4 Reasons to Kill Your Ego That Aren’t Very Good

by Melissa Karnaze

sword stuck in the groundA lot of self-proclaimed spiritual people don’t like their Egos. Some of them write entire books explaining why you shouldn’t like yours either.

And why you should kill it instead.

They come up with all sorts of abstract reasons that might sound reasonable if you disassociate from yourself and your life enough.

But trying to kill your Ego is no way to cultivate response ability to your life, or create your life as a mindful construct.

Because in order to succeed at your life goals and embark on the path of self-actualizing, you need to be in touch with your multidimensional human nature, which includes both the Inner Child and the Ego (or more simply, your emotional self).

People who say you aren’t your Ego are afraid of their very own

Let’s go through the four main reasons self-proclaimed spiritual people give for killing (or putting to sleep) your Ego, which are also the four main reasons they use to explain that you are not your Ego to begin with.

And let’s look at why each of these are (a) inaccurate, (b) dyfunctional, and (c) motivated by fear.

1. “You are not your mind/brain”

It’s inaccurate because: Your reality is a construct created by your mind/brain. All of your perception occurs because of your mind/brain — without it, you would not perceive this physical reality. Additionally, none of your thoughts, feelings, or behaviors are made possible without your mind/brain.

It’s dysfunctional because: It tries to convince you that your physical life here on Earth is inferior to the “real” existence that is unbound by your mind/brain. This creates an internal conflict so that you codependently seek out greener grass in other realms, because that’s supposedly the only way to be happy, where you are free from the confines of your mind/brain (or, your Ego).

It reflects fear by: Representing an escapist attitude on life, by proclaiming that your physical life here on Earth is inherently flawed.

2. “You are not your thoughts”

It’s inaccurate because: Even though there is the possibility of your thoughts being inaccurate, distorted, or dysfunctional, every action or inaction you take is directly linked to a thought-process, whether it be conscious or subconscious. And in the physical world, you are defined by your actions.

Some people say that meditation gives you glimpses of your real, nonphysical self, that is unbound by the thinking process. But this statement is hyprocritical, because if what you use to think, your mind/brain, cannot comprehend your real nature, then as long as you have a mind/brain (you use your mind/brain to meditate by the way) — you cannot comprehend your real nature!

It’s dysfunctional because: It downright confuses you, and alienates you from yourself. If you cannot accept and own your thoughts as being a part of you, then there is no ground to define what makes the “inside” you different from other people.

It reflects fear by: Telling you that your life and existence here are insignifincant — inferior to some abstract existence that your mind/brain can never rationally comprehend — to avoid taking response ability for life.

3. “You are not your emotions”

It’s inaccurate because: Every action or inaction you take is directly linked to an affective(/emotional)-process, whether it be conscious or subconscious. And your emotions are also linked to your thoughts and your mental and physical health.

It’s dysfunctional because: It leads you to believe that your emotions mean nothing of importance, so that you won’t have to deal with them. It helps you rationalize why stuffing, repressing, ignoring, and judging your emotions is healthy and good for you — when emotion research is increasingly showing just the opposite.

It reflects fear by: Reinforcing the common belief that emotions are scary. As a civilization, we’ve been avoiding them for ages. We’ve even kept a really old myth going, about emotion being the arch-nemesis of humanity’s greatest virtue: reason. But research is debunking the myth, and we’re finding that emotions are actually intelligent.

And pain is definitely scary too. As a society, we go to great lengths to mask, avoid, and deny pain. But the thing is, we make pain worse when we obsess over feeling it.

4. “You are not your physical body/an individual..instead, you are a Soul connected to All That There Is, God Source”

It’s inaccurate because: You are an individual by virtue of being human. You do have a physical body. You do have a separate identity from other humans.

Be careful of the trap here — you can be an individual and still be connected to the collective, be it spiritual or social. So don’t believe that because you are connected to a greater source or a higher power — that you have to sacrifice individuality for that. You don’t have to sacrifice anything. If you are a part of God, then you already are — you don’t have to do or kill anything to regain what, according to spiritual principle, you can never lose.

It’s dysfunctional because: It uses a very subtle, yet powerful guilt tactic. You’re expected to believe the gurus (which are often best-selling authors) when they use spiritual principle as a reason to kill the Ego, by saying things like, “We are all One.”

This gives you no room to question them, and especially their Ego-killing rampage — because you don’t want to appear devolved, unenlightened, nonspiritual, or what’s worse, too Egotistic!

They imply that the solution to life’s struggles is — don’t worry, we’re all One! Trust spirit. But it’s dysfunctional to bury your head in the sand when life throws challenges in your path. You do have to face the hardship. You do have to struggle. It’s, again, all part of being human.

Now there’s nothing wrong with practicing heartfelt gratitude, surrender, and faith (these are all wonderful), but there is something terribly wrong with using it as an excuse to kill the Ego, and to avoid facing your challenges and negative emotions head-on.

It reflects fear by: Avoiding real response ability for all the pain and hardship that life is strife with. And by avoiding taking true ownership of all your thoughts, and all your emotions — especially the dark ones.

“We are all One,” is more often than not, misused — to veil another statement:

“I don’t want to deal with all the pain and hardship that comes with setting personal boundaries in my life and my relationships. Therefore, I’m not going to be bothered with this chore, or the negative consequences and emotions that may result. Instead, I’ll stuff those down, and put on a happy smile. Those negative feelings are just a by-product of my Ego anyway, which isn’t really real.”

If you’ve noticed, this past week the web has been trending with counterarguments to the need for happy-go-feely optimism that’s often pitched in the personal development/self-proclaimed spiritual field.

That’s because forced optimism doesn’t work.

No matter how many copies of The Secret sell, any Kill-Ego Crusade veiled by New Ageisms won’t work, at least not in the long run.

Because people will see right through it. Optimism is not a marathon, but a natural phenomenon that results from courage and honesty to go within yourself. It’s delicate.

And your brightest optimism comes from your darkest pain. So if you aren’t willing to feel your pain or the other nasties that are strapped along with all things Ego, then you can only force optimism, and a very superficial version of it at that.

Your Ego is just the dark side of your Inner Child

Whenever someone tells you to kill your Ego, or tries to convince you to deny that the Ego is even real… they are doing so in an act of fear. They are afraid to face themselves, or to admit they have a shadow side.

Your Ego is just the shadow of your Inner Child. It’s all the coping mechanisms you’ve picked up throughout your life, just to get by, to survive. It’s only unreasonable if it picked up dysfunctional coping mechanisms along the way.

And guess what?

It’s your job to identify those dysfunctional coping mechanisms and find ways to fix them. The only way to start is by paying attention to your Ego, listening to how you really feel, no matter how “unreasonable” that may be.

It makes no sense to punish the Ego for doing what it was meant to do — find a way for you to survive in a harsh world where it’s a struggle just to be yourself. It makes even less sense to try to kill it, not because it’s cruel, but because it won’t work.

You are your Ego. Your Ego will be a part of you as long as you are human.

The sooner you can accept that, the sooner you can start making peace with yourself instead of war.

There’s no reason to be afraid of yourself

So when a self-proclaimed spiritual person rolls out one of the main four reasons to make war instead of peace… ask them an important question:

“If I am a part of God, then why am I here in human form, born with and bound-by an Ego-centric mind/brain/body?”

If they try to dodge the question by saying you’re here to see through the illusion, to reject your present reality for a better one, pin them down with an even harder question:

“What is love, as an action, not a noun?”

See if they can describe concrete actionable steps of love, in a non-codependent way. Without resorting to calling it just a feeling.

See, the biggest problem with the spiritual Kill-Ego Crusade, is that it claims to spread awareness of the love of God, but what it really does is prevent you from expressing (read: not just feeling) love in your life, and understanding what love is (especially self-love).

Love is an action, more than just a feeling.

And when you don’t have personal boundaries in this physical world (which is what the Ego is all about), then you won’t know the first thing about establishing and maintaining healthy interdependent relationships.

And you won’t have a chance to express love through your actions.

Next week, we’ll talk about the concrete actionable steps of love. To stay on board for the discussion, make sure to sign up for RSS or email updates if you haven’t already.

In the meantime, you can read about how to start making peace with your Ego right now.

Your Ego and Inner Child make up your emotional self.

So the way to love them both is by understanding, respecting, and honoring all of your emotions.

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Cole Bitting October 13, 2009 at 10:24 am

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Is saying awesome too much inaccurate? dysfunctional? A deflection? I hope not.

Melissa Karnaze October 13, 2009 at 10:44 am

lol I don’t think so Cole. I’m glad you liked the article. :)

elaine October 13, 2009 at 10:57 am

i think you are misunderstanding much of the point and perhaps have only listened to sound bytes by “new age gurus”. We are more than our personality. It doesn’t mean we want it to die. That’s impossible. Any “spiritual person” worthy of listening to would not say such a thing. It needs to be transformed. The mandate is to evolve in all ways. and- mind is different than personality- mind is linked to the quantum field, a limited personality is not b/c it spends its time on sensual thought- thoughts abt sensory things. You are really generalizing, wrapping up too many different philosophies into one brief article. I find it quite condescending and uninformed, actually. You are stretching what is taught- not understanding. That we are ultimately all one does not discount the necessity and reality of being an individual now. Nor does it reduce responsibility, quite the opposite, actually. I would suggest you read some legitimate people. You might try “The Conscious Universe,” anything by Wayne Dyer, anything by Ramtha, anything on quantum mechanics/physics, anything on the brain. All of these will refute parts of what you say.

Cole Bitting October 13, 2009 at 11:01 am

I just put up a link post on this article. Hope you agree with what I wrote :)

Melissa Karnaze October 13, 2009 at 2:14 pm

elaine, I’ve read and listened to many “legimate” New Age sources, as well as lots of stuff on the brain, because my university made me. ;) In the article, I’m not talking about one particular source, but one particular crusade, which is to kill or put to sleep the Ego. You don’t have to search far in the New Age to find that message. I think the message is harmful and ill-informed, which is why I decided to deconstruct it here.

You might be interested in reading Cole’s expansion on the article. His point is that the spiritual perspective encompasses the physical, and that is how it transcends it.

There is too much misunderstanding of spirituality from within the self-proclaimed spiritual/New Age movement (which I’ve had plenty of direct experience with). You don’t have to sacrifice Ego for spirituality. In fact, you have to integrate Ego to do so. By making peace, not war. :)

Cole, thanks man! I’ll head over to your site to comment there.

Toni Lamb October 13, 2009 at 8:52 pm

WOW is about all I can say! This is one hell of post that really makes you think! I don’t know what else to say, seriously! I’m am speechless & so intrigued by this post. Please continue to write post like this to make people really think, they will totally appreciate! Kudos:)

Melissa Karnaze October 13, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Toni, thank you. It’s comments like yours and Cole’s that will definitely keep me writing very opinionatedly. :D

Steven Aitchison October 13, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Melissa, possibly the best post I’ve ever seen on this topic. I really can’t say any more as you’ve covered everything. Excellent.

Vin - NaturalBias October 14, 2009 at 4:29 am

Hi Melissa, I think this is a great explanation of the ego from a practical perspective. It’s interesting that you mentioned The Secret. I don’t buy the idea of events and circumstances being influenced by frequencies of thoughts floating around the universe, but never related it to ego. Now that you mention it, it definitely seems like another way of disassociating yourself from your identity.

Melissa Karnaze October 14, 2009 at 11:53 am

Steven, thank you for the kind words. I didn’t expect this article to strike such a chord with readers!

Vin, yeah, I think the practical perspective easily gets lost, when it’s so important. The Secret pitched the Law of Attraction in ways that aren’t ethical, which turns off a lot of critically thinking people.

I personally notice the Law of Attraction, though I’d rather refer to it as wave resonance, at force in my life, and have learned much from this perspective, but I’ve yet to really delve into it on Mindful Construct, because I need to spend a *lot* of time researching the science, which I commented on here. It’s a really comprehensive research project on an insanely complex topic that I want to take on… someday. :)

Cole Bitting October 16, 2009 at 12:08 pm

My favorite straw-horse, subatomic physics, showed up. I didn’t notice or might have added something like:

This issue of sub-atomic physics applies to the studies of atoms on an atomic level, and not to the studies of larger molecules. It’s a matter of perspective.

When you strike a table, from you hand’s perspective, the table is real and the blow hurts. To be excessively blunt, arguments based on sub-atomic physics are specious in this respect.

Nature and genetics are condescending forces: they don’t care. To try to enlighten them (pun intended) is to bludgeon the ineffable.

Melissa Karnaze October 16, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Cole, that’s what my professor of philosophy of neuroscience said to me, when I asked her how we could reconcile sub-atomic physics with materialist paradigm of neuroscience. Essentially, she said she hasn’t looked into it (because it’s really complicated, but apparently her husband knows more about it), and she dodged my question. To draw upon Lie to Me, her reaction gave away an obvious-to-me nervousness, that’s natural when one perceives their dogma as being under threat.

I agree that there are different levels of perspective, but science has not discounted that sub-atomic physics doesn’t apply to larger molecules (if it can).

Nature and genetics are condescending forces: they don’t care. To try to enlighten them (pun intended) is to bludgeon the ineffable.

It’s inaccurate to say that they are condescending, if they don’t have the capability to condescend. Nature and genetics are dynamic forces, which we don’t fully comprehend. The book is not closed, as much as many scientists would like to believe.

But even so, it doesn’t really matter to Mindful Construct’s aim (though it’s wonderful territory for MC to explore). Because response ability works independently of having a solid explanation of how atoms in the universe really operate. In other words, it’s standalone from any debate on the issue, which makes it resilient. :)

Cole Bitting October 16, 2009 at 1:23 pm

I anthropomorphized, how very human of me :) To fess up on the ‘condescend’ remark, it sounded too good to spot edit.

To say it better perhaps, the measure of a spiritual tradition is its wisdom, not its science.

Melissa Karnaze October 16, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Well, I happen to think anthropomorphizing can be very emotionally healthy at times! I know it sounded too good for your side, lol, but if you get all academic and vocabularized on me, I will spar back. :)

Yes, well just as I’m unraveling the dichotomy of emotion and reason, I’m finding the same mythic divide is true for science and spirituality/intuition. But, I’m only at the beginning of that journey, and don’t have enough time to fully take on such a fun project… yet.

I think we’re on the same side Cole, not killing the Ego. :p

And spreading resilience awareness. I welcome the learning experience of seeing how our differences in opinion re the viability of spiritual-scientific convergence will shade our respective takes on what makes for, well, good resilience.

Txema January 25, 2010 at 3:50 am

Sorry but my english is so poor and i can’t wrote correctly that i want say, translate this and change your vision point mind.

Conformarse y no luchar contra tu ego, es fácil, cómodo y práctico, pero te condena a una vida de sumisión, aburrimiento, inseguridades, miedo, previsibilidad y falta de plenitud.

No hay ninguna razón para tener miedo a dejar de ser lo que se espera ser y comenzar a ser lo que realmente se es, por muchas cosas que perdamos pues nada importa.

Cuando dejas de tener ego, dejas de tener “valor” pues no eres hipócrita y no tienes interés, notarás como la gente te observa con miedo y respeto, pues no saben como utilizarte, en ese instante sonríe.

Melissa Karnaze January 25, 2010 at 11:37 am

Txema, thanks for the comment.

With a Google translate this rough version shows up:

Conform and not fight your ego, it’s easy, convenient and practical, but condemns you to a life of submission, boredom, insecurity, fear, predictability and lack of fulfillment.

There is no reason to be afraid to stop being what is expected to be and start being what it really is, much to lose because nothing matters.

When you no longer have ego, you cease to be “value” for you are hypocritical and have no interest, people will notice as you noted with fear and respect, then do not know how to use you in that instant smiles.

If a Spanish-speaking reader would like to help smooth out the translation, leave a comment. :)

Kevin February 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Hi Melissa,

Interesting article and you make some very true points. May I ask what is your fear? Why do I perceive you attack “in your words” the so called spiritual people? I feel the article would have so much strength if it was not fighting or attacking others.

Hey I do still love your article, I also believe and it is my experience that many “so called spiritual people” believe in the same things you have expressed. It also shows your subconscious fears and hey the equally lovely people that are pursuing “in your words and maybe theirs words, being spiritual, have their subconscious patterns that raises fear at times just as I believe we all do.

Can I pose that if our fears have their roots in our subconscious patterns? Then don’t all of us have to learn that “we are as honest as we are conscious” maybe our perfection is that we can accept that we are learning from all aspects of ourselves and others without judgement. When that’s possible! As it’s also my experience that our subconscious patters can have their own autonomy.

So I respect your consciousness as to the role of the ego and agree don’t kill or fight the ego. On a conscious level I do believe “we are all as one” just like our ego is part of us. Would it not serve us to share the same understanding, love and compassion to all as you have done so well with your ego.

Thank you for the article. Sincerely,


Melissa Karnaze February 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Hi Kevin,

Would you like to explore your reaction a bit more? What specific words or phrases made you uncomfortable? I’d be happy to clear anything up.

It seems that you think I don’t have compassion for the so called spiritual people who want to kill their Egos. Hmm, I’m not going to defend my compassion for them, so I’ll explain it this way.

People who claim to be spiritual while at the same time want to kill their Egos — are lost. They’re very lost, and they (and their followers) suffer in the end. So I’m not trying to reach those individuals with this article. Because most people like that don’t want to listen to what I have to say in the first place. (And several commenters on other articles have demonstrated this behavior trait.)

Who I *am* trying to reach with this article are the individuals who somewhat already agree, or are maybe undecided on how they want to relate to their Egos. In my opinion, those people are more open-minded on this topic and have more hope in finding a balanced rather than polarized relationship with their Egos.

And I really care about those people. Because it’s rough going against the mainstream view on Ego and emotions. That’s why this article as well as many others are more assertive — they’re here to help those readers armor up for emotional resilience.

To answer your question, the likely fear that motivated this article is this:

I see how messed up we are as a planet. If you want to know more about that, check out Want To Know.

And from my understanding, the root cause for our global problems is that on an individual level, we’re not taking response ability for our lives, feelings, values, goals, and our problems. So we have messed up relationships with ourselves, that trickle into messed up interpersonal, and then intersocietal relationships. Hence, dysfunctional governments and world affairs.

I am afraid that we’re only going to continue this cycle, destroying ourselves and our planet, if we don’t get with the program and stop waging war against ourselves, or, our Egos.

Kevin February 17, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Hello Mellissa,

I accept you for who you are and where you are at. Which I believe is a lovely being like all of us learning what ever you wish and in your own time. I am no better than you and don’t wish to offend you or have a clash of egos, we just have some different experiences and beliefs.

Amit Goswarmi in many of his books and his latest Film The Quantum Activist, through extensive research advocates to Do Be Do Be Do “Do your doing in your ego mode and be your being in your God mode” God mode can be the higher self, connecting to the collective consciousness or if you are familiar with inner bonding the loving adult. There are a number of conceptual terms one can choose.

To answer your question “what made me uncomfortable” I didn’t feel uncomfortable, but now you ask, I have never heard any spiritual teachers or any one ever before you advocate to kill the ego. I hear spiritual teachers accept we have an ego and its role. I hear them say we can choose to be motivated from the ego or by being conscious of our emotions, fears, egos and our self. To be responsible for ourselves and what we attract in to our lives, we can choose to open our heart and mind and come from a loving place, our higher self which accepts and loves the ego and all that is.

I feel and know intent is extremely powerful, so I choose and try not to direct negative thoughts or beliefs on others. There are sites like http://www.consciousmedianetwork.com/ The Conscious Media Network with positive messages and solutions.

Lots of Love,


Melissa Karnaze February 18, 2010 at 9:41 am

I have never heard any spiritual teachers or any one ever before you advocate to kill the ego. I hear spiritual teachers accept we have an ego and its role.

That’s great. I personally have. And, I’ve noticed the subtle ways in which people advocate it. By “putting the Ego to sleep,” avoiding negativity, and so forth.

I feel and know intent is extremely powerful, so I choose and try not to direct negative thoughts or beliefs on others.

This statement seems to imply that unlike you, I am directing negative thoughts or beliefs on others. Is that what you meant to say?

Kevin February 18, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Hello Melissa,

My Statement “I feel and know intent is extremely powerful, so I choose and try not to direct negative thoughts or beliefs on others.”

Is by no means an attack, subtle or otherwise on you or others. It Implies in context with both my previous posts. That we can choose to use methods of consciousness for the higher good of this beautiful universe we are all a part of, we are all in together. It implies we are free to choose our reality. That you are not wrong, nor am I. You are a beautiful lovely being, so am I, so we all are. It’s our choices that radiate this out to others. Our soul our spirit our mind can not be ultimately controlled by any one, any government, any law unless we let it or have not endeavoured to know thyself.

When I take responsibility for all I have manifest in my life and are “as honest as I am conscious” feel and listen to my fears, my ego, become aware of my subconscious patters, but choose to listen to my higher self with love, with the intent to evolve from beliefs and actions that no longer serve me or the highest good of the collective consciousness.

When I do this, I believe I’m contributing to the collective consciousness in ways that are proactive, positive, loving and have an effect on all of us, not just me, my son and my family. My love can be shared to all that is. Learning self love, self empowerment, forgiveness, gratitude and what I have discussed has not come easy for me, so it may not come easy for others. I’m not saying you have done anything wrong. Who am I to say who is wrong or who is right. I have just placed my comments on a Site called Mindful Construct, to participate in Mindful Construct.

My heart felt sincere well wishes and love,


Jim February 19, 2010 at 9:15 am

Interesting post. BTW, is it just me, or have you also noticed that many “kill the ego” messengers are also promoters of self-love? I find this paradoxical. Isn’t self-love egotistical? What’s your take?

Melissa Karnaze February 19, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Hi Jim,

I haven’t noticed this trend, but will look out for it next time I pay attention to those messengers.

What I have noticed is this (blind, and misguided) *worship* of Unconditional Love.

That you have to kill your Ego and instead embrace your Higher Self, and dedicate your life to the Higher Good of the Collective Consciousness through Unconditional Love.

It’s a Huge contradiction in the context of not accepting the Ego. (Not to mention spiritual jargon that basically means a load of blue pills.)

As for self-love being egotisical, exactly!

In order to exercise true self-love, you have to be willing to say no to others when that’s the only way to say yes to yourself (or preserve your natural resources, take care of your health, do what’s best for you, etc.).

Unconditional Love is for people who are afraid to be grounded in real life, all her problems, and the ickies of being (trapped) in a human form — at the mercy of uncertainty.

Real love has to be conditional first, unconditional second. Or something less linear than out, but an integration of the two.

In other words, because we are physical beings, love must be expressed through the physical. I’m not talking about sex, but of the allocation of the limited physical resources that each of us have.

How we use those resources will *tell* us what and who we love, and how we love. (This article explains the resources part a bit more.)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and wonderful question Jim!

Kevin February 20, 2010 at 11:32 am

Hi Jim,

Self love is a term used for Self Acceptance through knowing and accepting all aspects of our self on a deep level. When we love something we accept it for how it is, we don’t need to belittle it or judge it. We don’t fear it; we are at one with it. Then our learning grows exponentially without the presents of stress, our heart is coherent, our body is in balance and no matter what our age we feel full of life without the need for what ever the pills are that Mellissa refers to.

With love in our heart the mind we use is then the Higher Self, it is connected to local and non local consciousness, collective consciousness, God or a Universal Intellect, there is a knowing. All this is not just present learning and teachings it has been known through the ages by those who look within, feel and know we are all as one.

Just like our many cells work together in our material body that are manifest from our energetic bodies or the field. Einstein helped to make us aware of E=mc2 and the field, though many cultures throughout the ages knew about the field. Quantum Physics which has been around for 80 odd years and people like Amit Goswarmi have given modern day science facts to prove all of the above. However I am not the skilled writer that people like Amit are, so if you wish to pursue the essence of Mindful Construct may I suggest researching his work.

My sincere love and well wishes and yes there is a bit of my ego in this,


Melissa Karnaze February 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Kevin, based on what you are saying about “Unconditional Love” and the passive aggressive way in which you’ve continually commented here, it is my observation that you haven’t yet grasped what Mindful Construct stands for.

Mindful Construct is not about the kind of unconditional love you speak of, and it’s most certainly not determined by the incomplete scientific exploration of the Law of Attraction & Co.

There is definitely some Ego in there, as you are claiming to understand “the essence” of a term I invented, better than I do. You’ve provided a case study for the readers on the contradictions of the “Unconditional Love” jargon.

JediMaster March 3, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Well, to be honest the EGO is more of a hindrance than a help, Th EGO thinks it knows everything when in reality we know jack. After partial glimpses into enligtenment I realised that yeah it takes an awful lot of energy and strength to maintain the EGO. Until a partial awakening occurs to you, or anyone what the hell believe what you want….

Melissa Karnaze March 3, 2010 at 5:52 pm

JediMaster, I’m going to pass on this partial awakening you refer to. ;)

JediMaster March 7, 2010 at 9:28 am

Okay, back to the square one lol:) What I meant is that if you realizae your true nature in this life-time. Well then some of things you’ve mentioned in your post are found to be quite true, what the spiritual teachers have said. Here I’ll take this one, “You are not your thoughts” this to be honest is spot-on, thoughts do appear from somewhere, I don’t know where this somewhere is by the way and then they dissapear into nothingness. I am not my thoughts is accurate. Look at this way, there are 6 billion or so people on hotel earth. These thoughts must come from somewhere yeah, it’s like one big computer machine throwing up thoughts into the air. And if were lucky enough we may catch a glimpse of these thoughts. Okay, where do thoughts come from? Isn’t it the source same for every single person on this Planet Earth. Yet most people don’t realize this

Melissa Karnaze March 7, 2010 at 10:39 am

Okay, so you’re onto something. But I’m going to challenge your conclusions.

I personally believe that yes, the physical universe is an illusion much in the way the Matrix is an illusion — you need to have physical senses (like the brain) to experience and thus “create it” for yourself.

But, just because that’s true doesn’t mean that the thoughts and whatnot that we experience in the physical realm aren’t “real.” We are still experiencing them. “Real” is just a description we latch onto things that we have experienced. They are real to us, because our brains constructed the experience — we can’t deny that.

I do believe it’s true that you are not your thoughts, in that you are more than just your thoughts, as well as more than just your brain. But, just because I believe this does not mean I am on board with how tons of spiritual people and even psychologists interpret that. They basically conclude that because *who you are* is not just a physical being bound by your mortal body and brain… it’s *okay* and even *healthy* to deny and invalidate your unwanted thoughts, and more importantly, your unwanted emotions.

This is a red alert to me. Total misrepresentation. It’s like they hijack the spiritual principle and use it to rationalize their fear-based avoidant behavior. They use this to avoid having to experience the painful scary stuff — missing the whole point. When you experience the painful scary stuff it *is* already part of your reality, because your brain co-constructed it. You can’t pretend you can just go back to your pure spirit form (or however you want to describe it) and just shake off the nasty thoughts. Nope, you’re trapped, or your hotel stay isn’t up yet, or as I like to say, you’re a physical human being living in a physical world, so get with the program already and make the best of it.

You can’t pretend that you can just go back to your pure spirit form, from which your thoughts may very well appear to be an illusion (because in spirit form, you have no physical senses to perceive those thoughts, or maybe just in the same visceral way). Because you can’t. You’re physical. That’s why I say it’s not a very good reason to try and deny the Ego and its integral role in your being a physical human living in a physical world.

I don’t know where thoughts “come from.” It’s still not answered by science. But just because we don’t understand the mechanics fully, does not mean we can dissociate from thoughts and emotions when they are clearly a huge and important part of our personal experience.

Thanks for your comment JediMaster, I honestly thought you wouldn’t be back. :P

Egokiller!! May 22, 2010 at 8:05 pm

I playfully dare the writer of this article to read Excuses Begone by Wayne Dyer… And with an open mind..! You might like it–

Lionel Mandrake May 23, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Thanks Melissa, wow, I have rarely seen anyone take on this issue like you have!

To Kevin and elaine, who believe it is very rare that “killing” the ego is advocated by much of contemporary spirituality and religious literature, I would respectfully disagree. Be aware, it has a full range of terms, from the Christian version of crucifying the self to the Sufi goal of annihilating the false self, the Buddhist version of no self and on and on. (And no, I am not saying those are all totally identical.)

I have always felt that the ego can never be successfully eradicated nor would we ever want it to be. It is an essential part of our personhood and individuality. Severing it would be akin to lobotomizing the spark of our humanity.

However, softening the ego and making it more permeable is quite another matter. So in that sense, I prefer transformation rather than annihilation.

We need to stop with the violent language and concepts aimed at the human person. Integrating and embracing our full selves, as difficult as it may be, is really the pathway ahead both for the individual and society at large.

Melissa Karnaze May 25, 2010 at 9:33 am

Hi Lionel,

Thanks for providing those examples. There is a lot of loose language regarding the Kill-Ego Crusade, and sometimes it’s so intellectual-sounding that it’s designed to pass over your head! Or make you feel stupid or spiritually inferior if you don’t “get” it.

Severing it would be akin to lobotomizing the spark of our humanity.

Excellent quote! This is exactly how I see it.

However, softening the ego and making it more permeable is quite another matter. So in that sense, I prefer transformation rather than annihilation.

The way I see it is that we need to learn how to accept the ego and listen to it’s true needs so we can nurture it… and so it doesn’t continue gripping to fear or dysfunctional coping mechanisms. The transformation isn’t really in the ego, but in our ability to consciously parent and respond to its needs. But since the ego is an aspect of you, it’s really consciously parenting and responding to your needs as a whole person.

Your final statement hits the mark, thanks for your great response!

The Dude July 20, 2010 at 11:44 am

Wow man… Completly disagree, so im up for a debate.
First off, great work on spending time writing an article, helping people :)

Second off – i think you misunderstood the whole spiritual concept. Lets take a look at the ego:
The ego is the manifestation of our mind. It’s a frame of ourselfes, and a black hole to lust and desire. In spirituality, known as the “false” self.
Why? Think a thought. Anything. Who is “watching” over this thought? Who is the witness? Yes mam, you are. This witness aint just a random homeless dude. Its your “true self”.
Most of us makes the mistake to identify ourselves with our thoughts and ego. The ego’s desires can’t never be fed. Your thoughts and emotions can anytime go againts yourself. And it doesnt last forever.
Your true self thereagainst is lasting forever. Its part of the universe, everything. Its the silent witness, that will join the universe when our body, ego, and thoughts, fades away. None of them have truly hapiness in them, because they dont last for long, before a new desire comes up.
To achieve contact with our inner self, there’s an book for that, the power of now by echart tolle.
When we do come in concat with our inner self, wich can be a hard journey for some, or mind will still function. We need it to survive, to live, to feel. But our mind would not be controlled by our desires and ego. It will be controlled by the universe, our inner self.
Einstein, and many great artist and painters have said that their best ideas came up when their mind was quiet. In this condition, creativity and love is our state. I cant explain it properly. Who those who want, read the book :)

Melissa Karnaze July 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Tolle doesn’t hold as defense in these parts. ;)

“Woe is being human, trapped in the black hole to lust and desire!”

That’s the crusade calling. It’s what people complain about, how they scapegoat the ego and fragment themselves, because they can’t make peace within.

Or rather, they don’t really want to try. Because those pesky negative emotions — since they’re not “creativity” or “love” or those other human experiences supposedly “beyond” thoughts and emotions — they’re so not worthy. (Translation: I’ll make them the enemy because then I’ll never have to face them, or what’s worse… admit that they are part of me!)

Yet, no amount of meditation or now-power can get rid of them entirely, eh? Otherwise, you wouldn’t be so compelled to correct me. Under friendly “debate” of course, but really just you talking at me, after a compliment, of sorts.

The Dude July 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm

“Woe is being human, trapped in the black hole to lust and desire!”
Short story: Ego. Ego, ego, ego, ego. EGOOOOOO… Lust, desire, and mission impossible to achieve happiness in the future. Power of now, will make you get in touch with your “core”, and you will be compelte. You still can achieve and search for things, but this time you don’t do it cause of fear, or the lust for hapiness nor salvation. You do it out of being “you”.

“Yet, no amount of meditation or now-power can get rid of them entirely, eh?”
Damn right. To contact the power of now, you must first realise that “now” is everything we ever got. We are the “now”. Time is an illusion. Second of, accept everything as it is – the universe, other people, and EVERYTHING in you.
It’s obivius, that if you got rid of your mind, thoughts, and emotions, power of now wouldnt be that precius and worth having at all. The art, is simply to not identify yourself with all of these stuff – thoughts, emotions, pain. Yet, you got to face it. It’s all trapped life energy, that have eaten their own hosts alive.

When i say ego, i mean your fake image of yourself, not your mind. It’s the little voice in your head, that is affected of outer conditions. Lust and desire is the fuel, and hapiness is the goal. The ego is like a filter to your mind. A husband might see getting a child as a bad idea, because the ego is giving him some reasons based on patterns and exp from the past, but the wife thinks its a great idea cause her ego tells her it will save their marriage in the future…

I’ve seen your website. It’s kinda big work done here… With danger og sound lame, I’ll problably wont be able to talk you in to this. Just read my stuff, and if you sencirley can relate to this – im talking about looking for hope in the future, identify yourself from stuff done in the past, being addicted to outer conditions, you might give it a try.
Btw, notice this: The mind, not the ego, has 4 ways to go. The past, the future, judging yourself (credits, punishment), judging others. Funny thing, eh?

gforce August 11, 2010 at 9:50 am

Listen with the heart and not only with the mind.
The sad reality about humanity on planet Earth today, I’m sorry that I will say the truth, is that they see themselves in a wrong way. In the first case, we are not man. We have the appearance of man, but we are not man yet, because authentic man has all the powers and faculties. Authentic man exists when they
eliminate all the egos. That’s authentic man. That m an who is screaming, who is being macho, etc., is the most feared by people. He looks like a man, but he is not a man. If he were really a man, he would be going inside to really eliminate his egos.

If they are very valiant, they can go to the superior dimension, to the Fifth dimension, mental world, where the egos appear to have big, big bodies. They can fight with the golden sword like Mikhail. For the many masters, the authentic war is not on the outside, like in the Vietnam war. Anybody can be a big hero in a war like the Falkland Islands, or in Chile, or we can name the First World War, or Second. Those are most fearful people, but the true warriors are not fighting a battle on the outside. It is inside. So, the first war in the esoteric for the great masters is in the astral world, in the astral plane, to eliminate day by day one of their own egos in the astral plane.Of course, the path to get out from this mechanicity is the three steps. The First Step is the elimination of the ego. The Second is the transmutation of the sexual energy. The Third is to share the wisdom of the Father with the love of the Mother to humanity. So this is the Three Steps, the keys, the center. The
religion of the cosmic universal culture is simply practicing these three factors of the revolution of consciousness.

We have to die not to die, not to live like the dead. Like those dead we have seen. They have finished themselves in war, because their death, the ego, made them. At their end they were following their egos and their Karma collectively. They had to fight. So this is the death. The crystal skull says “Give death to the dead, not to live as dead.” This is very esoteric and if we know the mystical death this is what . . . Of course, we have to kill the ego with love. We have to bring the egos to the Temple of the Heart and only with the love of the Mother can they die. This is very important to understand, and not to get complicated about. People who get to know their egos, then don’t like their egos. One ego then wants to eliminate another ego, but it doesn’t work like this, because it gets complicated. It is always done with love, because love is the great medicine to heal all the negativity. That is the only way. No other ways. If somebody is coming to beat me up, of course, I have to defend myself, yes, but without getting angry. But all that is a great mystery to explain, and to live, and to practice. I cannot tell you in two or three or more words.
Disciples of white magic, of the Great White Brotherhood, we always respect the dark side too, because they also have their mission. We don’t judge. We don’t condemn. They are also good for castigating humanity, because if there is no dark, there is no light. If we will know only the light side, if there was
no negativity, if it were never necessary to come back to the temple of the Father/Mother, there would be no mastery, and we would get stuck in the same level. The existence of the negative entities is necessary always. It was always existing from the beginning of life, and it will always exist. In our spiritual path
there will always be the opposition of the light. When we become more light, there also from time to time will come the test. By the law of the opposition, the tests, the presence of the dark always exists. All the way to the exodus they will follow us, the dark side. But like in the old times, the white magic, the light side gets into in the Fourth Dimension, and the dark follows, they too want to get into the Fourth Dimension, but they have no protection and are eaten. They sink. I think you know about the story of the exodus. They is also much witchcraft that exists in the Fourth Dimension dark side. They have their retreat there also, but in the dark side.
To be born with the physical body of a man is more Karma, while to be born with the physical body of a woman is more Dharma, because the
woman is more similar to the soul. The soul is the God of every one of us. We are connected to the soul in the sixth dimension.

gforce August 11, 2010 at 10:00 am

I replace all of my unwanted ego’s with love.

dave May 9, 2011 at 6:59 am

hi Melissa , what do u think about the 60s revolution where psychedelic plants or substances were used in order to kill the ego, in order to appreciate the human existence and feel obliged to love , respect and explore nature. many great discoveries were made on these substances that altered brain chemistry . that seems pretty healthy and positive for the human race. “lsd causes psychotic behavior in those who have not taken it” -timothy leary,

Melissa Karnaze May 9, 2011 at 10:39 am

Hi dave,

I think that while it’s good for individuals to feel a sense of love and respect for others, it’s not possible to turn that love and respect into action in the “real world” (rather than have it just be a feeling) without having a sense of boundaries (and ego). Loving means you care about someone (or nature), and you demonstrate that by *giving* them your time, energy, kindness, attention, etc. But your gifts and “yes” mean nothing if there is no withholding or “no” to define them. If you give away all your resources to everyone/thing, then you can’t really give away by choice, and it’s no longer the choice to love, but a dysfunctional habit (because you can’t keep it up without burning out). One of the reasons that the free-love movement of the 60s didn’t catch on is because in order to live in society (which means, survive at all, since we’re a social species), you have to have boundaries. Yet, at the same time, which is what I think you were getting at, it is important to understand that boundaries aren’t always set in stone.

Ani July 11, 2011 at 2:17 am

We are born the way we are with physical appearance, mind, ego and inner higher self. So let it all be like it is and have fun with it and let it help and guide us. we should concentrate on giving our children the best possible start in life by showing them love and respect that comes from our heart and not damaged egos and therefore we need to learn how to love ourselves first that includes all there is to us, body mind ego etc.

Fred Smith November 21, 2011 at 8:40 am

You don’t really understand the ego and it’s effect. Your arguments seem to prove the need for the ego, but that is because the ego is the realm you are working in. Your comment “Tolle doesn’t hold as defense in these parts” proves your lack of understanding. The reason they don’t is because you don’t understand them. Continue to focus on the present. Someday you will get it.

Isaac February 5, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Lol na I think she is right u guys just are afraid of yourselves…get over it and accept yourself whole heartedly. This article trumps every new age ego dissolving thing I’ve read. Matter of fact placing myself into the realm of these teachings actually was killing me and destroying me from the inside out. This article actually helped raised my consciousness. I know I should’ve stayed away from the comments section…I just don’t understand how you could even try to dissasociate yourself from apart of yourself when its all good and there for a reason. I appreciate this article

thomas May 23, 2012 at 8:14 am

Well, looks like this one generated a LOT of response, but I’m still gonna add my ego inspired 2 cents! :-)

At the buddhist meditation center I attend they use this imagery often by stating that:
“You are not your mind, you are not your thoughts, you are not your emotions, you are the space between them.”

I think the last part of the phrase may be something that is lost in translation or removed for the “KILL THE EGO” warriors. At the center I attend they do a pretty good job of balancing messages with a caveat of “but don’t go over board here.”

In my interpretation, the being as the space between them acknowledges their reality but separates a self from them at enough distance to be able to observe them more clearly rather than being ruled by them.

I agree with your observations above, however, I think the meditation can be useful. It’s more of an -in the trenches versus the helicopter view- of the forces that impact our behavior. So by taking the time to separate from our thoughts, mind, and emotions, we can more easily see their impact and their motivation. I believe the original message is that we are more than these forces, not a victim or slave to them.

I am not my mind, I am not my thoughts, I am not my emotions… HOWEVER, those things really impact my life and not always in a good way, and yeah, I need to own them. But my self is the balanced space between them.

Maybe this will help those who hold fast to that mind think, it’s not about denial, its about distancing to allow for observation. Be centered, and observe how your hard wired thoughts and feelings impact your life so you can tweak the connections. Just be more than your wiring.

(As an aside from this article, I found this site by researching codependency and felt that article was REALLY REALLY good. Wish me luck on getting over that fun little relationship killer. And your welcome page says happy holidays. It’s May. Can we get an update?)

Stephanie July 8, 2012 at 8:59 am

Wow, this is really scary because FYI everything you wrote is coming from your Ego. I especially love the part about people that tell you ,to give up the ego, are afraid if theirs. Well , YOU GOT THAT RIGHT ! and damm well I should be. This is hell and anything we create that is not of God which includes, The body, The Ego. You get the picture , right ? Isn’t even real. This is hell and you and I and the rest of the world until the ego is Gone and we live Heaven on Earth, will continue to live here in hell. Only The Holy Spirit can guide you and the only way to be in touch with it or one of the ways is through meditation. You even down that. WE ARE ALL ONE, WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS AND NOT OF THIS WORLD OR OF THE EGO AND the truth need not defend. I write this because a friend of mine that I am counseling sent me your sad post which is only her Ego’s way of saying ” You can’t kill me” I do respect others beliefs and try not to attack because it is only the ego that does so however I speak out of Love and Truth which is also You.
The Ego Killer

Stephanie July 8, 2012 at 9:07 am

Oh I see my comment is awaiting moderation. So basically this means that I cannot speak freely on this site if you do not like what I have to say. Lol OK

Marty Howes August 21, 2012 at 8:47 am

What a fantastic thread of comments. I loved the article, and can see it’s validity. After allowing my life to live in the Ego state for decades, and being a former naval officer, I can say that we need it all. Ego, Mind, Thought, Emotion. But it’s a balancing act. As I am nearing 60, as I look back I can see how I allowed my Mind to go astray – believing every Thought I had (this is what can make people crazy)(maybe it is why so many are on various pills these days). I would cry a lot. I would get lost in my Emotions. This was an ongoing cycle, until I began meditating in my mid forties. I hooked up with a Buddhist group and began reading some books about being “witness” to Ego, Mind, Thought, Emotion. As years went on and my practice continued/s, I see more and more how we ARE all of these. Ego plays an important role especially when we are in our 20s/30s when energies are high and we are testing our capabilities…and what the “I” can “do.” Getting promotions and degrees, feeling quite high on my achievements. Running marathons to test my body, see how fast it would go. It’s what builds buildings, car, planes, computers. The excitement of creating – all fills the ego. And there is nothing wrong with that. In the end, all I have to say is that it is ALL a balancing act. Acknowledge that you can’t get rid of Ego, Mind, Thought, and Emotion. You can only be witness to all of them. Don’t believe all, but be an examiner of all. See how each one can serve you better. Choose what serves you best and does not harm others.

amina November 4, 2012 at 9:46 am

Dear Melissa,

truly my whole body started to relax as soon as i started reading. your words feel true to me. this is why: for a years i was feeling guilty for wanting things in my life and acting upon those wishes. i realize that i hated my ego and this way, was humiliating a part of me. now i am not a religious person, but i am convinced that everybody is capable of putting themselves into personal hell by hating whatever parts of themselves.
your words have grace.
I am truly amazed and gratefull to have found this post.
thank you.

Diehard broham March 21, 2013 at 9:51 pm

I really appreciate this article, and think that it presents some very valuable concepts. However, I do think that a little clarification in the structure in which you present your information may be in order. Your articles may appeal to those that are very open, and read into your articles and use certain interpretations of the material (which may be closely related with your original intent -again just a hypothesis-), but sometimes you seem to leave the arguments very open-ended and I hypothesize that more specific construction of your points is in order.

For example:

(under the section titled “You are not your mind-brain”)
(it’s dysfunctional because:)

“It tries to convince you that your physical life here on Earth is inferior to the “real” existence that is unbound by your mind/brain.”

(in some cases, this advice [you are not your mind-brain] can be liberating to some who have been stuck in a very thick mess of belief constructs generated by not properly dealing with their fear, and suppressing it in any number of ways -in this case I suggest that a system of beliefs used to soothe away the fears of uncertainty instead of dealing with uncertainty MAY be the cause of a lack of “response ability” as you call it-)

This could be reworded as follows:

(*possibly add a subtitle below the original title saying* ” It CAN be…”
*than the next line could be*
dysfunctional because:)

“It MAY be used in a way that is intended to convince an eager soon-to-be disciple of mindfulness that his/her ‘physical life here on Earth is inferior to the “real” existence that is unbound by your mind/brain.'”

(and in this way, you may avoid some conflicts over the meaning of your work through providing a specific example of what you mean in layman’s terms, instead of relying on the interpretation of your reader as much.)

And these methods of changing the material in such a way that it reduces the possible uncertainty as to how the reader may interpret your arguments may help you get your points across more clearly.

Thanks again for the valuable information that you provide here on this website; your articles have been a boon in a realization of many of my self-restricting habits and a mad pursuit of perfection, a pursuit that was doomed to implode and self-destruct due to my personal use of meditation and mindfulness in ways that I thought were simply not working because I wasn’t “doing it right” or I wasn’t “detached enough”. The concepts that you have presented here have been very useful for my personal growth as a human being and I hope that many others who use this resource that you provide as well as many others can also benefit in some way from reading your articles.
Thanks again!

Diehard broham March 21, 2013 at 10:00 pm

To add clarification to my previous post (ahh, the smell of irony in the evening) I would like to reiterate upon the fact that in the third paragraph I provide this block of text:
“(in some cases, this advice [you are not your mind-brain] can be liberating to some who have been stuck in a very thick mess of belief constructs generated by…”(etc.)

I would like to clarify that the point of this paragraph (albeit poorly worded and vaguely explained -ahh, the irony-) was to show that sometimes certain phrases can be helpful to certain individuals depending on the intentions of the user of the said phrase.

I would also like to clarify that when I said that “Your articles may appeal to those that are very open” I intended to write “Your articles may appeal to those that are very open (to new information that is outside of the norm of their lifestyle)”. This addition still leaves the definition incomplete but my main point is that some individuals that I have met appear to have a greater resistance to certain ideas than others, and by citing the existence of a “more open” individual, I meant that some individuals may be more ready to accept new ideas than others (or some may simply be willing to accept your ideas if they conform to their own set of beliefs).
Ok, hopefully there are no more holes in my post that will leave a strong stench of irony behind that will stink up the comments thread. Please forgive me if I have made this (or any other) mistake.
Peace :)

Diehard broham March 21, 2013 at 10:11 pm

(As with any input, take this with a grain of salt:)
And as a final way to surmise both posts my overall point is to encompass all different flavors of individuals and include clarification that notifies that (insert concept here) is POSSIBLE instead of (insert concept here) IS (insert descriptor here). This leaves greater room for growth within yourself and your audience due to the acknowledgement of the fact that you are presenting a certain scenario, and cannot hope to possibly encompass every situation in which a certain phrase you present can be used with different connotations in order to generate a different effect (differing from the interpretation of the phrase that you are aiming to present). This prevents further creation of conflict due to easy acceptance of one school of thought or the other. Again, just one take on the situation and I apologize again for any inconsistiencies in my response. I simply hope to emphasize how important it may be for you to include open ended ideas in your work because you provide articles that may affect millions, if not billions of people (due to the widespread use of the internet and budding interest in mindfulness/meditation)

Stephen March 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I feel that Melissa’s message comes right from the heart, so lovely.
Like her and alot of people including myself have fallen of that trap of trying to get rid of ego. The people you claim to be enlightened use words like destroy, get rid, kill, ego death. Some “gurus” are the ones with the unhealthy egos. They change there names, have fancy watches, have all sorts of red flags. To me enlightenment simply means being a nice person to be around ( loving ). If i could spread a message to the whole world it would be something like ” god didnt fuck up by putting you here , there is a law of the land and its perfect, everything is perfect including humans acting not perfect. Relax and eat some good food, listen to good music, excersize , and go love your children.

Morgan October 4, 2013 at 7:54 am

I just want to sincerely thank you for all your informative articles and posts. I am a former Zen Buddhist who is still experiencing negative effects of the delusion I conditioned myself to believe. I found a lot of the sacred practices and principles to be contradictory but I felt alone in saying so since the New Age praises these things so much. I’m still trying to regenerate emotions, feel like a self and get away from this idea that Earth is a place I need to escape. It’s very difficult to justify naturalism after practicing for so long but your articles are the first thing I’ve seen on the internet that made me say wow. Every day is a struggle in forever putting this behind me (as lots of the books and ancient texts scare you by including phrases like “the spiritual path is haunting, one who leaves will always find their way back”) but your articles are helping me to see there is no merit in practicing these things. Thank you Melissa!

kurt February 9, 2014 at 9:01 pm

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Albert einstein

Can’t we all just get along? :)

Cool article. Though in a very general way, it highlights a certain “courant”. When you speak about the escapist route, I think you have a very valid point. Essentially, as much as an individual may have an ego and self love which he must have , in the form of dignity, confidence, and self-awarness just to name a few aspects, killing the ego only means humility and humbleness. You are spending your entire life in this body and with your own mind so you should very well establish a healthy connection with it. Deceiving yourself will not lead to anything constructive or conclusive, be it on the short or long term. That’s just a fact. Youll have bad days and youll have good ones but you never be able to get that fact as long as you dont go where it “hurts” to make sure you leave no stone unturned. With that said, having established this very bond with yourself, including your thoughts, actions and physical reality, monitoring ” irrational” and distorted thoughts becomes easier. Simply put, you have to make peace with the fact that you didnt chose your parents, family, appearence etc. This process is sometimes hard and hardeous or easy for some. Point being, its a life process. Once your vehicule is sound enough, you embark on a journey to meet others just like you. Killing your ego means not to gloat over your perceived “excellence” or superiority over others on that journey, as everything you base your “ego” around, was not even something that you did. You can absolutely be happy and proud that you have a wonderful life and family , that’s human after all. Speaking about “ego” in the proper sense of the term is to speak about irrational and fallacious patterns of thought. That’s it, be humble, be gracious and enjoy the ride. This world is like a huge science lab and we are all scientist in it. This physical world is beautiful and fun. There’s no point in fragmenting the world in “this world” and the “other”. The physical beauty of a sunrise is just as genuive as the poetry that it inspired the poet to write. Simply different aspects of the same thing. We are all one doesnt mean we are all the same at the core. Using the example of the brain, our oneness could be exemplified as the neurous in the brain. Every individual existence is connected to another and we all have our say in the “universal” mind that is exhibited in all the aspects of our life, such as the advance of sciences, humanities, commerce, art, you name it.

Ri September 24, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Thank you for this article and your thoughts and findings. It has helped me a lot because I got sucked into the “new age spirituality meditation movement” and a lot of negative things happened. I got sucked into delusion and am just trying to find my way back to real life, which I have come to appreciate much more. I think it is good that you are presenting the opposite side of the spectrum of popular thought. You’re helping a lot of people.

Dani October 5, 2014 at 11:38 am

Fantastic article. You have reiterated many of my personal thoughts for years. It’s so great to see many people waking up this dangerous New Age nonsense that we must kill our egos and become like the Borg in order to experience ‘oneness.’ I consider my individuality and the individuality of others a divine gift. No one will ever convince me otherwise.

Jonathan Porecki December 25, 2014 at 3:28 am

This article is spot on. I quite foolishly made an ardent attempt at this ‘spiritual’ path of trying to destroy or belittle the ego for several years and it made my life a train wreck. Not good for someone at me stage of development (23 years old). It basically threw my whole psyche and consciousness into a bundle of feedback loops and set me spinning on top of my head. I wouldn’t be able to properly describe some of the emotions this has fostered– but at least I’m not denying them anymore!
Thanks for writing this, it helps me process the ideas I subjected myself to so I can move on to my next stage of life, perhaps a little wiser.

Jonathan Porecki March 3, 2015 at 10:52 pm

I’ve been having some very honoring experiences since mulling over this article and related material. I feel honored because it’s as if I can recognize a child in me that I have to protect whenever someone starts communicating about ‘ego’, especially the ‘$#!@-the-ego’ variant.

To demonstrate, I encountered an excellent video example of the subtle guilt tactic explained in section #4 of this article – very visible and pertinent. Basically the speaker makes the case for a grand reality of ‘Oneness’ that is playing itself out as individuals; he then quickly twists into how it’s the ego’s fault that this experience isn’t always plainly known.

(Probably a good idea to listen to some of the context, but this link will start the video at the point the ego killing rampage really gets out the cannons)


Like Melissa said, very subtle, but powerful.

talha April 4, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Melissa I have read your articles. You point out many flaws in mindfulness and I disagree with them. The Power of Now by Echart tolle was one book that CHANGED my life. I had been battling depression for 6.5 years and had been on the brink of suicide many times and the practise of mindfulness, that is realising that I am not my mind and shutting off my mind from painful thoughts gave me a NEW LIFE. The power of now told me to live in the present moment. Melissa, with due respect, it is an amazingly helpful technique and I am highly indebted to it. I owe my life to it. Consequently, I feel offended by reading your criticism of mindfulness. Please excuse me.

talha April 4, 2015 at 4:24 pm

I am a Muslim so I dont follow mindfulness and meditation as a belief system. For that, I use my religion. Islam says that this life is a temporary life and all hurdles are tests from God. If you are patient, you will enter a new life, an everlasting one, in which you will have no hurdles, tensions or problems. That is my overarching belief system.

Mindfulness I use just to get through these temporary life troubles. Just to shut my mind off from these. To stop unnecessary overthinking. And then I leave my problems to God and ask for His help to help me while I do whats in my power. But i dont worry unnecessarily. I am not numbing myself. In fact it aids my functionality as a doctor that i am able to shut my weed of pestering thoughts and use my brain on my work.

Tell me whats wrong with that.

Betty Anne April 23, 2015 at 7:16 pm

I am reminded of an e.e. Cummings poem- To be nobody but yourself, in a world that is doing it’s best, night and day to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle that any human being can fight, and never stop fighting. I sometimes wonder why we try to convince others of their wrongness, instead of accepting each other’s difference of opinions, values, perceptions and honouring them.

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