Ego – Everyone’s Got One, I love this definition. Anyone with a feeling of self-esteem, a confidence in their abilities, will have an ego. You cannot afford to not have one. The problem occurs when that ego permeates and expands become an outlandish behavior hurting others. At that point, Ego transforms into harmful energy blinding you from your real nature of goodness. Ego transforms from Everyone’s Got One to Easing Goodness Out.
Spirituality or Spiritual practices are supposed to keep the ego in check. The practices of mindfulness, meditation, and engaging in community services are components of spiritual practices. You supplement these with a pursuit to understand various philosophies and glean the best among history and contemporary living.
The advancement occurs through the knowledge you gain from your spiritual pursuit. When the cup of education and knowledge starts to fill up, the spiritual ego-meter in you takes off.
Knowledge gives you confidence. The more you learn, the more certain you become of your views.
The more certain your views, the more distinct you see yourself separate from others.
The distinction leads to discrimination, fault finding and establishing right vs. wrong, me vs. them.
This is Spiritual Ego. You Ease Goodness Out.
Of course, I cannot make a generalization that anyone with advanced spiritual learning develops a spiritual ego. But, without a proper “get in touch with yourself” meeting, there is a high likelihood for you to drown in spiritual ego.
Here are just a couple of examples of spiritual ego and tips to overcome:
Beliefs: There is a multitude of books and recordings on personal development and self-help. Some may attract you more than others. As you follow the ones you like, don’t get into the trap of hating or disliking the others. Put it in perspective.
Liking the color Blue does not mean that color Red is bad. You make choices based on what works for you. Don’t judge the others to be wrong. When it comes to religions, faiths and philosophical differences, I often say this in my talks “The universe has 7+ billion people, if 6+ billion people do not follow your philosophy or faith, does not mean that they are wrong or bad.”
Develop your own beliefs. Underpin them with authenticity and stick to it, but respect other’s beliefs. Your belief will not get diminished because someone else has a different viewpoint or for that matter will not enhance just because they now agree with you.
Charity: I’m happy to be living in this day and age and amongst you. The current day society is one where giving and charity figures as a regular discussion. We as a society give more than previous generations. Charity is becoming a mindset. There is a lot more to be done, at least we are trending to become a giving society.
Unfortunately, charity does bring in spiritual ego.
When an individual boasts of the charity he or she has done, we can say that the person has Ego. Personally, I do not consider this to be much of an issue. What is wrong with someone detailing the charitable contributions they make? At least they are doing and saying about it. To such individuals I say, go for it. Keep talking about it but Keep doing more and more of charity.
The other form of ego is when a person engaged in charity perceives another individual to be less charitable. This, in my opinion, is dangerous.
Back to the discussion on beliefs, just because you believe in a certain charitable cause and contribute, do not expect everyone else to believe in the same cause and contribute.
The other day, I was speaking to an individual who was raising funds for a certain religious cause. He was complaining of how people of the same religious sect were hesitant to donate. I had to correct this individual and said: “We do not know what other causes the person may be contributing to, they may be giving through several other ways, never should we belittle the other person based on our belief of what constitutes a charity.”
Increased awareness and knowledge is good. We have to play our part in the pursuit of spiritual happiness and find a purpose in life. Watch out though of being too quick to comment or criticize anyone!
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