Right now I am reading Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”. It’s a very nice book. One of the passages that stuck with me, I am sharing it here with you.
Inner space arises whenever you let go of the need to emphasize your form-identity. That need is of the ego. It is not a true need. When we relinquish one of these behavior patterns, inner space emerges. You become more truly yourself. To the ego it will seem as if you were losing yourself, but the opposite is the case. You become less, so you can be more.
Here are some ways in which people unconsciously try to emphasize their form-identity. If you are alert enough, you may be able to detect some of these unconscious patterns within yourself: demanding recognition for something you did and getting angry or upset if you don’t get it; trying to get attention by talking about your problems, the story of your illnesses, or making a scene; giving your opinion when nobody has asked for it and it makes no difference to the situation; being more concerned with how the other person sees you than with the other person, which is to say, using other people for egoic reflection or as ego enhancers; trying to make an impression on others through possessions, knowledge, good books, status, physical strength and so on; bringing about temporary ego inflation through angry reaction against something or someonel taking things personally, feeling offended; making yourself right and others wrong through futile mental or verbal complaining; wanting to be seen, or to appear important.
The following paragraph is where the author (Eckhart Tolle) asks the reader to conduct an experiment.
Once you have detected such a pattern within yourself, I suggest that you conduct an experiment. Find out what it feels like and what happens if you let go of that pattern. Just drop it and see what happens.
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 stop emphasizing your form-identity.
When I was lost in the race of egos, mine vs another’s, the fight of self-preservation, not the fight for truth…. The battle not between humans but between egos was the only thing that made sense then; mind you, this was not a conscious understanding, more of a blind, subconscious, hypnotic belief.
Only recently, as I have been trying to connect with my inner self, have I realized that I could still be the person I see myself to be, accomplish all the things I desire to accomplish and be happy – all this, without letting my ego get in the way. It is quite an amazing discovery that ego has very little, if anything, to do with being successful and nothing to do with being happy. The more I am happy with myself, the more happiness I am able to spread and that in return feeds my happiness. It is a happy cycle.
Having said that, it is definitely much easier said than done, however, I do believe that this important realization/awareness is the start of the process of self-discovery. Personally, I also think that it is a constant (for the lack of a better word) struggle to keep the mighty ego in check. It is easy to lose the awareness and get consumed by the ego.
What has been your experience with finding yourself and letting go of your ego? Also, if you disagree, I’d still love to hear your thoughts on that.