The stoics would have us believe that the ego is the enemy… you know, that part of us that knows what it wants and causes us suffering and frustration when it doesn’t get it.
Yesterday’s exercise (Who Are You?) is great for eradicating the ego temporarily… giving it nowhere to hide; digging below the layers.
But on the whole I don’t think the ego is our enemy.
Our enemy is being unaware of the ego. When we believe that the ego is all that we are.
When we recognise the ego for what it is, we allow ourselves to have desires, to see ourselves as separate beings with needs and wants. We allow ourselves to be upset when we lose something (whether that’s a game or sport, or a possession, or simply our youth)
And when the ego suffers, if we’ve done the work and grown in awareness, we simply smile. We recognise the source of the suffering, and recognise that it is not us that is suffering, it is simply a part of us.
Let’s make friends with the ego. Let’s use it to help us along. But let’s not, for one minute, allow ourselves to think that we are our ego.