Why we need to let go of ego control
We are all born with the ego. In the Eastern spiritual tradition, the ego is considered to be a hurdle to our spiritual illumination. In the Korean Zen tradition, in particular, the ego is considered to be a major obstacle. Some Korean Zen masters deliberately humiliate their disciples, make them perform dirty chores, and treat them like mere servants, in order to shatter the ego of their disciples and thereby liberate them from ego control.
The ego serves us while we navigate in this physical world. However, when we embark on a spiritual path, the ego often creates chaos in our inner space.
The ego always seeks control. It dreads what is unfamiliar to it. The ego needs to feel assured in knowing what is going on. It needs to build a firm sense of identity in order to feel secure in the world. Therefore, we subconsciously manipulate external conditions to derive a sense of control. We draw a map of our lives, designate allies and foes, and make a drama out of our past experiences. We interpret our life situations with our own internal filters, mentally labeling each event of life as good or bad.
The ego pays attention to a form and what is visible. It tends to reject what is invisible, unproven or enigmatic. Since it wants to attain something tangible, it is far more interested in a large sum of money, a grand house, an attractive appearance or an adorable partner than in peace of mind, for example.
When we are controlled by our egos, we become an isolated entity in this vast space. Since all of us are endowed with an ego, each of us feels like we are the most important person in the world, hoping everything goes our way. However, we live in the world of Yin and Yang where we are exposed to both wanted and unwanted circumstances. The more our egos strive to control our life situations, the more susceptible we are to frustration and distress.
Naturally, we can never be truly happy when we are under the control of our egos. The only time we tidbit some scraps of true happiness is when our objectives are achieved. But even this transitory happiness soon tapers off since the ego has insatiable desires. Even when some of them are fulfilled it keeps churning out new ones. Whether we are a millionaire, a rock star or a congressman, our egos continue to push us to attain what we do not have.
When we are under the control of our egos, our present moment becomes only a means to get to a supposedly “better” future. In the end, we end up spending our whole lives striving, waiting, and anticipating without ever savoring each and every moment.
Let go of ego control and surrender to the Universe
The Universe guides us on our journeys and continues to communicate with us through intuition, feelings and symbols. We can honor our intuition, follow our hearts, and stop identifying ourselves with our personalities. We can let go of the desires of our personalities and make it OK even if they remain unfulfilled.
We can become a “surfer” who artfully bends and leans to ride the waves of life. Instead of insisting that our life unfolds in a certain way, we can activate higher consciousness and make moment-to-moment choices to better navigate our lives.
When we let go of ego control, we can enjoy the present moment as it is and vice versa. We are happy to be where we are even when our lives are rife with problems. We can detach ourselves from the external world and see ourselves for who we really are. No matter how dismal our life situation may be, we can embrace it, realizing that problems are essentially illusory by nature.
When we let go of ego control, we experience an exhilarating sensation of freedom in life. As we settle into the present moment, we let go of our expectations of the future. We open ourselves to receive guidance from the Universe and welcome the unexpected twirls of life. Thus, our lives become an adventure. We can break free from the shell of ego that has been keeping us prisoners for all this time.