Stretching the Ego

The Relative Nature of Identity

Without conscious access to our soul, all perceptions and conceptions of our identity are relative and changeable. Our perceptions of identity are related to the roles we play in life, rather than to the core self that stands behind those roles. The difference between one’s role, and one’s core self can best be understood by observing an accomplished actor working at his craft. A skilled actor is able to submerge his own identity in the roles he plays, but when the show is over and the shooting done, the actor reemerges as the person he really is. His real world and sense of self are very different from the world and role of the character he has left behind. The difference between the accomplished actor and the rest of us is that while the actor can step out of his character and leave the role he plays behind him, most of us cannot step out of ourselves and put our roles behind us. Our roles define us, and we have great difficulty separating what we do from who we are.

It isn’t easy to discover our true identity and establish a life based on a strong soul connection. If it was, everyone would do it. True identity belongs to the realm of those who are whole, strong and clear. True identity does not reside in the province where the fragmented, weak and confused reside. True identity takes work, effort and discipline.

It is not enough to declare, decide or affirm that you are something you are not. Too many who think they are spiritually superior, and have attained a higher level of consciousness, are simply deluded and looking for the easy way to self-realization. The truth about the easy way is that there is no easy way. Plato said the unexamined life is not worth living.  There is no self-realization without self-reflection. If you can’t face yourself, you will never succeed. So many  people do yoga to assuage their pain. The secret of self-realization and true identity is not to assuage your pain or do a series of postures to feel better. That is all temporary. The secret of self-realization is to face yourself and confront your shadow. When you expel the darkness from the core of your being where it hides, you make the necessary space for the divine to enter your life. Until that occurs you are treading water, not moving in the right direction. When you finally expel your darkness and allow the divine energy to enter your core, the change it brings is not temporary, but permanent. When that happens, you are on your right path.

Stretching the Ego

As we open to unconditional love and stretch our ego toward our soul, our sense of identity begins to shift slowly from what we do to who we are. While what we do is relative and can always change or be taken away from us, while who we are is permanent and can never be lost.

Transcending the Ego

soul ego

Albert Einstein

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
-Albert Einstein

The fusion of soul and ego creates a direct channel for the wisdom, unconditional love, creativity, and healing energies of the soul to flow into the conscious mind. The synthesis of the formerly disparate elements of consciousness that occurs in the act of fusing the soul and ego connects the two poles of our being, uniting substance with spirit and creating a bridge across which the Divine light can flow quietly into this world.

Fusion and the Surrendered Ego

When the fusion of soul and ego occurs, the ego is transformed once again. It is no longer simply the healthy ego, learning to stand in its own power, expanding its sense of self in positive and supportive relationships, and beginning to grasp the significance and power of unconditional love. It is now the surrendered ego, the agent of the soul, and the voice of illumination, understanding, and compassion. The surrendered ego’s mission is to increase the power of the soul in the life of the individual and to manifest the individual’s true identity and purpose. Gandhi, Einstein, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, and Nelson Mandela are all examples of individuals who successfully fused their soul and personality in modern times.
By the time we reach this state of fusion, the covert whispers of the negative ego and its dangerous liaison with our toxicity is long over. Where the ego was once the command and control center for the worst elements in our nature, it is now the channel for the highest and most redemptive aspects of our character. As we heal and transform the ego, we redeem our lives. In its base phase, the ego’s orientation is negative. It is an agent of separation, dominated by fear, and has no interest in the growth or evolution of the individual. Control and power dominate its agenda. In its middle phase, the ego’s orientation is positive and healthy. It is striving to escape the shadow of fear that has dominated the individual and to overcome habitual behaviors and reactive patterns that have reinforced the power of the negative in the life of its host. The healthy ego is a vehicle of integration. It is learning to love unconditionally and stand in the power of the soul.

A Karma Generating Machine

In its highest phase, the ego is neither positive nor negative, but has surrendered to the soul and become detached from desire. The surrendered ego is emotionally balanced and centered in the light. It shines with inner peace and is radiant with joy. Unlike the negative ego, the surrendered ego is clear of hopeless entanglements and negative consequences. Where the negative ego is a karma generating machine the surrendered ego is an instrument of harmony and fulfillment. The surrendered ego is the Divine’s ambassador in this world.

Relationships and Group consciousness


In establishing positive and constructive relationships with other people, a person with a healthy ego is beginning to stretch his self-concept and open himself up to becoming a channel of unconditional love. When a group of people with healthy egos gets together, unconditional love is present and palpable. Love is the basis of equality. When unconditional love is present, everyone in the group feels both unique and equal. When unconditional love is absent, people struggle against each other to stand out and be unique. What is natural and obvious when our eyes are open with love is no longer accessible or apparent once love’s clarity is lost. When love dissolves, group consciousness no longer exists.

A Multi-Generational Problem

To illustrate these ideas, lets imagine a large, multi-generational family. The parents have several children. These children are now all grown up, married with teenage children of their own. One young teenager dislikes one of his cousins and has for a long time but keeps his animosity hidden. The only hint of his disdain is that he is cool to his cousin. One Sunday, there is a family gathering at the grandparents’ home. Some of the boys decide to play touch football in the backyard. The boy who is secretly disliked by his cousin lines up as a receiver on offense and goes out for a pass. The cousin who detests him is the defensive back on the other team. The play develops. The receiver runs his route. He breaks open for a moment. The ball is thrown, a perfect strike. He turns to make the catch. Instead of trying to break up the play, the defender goes for his cousin, hitting him with a vicious shot in the back of his thighs. The boy flies up in the air then falls on the base of his spine in pain and shock. After all, this is touch football, not tackle, and tackling is not allowed. The receiver gets slowly to his feet and confronts his cousin. This, of course, is just what the resentful cousin hoped would happen. He wants his unsuspecting cousin to start something so he will have the excuse he needs to hit him with the full fury of his resentment. Words are spoken in anger. Insults are hurled back and forth. Pushing ensues. The receiver takes a wild swing at his cousin and misses.

The cousin who has set up the entire situation is a stone cipher. No emotion breaks through the cold mask of his face, his hard eyes the only hint of the hatred that lies beneath. In his head, where no one can see his thoughts, he secretly exults. You’ve just made your fatal mistake cousin, he says silently to himself. You did just what I wanted you to do. You’ve given me the green light to destroy you. A hint of a smile plays at the ends of his lips. His right arm moves forward suddenly in a quick, compact motion. He hits his cousin as hard as he can in the face. The boy collapses, his lip split, his face bloodied. Pandemonium breaks out. The other boys go running into the house. The adults quickly come running out.

A Toxic Situation

The father of the boy who has been hit confronts his nephew. His younger brother, the father of the resentful cousin comes to his son’s defense. Pretty soon the two brothers are pushing each other, giving new life to old grudges from their own teenage years. The other brothers and sisters try to break up the widening dispute to no avail. Instead of ending the conflict, they are drawn into it. The conflict has now escalated to a new level, moving through the generations and splitting the family into factions. The long-term cohesiveness of the family has been ruined. The entire family is now highly reactive and out of control. Each faction is self-righteous, certain the other side is wrong. Each faction wants to dominate and punish the other one. Even the grandparents are on different sides of the family conflict. In the blink of an eye the family has shifted from group consciousness to zero sum warfare. Instead of allowing love and respect to hold the family together, they are now all fighting for domination and control. Everybody wants to be right. The situation has become highly polarizing. The negative energy they have foolishly and unconsciously created together now has a life of its own and will draw them further apart. In the end, the conflict will wound and diminish everybody. There will be no winners.

Family Contamination

Was any of this really necessary? One person, infected with a smoldering resentment, contaminated the entire family, reawakened
forgotten tensions, and created group conflict. A once loving family with a long history of cohesion reacted to conflict with more conflict and lost its cohesive center in the blink of an eye.

Losing Love

As our example suggests, it is easy to lose love, easy to react, and easy to create conflict with little provocation. While the above example is imaginary, it is not far-fetched. Things like this happen all the time and are but a reminder of the covert and insidious nature of evil. If we are easily provoked and allow ourselves to react inappropriately, we open the door to evil and thoughtlessly invite it into our lives.

Losing Self-Control

If the cousin who had been tackled had recognized the resentment in his cousin’s actions and been able to maintain his self-control, he might have gotten up, walked away, and said nothing. Instead, he reacted and helped his cousin hurt him. Instead of walking away from trouble, he walked into trouble, and the rest of the family followed suit. This is one of those times when it would have been far better to turn the other cheek than to let one’s ego get in the way. It takes a clear and mature person to have the wisdom and self-control to recognize when it is time to walk away from trouble. While it is no easy task, neither is it an impossible one.