Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. - Carl Gustav Jung
11 you will:
understand the roles of the ego & the soul
- learn to discern the inner voice
The single most asked question we have come across is "how do I tell what
are the messages of my ego and those of my soul?" To be true the ego
and the soul have an existence within each other and so there is a measure
of blurring between their realities but for the purposes of this class,
let's separate them at their poles, so that we might more easily understand
their nature and where they overlap.
What is the nature of the
The ego is a
construction of self arising entirely from externals. What the physical
senses perceive, the intellect can calculate and memory can remember about
us entirely composes the ego.
It is a
differentiating mechanism constantly calculating how it is different from
the next person or thing, and more than this it fervently seeks to place
itself at least 1cm above its surrounds.
As it defines
itself by these externals, it also attaches and binds itself to them for its
sense of self and fulfilment. For example, it is the ego that believes that
having a shiny new car that is faster and more expensive than everyone
else's in the street will contribute to its sense of self and fulfilment,
and it is the same ego that is disappointed five minutes after buying it
with the realisation that somewhere else there is someone with a car that is
shinier and faster and more expensive. This also applies to the way the ego
interacts with other people. Social interactions become competitions because
the ego needs to be at least 1cm above the next.
goal of the ego is to be rich and famous possessing everyone and everything
with all succumbing to it.
For the ego
everything is conditional, everywhere a marketplace. "What I do for you is
in exactly the same measure (or if I am smart(?), less!) than what you have
already done for me. I will love you, if you love me etc. Nothing is given
without an ulterior motive.
The ego is
extremely defensive, to the death, in fact, of its present state of mind,
passionately fearing change and blaming everything but itself for any
believes that it is the alpha and omega of you, a finite being with a birth
and a death stuck in a fight with time and fate.
The soul is a revelation of the
real self arising from within.
someone speaks of 'finding oneself' they are usually speaking of a series of
experiences of the soul. If it is that there is a force or universal soul or
God that lies at the heart of every atom, then the individual soul is a
portion of it. Though to speak of a portion of infinity is impossible and
this is exactly the point, because this 'portion' is nothing other than, in
fact, the whole. Each of us holds the kingdom of heaven within.
The sense of
the soul is perceived by a suspension of the ego, an opening of the heart
and an intuitive flow of love or peace or joy or wisdom will inevitably
The soul is a
oneness understanding, joining not only humanity, but all things in the
profound wisdom of love.
competition as within a real family, to empower and encourage each other to
higher and higher heights.
As the soul
feels itself within all things it has no desire to bind or possess things to
oneself. It feels that since we are all the oceans and the mountains and the
skies and the flowers, how can there be ownership? We are all an infinite
portion of each other.
goal of the soul is to divinise the ego. To flood all egos with the
unconditional and infinite love and empowerment of the entire universe so
that it might also perceive itself as many and separate, but One and whole.
For the soul,
everything is a oneness-heaven where each of us contributes to the
collective and each of us is empowered by it.
challenges our present state of mind when we limit ourselves to the ego by
telling us 'You are not that! You are not the body, you are not the mind or
ego, you are not finite and bound by time, you are infinite and eternal'
This is why
the measure of a real spiritual person is their genuine humility. The higher
one journeys the more one realises that the source, the power and the
destination of the journey are the one universal soul or God. All we ever do
is reveal this reality. Our ownership of even our actions should never be
egoic but reveal the intuitive flow of wisdom and love of the universe.
As we said in
the beginning there is a definite blurring of realities of the soul and the
ego. The ego is on a journey, just like every other part of our nature. from
darkness to light, from ignorance to total awareness of the soul. It is
meant to be an instrument of the soul, not in competition with it, and you
will notice if you haven't already that gradually it will be illumined by
the light of the soul and its sense of itself will gradually enlarge until
ultimately the divine ego, feels itself within all.
dance to a whispered voice. Overheard by the soul. Undertook by the heart.
And you may know
it. If you may know it."
— Neil Diamond from Soundtrack for"Jonathan Livingston Seagull"
After all this - it is time for
So now comes
the time where instead of philosophising we observe what we are doing in our
lives. How are our present day-to-day behaviours affected by this. Is it
possible to live in the soul amidst the hurly-burly of modern life? The
answer obviously, is a resounding YES!
To come back to our original question - 'How do I tell if the messages I am
receiving are from my soul or my ego?' Well, especially in the beginning it
is not so easy. We have spent such a long time ignoring the messages of our
soul and listening entirely to our ego that the volume is very loud on our
ego and perhaps just a whisper from our soul.
everything, it requires practise.
requires honesty and a large measure of bravery.
just listen, not to return to the habits of the ego in constructing a voice
that we want to hear, and bravery to follow the messages of the soul, that
are often challenging (as they obviously should be!) and sometimes illogical
from a worldly point of view.
If you are
not immediately intuitively aware that the message you are receiving is from
your soul, then try and stop everything and really explore it in a
meditation. Messages of your soul, should immediately be accompanied by joy
as their nature is the flow of love.
If you are
still not sure than you need to consciously question the source of the
voice, honestly checking its credentials against all the criteria above. You
must also realise that exactly the same action can be performed egoically
and again completely soulfully, so it is often not the action that needs to
be critically contemplated but the place from where the action
Either way, if
you are still not sure, try as soulfully as you can to take a step down the
path that your 'voice' is extolling you to, and immediately stop and
meditate and go through the process again, having taken
one step. You will see that having gone through the above, you should definitely be feeling joy, if not, stop - it is
most likely not a message of your heart.
You can't have everything.
Where would you put it? — Steven Wright, 20th-century American
meditation can be practiced anytime you are in a situation where there are a
number of people.
Imagine that the people all around you are perfect, perfect souls.
Sadly the outer distractions of their lives stop them from feeling their
real reality. But you can feel their magnificence.
Close your eyes
and see yourself in heaven. Every one of these people around you are angels
full of infinite love, peace and joy. For today they have clothed themselves
like actors in a play, with silly soap-opera tragedies and events, just for
fun. But you are meditating past those illusions and seeing their real
reality. Feel their love. Feel their peace. Feel their joy. Radiate love to them
and feel them radiating to you.
From time to time
you can open your eyes if you like, and where your eyes are drawn to –
silently offer your love and your awe at their magnificence. Offer them
gratitude for them showing you the heaven you are in right now. When you are
finished, without moving, silently, let your eyes roam to each person around
you and bow and say to them inwardly and secretly “I love you”.
You should be
smiling by now and rejoice and realize that heaven is here, now.
11th class you will have;
started to understand the differences
between messages of the soul and of the ego
practiced stopping and listening to
the soul along each step of the way.