Ego isn't the Enemy.
Updated: Jun 1, 2020
A few years ago I read a book titled Ego is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday. Now on first glance and initial reading, this title makes a lot of sense to us. We've all heard it before,
"Ego will be your downfall",
"pride comes before a fall",
"Humility will always open more doors than arrogance",
and on and on; blah, blah, blah.
I can tell you from personal experience humility hasn't signed my paychecks ever, and if it did I'm sure it would be a pittance. I mean who needs a lot of money when you're one with the heavens? An ego won't do anything for you except cause problems; best to be rid of it right? As if you even could be rid of it.
As far as Ego is the Enemy, it's a decent read that gives helpful insights on how to overcome the pitfalls of the ego; or better yet, blind youthful arrogance. Obviously he's not trying to teach you how to supersede your ego because:
1. you can't actually do that, at least not easily being raised in western society or even more accurately outside of a Buddhist monastery, and
2. Why would you want to? The ego is great, if you know how to use it, and not let it use you.
Yes Ryan has done a good job in teaching people how to make better use of the ego, which I refer to as The Adversary.
See the Adversary is very intelligent, in both smart and dumb people, it has its plan and you wont stop it unless you're aware that it exist, which most people aren't. Don't believe me? Just ask people if they're egotistical, most will respond with "no, not really". Some may even go as far as to say "I'm too nice to have an ego" or "No I don't care about money or looks, so I'm not egotistical", yaaaa ok. These people are the ones being used by their ego instead of using it to their advantage.
"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist"
Great quote, also 100% true. Now the trick for us is, how to convince this so called 'devil' to do our bidding. Which is in a lot of ways what Ryan is writing about in his book. You should read it if this topic of Ego, interest you. I can say without a doubt Ryan has a large healthy ego that he puts to work for him, and that ego has wrote him some hefty paychecks no doubt. But if you're still not convinced about the fact that you absolutely have an ego then lets go over this check list real quick.
The Adversary and the Creator, or if you don't like my chosen verbiage, then use Ego and Self as a lot of new age esoterics like to use, or as I like to call them, hippies. If you're religious probably stop reading my blog, it might put bad ideas in your head, but if you have an open mind and are reading nonetheless then you may prefer Satan and God.
Here is a list of things the Adversary (ego) believes to be true,
1. Death is real
2. Time is real
3. Every one is different and separate from one another.
4. Self preservation and reproduction is the predominate impulse of life
5. There is no God
Here is a list of things the Creator (self) believes to be true.
1. Death is an illusion
2. Time is an illusion
3. All beings are one
4. The highest emotion is love
5. God is all there is
Which one are you? Are you possibly both? Maybe ponder it for a bit, especially if you don't think you have an ego. You do.
Having an ego doesn't make you an evil person, in fact I would wager not thinking you have an ego places you on a sort of auto pilot which is actually evil, because you are at the mercy of your base emotions, and our emotions much like nature are savage at times.
I'll make another post in the future titled 'How to be the driver or your life, with the devil riding shotgun. '
"Your ego screams for people to acknowledge you. But you must do nothing. Take it. Eat it until you’re sick. Endure it. Quietly brush it off and work harder." -Ryan Holiday (Ego is the Enemy)
Now that's an ego quote I can get behind, of course sometimes you just have to bitch slap that fucker, thanks Ryan.