|Open Yoga Journal|
What is it – our Ego? Is there a difference between ‘Ego’ and ‘egoism’? Where does a fine line between reasonable inidualism and fanatical satisfying of Ego’s desires lay? How can we get rid of pandering to selfish desires?
In our life we got used to taking ourselves as a personality with certain characteristics that distinguish us from other people. The fact of self-awareness as an inidual produces a complex of associative connections, called ‘Ego’. But occasionally we fixate on our features, and grasp at the slightest chance to show our iniduality. It seems to us, that if we stopped acting this way, we would dissolve in the crowd, loose ourselves, and end up our existence. Would we?
Despite the same root of both words ‘Ego’ and ‘egoism’, they differ from each other. ‘Ego’ is ‘the part of a human personality that is recognized as ‘Self’, and contacts the outer world through perception’. It produces processes that support our independent existence, if we are living in harmony with the Universe.
‘Egoism’ is ‘the habit of valuing everything only in reference to one’s personal interest; selfishness (opposed to altruism)’. So, it is the overindulgence of our Ego.
What does Yoga say about egoism?
Yoga affirms that on early stages of evolution egoism helps to survive. The fear of death of the body forces a living being to become stronger, hardier, and smarter. But with the development of the mind, egoism transforms and must subside.
Yoga teaches that every living being has got the Higher Self – immortal, all-knowing, absolutely free, and being in a state of eternal bliss.
The Higher Self can neither be harmed nor killed nor influenced by material objects nor measured. The Higher Self manifests in the Universe via physical form, ability to feel and react, and so on, and Ego makes it happen. But because of the initial lack of knowledge we forget our true nature and believe ourselves to be our manifestations, grasp at them as if they were something constant. But these manifestations are being created and destroyed according to laws of this world. And egoism shows itself as a pursuit to fortify and immortalize these manifestations. That is why it is necessary to control egoism, not let these fortifications to become our fetters, limiting our freedom.
How should we distinguish our natural needs from what we do not need any more? How can we feel our Higher Self?
Yoga suggests us to separate gradually our Higher Self from our manifestations. There is a mighty instrument to achieve this goal – Kriya yoga, the yoga of action. It lets us sink into our inner processes and establish a dialogue with the body. And understand that we are not only the body, and as a result – learn to control it. But Kriya yoga affects not only our body. This yoga also helps us to differ from our thoughts and emotions. This is an effect of continuous practice in harmony.
One of the most powerful tools to overcome our egoism is help other living beings. Sometimes, being overwhelmed with routine, we forget what it is – help others. The principle ‘All the world owes me’ makes our egoism even stronger. On the contrary, the tenet to help others without expectations of any result helps us to embark the path of rejection of egoism. Yoga believes that it is extremely hard to really help another living being. It is a very delicate and ambiguous point.
But we can feel the true joy if our help has brought the real happiness!
When we begin to live and work for the benefit of others, our egoism is dissolving, letting go true features of our Ego. Herewith we get the ability to understand the reality of our Higher Self, because there are no more thoughts, which used to disturb our mind before.
Gratuitous help clears the way to our Higher Self!
The knowing of what egoism and disintegration with our manifestations are provides us the impulse to understand our true mature. To embark the path of work on ourselves – diligent, daily, honest, without expectations – we have to find strength and courage in ourselves. But if we follow this path, we are breaking free from the limitations of this world and getting imperishable happiness!
We wish you peace and happiness!
Author: Marina Balmush
Editors: А.Zlobin, М.Мамоntova
Project superviser: А.Zlobin
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