The Problem with Ego


For thousands of years, Enlightenment, or Spiritual Awakening, has been a topic of much debate and controversy. Many believe it to be mythical non-sense while for many others it is something beautiful and widely sought after.

The purpose of this article is to break down what enlightenment ACTUALLY is and explain the state of mind that makes awakening possible.

Who You Think You Are

First, we need to talk about that voice in your head. The voice that tells you who you are and what you should think about yourself. This voice is also likely telling you what other people think of you and your achievements. This voice, many people identify with as who they are. It is the ego.

Why Is It a Problem?

The problem with believing this is that this voice, this idea of who you are, will keep you stuck in the same state of mind indefinitely and allow for very little psychological growth to take place. This is a huge issue for anyone suffering from anxiety or depression because this voice will often say things like "I can't be happy because.." or "I'll never be able to do that because.." of some imaginary condition you have given yourself based on your life and experiences thus far.

So how does this pertain to Enlightenment?

Enlightenment, very simply put, is the ability to disassociate yourself from who you think you are. It is the acceptance that you are not actually in control of your thoughts or "the voice" inside your head. Instead, you realize you are in control of how you react to these things. This is an extremely powerful realization.

Many people who commit suicide do so because they believe they can no longer live with themselves. They've created an illusion of who they think they are and that entity is something they associate with being bad or faulty causing depression, anxiety, and potentially suicide.

What is realized in Enlightenment is that there is no self. Who you think you are in the world does not exist. You are the only one pretending you are who you think you are. No one but you sees you this way. Scary right?

It is terrifying.

To realize that every little bit of who you think you are is nothing but a figment of your imagination is something extremely hard to comprehend for most of today's society, but it is in this realization that life changing growth occurs.

For when you realize this, you realize there is nothing on the planet you could do that "isn't for you" or "isn't like you" because simply put there is no you. You are free to experience the world as you see fit, right here in the moment.

So why aren't more people awakening to this realization?

It is because many people cannot stop listening to the ego. After all, if you believe the ego is your true self then it is very difficult to challenge at all. You have to realize that the ego will speak regardless of who you are and what you do. It's up to you to realize the chatter in your head is random and is a reaction to the external world, not who you are internally.

Think of it this way, if you truly believed you actually are every thought you've ever had about yourself who would you be? A strong weakling? An idiotic genius? The ego works both ways telling us good and bad things about ourselves. You must learn to listen to only what you want to hear discarding the negative as useless information. This may sound cocky or arrogant but currently, humans are mostly suffering from believing in themselves too little, rather than believing too much. You need to be your biggest supporter in a world such as the one we currently inhabit. Be positive about who you are and let experience teach the lessons you need to learn.

In Conclusion

On your journey to obtain enlightenment, you need to learn to take your inner monologue just a little less seriously. Maybe a lot less seriously depending on your situation. Enlightenment is no super power, no other worldly state of being. It is simply the ability to realize that you are the master of your own destiny. No thought process controls or defines you but, it is the ability to recognize what is going on inside of yourself that will inevitably shape you. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt and search for the things that bring you true happiness. Don't let the fear (ego) of what others may think of you stand in the way.

Push on.

Justin Henderson
Justin Henderson
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Justin Henderson

Justin Henderson is an active nature and wild life enthusiast from Cannon Falls, Minnesota. 

He writes about topics that interest him most such as Spirituality, Human Consciousness, and the Pursuit of Happiness. 

See all posts by Justin Henderson