The Ego. What is so negative about it?

The yogic wisdom advices us to liberate from the boundaries of the ego. But what are those boundaries? And, if they are so bad and unnecessary why do we have them?

The ego represents the way we define ourselves. It represents the “I”. I am this, I did this, I have this and so on. The boundaries of the ego exclude everything that does not belong to the “I”. As soon as I can say what I am, I am also able to say what I am not. The definition of the “I” separates us from everything that is not “I”. I am not you. I am not the nature around me. I am not my mother, not my father. I am not my loved one. I am not my cat. I am not the tree standing in front of me. Or I am not the quinoa salad in my bowl. Obviously, I need to know that I am not my quinoa salad, so that I can eat that. We need the boundaries of the ego to survive. The boundaries of the ego are the most basic boundaries we have.

Now the question is: what is wrong with these boundaries? There is nothing wrong with these boundaries necessarily. The problem is about how we utilise these boundaries and identify our whole being with these boundaries. There are mainly two levels that the boundaries of the ego can become harmful. The first level is our everyday lives and the second level is the spiritual one.

Life is not easy. We endure its challenges, the ego grows and becomes rigid. The ego takes over our whole lives and become very high maintenance. We get so concerned with our egos that, most of the time, we cannot spare the time and energy to connect with the one another. Let me give you a couple of examples. As we define ourselves as successful business people we ignore the other things we can be. Like being a good friend or a supportive sisters or brothers. In the end, we don’t spare time to be with our loved ones and enjoy the life. As we define ourselves as responsible and caring parents and we forget to look after ourselves. In the end, we disconnect from ourselves and our loved ones. We limit our potential, we limit ourselves. The life is a flowing river and a rigid ego turns us into a rock that sits at the bottom.

The second issue is about the bigger meaning in life. The ego helps us to survive in this material world, yes. But what about our spiritual being? Ego also disconnects us from our spiritual presence. The spirit does not know any boundaries. You don’t have a different spirit as a parent, as a daughter or son, as a business person, as a lover. There is only one spirit and that is beyond the realm of boundaries and forms. But the ego is all about boundaries. As we habitually live in the world of the ego we disconnect from the blissful spiritual realm. Once again identification with the ego and its boundaries limits, and prevents us from realising our full potential.

The solution is the harmony between the body, the mind and the spirit. The harmony will lead you to liberation, you just need to follow the path within you.

Shades of Yoga is a yoga teacher training company providing year-round yoga teacher training in Bali and Costa Rica.