In our journey towards Awakening, it is helpful to understand what the ego is. There seem to be many conflicting explanations for what the ego is and what we are supposed to do with it! Such as: kill it, love it, make friends with it, shred it, annihilate it!
Thankfully, Leonard Jacobson explains the ego in simple, understandable terms. Nearly every teaching of his addresses the ego. In this short clip, he explains what the ego is and how to begin to deal with it.
To understand the ego, it helps to understand first, explains Leonard, that Oneness is our natural state. What took us out of our natural state, truth and the natural world? How did that occur?
“Everything else on the planet is simply here, in its fullness and its isness. We’re the only ones that escaped “the world of here” and entered “the world of not here”.”
Entering the world of illusion, took us out of the present moment. And the way we did that was to think, says Leonard.
“The only way you can leave the present moment, is think yourself out of the present moment; there’s no other way, it’s impossible, ” says Leonard. “. . . And if you think your way out of the present moment, where do you go? You go into the past or future, or into the world of the mind.”
How do we imprison ourselves in the world of the mind? Belief. “We imprison ourselves there when we believe in our thoughts.”
“Once you have abandoned the present moment, and become absorbed into the world of the mind: the past and future, the world of thought, idea, concept, opinion, etc.. Once that’s occurred, and you’re functioning as an ego and you’re basically ruled and dominated by the ego.”
Leonard describes two dimensions of the ego:
- “The little ‘e’, you functioning in the world as an ego, lost in the world of separation, believing in that as the truth of life; functioning as “Me, me, me”.”
- “Then there’s the Ego, with a capital “E”. That’s another level of the ego, that’s “the Custodian”, that’s independent of you and that’s what prevails in the world of separation, the world of illusion.”
“In order to free ourselves, we have to bring to consciousness all the ways we’re functioning as ego in a world of separation and illusion, believing in our thoughts and ideas. Even to believe in your memories is a form of illusion.”
“So we have to own and acknowledge and confess how we’re functioning as egos, lost in separation, always wanting more, never satisfied.”
“There’s no judgement in this, judgement would be of the ego also. This is just observation, witnessing who you have become.”
“Then there’s that other level of the Ego that you cannot defeat. Even God cannot defeat the capital “E”, Ego. And in order to Awaken, you have to really come to a deep, deep knowing, a realization, a recognition, a witnessing of: who and what the Ego is; why it is, how it functions and what will it take for the Ego to release you.”
“And the answer is: the only thing that will bring the Ego to a place of relaxation and surrender – the only thing – is the energy of love and acceptance, and allowing. And that is only possible from Presence. That is why Presence is so fundamentally important here.”
“And just to hear the truth: The truth is alive and awake in every one of us. When you hear the truth, if you’re open and you’re responsive and you’re not listening with your mind, you can actually feel the settling into Presence that occurs; the opening into Oneness, just hearing the truth.”
“The truth shall set you free.”
“And the truth abides in each one of us, equally. You cannot get the truth from outside of you. You can hear it from outside of you, but you can only know it from within.”
Leonard’s core teaching is two-part and simple:
- To be in Presence and
- From Presence, to observe the “ego” and “Ego” and become aware of its actions.
One way I have found to apply this teaching of Leonard’s, is to be fully Present when listening to or watching an Awakened or Enlightened person teaching or speaking and when participating in a Oneness Meditation or a Braco gaze. From Presence, you can feel the truth of a teaching, or the Presence or silence, more fully. And I am sure that every time that I do this, it is relaxing my beloved ego, just a little bit more.