Grand rising, dear Alchemist:

People really like throwing the word ego around in all sorts of situations these days. Usually, ego is used as a way to insult someone. Insinuating that an egoistic person is someone who thinks highly of themselves. Of course, this isn’t true. Some of our most insecure thoughts are deeply rooted in our ego.

A better way to understand our egos would be to think of them as programming - a kind of inner network of functions that trigger us to act in certain ways, depending on external stimuli.

Someone who is ego-centric will have difficulty seeing through their own programming. They will be limited by the commands set for them through their conditioning and trauma. 

You may be thinking at this point that the ego is bad for us and we should simply transcend it. However, this wouldn’t be taking the full picture of what the ego is into account. Our minds evolved for millions of years to be the masters of information processing that they are today. 

The ego is a symptom of our intelligence and is therefore inexorably connected to our conscious mind. And, as we already know, our consciousness is responsible for creating nearly all of our experiences. Luckily for us, the ego is very adaptive. We can pick and choose the kind of programming we want to align ourselves with.

If, for example, a part of your programming makes you look at life more optimistically, creating positive expectations which then manifest into reality - obviously keep it. 

On the other hand, if you notice yourself being triggered by a particular topic or even a single word, it is a sign that there is a tangled mess in your mind that must be cleared away through meditations and healthy self-expression.

Follow the pace of your thoughts. Try to notice which thoughts stem from a place of security and which are brought about from feelings of fear or anger.

The nexus between our survival minds and our ego is strong. The ego tends to have a bias for building itself around experiences it doesn’t want to have and tries to train us to avoid pain.

But sometimes we need to endure pain to overcome something - what’s important is that we can consciously choose to confront that pain without our ego speaking over us.

With love and sincerity,

The Alchemy by LA Council
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