The Surrender of the Ego
Almost everyone knows someone who professes to “know everything.” These people are never wrong, seldom accept advice and once they stake out a position, they will do anything to defend it. At best, they are perfectionists. At worst, they can become delusional as they fight to avoid being wrong by reinterpreting events that would otherwise cast them in a negative light.
Most people with large egos are reasonably successful. Their followers stroke their egos, which makes them difficult to deal with. When trouble surfaces, the temptation is to sit back, wait for “the fall,” and gloat when “he gets what he deserves.” But when you come across such an individual, try not to deal too harshly with him. The universe is setting him up for a dramatic lesson that will hopefully propel him forward in his spiritual evolution. His ego is about to be crushed, but once he recovers he will be better off for it.
Recently, I saw this firsthand. Mr. Perfect was a detail oriented businessman who was unable to delegate and dismissive of advice. He was directing a project that was heading for disaster, but refused all forms of help. At the last minute, he was “ordered” to accept help. An extremely gifted individual, Mr. Helper, came in at the last minute, but was unable to save the project. Everyone involved commented on the awesome contribution Mr. Helper had made and how lucky Mr. Perfect would be to have him on his team as they moved forward.
Mr. Perfect had a different opinion. Rather than accept any fault for the project’s failure, he argued that he would have succeeded if it hadn’t been for Mr. Helper. To make matters worse, he issued an ultimatum: either he or Mr. Helper had to go. No one could talk him out of his irrational position. Mr. Helper is now running the project.
Mr. Perfect’s desire to be right drove him to “cut off his nose to spite his face.” It seemed to trump all logic including his self-interest.
But from a mystic perspective, this was completely logical and furthermore, inevitable.
Mystics recognize that the subjugation of the ego is a necessary step towards enlightenment. Remember, the goal of a mystic is direct communion with God. As you attune daily with your divine aspect or Master Within, your goal is eventually to align your will with the will of God. To do this fully, the ego must surrender.
To surrender the ego does not mean that you become a meek, little doormat that invites abuse. Quite the contrary, when the ego is subjugated to the will of God, you become a spiritual powerhouse. You become fearless in confronting people in positions of authority for, in effect, you are now speaking with God’s voice.
On the other hand, the ego has no interest in you attaining your full spiritual potential. The ego wants to be in charge. It will create all sorts of rationalizations to keep itself in power and prevent such a shift. It’s similar to a politician rationalizing why he supported a bill that was not in his constituents’ best interest. “If I don’t vote for it, then the next guy will, and then I won’t be around to fight for my constituents when a more important issue arises.” That’s the difference between a politician and a leader.
Surrendering the ego can be even more difficult for someone that has attained a high degree of success in his life. The star quarterback, rock star, business mogul or political figure all possess worldly power. They have fans, shareholders or followers that idolize them.
The biblical adage that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven, would be equally true if “business mogul,” “politician” or “celebrity” were substituted for “rich man.” The point is that people that are admired are much more reluctant to surrender the ego than someone with much less to lose.
At the same time, as spiritual beings living a human existence, the Master Within drives all of us to evolve. The eventual surrender of the ego is inevitable. If the conscious mind/ego does not pay attention, the message gets louder. If it is ignored, then eventually, a critical point will be reached and a meltdown will occur.
To avoid a meltdown, consult the Master Within for advice on a daily basis. When your connection becomes strong enough, you will become infused with spiritual power. Rather than a meltdown, others will look to you for guidance, because they will recognize that you speak the Truth.