformation
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Transcending the ego awakens you to the divine essence within you…

  • Even the enlightened person is never more than his own limited ego before the One who dwells within him, whose form has no knowable boundaries, who encompasses him on all sides, fathomless as the abysms of the earth and vast as the sky. Carl Jung
  • The Ego is a veil between humans and God. Rumi
  • God transcends all conceptuality. Only ego presumes that the All-Pervading Divine Presence could be reduced to words. Leland Lewis
  • We awaken when we shift our consciousness and see life through the eyes of our divine essence. Awakened beings develop an awareness of their true spiritual natures. The more we awaken, the more empathy we feel for all life forms on earth. Marta Davidovich Ockuly
  • There is no need to invent an ego that is separate from the divine if our basic human nature is trusted. If we trust ourselves, we know how to avoid interfering with nature and how to live in harmony. When we know God as an unseen, loving, and accepting power at the heart of everything, allowing us to make our own choices, then God is a trusted part of our nature.  Wayne Dyer
  • I lovingly nurture the god in embryo that lies deep within my soul. I awaken myself to the deep stillness that lies deep within my heart. Deepak Chopra
  • You are not the ego, so when you become aware of the ego in you, it does not mean you know who you are – it means you know who you are not. But it is through knowing who you are not that the greatest obstacle to truly knowing yourself is removed. Eckhart Tolle
  • Awaken to who you truly are
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…awakening you to deep happiness and peace…

  • Real happiness abides in Self-knowledge alone. All else is fleeting. To know one’s Self is to be blissful always. Ramana Maharshi
  • To imagine that some little thing – food, sex, power, fame-will make you happy is to deceive oneself. Only something as vast and deep as your real self can make you truly and lastingly happy. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • To know the self as the only reality and all else as temporal and transient is freedom, peace and joy. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • Our essential nature is pure potentiality, infinite creativity, pure joy, pure knowledge, infinite silence, perfect balance, simplicity and bliss. Deepak Chopra
  • Nearly all mankind is more or less unhappy because nearly all do not know the true Self. Real happiness abides in Self- knowledge alone. All else is fleeting. To know one’s Self is to be blissful always. Ramana Maharshi
  • All unhappiness is caused by our trying to be limited, to be an ego. The more we are our Self, the happier we are. We will never be completely happy until we are completely being our Self. Lester Levenson
  • Our ego’s futile and ferocious attempts to make everything come out its own way give way to letting the chips fall where they may. Yes frees us from the suffering caused by the compulsion to be in charge. David Richo
  • A true spiritual practitioner is someone who has discovered that it is possible to be at ease in the world for no reason, if only for a few moments at a time, and that such ease is synonymous with transcending the apparent boundaries of the self. Those who have never tasted such peace of mind might view these assertions as highly suspect. Nevertheless, it is a fact that a condition of selfless well-being is there to be glimpsed in each moment. Sam Harris
  • I – Want – Peace, I is ego, Want is desire; Remove ego and desire and you have peace. Sathya Sai Baba
  • Happy are those who have overcome their egos; happy are those who have attained peace; happy are those who have found the Truth. Gautama Buddha
  • The Spirit isn’t driven to meet basic needs because it’s already whole and complete right now. So, when you feel this completeness or okayness, moment to moment, it’s a good sign of spiritual awakening. Scott Jeffrey
  • HappinessInner peace
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… awakening you to love through a sense of oneness with all…

  • If you look at yourself and life through the lens of your ego, you’ll feel isolated, ganged up on, alone, different, and not part of the crowd. If you look through the lens of Spirit, knowing we’re all one, you’ll always feel safe, secure, ad loved. Sonia Choquette
  • Love always thinks of the other; ego thinks only of oneself. Love is always considerate; ego is absolutely inconsiderate. Ego has only one language and that is of self. Ego always uses the other; love is ready to be used, love is ready to serve. Philip T. Sudo
  • The more you understand your true spiritual identity, and your connection with the Supreme, the easier it will be to love your Self. Stephen Knapp
  • As you dissolve into love, your ego fades. You’re not thinking about loving; you’re just being love, radiating like the sun. Ram Dass
  • A Oneness of all. An evolution in consciousness of us all that isn’t about the egos. Ram Dass
  • The way they perceive the world suddenly changes, and they find themselves without any sense of separation between themselves and the rest of the world. Adyashanti
  • There can never be an “enlightened person,” there is only the realization that there is no separation. Halina Pytlasinka
  • We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Love is the realisation we are one. It is meeting another as yourself. Eckhart Tolle
  • In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form. You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature. You look beyond the veil of form and separation. This is the realization of oneness. This is love. Eckhart Tolle
  • We are not responding to this instant, if we are judging any aspect of it. The ego looks for what to criticize. This always involves comparing with the past. But love looks upon the world peacefully and accepts.  The ego searches for short comings and weaknesses.  Love watches for any sign of strength. It sees how far each one has come, and not how far he has to go.  How simple it is to love, and exhausting it is always to find fault, for every time we see a fault, we think something needs to be done about it.  Love knows that nothing is ever needed but more love.  It is what we all do with our hearts that affects others most deeply.  It is not the movements of our body or the words within our minds that transmit love.  We love from heart to heart. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
  • The desire to transcend one’s own ego boundaries, to share completely, even for a moment, the consciousness of another person must be a universal longing. It motivates many of our activities from taking drugs to making love and lies behind the search for new ways of getting close to one another that is so intense in our society today. Andrew Weil
  • Oneness
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… awakening you to joy…

  • Joy is the realization of oneness, the oneness of our soul with the world and of the world- soul with the supreme love. Rabindranath Tagore
  • To discover joy is to return to a state of oneness with the universe. Peggy Jenkins
  • True joy results when we become aware of our connectedness to everything. Paul Pearsall
  • The challenge of the path of joy is to create freedom. True joy comes from operating with Inner- Directedness and recognizing who you are. Sanaya Roman
  • I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being. Hafez of Shiraz
  • Our essential nature is pure potentiality, infinite creativity, pure joy, pure knowledge, infinite silence, perfect balance, simplicity and bliss. Deepak Chopra
  • Happy are those who have overcome their egos; happy are those who have attained peace; happy are those who have found the Truth. Gautama Buddha
  • Give up all bad qualities in you, banish the ego and develop the spirit of surrender. You will then experience Bliss. Sri Sathya Sai Baba
  • Ego could be defined as whatever covers up basic goodness. From an experiential point of view, what is ego covering up? It’s covering up our experience of just being here, just fully being where we are, so that we can relate with the immediacy of our experience. Egolessness is a state of mind that has complete confidence in the sacredness of the world. It is unconditional well-being, unconditional joy that includes all the different qualities of our experience. Pema Chodron
  • Once the mind let go, the non-personal, indescribably joyful flavour of the vastness experiencing itself moved radically to the foreground forever. Suzanne Segal
  • Joy
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…and aliveness

  • One of the first things noticed when the ego is transcended is the enormous transformation of all life into intense aliveness. David R. Hawkins
  • De-emphasizing who you are on the level of form is another way of generating consciousness. Discover the enormous power that flows through you into the world when you are emphasizing your form-identity. Eckhart Tolle
  • Being fully alive
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…awakening you to freedom and possibility…

  • When you discover your essential nature and know who you really are, in that knowing itself is the ability to fulfill any dream you have…and the more you experience your true nature, the closer you are to the field of pure potentiality. Deepak Chopra
  • Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free. Eckhart Tolle
  • As the ego is no longer running your life, the psychological need for external security, which is illusory anyway, lessens. You are able to live with uncertainty, even enjoy it. When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. Eckhart Tolle
  • Freedom from the self, not of the self. Osho
  • Identities are limiting. Not being stuck in a permanent fixed-self opens possibilities in my life. Toni Bernhard J.D.
  • Self still exists, but it is a changed, radiant self. For something that is far superior to the unimportant personality, which was I, some deeper diviner being rises into consciousness and becomes me. With it arrives an amazing sense of absolute freedom, for thought is like a loom shuttle, which is always going to and fro, and to be freed from its tyrannical motion is to step out of prison into the open air. Steve Taylor
  • Spiritual freedom simply means freedom from the bondage of self. When we stop pursuing naive and narrow self-interests, when we stop completely, we discover something profoundly subtle, tender, and beautiful. Scott Morrison
  • The assumption of being merely individuals is our greatest limitation. Vilayat Inayat Khan
  • The conscious experience of being a subject arises when a single organism learns to enslave itself. Thomas Metzinger
  • The ego reacts… the aware one responds. Isira
  • The life-changing discovery of the liberated mind is that it is already at peace. Nothing needs to be done, nothing needs to happen, nothing needs to change in order to experience peace. There may still be much to do in the world; helping others, resolving injustices, taking care of our environment, etc. But we are free from the dictates of the ego; we are free to respond according to needs of the situation at hand rather than what the ego wants. Here our will is truly free. Peter Russell
  • The man of wisdom is devoid of ego even though he may appear to use it. His vacant or fasting mind is neither doing anything nor not doing anything. He is outside of volition, neither this nor that. He is everything and nothing. Ramesh S Balsekar
  • We crave, we deeply yearn for, release from the limitations of a dogma that declares separation, disunity, and judgment to be the essential condition of life. Neale Donald Walsch
  • When I experience life from the place of understanding that clinging to an identity is an attempt to freeze in time what is, in reality, part of the ever-changing flow of the universe, I feel light and free. Toni Bernhard J.D.
  • You can never be free as long as you have an ego to defend. Anthony de Mello
  • The ultimate freedom from the non-existent ego is to see that it is actually irrelevant. Adyashanti
  • FreedomPossibility
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…awakening you to wonder…

  • Nobody likes to let go of the ego- it is so precious to everyone. However, once you have attained a state of egolessness, the world won’t disappear, as you may think it will. The world will continue, but a change takes place within you. Something is uncovered. You start seeing everything with the wonder and innocence of a child. Amma
  • Wonder
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…awakening you to clarity and insight…

  • In the enlightened state, you still use your thinking mind when needed, but in a much more focused and effective way than before. Eckhart Tolle
  • A miracle is nothing more or less than this: Anyone who has come into a knowledge of his or her true identity, of his or her oneness with the all-pervading wisdom and power, this makes it possible for laws higher than the ordinary mind knows of to be revealed to him or her. Ralph Waldo Trine
  • When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it. The mind in itself is a wonderful tool. Dysfunction sets in when you seek your self in it and mistake it for who you are. Eckhart Tolle
  • By learning to trust your intuition, miracles seem to happen. Intuitive thoughts are gifts from the higher self. Susan Jeffers
  • While the ego accumulates knowledge through learning, the Spirit intuits reality by virtue of what it is. The ego thinks. The Spirit knows. Scott Jeffrey
  • If you could get rid of yourself just once, the secret of secrets would open to you. The face of the unknown, hidden beyond the universe would appear on the mirror of your perception. Rumi
  • ClarityInsight
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…awakening spiritual power…

  • If you are content with being a nobody, if you can be content not to stand out, you align yourself with the power of the universe. What looks like weakness to the ego is in fact the greatest power and strength. Eckhart Tolle
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…awakening you to fearlessness and inner strength…

  • Your true Self, which is your spirit, is immune to criticism, it is unfearful of any challenge, and it feels beneath no one. And yet, it is also humble and feels superior to no one, because it recognizes that everyone else is the same Self, the same spirit in different disguises. Deepak Chopra
  • You must learn to get in touch with the innermost essence of your being. This true essence is beyond the ego. It is fearless; it is free; it is immune to criticism; it does not fear any challenge. It is beneath no one, superior to no one, and full of magic, mystery, and enchantment. Deepak Chopra
  • A nice definition of an awakened person: a person who no longer marches to the drums of society, a person who dances to the tune of the music that springs up from within. Anthony de Mello
  • When we are in touch with our universal Self, we are immune to criticism, but responsive to feedback. This means that on the emotional, psychological, and spiritual levels, we feel neither beneath nor superior to anyone else. This doesn’t mean we are arrogant or cocky, but a quiet confidence and dignity radiate from us that result in a fearlessness and readiness to creatively take on any challenge. It also means we are never the victim of self- importance, knowing that all self- importance is a form of self- pity in disguise. Deepak Chopra
  • CourageStrength
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… awakening a deep acceptance of yourself and others

  • When we are in touch with our universal Self, we empower others by allowing them to be themselves. This means we react to people without preconditions and preconceptions. We accept people for who they are and do not force them to conform to our needs and expectations. In doing so, we empower others to express their full potential as well. Deepak Chopra
  • Self-acceptanceAcceptance
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… awakening you to wisdom and love

  • The source of wisdom and power, of love and beauty, is within ourselves, but not within our egos. It is within our consciousness. Indeed, its presence provides us with a conscious contrast which enables us to speak of the ego as if it were something different and apart: it is the true Self whereas the ego is only an illusion of the mind. Paul Brunton
  • A genuine relationship is one that is not dominated by the ego with its image-making and self-seeking. In a genuine relationship, there is an outward flow of open, alert attention toward the other person in which there is no wanting whatsoever. Eckhart Tolle
  • WisdomLove
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…awakening a sense of harmony with your human nature…

  • When we rest in our source, our bodies and minds and personalities and feelings come into harmony. Adyashanti
  • It’s amazing for a human being to realize his or her true nature is not trying to change their human nature. This allows the human nature to rest, to no longer feel separate from its source. We start to feel unity within ourselves. We stop feeling that we are divided within ourselves, because we see that ultimately there is no dividing line between awareness, or spirit, and our ego- personality. There’s really no separation between the two. Adyashanti
  • Everything starts to be seen as a manifestation of spirit, including your humanness, with all of its strengths and weaknesses and all of its funny little quirks. You discover that your humanness is in no way separate from the divinity within you, which is what you actually are. Adyashanti
  • When mind and heart come together, mind serves Consciousness instead of serving itself. David Icke
  • When you know that you are eternal you can play your true role in time. When you know you are divine you can become completely human. When you know you are one with God you are free to become absolutely yourself. Mother Meera
  • Harmony
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…awakening creativity…

  • All great work artistic, poetic, intellectual or spiritual is produced at those moments when creators forget themselves altogether and are free from self-consciousness. Walpola Rahula
  • Creativity
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…awakening your creative powers and ability to change things…

  • The authentic self is the best part of a human being. It’s the part of you that already cares, that is already passionate about evolution. When your authentic self miraculously awakens and becomes stronger than your ego, then you will truly begin to make a difference in this world. You will literally enter into a partnership with the creative principle. Andrew Cohen
  • The ego is the single biggest obstruction to the achievement of anything. Between-ness is the act of acting without ego. You act, but you are not the actor. You do things, but you are not the doer– and you know you are not the doer.  It’s the ability to hold the head at a dead standstill in order to effect certain changes.  You desire the change, but you do not care if it comes to pass. Richard Rose
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…without needing approval or control…

  • When we are in touch with our universal Self, We relinquish the need for approval and control. This means that our actions are independent of the opinions of others and detached from expectations. We are motivated by our own powerful instincts and their evolutionary outcome, not because we have any expectations for payback. Deepak Chopra
  • Approval seekingControl
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… or needing to feel superior in any way to others

  • In form, you are and will always be inferior to some, superior to others. In essence, you are neither inferior nor superior to anyone. True self-esteem and true humility arise out of that realization. Eckhart Tolle
  • When we are in touch with our universal Self, we are immune to criticism, but responsive to feedback. This means that on the emotional, psychological, and spiritual levels, we feel neither beneath nor superior to anyone else. This doesn’t mean we are arrogant or cocky, but a quiet confidence and dignity radiate from us that result in a fearlessness and readiness to creatively take on any challenge. It also means we are never the victim of self- importance, knowing that all self- importance is a form of self- pity in disguise. Deepak Chopra
  • All you need to know and observe in yourself is this: Whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that’s the ego in you. Eckhart Tolle
  • The death of specialness is not your death, but your awakening into life eternal. A Course in Miracles
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Transcendence of the ego brings greatness

  • The essence of greatness is neglect of the self. James Anthony Froude
  • Greatness
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Transcending the ego is a valid alternative to endless introspection

  • But what about when people explore their inner selves? Make journeys of self-discovery? Aren’t they going within to find the truth?  They’re just exploring the ego, making a study of the false self, which is a lifequest as valid as any other.  But you don’t wake up by perfecting your dream character, you wake up by breaking free of it.  There’s no truth to the ego, so no degree of mastery over it results in anything true.  Putting attention on the false self merely reinforces it.   Jed McKenna
  • The problem with introspection is that it has no end. Philip K. Dick
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Transcending the ego causes problems to dissolve

  • Most men and women lead lives at the worst so painful, at the best so monotonous, poor and limited that the urge to escape, the longing to transcend themselves if only for a few moments, is and has always been one of the principal appetites of the soul. Aldous Huxley
  • No self, no problem,” said the Buddhist master when asked to explain the deeper meaning of Buddhism.
  • No self, no problem. Suzanne Segal
  • One of the biggest challenges I have with certain clients is convincing them to take a vacation – metaphorically. You’re dealing with egos, and with egos the answer to everything is more me.  Sometimes the situation calls for less you.  Eric Dezenhall
  • When you embrace your essential selflessness, “guilt, shame, embarrassment, self-doubt, and fear of failure ebb away and you become, contrary to expectation, a better neighbor. Susan Blackmore
  • Nothing matters. What we are talking about here is totally beyond the individual and any sense of behaving – beyond being good, beyond being serious about enlightenment . . . all those things that some people tell you are so important. They are all locked into the idea of there being someone there who is or isn’t a certain way. Tony Parsons
  • The really wonderful moments of joy in this world are not the moments of self-satisfaction, but self-forgetfulness. Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and contemplating your own greatness is pathological. At such moments we are made for a magnificent joy that comes from outside ourselves. John Piper
  • Problem solving
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Transcending the ego allows you to let go of suffering

  • The truth is that you need to say yes to suffering before you can transcend it. Eckhart Tolle
  • The pain that you create now is always some form of non-acceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is. On the level of thought, the resistance is some form of judgment. On the emotional level, it is some form of negativity. The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment, and this in turn depends on how strongly you are identified with your mind. Eckhart Tolle
  • We transcend suffering, not because our problems are solved, but because we experience a level of consciousness in which nothing is missing, a way of being that doesn’t depend on the conditions of our mind, body, and life situation. Peter Fenner
  • True freedom and the end of suffering is living in such a way as if you had completely chosen whatever you feel or experience at this moment. This inner alignment with Now is the end of suffering. Eckhart Tolle
  • Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible. Eckhart Tolle
  • A lot of things are inherent in life – change, birth, death, aging, illness, accidents, calamities, and losses of all kinds – but these events don’t have to be the cause of ongoing suffering. Yes, these events cause grief and sadness, but grief and sadness pass, like everything else, and are replaced with other experiences. The ego, however, clings to negative thoughts and feelings and, as a result, magnifies, intensifies, and sustains those emotions while the ego overlooks the subtle feelings of joy, gratitude, excitement, adventure, love, and peace that come from Essence. If we dwelt on these positive states as much as we generally dwell on our negative thoughts and painful emotions, our lives would be transformed. Gina Lake
  • Suffering
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Transcending the ego reveals truth

  • Reality is wrapped within a fantasy when your life is interpreted by your ego. Prophet
  • If you want to seek the truth leave your ego at the start of your investigation. Prophet
  • Reality is simply the loss of ego. Destroy the ego by seeking its identity. Because the ego is no entity it will automatically vanish, and reality will shine forth by itself. Ramana Maharshi
  • Ego, self-solicitous about its own tenderness, is the ultimate policeman over its own false consciousness, dementedly uprooting every healthy seedling of insight into the truth. As Kierkegaard remarked, most people are subjective toward themselves and objective toward all others, but the real trick and task of life is to learn to be just the very opposite. Kenneth Smith
  • Truth
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Transcending the ego transforms relationships

  • To get the most out of the relationship you are in, it won’t be helpful to listen to the ego’s stories about it. They will only bring separation and conflict. Essence would tell a different story about your loved one. It would probably be something like: “This person is in my life for me to love to the best of my ability. Let’s see what happens if I do that.” As Essence, we are here to serve others and serve life. The ego, on the other hand, is all about serving itself. Gina Lake
  • Principles for healthy relationships
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Transcending the ego brings effectiveness in the world

  • You do your best work when you’re not conscious of yourself. Peter Matthiessen
  • Effectiveness
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Transcending the ego makes life less heavy and more enjoyable

  • You are not the character, but the dreamer of the character. You are consciousness. When you awaken, the dream does not disappear, but it becomes less heavy and more enjoyable. You can play the character and have fun with it without losing yourself in it. Eckhart Tolle
  • EnjoymentFun
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Transcending the ego brings effective leadership

  • Leadership is not a popularity contest; it’s about leaving your ego at the door. The name of the game is to lead without a title. Robin Sharma
  • Leadership
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Once you let go of the ego, you can still use it where necessary, but you no longer identify it with who you are …

  • The ego is just a useful fiction. Use it, but don’t be deceived by it. Osho
  • The Ego is an exquisite instrument. Enjoy it, use it–just don’t get lost in it. Ram Dass
  • Is the ego good or bad? Neither. It is a reactive mechanism to our past experiences. It is only interested in physical survival, not our spiritual growth. Do not resist it – it can be used as a tool.
  • You need your ego to survive in the three-dimensional world, but you need only that part of the ego which processes information. The rest – pride, arrogance, defensiveness, fear – is worse than useless. The rest of the ego separates you from wisdom, joy, and God. Brian L. Weiss
  • Just a little detachment from the ego is needed. Rajneesh
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… and you are no longer compelled to follow its voice

  • The ego’s voice becomes impersonal, something in the landscape that has no more personal relevance than a bird’s song or the temperature of the room. We still experience it, but we don’t experience it as our voice, and we are no longer compelled to follow it or express it. Once we gain some detachment from the ego’s voice, it’s possible to experience the Experiencer, the true self. Gina Lake
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To kill the ego or heal it?

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Some make the ego into the ultimate enemy, a kind of modern devil, and advocate a mighty struggle against it at all costs

  • How much suffering and fear, and how many harmful things are in existence? If all arises from clinging to the “I”, What should I do with this great demon? Shantideva
  • Ego is the biggest enemy of humans. Rig Veda
  • I know there are those who are convinced that seeing ego as a problem is an outdated perspective that only adds fuel to the fire, and that simply “accepting” and “making space” for it is the more “enlightened” approach. But I beg to differ. It may sound good in theory, but the ability to recognize ego for what it is, in all its gross and often very subtle manifestations, to “accept” it and simultaneously not act out of it, requires a level of self- mastery that, to be brutally honest, is attained by very few. I have found that for most, transcending what would traditionally be called our “lower impulses” may require the willingness to struggle as if our life depended on it. Because if we want to evolve beyond ego in a way that is truly going to make a difference, it literally does. Andrew Cohen
  • The ego has falsely become seen as a kind of ego has become a kind of devil that we must fight and vanquish at all costs. Anthony Lambert
  • Ego is the great enemy. Ego will hold you back every single time. Nikki Sixx
  • The weak are dominated by their ego, the wise dominate their ego, and the intelligent are in a constant struggle against their ego. Hamza Yusuf
  • I think it’s the ego in us that screws us up. Alicia Keys
  • You have an evil twin who is always with you. He is called your ego. Peter Kreeft
  • Enemies
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They argue that we should aim to annihilate the ego

  • Eradicate self-justification. Then alone can you annihilate your ego. Swami Sivananda
  • …the goal of all spiritual life is to get your ego out of the way – outwit the sucker; dissolve it; shoot it; kill it. Silence the incessant planning, organizing, running, manipulating, possessing, and processing… “because these activities preclude awareness of the Divine. Lawrence Kushner
  • The foundation of the Buddha’s teachings lies in compassion, and the reason for practicing the teachings is to wipe out the persistence of ego, the number-one enemy of compassion. The Dalai Lama
  • Utterly destroy the ego. Control the many waves of distraction which it raises in the mind. Discern the Reality and realize “I am That.” Adi Shankara
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The truth is that it is exhausting, futile and ultimately unnecessary to fight against the ego

  • The futile effort to rid oneself of one’s ego can cause exhaustion and frustration and may feel like a ‘dark night of the soul.’ Leo Hartong
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To regard the ego as an enemy is counter-productive

  • The problem with the ego is not that it is wrong; it is just that it is limited and distorted. To conceive of the ego as an enemy is to become polarized, bringing forth conflict, guilt, anger, and shame. David R. Hawkins
  • I no longer saw the lower aspect of myself, with all his personal issues and melodramas, as the enemy that had to be destroyed. Michael A. Singer
  • It is also wise to respect even the ego itself, for without its efforts over great eons of time, one would not have even survived long enough to seek to transcend it. It is a mistake to set up the ego as one’s enemy to be conquered. It is more profitable to merely adopt it as a pet and melt it with compassion. Whatever the ego did in the past was because, like a puppy, it just did not know better. There is no profit in denouncing it as evil. To denounce it is to get stuck in the polarity/ duality of good and evil rather than viewing it as a limitation. There is also no profit in personalizing it. Even the ego that ‘should have known better’ actually did not, or it would not have made an error. David R. Hawkins
  • Spiritual teachings often tell us that there is an enemy within who leads us astray, so we need to enter into a purifying civil war of the soul. There’s a lower self we must subdue in gladiatorial combat. There is an ego we need to destroy, but it is determined not to submit. It’s a relentless campaign against a wily opponent who will stop at nothing to hold us prisoner. Yet I have found that waging a war against myself doesn’t wake me up to oneness but merely fragments me further. I now think that there are two Tims . . . the bad Tim, who is causing all of my troubles; and the good Tim, who is busy judging the bad Tim.  Tim Freke
  • It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head. Sally Kempton
  • When I was younger, I took this idea very seriously. But now it seems like the ultimate paranoid conspiracy theory. It doesn’t awaken us, it merely encourages us to wage an internal civil war against ourselves. And that’s disastrous. Tim Freke
  • The ego is neither bad nor an enemy, but merely an illusion to release so that something far better can replace it. David R. Hawkins
  • The ego/mind is fortified by habit that crumbles when its underpinnings are removed. The ego is not an enemy to be subdued but merely a compilation of unexamined habits of perception. David R. Hawkins
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The ego evolved for a reason but has become overdeveloped and thus, dysfunctional

  • All of the ego’s tricks can be observed in the evolution of the various species of the animal kingdom over great periods of time where entrapment, deception, rivalry, ego gain, self-servingness, camouflage, and force subserve survival. David R. Hawkins
  • From a greater context, we can view that the ego is not ‘evil’ but is primarily a self-interested animal. Unless the ‘animal self’ is understood and accepted, its influence cannot be diminished. Like a pet, the inner animal can be comical and entertaining, and we can enjoy it without guilt and look forward to getting it trained and properly housebroken. This training is what is meant by the word ‘civilization’. David R. Hawkins
  • The ego is transcended because it is not the ultimate reality but merely a set of survival tools from the animal world. Its emotional expressions are also displayed by children. The ego is therefore not only the animal but also the child. Freud demonstrated that the power of the unconscious was undone in psychoanalysis by the method of primarily making the unconscious conscious. David R. Hawkins
  • Don’t think of the ego as a mistake. Think of it as an elementary stage of evolution that in a healthy society and therefore in a healthy individual would be grown through in early adulthood. So don’t make the ego a problem. See it more as a temporary limitation that is part of a natural evolution of a human being, that in a healthy society is grown beyond. Rupert Spira
  • The ego was an enormous evolutionary step for mankind but now it is coming to the end of its life span. It has outlived its usefulness.  We have learned a lot thought it and now it needs to go.  And that’s always a critical stage, the evolution of consciousness from one stage to another.  Eckhart Tolle
  • The will of the individual self is focused on survival. Its foundation is the survival of the organism, fulfilling our bodily needs, avoiding danger or anything that threatens our well-being. In other words, keeping us alive and well, fending off the inevitability of death as long as possible. Added to this are various psychological and social needs. We want to feel safe and secure, to be feel stimulated and fulfilled, to be respected and appreciated. We believe that if we can just get the world to be way want it—and here the world includes other people—then we will be happy. Peter Russell
  • Our next phase, should we come to achieve it, would involve a disarmingly simple task: To surrender our egos and discover the divinity that has always been there sustaining and delighting in our lives. Then the place humanity would hold is aptly described as a “Divine light” manifested in the cosmos. Humanity has access to this way of being in the world. Matthew W. Morey
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The ego has its role to play

  • Spiritual traditions that encourage some sort of inner conflict often make the mind an enemy, but it really isn’t. The mind is a great blessing, not an adversary to be silenced. Our ability to think is what makes us human. If we didn’t think, we wouldn’t be wise, we’d be stupid. Tim Freke
  • You have the exact ego that you are meant to for God to experience what God wants to experience through the form you take. Anthony Lambert
  • This strong ego structure has given us some massive benefits, such as greater powers of abstract thought (when we analyse, deliberate and plan) and greater conceptual knowledge (e.g. knowledge of the laws of nature, of the structure of matter and of the universe itself). It has also given us more personal autonomy, leading to more control over our own life. But in a sense the ego has become overdeveloped. Steve Taylor
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The ego is part of God’s plan

  • Since the Self wishes to fully involve itself in the illusion of being a separate individual, it has programmed each of us to feel we exist as separate individuals. That is the setup of the drama being played out in this realm. Through us, the Self wishes to experience every possible possible blissful and terrible experience, but it also wishes to awaken from the dream/nightmare because that is also part of the drama. It’s an heroic story: The Self differentiates into form again and again, accepts challenges, learns from them, and eventually rediscovers itself. The ego plays an important role in this drama. It is the protagonist, complete with beliefs, desires, drives, talents, and shortcomings. It also plays the antagonist by creating challenges and suffering. In the drama we call life, we experience ourselves as the star, with others playing supporting roles. This sense of being the center of the universe is true of every ego. Meanwhile, life is happening all around us. Other people’s lives and their dramas, with their dreams and desires and drives, collide unpredictably, creating an ever-changing situation that either delivers what we want or not. This is how the ego sees life. Its narrow point of view is based on how life is going for me at any one time. Gina Lake
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The ego is necessary for spiritual awakening

  • You first need to have an ego in order to be aware that it doesn’t exist. Matthieu Ricard
  • Without the ego, there would be no enlightenment or awakening. Eckhart Tolle
  • It’s not a question of annihilating the self, which has never really existed, but simply of uncovering its imposture. Indeed, if the self did have any intrinsic existence we’d never be able to bring it from existence into nonexistence. Matthieu Ricard
  • Awakening
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The ego not personal; it’s part of the human collective

  • Non-reaction to the ego in others is one of the most effective ways not only of going beyond ego in yourself but also of dissolving the collective human ego. But you can only be in a state of nonreaction if you can recognize someone’s behavior as coming from the ego, as being an expression of the collective human dysfunction. When you realize it’s not personal, there is no longer a compulsion to react as if it were. By not reacting to the ego, you will often be able to bring out the sanity in others, which is the unconditioned consciousness as opposed to the conditioned. Eckhart Tolle
  • There is no timetable or prescribed route to God. Although each person’s route is unique, the terrain to be covered is relatively common to all. The work is to surmount and transcend the common human failings that are inherent in the structure of the human ego. One would like to think that they are personal; however, the ego itself is not personal. It was inherited along with becoming a human being. Details differ based on past karma. David R. Hawkins
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We must lighten up about the ego for what we strongly resist only ends up stronger

  • Don’t take the ego too seriously. When you detect egoic behavior in yourself, smile. At times you may even laugh. How could humanity have been taken in by this for so long? Above all, know that the ego isn’t personal. It isn’t who you are. If you consider the ego to be your personal problem, that’s just more ego. Eckhart Tolle
  • Today, take a break from your ego and don’t take yourself too seriously. Enjoy your Spirit and laugh! Sonia Choquette
  • Why give the ego more power by resisting and opposing it? David R. Hawkins
  • Fighting your ego is a melodrama of the ego. Deepak Chopra
  • It is only ego that tries to get rid of the ego. Chris Bourne
  • Non-reaction to the ego of others is one of the most effective ways not only of going beyond ego in yourself but also dissolving the collective human ego. Eckhart Tolle
  • The ego is not a thing but a subtle effort, and you cannot use effort to get rid of effort – you end up with two efforts instead of one. The ego itself is a perfect manifestation of the Divine, and it is best handled by resting in Freedom, not by trying to get rid of it, which simply increases the effort of the ego itself. Ken Wilber
  • You need a healthy ego to endure the abuse that comes with any sort of success. The trick is to think of your ego as your goofy best friend who lends moral support but doesn’t know shit. Scott Raymond Adams
  • Believing that the ego is an entity to resist only strengthens it. Anthony Lambert
  • Genuine mental health would involve a balanced interplay of both modes of experience, a way of life in which one’s identification with the ego is playful and tentative rather than absolute and mandatory, while the concern with material possessions is pragmatic rather than obsessive. Fritjof Capra
  • Non-resistance
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Fight the ego and you end up with a spiritual ego at war with a non-spiritual ego

  • I desperately wanted an ‘ego-death’ which is the complete loss of a sense of self. I believed thatthe annihilation of all sense of self would provide a permanent escape from allmy human pain. I wanted to destroythe voice—the chatter of the inner critic –in my head. I thought that my sense of individuality was the greatest roadblock to the ‘ultra-spiritual’ state of enlightenment that I so craved. But the more I fought the mind, the more it fought back. And the more “spiritual” I tried to become, the more my “spiritual ego”, my sense of being a “spiritual person”,went to war with my non-spiritual ego, the “imperfect” part of me that desired, lusted, got angry and resisted.  What one fights only gets stronger, and I soon ended up with two warring super-egos!  Aimee Davies
  • Yet I have found that waging a war against myself doesn’t wake me up to oneness but merely fragments me further. I now think that there are two Tims . . . the bad Tim, who is causing all of my troubles; and the good Tim, who is busy judging the bad Tim. Tim Freke
  • There is no need to be at war with the ego either. The word ego is an unfortunate one even, as it creates the illusion of it being a separate entity that has a life to its own.  One that has to be conquered and annihilated.  This is nonsense.  That just creates a spiritual ego at war with a non-spiritual ego and creates two strong warring identities.  The ego is nothing more than a sense of being a separate identity.  It’s something that all human brains do for they have evolved to to do that.  The best way to let go of identity is to heal it by releasing repressed pain and emotion in the body.  Healing the wounds of the psyche.  Then the identity becomes lighter and lighter until it is easy to discard and even slip back into it now and then like a piece of loose clothing. Anthony Lambert
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Trying to eradicate the ego leads to spiritual by-passing

  • Spiritual bypassing is especially common in spiritual paths that treat ego as something to eradicate, something in the way of spiritual realization, rather than an activity to illuminate and integrate with the rest of our being. Robert Augustus Masters
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Instead of going to war with the ego, reveal its illusory nature through gentle enquiry and understanding

  • Realization is a progressive process. Spiritual progress is hastened by understanding the true nature of the ego. It is not an enemy to be attacked or defeated, nor is it an evil to be vanquished. It is dissolved by compassionate understanding. David R. Hawkins
  • Ego is neither positive nor negative. Those are simply concepts that create more boundaries. Ego is just ego, and the disaster of it all is that you, as a spiritual seeker, have been conditioned to think of the ego as bad, as an enemy, as something to be destroyed. This simply strengthens the ego. In fact, such conclusions arise from the ego itself. Pay no attention to them. Don’t go to war with yourself; simply inquire into who you are. Adyashanti
  • The ego is not the bad guy. By entering through the conditioned self, the ego, without rejecting it, we find what is real that is underlying it. It’s a very compassionate path. Tejo Jourdan
  • Understanding
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Instead of seeing the ego as an enemy, have compassion and understanding for the human psyche

  • For the first time, I questioned whether more and more discipline was going to take me where I so desperately wanted to go. Sitting alone in my van that morning, I knew the answer was no. My path to true freedom was subtler than simply requiring a tighter grip. I no longer saw the lower aspect of myself, with all his personal issues and melodramas, as the enemy that had to be destroyed.    I needed to use all these disturbed personal energies for my ascent. It was perfectly clear to me that since he was the problem, he was also the solution. I actually felt a tinge of compassion toward that struggling person within me. I would later come to learn that the Bhagavad Gita says that one should raise the self with Self, not trample down the self. I had been trampling down my personal self in the name of getting free from his humanness. I now needed to learn how to raise those energies up to assist me on the journey.  I realized something I will never forget: that scared, troubled person in there whom I had been watching and judging was indeed a person. The psyche is a person with feelings and thoughts, hopes, fears, and dreams. He is not to be locked in a room and constantly told to shut up. There are much more constructive ways to deal with these disturbed, self-centered energies.  Michael A. Singer
  • I needed to use all these disturbed personal energies for my ascent. It was perfectly clear to me that since he was the problem, he was also the solution. I actually felt a tinge of compassion toward that struggling person within me. I would later come to learn that the Bhagavad Gita says that one should raise the self with Self, not trample down the self. I had been trampling down my personal self in the name of getting free from his humanness. I now needed to learn how to raise those energies up to assist me on the journey. Michael A. Singer
  • CompassionUnderstanding
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Instead of trying to destroy the ego, make peace with the sense of it being there, while resting in the awareness it is ultimately illusory

  • An experience of this kind cannot be forced or made to happen by any act of your fictitious “will,” except insofar as repeated efforts to be one-up on the universe may eventually reveal their futility. Don’t try to get rid of the ego-sensation. Take it, so long as it lasts, as a feature or play of the total process — like a cloud or wave, or like feeling warm or cold, or anything else that happens of itself. Getting rid of one’s ego is the last resort of invincible egoism! It simply confirms and strengthens the reality of the feeling. But when this feeling of separateness is approached and accepted like any other sensation, it evaporates like the mirage that it is. This is why I am not overly enthusiastic about the various “spiritual exercises” in meditation or yoga which some consider essential for release from the ego. For when practiced in order to “get” some kind of spiritual illumination or awakening, they strengthen the fallacy that the ego can toss itself away by a tug at its own bootstraps. Alan Watts
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Instead of seeing the ego as an enemy to be destroyed, look to illuminate it

  • “Ego” as a concept has negative connotations for many spiritual seekers, for whom it is simply an impediment, an obstacle in need of eradication…Ego could be said to be a cult of one (or a self- enclosed coalition of survival- oriented habits that automatically refers to itself as “I”). This does not mean that this is evil or in need of annihilation, but rather that it’s centered and unquestioningly governed by its own ideology…What is needed is not the elimination, but rather the illumination, of ego. Robert Augustus Masters
  • Souls do not need to be saved. Egos need clarification. Prophet
  • You cannot fight against the ego and win, just as you cannot fight against darkness. The light of consciousness is all that is necessary. You are that light. Eckhart Tolle
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Instead of seeing the ego as an enemy to destroy, look to heal it

  • Never underestimate the ego’s wily strategies. The more realistic position is to respect its capacities and compassionately heal it. Once the ego is docile it is much more amenable to evaporating into the sunshine. David R. Hawkins
  • Healing
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Instead of seeing the ego as an enemy to destroy, look to befriend and tame it

  • Ego cannot be annihilated, but it can be tamed. Michael Bernard Beckwith
  • Having an ‘ego’ is as much a natural part of being human as having a heart. But you don’t want to be lost in the ego, as this leads to all sorts of suffering. You need to be conscious of both your ego and your essential nature as the oneness of awareness. You need to transcend and include your ego within your deeper identity. The ego doesn’t need fighting. It needs loving. Tim Freke
  • In fact, at this point in history, the most radical, pervasive, and earth-shaking transformation would occur simply if everybody truly evolved to a mature, rational, and responsible ego, capable of freely participating in the open exchange of mutual self-esteem. There is the “edge of history.” There would be a real New Age. Ken Wilber
  • How to get rid of ego as dictator and turn it into messenger and servant and scout, to be in your service, is the trick. Joseph Campbell
  • Instead of vilifying the ego—and indulging in guilt, shame, and self-hatred—it is far more productive to accept it for what it is, appreciate its historic value, and adopt it as one would a naïve pet. David R. Hawkins
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Instead of seeing the ego as an enemy, see it as a character in a movie – a temporary role you play

  • Once you see through the illusion of the ego, then you understand how you can still play your ego like a role, forming and reforming it as needed. But you will no longer take that role too seriously, you will no longer be impeded by the old habits and personal fears in which that role may have believed in the past. It is your right, and your responsibility, to reshape your role into whatever feels right, so long as you allow others the same freedom. Roger Stephens
  • Awakening is not an end to the ‘show’ as it appears now. With awakening comes the recognition that there is no separate character to awaken; which makes this whole awakening thing sort of a prank the Self plays on the Self. When the snake is projected into the rope, the rope is still the rope; when multiplicity is projected on the One Screen it still is the One Screen. As soon as it is clear that there really is no separate character, preferences, likes and dislikes are no longer seen as attributes belonging to ‘someone’ who needs to resolve them. They’re now recognized as some of the countless ways the One appears to itself; innumerable variations, but all on a single ‘theme.’ Leo Hartong
  • Its value or power for me was the idea that I wasn’t necessarily identical to my ego, which I had always assumed was the case. And that, you know, your ego is this interesting character. I mean, it really is a character. Michael Pollan
  • Life is God’s movie
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In this way, the ego becomes something to embrace being without identifying with it…

  • Put bluntly, the ego is not an obstruction to Spirit, but a radiant manifestation of Spirit. All Forms are not other than Emptiness, including the form of the ego. It is not necessary to get rid of the ego, but simply to live it with a certain exuberance. Ken Wilber
  • In my experience we don’t need to eradicate the separate self to awaken to oneness. When I’m deep awake ‘Tim’ doesn’t disappear in a puff of spiritual enlightenment. On the contrary, Tim comes to life. Tim Freke
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… a celebration of healthy individuality

  • Ego-centeredness is not individuality at all. David Bohm
  • Individuality is only possible if it unfolds from wholeness. David Bohm
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The ego becomes like a loose garment we wear from time to time

  • An ego should be like a warm breeze, never seen, just mildly sensed. David Luiz
  • Wear your ego like a loose-fitting garment. Gautama Buddha
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An alternative view: The ego as hero

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In traditional spirituality, the ego is seen as an obstacle to awakening

  • The separate self is seen as an obstacle to our awakening and is often referred to as the ego. Tim Freke
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Some argue making the ego into an enemy is counterproductive

  • Vilifying the ego as a spiritual enemy doesn’t help us awaken. It merely encourages us to wage an internal civil war against ourselves, which we can only lose. Tim Freke
  • Spiritual awakening is not about denying our humanity. Tim Freke
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The ego (personal self) is the foundation from which we can spiritually awaken

  • First, we need a robust sense of being a separate individual. When this is strong enough it can support a conscious awakening to our deeper being. When a strong separate self is absent, the natural process of awakening is transformed into the pathology of depersonalization. Many ancient spiritual traditions understood this, which is why they reserved the deep teachings of oneness for those who’d reached a mature age and created a strong sense of their individuality. Tim Freke
  • I want to suggest that far from being a problem the personal self is the foundation from which we can spiritually awaken. Our individuality is a gloriously particular expression of the infinite potentiality of being, through which the primal oneness can experience life. Tim Freke
  • Far from being the problem, the personal self is our foundation in the world, from which we can spiritually awaken. It is a gloriously particular expression of the infinite potentiality of being, through which the primal oneness of awareness can experience life. Tim Freke
  • The universe created the ego in order to transcend it. This is the evolutionary impulse of the universe. Eckhart Tolle
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The ego (personal self) can even be described as the hero of the story

  • The paradoxity of life means that every one of us as an individual self is the hero of the story of life. Looked at from one perspective we appear to be irrelevant specks of dust in a vast universe, who are here for a moment and then gone. But from another perspective each one of us is the very centre of the universe. Tim Freke
  • It seems to me that the ego is the hero not the villain of the spiritual adventure. The ego is the surface self through which the deep I can experience the adventure of living. Tim Freke
  • The ego is a character in the dream of life around which the life-dreamer weaves a cracking tale. Tim Freke
  • The paradoxity of life means that as a conscious individual each one of us is the hero of the story of life. Looked at from one perspective we appear to be irrelevant specks of dust in a vast universe, who are here for a moment and then gone. But from another perspective everyone is the centre around which the universe revolves. How wonderful! When I understand that I am both an irrelevant speck and the star of the show, it makes me feel both humble and empowered. Tim Freke
  • When I understand that I am both an irrelevant speck and the star of the show, it makes me feel both humble and empowered. I want to encourage you both to be conscious of the oneness of being and to feel empowered as a unique individual who is the hero of your amazing life adventure. Tim Freke
  • If I look at my own experience, Tim is clearly the hero of the story. He’s the star of the show. Other people come and go, but Tim is in every scene. His wife Debbie plays romantic love interest. His best mate Pete plays comic sidekick. Tim Freke
  • The ego is the separate self through which the universal self can experience the adventure of living. The ego is a character in the dream of life around which the life-dreamer weaves a cracking tale. Tim Freke
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To awaken, we do not need to eradicate the ego (personal self) but become conscious of our deeper identity too

  • If we want to waken, we don’t need to eradicate the ego. We simply need to be conscious of the deep self as well. Tim Freke
  • We don’t need to eradicate the separate self to awaken to oneness. When I’m deep awake ‘Tim’ doesn’t disappear in a puff of spiritual enlightenment. On the contrary, Tim comes to life. I find myself cherishing my individuality and appreciating the poignant beauty of the personal life. Tim Freke
  • Of course, if we are identified with just the separate self we can become ‘egotistical’, in the sense of the word ‘ego’ that implies we are selfish, self-obsessed and narcissistic. I’m not saying that’s a good thing. I simply want to suggest that our individuality is something to celebrate not denigrate. And that as we awaken to deep love the separate self becomes a vehicle to express that love. Tim Freke
  • In my experience we don’t need to eradicate the separate self to awaken to oneness. When I’m deep awake ‘Tim’ doesn’t disappear in a puff of spiritual enlightenment. On the contrary, Tim comes to life. Tim Freke
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To heal the ego, we need to love the unlovable parts of us

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The ego consists of different personas in conflict

  • The problem we face is that the personal self is rarely individuated into one coherent persona but is fragmented into a collection of different personas that don’t always get on with each other. We often experience internal conflict between these personas, because they have different agendas, which can be extremely confusing. This gives credence to the idea of the evil ego. Time Freke
  • Isn’t the origin of conflict ego? If there is no ego there is no becoming. Jiddu Krishnamurti
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To transcend this conflict, we need to shine the light of awareness onto our shadow …

  • The shadow personifies everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself. Carl Jung
  • How can we prevent ourselves being hijacked by the shadow? The clue is in the name. We need to bring it into the light. We need to consciously acknowledge this part of ourselves. Only then will it stop unconsciously possessing us from time to time. Tim Freke
  • AwarenessEmbrace your shadow
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… and come to love our unloved self

  • Think of the shadow in a more approachable way as simply the ‘unloved self’. The shadow is that part of ourselves that we regard as unlovable, so we seek to repress it. Tim Freke
  • The unloved self is what we don’t want to remember about our past. It is our hurt self that skulks in the shadows like a wounded animal. And mainly that’s where it stays. Until a life situation reawakens the painful memory and we’re involuntarily forced to play out the pain once again. Tim Freke
  • How can we prevent ourselves being overwhelmed by the unloved self? The clue is in the name. We need to love it. We need to care for our own wounded self as compassionately as we would care for someone else in great distress. We need to heal the pain of the past. Tim Freke
  • Self-love
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Becoming conscious of the deep self helps us to do this

  • When we’re conscious of the deep self and feel the deep love, it becomes much easier to acknowledge those parts of our personality that we would normally choose to ignore, because we’re able to love ourselves as we are. Tim Freke
  • When we feel deep love, we can embrace those parts of ourselves that normally seem unlovable. We can allow ourselves to remember the suffering we prefer to forget. Tim Freke
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Beware, spirituality can become the favourite outfit of the ego

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Be aware that false spirituality can be used by the ego to strengthen itself…

  • Walking the spiritual path properly is a very subtle process; it is not something to jump into naively. There are numerous sidetracks which leads to a distorted, ego-centered version of spirituality; we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are developing spiritually when instead we are strengthening our egocentricity through spiritual techniques. This fundamental distortion may be referred to as spiritual materialism. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
  • Spiritual awakening is about waking up from your ego. It is not about awakening the ego. Sampo Kaasila
  • The main point of any spiritual practice is to step out of the bureaucracy of ego. This means stepping out of ego’s constant desire for a higher, more spiritual, more transcendental version of knowledge, religion, virtue, judgment, comfort, or whatever it is that the particular ego is seeking. One must step out of spiritual materialism. Trungpa Chogyam
  • The ego is like a clever monkey, which can co-opt anything, even the most spiritual practices, so as to expand itself. Jean- Yves Leloup
  • There are people who have renounced all possessions who have a bigger ego than some millionaires. Eckhart Tolle
  • The problem is that ego can convert anything to its own use, even spirituality. Chögyam Trungpa
  • Ego is constantly attempting to acquire and apply the teachings of spirituality for its own benefit. Chogyam Trungpa
  • What is it in you that brings you to a spiritual teacher in the first place? It’s not the spirit in you, since that is already enlightened, and has no need to seek. No, it is the ego in you that brings you to a teacher. Ken Wilber
  • If you believe only your religion is the Truth, you are using it in the service of the ego. Used in such a way, religion becomes ideology and creates an illusory sense of superiority as well as division and conflict between people. In the service of the Truth, religious teachings represent signposts or maps left behind by awakened humans to assist you in spiritual awakening, that is to say, in becoming free of identification with form. Eckhart Tolle
  • Materialism, attachment to things of the world, includes pride. Many religious people suffer from pride: taking pleasure or even delight in being good, or religious. Idries Shah
  • If we seek spiritual heroism ourselves, the old ego is just back in control under a new name. There would not really be any change at all, but only disguise, just bogus self-improvement on our own terms. Richard Rohr
  • The problem is that ego can convert anything to its own use, even spirituality. Chogyam Trungpa
  • I can only think seriously of trying to live up to an ideal, to improve myself, if I am split in two pieces. There must be a good “I” who is going to improve the bad “me.” “I,” who has the best intentions, will go to work on wayward “me,” and the tussle between the two will very much stress the difference between them. Consequently “I” will feel more separate than ever, and so merely increase the lonely and cut-off feelings which make “me” behave so badly. Alan Watts
  • There are numerous sidetracks which lead to a distorted ego-centered version of spirituality; we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are developing spiritually when instead we are strengthening our egocentricity through spiritual techniques. Chogyam Trungpa
  • One trap is Identifying Yourself as a “Spiritual Person.” This false identification is universal in both religious and new age circles. You are neither spiritual or material. You transcend and include them both. Identifying yourself as being spiritual is a sign of a spiritual ego or inflation (discussed below). Again, shadow work will help you see that you’re no different or better than anyone else. Scott Jeffrey
  • The downside of spiritual education is the buildup of the vanity of ‘I know’ and the devaluation of people who are ‘not spiritual’. Therefore, it is important as a foundation to spiritual training and education to learn how consciousness manifests as the ego and its mechanisms. David R. Hawkins
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… especially if used as a way to feel special and superior to others

  • The sense of being somebody special (a legend in our own mind!) helps immunize “I” against the bare facticity of its own mortality, here-and-now instability, and innate insubstantialness. Even when “I” dreams of transcending itself – as in those programs that have (or advertise) as their central agenda the eradication of ego – it is still an “I” who has now achieved the incomparable goal of self- transcendence! “Look, Ma, no ego!” we announce as we unicycle past our rapt inner audience, too proud to notice our pride, forgetting that self- conceit persists well into advanced transpersonal stages of development. In our craving to be somebody special – and don’t forget that we may find our specialness through being “nobody” – we bypass exploration of that very craving, committing far more of our passion to fulfilling our dreams than to actually awakening from them.   Robert Augustus Masters
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God as the collective ego

  • Let’s face it; God has a big ego problem. Why do we always have to worship him? Bill Maher
  • God is the collective ego of the world. Rajneesh
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Questions

  • What could begin to deny self, if there were not something in man different from self? William Law
  • Would you be hostage to the ego or host to God? A Course in Miracles
  • How can we transcend the ego level, the level of fragmented being? How can we achieve freedom but at the same time live in the world of experience? Amit Goswami
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On a lighter note

  • Oh, I’m just Ego’s assistant. It’s not anything big. Brad Bird
  • You know what ego stands for: Edging Out God! Truett Cathy
  • Whenever I climb, I am followed by a dog called ‘Ego’. Friedrich Nietzsche
  • I own and operate a ferocious ego. Bill Moyers
  • Our ego is our silent partner…too often with a controlling interest. Cullen Hightower
  • Gentlemen, start your egos! Billy Crystal
  • It sometimes happens and will sometimes happen again that I forget who I am and strut before my eyes, like a stranger. Samuel Beckett
  • An egotist is a person of low taste – more interested in himself than in me. Ambrose Bierce
  • Big egos are big shields for lots of empty space. Diane Black
  • An ego should be like a warm breeze, never seen, just mildly sensed. David Luiz
  • Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty. John Lennon
  • The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated. Oscar Wilde
  • The smaller the mind, the greater the ego. Tom Clancy
  • If there’s anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot immediately! Douglas Noel Adams
  • Egotism: Usually a case of mistaken nonentity. Barbara Stanwyck
  • A bad day for the ego is a good day for the soul.
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