It can be difficult to tell the difference between intuition and ego. The authors of this workshop consider that ego is neither good nor bad, and that some ego is essential in the physical world. The problem comes when ego is involved in decisions where it should not be. Adding to this problem is that ego is the backup system. When other decision systems are ignored, ego fills in. So it is important to make conscious choices.
It seems necessary to find a balance between too strong an ego and too weak an ego. Balancing our ego is possibly the greatest challenge that we face. This was a difficult section of the workshop to write. So if you disagree with our view or recommendations, that is understandable. However, if you do not see balancing the ego as a challenge and something to work on, you may not be aware of how much your own ego is influencing your decisions. This is when having friends that will honestly tell you their observations can really help. Balancing the ego is not something that is finished and done. It is an ongoing challenge. The ego is there and ready with an answer when a choice comes up. It is the backup system. We don’t necessarily eliminate ego, but what can happen is that we become much quicker to identify the ego and to act accordingly.
So how do we balance ego? We can start by paying attention and becoming aware of our ego. One of the ways is to pay attention to how we feel and to our emotions. Another way is to pay attention to how we think, speak, or act. So if our thinking is focused on self, we say, “I need” or “I want”, or if emotion takes over, then ego is usually involved.
Another way is to observe others. It is often easier to see ego in others than in ourselves. When you see someone obviously acting out of ego, ask yourself “Do I do that?” Often the answer is Yes. If we become aware of this, then we can change it. Life tends to mirror what we need to learn. See the section on Lessons.
Life has a way of providing us with “Gentle Tests." Just when we feel that we have learned the lesson of ego, a gentle test will come along. Sometimes we don’t recognize the test after it has passed. Don’t worry; tests tend to come back again and again, until we do pass.
We are both human and divine. A balanced ego helps the divine to shine through and encourages intuition.
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