Ego And The False Sense Of Security – An Accomplice And An Enemy
What makes us human beings is that we are all self-aware, we react to situations, we adjust, we adapt and we tend to move on. And in different varying ways, we also respond. Amid all this, we also tend to bring down the shutters, we tend to isolate and we tend to close our eyes to the pretty obvious affairs. We then sit back and start judging, the small matter of our egos taking over – often bloated egos getting in the way of our decision making!
In many ways, egotism is anaesthetic which nature provides us to blunt the pain of realising that we are a fool and we are ignorant and the problem lies with us. It is simple expression of putting the self-needs over and beyond the common good and this then leads to enforcing thoughts, ideas and even beliefs over everything else. This is when we become isolated, and we create a false sense of security.
“In India, we have a number of epics to fall back to, these epics have the answers and here we can speak about the Mahabharata. Krishna was convinced to deliver the sermons of Gita when Arjuna’s bloated ego came in the way of doing what was right. He was convinced to follow the path of Karma when the blinders of living in a false world were taken away by Krishna – all in the heat of a battle, when the stakes were so high,” explains one of my teachers, who did not want to be named.
“It is important to surround yourself with people who show a mirror to you and not merely agree with your theories – however blasphemous they may sound. In the same battlefield and in the same context, Duryodhana was shattered as his ego was never controlled and people around him never asked him to stop and ponder. They clapped, shouted and admired all his theories and he was convinced he was all-conquering. In his own false sense of pride, he lost everything – only his ego won,” he goes on to elucidate.
In a sense, the ego in us helps us take decisions – it helps us in creating enemies, it helps us in recognising friends and value relationships. We face incidents which are extremely similar to the Mahabharata. We fight our battles, we engage life with family and friends and we make associations at all times - we, too, are constantly fighting battles of ego every step of the way!
There are enough examples of success and failure, enough examples of what needs to be done and what needs to be shunted away. How we manage our egos and how we overcome inadequacies might well determine how successful we are.
As Osho so correctly encapsulates: “Love is happy when it is able to give something. The ego is happy when it is able to take something.”