Everyone has an ego.
But to have a spiritual ego usually means your default position is one of righteousness.
You feel like you’ve reached the peak of your development as a soul on Earth. The only way for you to look is down at all those who aren’t on your level.
It’s a limiting point of view that doesn’t leave much room for growth.
If you ever catch yourself thinking you’ve reached a state of enlightenment, you haven’t.
If you’re thinking of yourself as a master, you’re not.
That is the exact opposite thought you’d be having as an enlightened being. You just wouldn’t think of yourself in that way. It’s the classic case of the ego creating a new identity for itself.
Being on a spiritual journey often creates a sense of inflexibility.
And it’s a big stumbling block. You come to the path, eager to learn. But bring all your old baggage with you. Your need for validation and the tendency towards competition and hierarchy is still fully alive and kicking.
When you find spirituality for the first time, it can feel like you’ve discovered your calling.
You can very quickly become attached to the initial ideas you encountered. Over time, dogmatism can creep in, and those ideas can become limiting thought-constructs.
You cling onto those ideals because you feel you have a duty to protect teachings that brought about your awakening. That, is the spiritual ego at play – in one of its guises…
The essence of spirituality is always about letting go and transcending old patterns of being when the time comes. That’s the true nature of the journey. Let’s break down how the ego works for and against you in the spiritual sense…
Table of Contents
What is the Ego Mind?
Your ego is the thinking part of yourself, which could also think of it as the conscious mind. It’s the front line of your consciousness, and its job is to process all sensory stimulus. Your ego-mind is the objective part of yourself that allows you to reason and make decisions.
At times, you may perceive your ego to be a separate part of you – especially if it’s particularly vocal. You might even think of it as an entity of some description – something that needs to be removed from your awareness. But you cannot get rid of the ego; it is an intrinsic part of you.
Without the ego-mind, you would be nothing more than an empty husk. There is a misconception within spiritual circles that calls for the ego to be destroyed – ‘The Ego Death.’ But then there would be no you. There would be no preferences, no likes, no personality, even.
Is Ego Part of The Soul?
Your ego is a part of your soul. But it’s not your entire being. The ego is the identity you create for yourself in this lifetime, which is the accumulation of all your experience within this physical incarnation. It’s a finite expression, although you do retain certain aspects of it when you pass on. You soul is the eternal part of you that never dies. It’s the master avatar that contains the knowledge of all your previous life experiences. Your ego, by comparison, is just a character you played for a short amount of time. It’s not your true essence. It’s not your soul.
The Ego and the Spiritual Self
Just because you’re on a spiritual path doesn’t mean you’re free of your old negative habit patterns. Spirituality doesn’t work that way. It involves doing the inner work on yourself, not just turning up. It requires your conscious application.
When you’re caught up in the pursuit of your immediate wants, you’re acting from the ego-mind and instant gratification. All the things you could live without. You want to let go and focus on what actually matters. And that comes from knowing the difference between a want and a true need.
The way you figure that out is by coming into alignment with your heart-space. Your heart never lies. But you do need to learn to listen to it. When you’re acting from your heart space, you’re anchored in your highest intent. Your heart is the compass of your soul. It’s the physical manifestation of the divine. Your heart is the way-shower towards your deepest truth…
8 Signs You Have an Overactive Ego (You Would Never Admit)
Here are some of the most obvious signs that you have an overactive ego:
- You’re constantly trying to solve everyone problems before your own.
- You’re projecting your issues onto others and then claiming they need to work on these issues. (spiritual narcissism.)
- You’re repeating teachings to others without having properly integrated their meaning, yet.
- You’ll twist certain concepts to suit your own needs/motivations.
- You’ll push your spiritual ideals onto others (and often come into conflict)
- You’ll become extremely defensive when others try and question your beliefs.
- You fall into spiritual materialism (constantly seeking the next new “big thing”)
- You require constant validation that you’re on the right spiritual path.
How to Overcome Your Spiritual Ego Traps and Limiting Beliefs
There are actually many ways that you can fall into the trap of spiritual ego. And they don’t all involve having an inflated sense of self. You can just as easily come down on yourself for not measuring up to your own high expectations. This is one of the worst things you can do – comparing your journey to others. If you’re constantly looking over your shoulder at what other people are doing, you’re inevitably going to slip into a mindset of judgement. You become the spiritual martyr, which is just as damaging.
But you need to remember… Everyone is on their own spiritual journey. No two people have an identical set of circumstances. So each person you meet will have their own challenges they’re working through. More than anything, you need to focus on yourself. Where are you going?
And that extends to doing your inner work. You don’t want to self-congratulate too much. You aren’t making progress just by telling people you’re doing the work; you actually need to do it. You need to be present and engaged. It’ll do you no good just to repeat exercises for repetition’s sake. There needs to be an understanding of what it is you’re doing.
But the same also applies in reverse. You don’t want to become so wrapped up in the search for perfection that you fail to celebrate your victories. You can become a spiritual martyr, and come down yourself so hard that it sucks all the air – and enjoyment – out of your journey.
If you want to move away from these cyclical behaviours, you need to use your discernment. It means asking yourself the hard questions. Why are you engaged in what you’re doing and what are your motives? If you really want to make progress, you can’t lie to yourself, here. It demands your honesty.
When you’re living so much in your ego, you create expectations that become your limitations. You create a glass ceiling that you can’t breakthrough. You pen yourself in, and this mental programming becomes your reality. But it’s just the ego. You are not your thoughts, and you can change them at any moment.
Why Ego Death is NOT the way to Do Effective Inner Work
The Ego Death is the way that many people choose to ‘deal’ with the ego. But I don’t find this a very helpful way to view any part of yourself. The essence of spiritual work isn’t to tear things down but to build them back up. Your ego is no different from any other part of your inner being.
It needs love, care and attention. To think you can scold the ego or banish it from your psyche is the old-paradigm way of thinking about spirituality. You don’t want to kill the ego. You want to integrate it within the rest of your knowingness. It’s not your enemy.
Another more accurate way of referring to this process would be transcendence. You don’t erase the ego. But you are also no longer affected by its input. You bring awareness to those thoughts and in doing so, choose not to be affected by them.
By working with your ego in this way, you’re opening your heart. You’re not taking a militaristic view towards yourself. It doesn’t make sense. If the ultimate goal of spirituality is to show the world more compassion, why would you show yourself anything less?
When you listen to your ego from your heart, you create an internal shift. You cease fighting… You surrender. And just as a bully who fails to get a response will eventually walk away, so will your ego eventually become quieter and quieter. You don’t kill the ego. You integrate it. You nurture it.
You still retain the ability to act from a place of objectivity. But you no longer let that part of yourself rule your actions. You don’t feel the need to be right all the time. The path to enlightenment has nothing to do with the rejection of yourself and everything to do with self-acceptance.
Understanding the Ego and its Role in Your Spiritual Development
Your ego plays the role of the gatekeeper. Its job is to test your current level of understanding by giving you choices to make. It’s constantly trying to maintain its position. And by doing so, is challenging you to stick with what you know or walk the road less travelled.
You can choose to be self-centred, self-aggrandising and self-serving or you can put aside those thoughts and aspire to something better. You can choose not to be inflamed by other people’s comments. You can refuse to take on the projections of others.
Because in essence, your journey isn’t about belief or even about your knowingness. It’s about your action. When you look back on your life in old age, you won’t be asking yourself, ‘what did I think?’ You’ll be asking yourself, ‘what did I do? How did I respond?’ Your wisdom is your experience remembered and personified time and again through your action.
When the Ego Fights Back
As much as the ego is challenging you to become a better version of yourself, it still wants to keep its foothold in your psyche. It won’t settle down without giving you some blowback. Your ego isn’t dumb. You can’t hide your thoughts from it, because it is you. So don’t underestimate it.
If you’re having a hard time separating your true intentions from your ego-mind, remember you are not your thoughts. Don’t believe everything you think. You’re playing a dangerous game if you start to take on board every stray thought as fact. You create your own truth through discernment.
Whenever you find yourself about to react to a triggering situation, check-in with yourself. Don’t jump straight into action. Give yourself a little delay to come from a place of response instead of knee-jerk reaction. And whatever you do, don’t take anything the ego says, personally.
Spiritual Awakening and the Ego
The ego has been pivotal in the evolution of our consciousness. It’s allowed us to become fully self-aware beings. It’s given us the gift of individuality. Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to build the civilisations we have today. We’d be much less developed as a race.
The individuated nature of our ego is what separates us from the animal kingdom. It has led to the creation of our science, philosophy and art. When you place the ego in that context, it’s something we should be thankful for having, not something we’re trying to destroy.
But as we move toward the ascension to 5D, there’s no denying it’s becoming redundant. As our vibration increases, we’re learning to transcend the ego, entirely. But this isn’t The Ego Death or the rejection of ourselves. It’s a natural part of our evolution.
When we eventually make the shift to 5th-dimensional consciousness, there will still be an individuated sense of self. But it’ll be much different from what we’re experiencing now. We’ll be in unity consciousness. Not a hive mind, but a state of being where there are no more barriers between us.
Communication will take on a whole new meaning. There’ll no longer be any confusion or words lost in translation because we’ll be linked with one another on the telepathic level. When that takes place, the ego, as you know will have nowhere to hide. It will cease to exist.
Three Stages of Ego Transcendence: The Way to a More Authentic You
Before we reach the stage of unity consciousness, you can still – and should – be doing the inner work. Ascension will happen for everyone, eventually. There’s no avoiding it. But it will happen for those who’re actively working on themselves much quicker than those who aren’t.
As the vibratory frequency of Earth continues to increase, more people are waking up. You may have already gone through an awakening process. But there are many layers to your transcendence. The integration of ego will look different for everyone. But it’s possible it may have looked – or will look something like this for you:
Questioning Yourself and Place Within Society
The first thing that happens during a spiritual transformation is the questioning phase. You gain an acute awareness – almost overnight – that the world isn’t as it should be. You wake up to the limitations society has placed on you, and you start looking inside for your truth.
You Dissociate from the World Around
As you begin to question society, you go into a hibernation phase. You dissociate from the world. It becomes a much smaller place and question where you fit into the cosmic picture of reality. The idea of consciousness enters your mind. You realise we’re all one and this life is just one of many.
Your Connect with Your Higher Self
As you let go of your old limiting beliefs, it leaves more space for intuition and guidance to come through form your Higher Self. When you transcend the ego, you can hear your Higher Self much clearer. Your actions increasingly come from a place of kindness, love and compassion for yourself and towards others.
You, Yourself and Your Spiritual Ego
So, if you were wondering where you end and where your ego begins, it should be pretty obvious by now that you’re inseparable. Your ego is an inherent part of you.
It’s not your enemy or even your ‘frenemy.
The banishment of your ego is the old way of doing things. Show your ego the love it needs.
There is no part of your spiritual journey that demands the destruction of any part of yourself. The real truth is about healing. You heal your shadow, your inner child and your ego. And by doing so, you integrate those part of yourself back into the whole that is you.
Why, when you’re trying to show the world as much compassion and empathy would you not afford yourself the same?
If you do nothing else, simply respect the ego.
It has more to offer than you realise.
Sam you’re doing incredible work. This is amazing and brilliantly written. Thank you
You’re very welcome. It’s genuinely made my day that you’ve gotten something out of this. I really appreciate the compliment.
Wow just wow! Amazing work thank you 🙏🏼
Thanks Yasmine, I really some writing this one!
Sam, I know that this was written a couple of years ago, but it has really helped me today. It has been an answer to prayer. My journey continues…