Your ego wants to gain from the soul–too eagerly, in fact. Once you turn its attention toward spirit, your ego mistakes it for another race to win, another goal to accomplish, another result to achieve.
In other words, it translates everything spiritual into terms it can understand. There is no escaping this tendency, because until it reaches the end of life’s journey and gets absorbed into the soul, your ego will never stop assuming that the path is for the glory of itself.
“I am enlightened” is just as selfish a statement as “I know how to win.” Your soul is the one thing ego will never win for you.
People are surprised to find a great deal of chaos when they go inside. Not only is the mind restless and wayward, the ego offers its own agenda. Having touched on the ego’s needs to assert its demands, one shouldn’t have the impression that it is an enemy.
The ego has its proper place. The same holds true for the mind with its confusing stream of jumbled ideas, beliefs, desires, fantasies, and emotions. Its chaos poses problems when you try to see your soul clearly, yet the mind has an enormous capacity to perceive reality in new ways.
In their proper place, mind and ego are to be cherished as allies. Remind yourself of this in the long campaign to bring balance back to your inner world. Ego and mind will seem to fight against you, but in truth they harbor their own spiritual goals, not to rule over the soul but to be absorbed in its domain of light.
One of the best ways to allow your ego to be absorbed in spirit is to witness it silently. You do this by just observing your own reactions to situations, circumstances, people, and events. In the mere witnessing of these, you will begin to see a transformation, and a balancing of body, mind, and spirit.
Adapted from The Deeper Wound: Recovering the Soul from Fear and Suffering, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2001).