Oftentimes, people think spiritual attainment is being free from the ego, often referred to as selflessness. If we really take a look at it, that is not exactly right.
Let us first take a look at what the ego really is. We could say the ego exists on two levels: the Personality Level and the deepest level of your being, the Transcendental Level. Typically speaking, those two levels do not work in unison. In fact, the majority of people are essentially unaware of the Transcendental Level of their being. To them, the personality ego is the only ego there is. They live in a world of separation. Their ego versus the ego of everyone else in the world. Oftentimes, their sense of self-worth is all about how they view their ego, their accomplishments, their place in the world, how much money they have, their children, what a good person they are, etc. Though these things can be of great value, that ego exists in the domain of superficiality in contrast to the Transcendental ego. Spiritual evolution is about integrating these two levels of ego so that they function in harmony with one another.
Now let’s take a closer look at the Transcendental ego. It is the level of your being that transcends relativity. It is fully awake to its universal nature. That can be expressed in many different ways: You and God are one; You are one with everything; Aham Bramhasmi; I am the totality; Or, as Einstein would say, “Everything is the unified field,” (that one thing that is the source of everything).
Just as a seed births the tree, the Transcendental Level births all of creation. Just as the seed is the source of all the intelligence and harmony that underlies and guides the growth of the tree, so too is the Transcendental Level the source of intelligence and harmony that underlies your existence.
So let’s take a look at what happens to the ego when, through the evolutionary process, those two levels function in a harmonious and integrated manner. The personality ego doesn’t go away. You don’t become free from ego as some people interpret the spiritual documents to say. What actually happens is the personality ego transforms so your sense of self becomes one with all that is. It is as if Mother Nature herself is functioning through you, as you, spontaneously supporting all branches of the tree of life. You haven’t lost the ego. On the contrary, it is expanded to embrace all that is to cherish, support, and facilitate the growth of everything in creation. This is exactly the opposite of selflessness or egolessness. It is the expansion of the ego to live in harmony with, and breathe life into, the depth of all that is.
In conclusion, a person that has integrated these two levels of their being may not look like your typical depiction of a saintly Hollywood sage on the surface. They do not necessarily speak with a strange cadence or float airily through a room. They may appear quite ordinary. To understand spiritual evolution, we must always look deeper.
Though this contrasts greatly from what traditional psychology teaches, I find this explanation of an integrated ego much more gratifying. It also eliminates the need to reject the ego, something that develops naturally. It is more about having a healthy, integrated ego. Subtle, but powerful.
Great blog. Thank you.
From this quote, I am wondering if/how the transcendental level ego gives rise, in one way or another, maybe very indirectly?, to the personality level ego..:
“Just as a seed births the tree, the Transcendental Level births all of creation. Just as the seed is the source of all the intelligence and harmony that underlies and guides the growth of the tree, so too is the Transcendental Level the source of intelligence and harmony that underlies your existence.”
The timing of this post couldn’t be better since my mom and I were trying to figure out some of this earlier today. Is the transcendental ego individual or universal? Also, once the two egos are integrated, is the manner in which they are expressed determined by our personality ego, or is it the angle of interface with the transcendent?
Ahh..I remember this class well. I have enjoyed many conversations with clients on this subject and I can say many have never thought of this approach on the “ego”. Its a wonderful topic because it makes more sense today than ever. One thing I know for sure is the further along I go on my evolutionary journey..the greater degree of humility I feel in my heart and my head.
Deep thanks to you Brahmarshi
Excellent, very cool and liberating somehow…
If I am understanding this correctly, you are describing a profound, but natural, human metamorphosis ?
The diversity of personality on the surface of life is a wonder to me considering that individuals are all birthed out of the same one consciousness.
I like this i had read alot about dropping the ego this in my mind expanding the ego is much more beautifull great blog again!!
The Transcendent births relativity. Then consciousness in relativity loses itself to the grandeur of relativity… i.e. birth of the small self. Then through evolution is returns to awareness of the transcendental Self. Sorta like Darwin but with gravity back to the transcendent ‘thrown in’.
Transcendental ego is both universal and individual. Answer to second question is also ‘both’. Personality ego and angle of interface are the same thing.
I could do a whole class on the ‘anatomy of the personality ego’, but thought I would just add here that the personality ego could be seen as having two components: 1) your true nature; and 2) the conditioned personality. Your true nature could then be viewed as the angle of entry into the Transcendent. The conditioned personality could be viewed as the conditioned programming from life experiences.
Thanks for going into more depth on all of that, looking forward to when I will be able to sit in on that class.
What a great blog! It so succinctly describes what is going on in our evolution. Like Sherman, I find it very liberating knowing that I don’t have to extinguish my ego. What a relief, too tough a battle!
Correct! Extinguishing the ego is ‘too tough to battle’ because it is unnatural. Evolution is a NATURAL process. Any technique that feels unnatural should be examined with great discernment.
Wow, great blog, comments and discussion. Thanks to all!
Loved Cory’s comment about “natural, human metamorphosis”. I never thought of it in this way.
If the ego is a manifestation of the false sense of self would that not be a filter upon the Truth regardless of how pure it may seem? Would this not be why people of various spiritual traditions may all find the same Truth yet still see the nuances of that Truth in the lens of their personal, cultural and spiritual perspectives?
Correct. Impressions on the psyche create distortions in the ‘lens’… i.e. a distorted sense of self. The personality ego is not a total manifestation of a false sense of self, it is just a distortion in it. Of course, if there are no distortions, the personality self is in harmony with the divine self… the transcendental self.