Killing My Ego is a Daily Practice
by Lynn Brewer Nov 29, 2015
I, I, I. I first learned to avoid the constant “I, I, I” while studying writing. There is only so much that I can say about things in the first person without it getting narrow or repetitious. Writing outside of the first person narrative is a leap some writers never make. They drown in the I — “I think, I feel, I know.”
But there’s something deeper beneath the “I”: the ego. I’ve come to learn the ego is the “I”, the part of me that identifies with an identity the “I” constructed. It’s the voice in my head, a mind-pattern which is the result of conditioning. While I have certainly heard about ego, the first time I really started examining my relationship with my ego was almost one year ago.
It was during the OneTaste Orgasmic Winter Retreat when someone said, “Ego gets in the way of desire; desire kills ego.” It was the first time I had heard ego mentioned in relation to desire, as well as being something that was in flux. That one’s ego could grow stronger or weaker according to its relationship to something else was a new idea to me.
It wasn’t until I read Eckart Tolle’s A New Earth that I realized one’s ego was not just something to live with; it can be something to be triumphed over and eliminated. Eckart explains not only that the ego is nothing more than a voice in your head, but that it is possible to overcome it through simple awareness:
Whenever you notice that voice, you will also realize that you are not the voice, but the one who is aware of it. In fact, you are the awareness that is aware of the voice. In the background, there is the awareness. In the foreground, there is the voice, the thinker. In this way you are becoming free of the ego, free of the unobserved mind. The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist.
Reading this, something clicked in me. I understood that all the attempts in my OM practice to un-cross the wires of my social conditioning were the first baby steps taken towards killing my own ego. I had done these out of impulse rather than true comprehension of what it was that I was doing, or why. But now I knew: I was on the path of murdering my own ego so I could get free from it.
That’s where I’ve been ever since. It’s a daily challenge. Some days it’s easier than others. The days when it’s hardest are the days when what I want to happen isn’t happening. (Tolle spoke to this too: “The ego loves to complain and feel resentful, not only about other people but also about situations.”) It’s hard for me to be joyful and loving and orgasmic when the situation is less than ideal.
Finally I asked Nicole Daedone, founder of OneTaste, how she does this. She told me, “Orgasm invites us to not shift the conditions or try in any way to have them meet our preferences, but it trains us to have our attention held on the conditions in such a way that get-off happens.” And that’s where I’ve been ever since — putting my attention out in such a way that I can get off no matter what the situation is. More than anything else, this has accelerated the rate at which my ego is shriveling, because I’m making my own reality instead of relying on the one my ego wants me to inhabit.
Killing my ego is a daily practice, much like OM or sitting meditation. I will probably never kill it completely, but as long as I keep trying to do it every day, I’m one step closer to being happy in any circumstance.
(Photo Credit: Lukasz Wierzbowski)