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Types of ego

When you become self-conscious, you are living and yet not living. Self-consciousness is a barrier to your beauty and grace.


Types of ego

Active ego vs passive ego

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The active ego is easy to recognize. People with an active ego will behave in a highhanded fashion; they will claim selfimportance openly. They will be arrogant. This ego is actually easy for a master to deal with. He just needs to bang on it a few times and it will break!

 

A person with an active ego will not be willing to let go of it at any cost.

A small story:

A psychiatrist asks his patient if he is suffering from fantasies of selfimportance. The man replies, ‘Absolutely not. In fact, I think much less of myself than I really am!’

A person with an active ego will not be willing to let go of it at any cost.

Passive ego is very subtle and cunning. People who have a passive ego will pose as being very humble, lacking courage to face people, and shying away from taking credit. The worst part of this is that they think they are like this because they are not egoistic. Actually, they are so carefully guarding their ego from getting hurt by unconsciously thinking they are humble!

People with active ego are like dried, hard twigs. They can be broken easily. People with passive ego are like fresh, green twigs. Each time their ego is hit, they bend but don’t break! Their ego is so well safeguarded that it becomes difficult to deal with. Actually, they work very hard to safeguard it but in a sweet and passive way.

You cannot bear to suffer hurt to the ego that you have nurtured so carefully all these years..

You care so much about others’ reactions and opinions towards you. You cannot bear to suffer hurt to the ego that you have nurtured so carefully all these years. This ego is your very anchor point. If it is jolted, you will feel anchorless. So, with the excuse of being humble and obedient, you keep quiet. You miss one more opportunity of exposing your ego in the master’s presence. You miss one more opportunity to take a big step towards flowering.

Social ego

There is one more play of ego that we all nurture so well. It is called ‘social ego’. You feel that your life is highly private to yourself and that no one should be let into it. You are afraid that your whole image might come crashing down and there will be nothing to prop you up in society. This is social ego. It is more of an identity for you to experience than for others! If you can show yourself to the world just as you are, you will be  more relaxed because then there will be no pressure to cover up anything.

A small story:

Once a candidate running for a political office finished a speech and sat down. A man sitting next to him asked, ‘Sir, would you like to have a drink? We have hard drinks as well.’

The man replied, ‘First I need to know if this is an inquiry or an invitation!’

You think that you are a big entity and that everyone’s eyes are on you all the time.

Because of our social ego, we are always self-conscious. We think people are looking at and talking about us all the time. When you are self-conscious, you are egoistic. You think that you are a big entity and that everyone’s eyes are on you all the time. That is why you get self-conscious.

When you become self-conscious, you are living and yet not living. Self-consciousness is a barrier to your beauty and grace. Your beauty does not come forth freely. Look at animals and nature. They flow so beautifully and freely, because they are not self-conscious. They are simply happy being one with Existence. The moment you start thinking that people are watching you, ego has stepped in, and you lose your natural self.

Children are not as self-conscious as adults. If you watch them play, you will see they have so much beauty and innocence. Even when pictures are taken, you will notice that pictures taken without you being aware that you are being photographed look much better than pictures taken when you pose for the camera!

The self-conscious ego is all the time calculating and weighing others’ opinions.

The moment you are asked to pose, you become self-conscious. Your ego is afraid of what people might say and think about you. The self-conscious ego is all the time calculating and weighing others’ opinions.

A small story:

One Sufi* mystic went to a king and begged for a square meal. The king shouted at him, saying that nobody there knew him.

The mystic laughed and said, ‘Yes. I agree. Nobody here knows me. But I know myself. In your case, everybody knows you. But you don’t know yourself.’

When you stop calculating and start being innocent and open, you will be filled with wonder and freshness all the time. Life will never become dull and restrained for you.

Glossary:

* Sufi – Followers of Sufism, a mystical dimension of Islam.

One Comment

  1. thank you swami for all the info I will try try to be moor self aware

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