S.O.S School Of Spirituality, Theology, Talmudic Philosophy,
Hebrew Meditation & Mysticism, Practical Kabbalah, Prophecy & Miracles

Me & My Ego

 

Me & My Ego 
My EgoDark Side OF Me
(Anger, Fear, Stress, Jealousy, Depression, Anxiety...)
A Course of Four Lectures & Workshops

"I wish I could control my self. I want to be calm. I really want to get rid of my negative thoughts. I don't want to get mad or sad, but I can't help it! Every time I get angry, I regret it, but again and again it happens to me.
I can't control myself."

Why not?

"It's not in my hands. It's out of my control."

Listen to yourself. Do you know what you just said?

"What did I say? That it's not in my hands?"

Exactly. "It's not in my hands." So if it's not in your hands, then your behavior must be in the hands of someone else or some other being, some other force controlling your mind. Right?

"No way. It's only me!"

Are you sure? Do you think you are the only one in charge of all your thoughts and all your behaviors? If so, let's close our eyes and try not to think for just one minute. You know what - for just 10 seconds.

"I can't. Because as I try, I am actually thinking about not thinking. I can't stop thinking even if I wanted to."

So, now try to think about just one thing for 10 seconds. Your name is the easiest example. Close your eyes, and try to think only about the letters of your name.

"I'm trying... But... I can't. So many thoughts and images come to my mind. I want to be focused on my name, but there is something that takes over my thoughts, controlling them! What is it?"

About 90 percent of the time that we are awake, we operate in a state of unawareness, driven and controlled by automatic reactions to external causes. Approximately 10 percent of our responses are in our control; when we think about our responses before acting. This pattern of life is the central reason for "unwelcome thoughts and behaviors" in our lives, and our almost chaotic lack of control.

"So, what causes this? Where did this lack of control come from?

According to the Torah, Talmud and Zohar, every part of Creation consists of two major elements - Yetser HaTov (inclination to good), or positive forces, and Yetser HaRa (inclination to bad), or negative forces. Each and every moment, since the beginning of time, there is an unending battle between these two forces.

The Zohar says that Yetser HaTov is the inner power within us that desires to give, to share, to be happy, to love, and to see every part of Creation as one endless unity, linked together and to the ultimate source - "the Divine portion above." We sometimes refer to this as "awareness" or negative and positive"consciousness". This state of mind is attainable only when we live the moment, when we are internally and externally aware, when we are focused on our goals, when we are controlling our reactions, and when we are being what we want to be.

On the other hand, we have the Yetser HaRa, or the negative side, which is trying to take control of everything, every second of our lives. It wants us to get mad, sad and angry, and to feel bad. It is the power that forces our mind into deep dark levels of worry, fear, depression and anxiety. The Yetser HaRa has many faces and many methods to complete its mission. Unfortunately, as we see in many cases, it is very successful in its work. The Yetser HaRa dictates to us most of our thoughts. As we said earlier, 90 percent of our mind is controlled by it. It is in charge of preventing us from focusing on what we want to think about and what we want to be.

It has many names, as well. Some call it "Satan". In Kabbalah we call it the Sitra Ahra ("the Other Side"), our dark side. In everyday language, we call it "ego". satan inside

Ego is the foundation of all the suffering and negativity in our world. Ego is the reason for our anger, fear, sadness, depression, and all our bad
feelings and thoughts. Ego wants us to believe that we are not really all one continuum. It wants to convince us to live an illusion, rather than the reality. Ego wants us to think only of "me", rather than thinking of "us".

Yet, by knowing the laws governing the ego, we may be able to reach it and take control over it.

"Interesting, I really want to know more about the ego. Is it something outside me? I really want to know how I can get rid of it."

No, the ego is inside of us. We are born with it, and we should get to know it and learn how to live with it. Many faiths, spiritual beliefs and religions hold that our purpose in life should be defeating the ego by destroying it totally. In order to fully achieve this aim and to reach the desired high level of spirituality, these philosophies say, we must sacrifice all we have and every aspect of the physical world. Their motto is: "Kill your ego." And for the sake of a calm, happy and relaxed life, they are ready to give up every physical or material wish, desire or request.

"So, is there a better way?"

Actually, what Kabbalah offers is not a better way, but the only good way to overcome the challenge of the ego. In this practical belief system, your infinite awareness plays a very important part in this endless battle. You have to know that the ego, as the automated part of us, is an indivisible and important operating system, charged with basic, simple and complicated missions that affect us on a daily basis.

"Give me some examples to understand more."

human anatomy physiologyOne of our automated operating systems, basic to every second of our lives, is our heart - a hollow muscle that pumps blood through the vessels in our body by repeated, rhythmic contractions. Our breathing, too, is an automated mechanism that moves air in and out of the lungs, and makes sure oxygen is supplied to our organs. We get hungry automatically and, after we eat, our digestive system starts to work without us having any control over it. Our body grows in the same way. And our brain acts on our body by generating patterns of muscle activity and by driving the secretion of chemicals called hormones – all without us having any control over any of it. There are almost endless examples of the automated systems of mankind.

The same automated "technology" is in charge of our unwelcome behaviors and thoughts (our ego). So, killing the ego means killing the desires, the body, all physical aspects of life. That is not the right way to face the challenge.

The Zohar illustrates the essence of the ego for us, as only Zohar can, with a very smart analogy, comparing our ego (our body, the physical world, desires, materialistic wishes, etc.) to a horse and our soul(our spiritual desires) to the rider. The Zohar notes that the rider needs his horse to get to his destination, just as we need our ego to achieve our goals. The horse is strong wild horseand healthy, but at the same time hard to control.

By killing the horse, the rider wouldn't get anywhere - he would remain stuck in the same place. The best approach is to learn how to take control of the horse. It works the same way in our lives. Learning the mechanisms by which the ego operates is the only way for us to gain control over it.

Killing the ego wouldn't help. Running away from reality is not the solution. Awareness can bring us to know how the system works, and how we can work with it and take control of the ego.

"Truly amazing. Tell me more. I want to know everything about 'me and my ego'."

Knowing all there is to know about the ego takes many years of study and cannot be learned in one conversation. But I have a suggestion for you: give yourself a big gift and join us for four classes. Through presentations, lectures and meditation, you will learn the secrets of how the ego works, as well as many tips, tools and practical guidance for dealing with this phenomenon we call "the ego".

Looking forward to seeing you in class!