People often associate Eastern philosophy with the concept of spirituality and enlightenment.
Because many practitioners of Eastern philosophy aim to go beyond the ego.
And connect with something greater than themselves.
But in recent years, a new concept has emerged in the spiritual community:
The spiritual ego.
But what is the ego?
To understand the concept of spiritual ego, we must first define ego.
In Eastern philosophy, the ego is the sense of self or personality that separates us from others.
It's the source of “I-ness” or “me-ness”.
In other words: it's the part of our mind that creates a sense of individual identity.
And in spiritual teachings, the ego is the cause of suffering and detachment from the true self.
In spiritual circles, the ego has taken on a new meaning – the spiritual ego.
The spiritual ego is the attachment to our spiritual progress or identity.
It's when we become attached to the idea of being spiritual or enlightened.
Instead of actually living in a state of enlightenment or self-realization.
This can manifest in many ways.
- Judgment of others
- Spiritual superiority
- A need to prove oneself as "more spiritual" than others
And how do I recognize the spiritual ego?
One way to recognize the spiritual ego is to observe your thoughts and actions.
- Am I judging others for not being as "spiritual" as I am?
- Am I holding onto my spiritual identity as a badge of honor?
- Am I seeking validation for my spiritual progress from others?
If the answer is yes, then you may be operating from a place of spiritual ego.
It's important to understand the concept of spiritual ego because it can hinder our spiritual progress.
The ego is the cause of detachment from the true self. Or an attachment to a false sense of self.
The spiritual ego, much like an ego, is an attachment.
It's an attachment to detachment itself.
This can create a false sense of enlightenment or spiritual superiority.
Ultimately hindering your growth and understanding.
So, how can I let go of my spiritual ego?
The first step is to recognize it when it arises.
You can observe your thoughts and actions. And ask yourself if they're coming from a place of authenticity. Or from a need to prove yourself.
The second step is to practice humility and non-attachment.
You can remind yourself that your spiritual progress isn't a competition. And that true spirituality isn't about being better than others.
Finally, you can focus on the present moment and the practice itself.
You can let go of your attachment to progress. And simply focus on the journey of self-discovery.
Look, here's the thing...
The concept of spiritual ego is a relatively new term in the spiritual community.
(Perhaps because we're more passionate and driven towards spirituality than ever before.)
But it's an important term to understand.
By recognizing and letting go of our spiritual ego, we can move closer to a state of authentic spirituality and self-realization.
We can learn to live in a state of detachment from the ego. And connect with something greater than ourselves.
The journey of self-discovery is not a competition.
It's a journey of the soul.
And it can lead us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.