The search for self-knowledge requires us to discriminate between helpful and non-helpful thoughts, attitudes, feelings and emotions. Until now, I’ve never found simple guidelines for this practice. Then I came across an article in the online journal, Waking Times. Rhiame’s post, “How Do I Know if it’s My Ego or Soul Talking?” is helpful to me, and I’d like to share a portion of it.
“Here are the three main characteristics that undoubtedly define ego.
“The expression ‘listen to your soul’ is often misleading. Indeed, the soul does not speak; it’s ego that speaks, and as a matter of fact, very loudly. In my search to follow my soul’s will, I often call on her for guidance, and usually, obviously, I expect an answer from her. “Unfortunately, most of the time — if not all the time — the first answer that comes is not from my soul, but from my ego. I’ll use a little story to illustrate what happens in the background of our consciousness.
“Let’s imagine that Mr. Ego and Ms. Soul live under the same roof (body), and there’s only one phone line in the house to contact either of the two. So, every time I call to reach Ms. Soul, it’s Mr. Ego who picks up the phone. He’s a control freak, a self-absorbed, noisy character that wants to be in charge of everything. He makes sure that Ms. Soul never answers the phone, and plays tricks so I won’t recognize him. He even changes his voice and his attitude to make me believe it is my soul talking. But when I learn the right tools to recognize him, I get taken in by his tricks less and less.
“The Soul does not speak. She is a voiceless character that imposes her will smoothly by setting up life situations. She is more of a doer than a talker. When she manifests her will, she usually makes me do things that may not make any sense at first glance — from an egotistic standpoint. Often it sounds illogical and scary, but it is so strong that I feel compelled to do it. An inner state of ‘knowing’ or ‘feeling right’ is created. I’d like to quote Mother who said, ‘If you ask yourself whether it’s the soul talking, then you know it’s not.’ This may clarify, if in doubt!
“Ego always wants something or doesn’t want something. He is the one who makes me say: “I want more money“, “I don’t want to be sick“, “I don’t want to live alone, I want to find a companion“, “I need to be recognized”, and on and on. By wanting or needing things, the ego is always attached to a result that is tangible.
“On the other hand, the soul does not want anything. She has no expectations and she is not attached to any outcome. The soul is only interested in the experience, the process…the emancipation of my being, and in the evolution of my consciousness towards who I really am. Any life situation I may encounter is regarded as beneficial for that purpose; indeed, for the soul, there are no positive or negative life experiences — they are all working for…realization.
“… And Fast
“Ego wants fast. So each time I feel rushed to do something or to make a decision, I know it’s my ego’s impulse. Indeed, ego lives in a mortal reality where he believes that his time is limited. He is the one who wants me to do as many things as possible in a short period of time. He is the one who is afraid of missing an opportunity, and who does not want to waste time in things that do not fulfill his immediate needs.
“Whereas the soul lives in the infinite present moment and is immortal. So each time I feel rushed to do or decide something, I must stop right away and give myself time to think it over. Concretely, I must shut down my ego’s big mouth which obstructs my clarity and prevents me from perceiving my soul’s inclination. Only when my ego is silenced and put on the back seat of the car can my soul take the wheel, in other words, take the governance of my life, and lead me in the direction that will further her fusion with my body.”
As with every facet of inner growth, wanting discrimination is not enough. It takes practice; however, the results are worth it. As Rhiame says, “…the more we practice, the faster we’ll get out of this appalling fear-based animal humanity that creates hell on earth!”
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