In Latin, the term “ego” simply means “I”. It is in fact a term which was made popular by Sigmund Freud who did not give it a negative connotation. He referred to it as what it is – a sense of I. The ego has an important role to play in our lives and has its own unique function in our experiences as a spiritual being. The ego helps us to sort through experiences, ideas, sensations, and feelings. I read many comments, memes, and other posts where people seem to think that the ego is a “bad” thing to have. I believe that there are many misconceptions about our ego and when we use the ego in a correct way it will become another “tool” to help us in our spiritual journey. However, the ego has many disguises and we are not always aware of how it can hold us back in our spiritual development. People that are spiritually awake / aware can still fall prey to the ego’s illusions. One example of this is the spiritual ego.
The sense of “I” (me) is the basis of any consciousness. When we define the ego, either we equate it with the general sense of me or we call it a more evolved sense of me that has the ability for self-reflection. This is what is commonly called the observer or thinker. The difference between the thinker and the observer is not their essence but their function. The “observer” is a term used to point to the “me” that is capable of self-reflection but remains totally identified with the mind. Without a sense of “me” we could not evolve spiritually or realize our true nature. The purpose of awakening is not to annihilate our human identity, or to dissolve our ego, but to integrate our human consciousness with our higher-self, so that we can experience our “me” from the soul’s perspective. The “me” is the window for the soul into creation. The purpose of the ego is to evolve and at one point to surrender to the soul. It was created to assure our physical and psychological survival and to serve our soul and its actualization. When our thinking is subconscious, our ego is subconscious. When our thinking is conscious, our ego is conscious. The first level of conscious thinking is to become the observer. The observer has the ability for self-reflection and can be conscious of the fact that it is thinking. In short: Ego – subconscious ego – the observer and the conscious ego. This is the direction in which the ego evolves towards higher dimensions of itself and the soul. Arriving at the state of conscious ego is as far as the ego can go in terms of evolving within its own dimension. That which is usually called awareness is nothing but the conscious ego in itself without content. It allows you to master the thinking processes, but one still remains locked in a particular reality that is disconnected from the light of the soul. In this case, the ego is free from the mind but imprisoned in itself.
The ego requires the opening of the space that is beyond the ego. In traditional terms this is called the “I am”. You could say that the “I am” is the higher-self, our higher consciousness. It is the portal to the universal consciousness through which we transcend the dimension of presence. When we meet the "I am" as our higher self we experience a sense of self on two levels simultaneously as “me (the ego)” and as I am (the higher self). A very common experience among those who experienced a spiritual awakening is that they are moving back and forth between the “me” and the “I am”. For this issue to be dissolved, the "me" (ego) has to consciously surrender to the "I am", so that they can be unified. The ego needs to be embraced as the positive aspect of our identity without it we can’t actualize the purpose of our creation. For the ego to become conscious it needs to be purified, healed, and transformed through surrender into our soul. Awakening a constructive, intelligent and affectionate perception of our ego is the first step on the spiritual path and the first real step into self-love.
The spiritual ego desires and obtains high-state experiences, gurus, deep connections, longing for a soulmate, the need to belong in a spiritual classification such as an old soul or star seed, and so on. I’m not saying that this is right or wrong, but when you are attached to a title, desire, experience, you are putting yourself in a treasure chest waiting to be discovered. Of course we use words, language, and terms to express what we are feeling and are going through. To stay authentic it is important to fully understand the meaning of what we are actually saying. Some may believe that by awakening you naturally reach the correct understanding and this is simply not true. Awakening without understanding is incomplete. Embrace the ego and surrender it to the higher self as you grow in your spiritual journey. After all it is just a tool and if used as such without any attachments, life truly becomes magical where possibilities are unlimited.