Ego is a term everyone uses, spiritual or not. We say ‘He has ego’, implying that he may be quite good at what he does, but when he doesn’t get his way we also know that he can turn pretty obnoxious. We also say, ‘she is self-less’, and know that she is kind and helpful, but also fear for her that she might be a push-over. So somehow in our mind there is just a right level of ego that we all should be striving for.
We spiritual folks are ambitious and want to find GOD, and we are told that the ego stands in the WAY. We have a great expression describing the dilemma. We say, ‘E-G-O: Edge - GOD - Out’. So what should we do? The root the world ego is simply ‘I’, our perceived personal identity. But the spiritual warning, ‘E - G - O - Edge God Out’ is more specific, we just warn not to mess up. We make a discipline out of figuring out what is the right way to react to the world, and what is problematic.
There are some who say that we should ‘fight our ego’ in the extreme, or simply ignore our ego longings in the least. I am noting the ego bashing camp, simply be mindful of what is going on and respond accordingly. The Course in Miracles famously states that the ego becomes strong in strive. Even the fight for GOD can be hijacked by the ego.
I am a spiritual coach and I always advice to combine purpose and passion. For me that’s the WAY. Let the ego work for you. Let the fellow make you happy. Just do it in a way that is in accordance with the WAY, and be mindful that it doesn’t interfere with the WAY. I claim that life always sends us problem that always can be solved fulfilling everyone’s objectives. Find it!