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  • Barry Shirley

MUMBO JUMBO NEWS - ISSUE 3 - FEBRUARY 2020

Updated: Feb 25, 2020


Hi Guys. In this Blog issue I would like to contemplate the ego. What is ego? It is a much researched and discussed subject. It is considered to be a mental construct and is a part of the never-ending ‘monkey mind’/’washing machine’ mind combination of thoughts that continually trigger emotions that are sometimes bad for you and others. Ego is thought to be perhaps a survival mechanism from the ancient past, about staying alive (inherent in the flight or fight mechanism). What was absolutely essential then may not work in our best interests now.


One of the big signs that the ego is at work is if you feel defensive about something. Ego is cunning and is something that is counter to your higher Self (i.e. consciousness/soul/sprit - enabling kindness, compassion, selflessness, and recognition that we are all the same etc). Ego generally builds a prison in which all your habitual ‘life’ beliefs are held and let out to wreak havoc when you become prone to reacting to harmful emotions (i.e. anger, pride, fear, judgement of yourself and others etc).


As stated, ego is recognised by past and current sages as a construct of your mind that is mainly dependent on your habitual ‘limiting’ beliefs regarding culture, personality, social influences/pressures and possible religious dogma/doctrinal influences. It is considered that you can never kill your ego but with a little guidance you can suppress it or bring it under control.


Firstly, you can learn to recognise these damaging emotions – then take a pause/count to ten, breathe deeply and then you may be able to have a considered response to a situation rather than a ‘knee jerk’ type reaction.


Additionally, explore your inner Self. Try not to worry about the past or the future, let go of things that are beyond your control and live in this very present moment (it is all you have, if you think about it!) In that respect try to be still, be kind to your self - try meditation/yoga/relaxation techniques. 


The Bhagavad Gita provides ancient teaching on doing battle with the ego and depicts an allegorical spiritual battle between the higher Self (atman in Sanskrit) and the ego (ahamkara in Sanskrit) – possibly 3000 years old or older and still very relevant!


“The ego is only an illusion, but a very influential one. Letting the ego-illusion become your identity can prevent you from knowing your true Self. Ego, false idea of believing that you are what you have or what you do, is a backwards way of assessing and living life”.

Wayne Dyer (US author on self-development)


“To me the ego is the habitual and compulsive thought processes that go through everybody’s mind continuously. External things like possessions or memories or failures or successes or achievements. Your personal history”.

Eckhart Tolle (German/Canadian Spiritual author/teacher)


“Every normal person, in fact, is only normal on the average. His ego approximates to that of the psychotic in some part or other and to a greater or lesser extent”.

Sigmund Freud (Austrian Neurologist/founder of psychoanalysis)


“The ego is a fascinating monster”.

Alanis Morissette (Canadian/American singer/writer)


What is the takeout from all this?

  • Try and be still or have quiet time whenever possible – life is full of so many distractions, influences, ‘noise’ and even ‘darkness’.

  • Inner peace is the key to quieting the ego, managing our harmful emotions and clearer thinking.

  • Do try meditation, yoga or creative outputs to find that inner peace.

  • Try to leave the ‘rat race’ to the rats!

  • And, above all, be kind to yourself.



Baz Shirley - Ocean Grove - Victoria - Australia


*See also; bazabstractart.redbubble.com & Instagram @bazabstractart

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