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The Ego Illusion

No one has ever seen the face of ego. It is like a ghost that we accept as a controlling influence in our lives. I look upon the ego as nothing more than an idea that each of us has about ourselves. The ego is only an illusion, but a very influential one. Letting the ego-illusion become your identity can prevent you from knowing your true self. Ego, the false idea of believing that you are what you have or what you do, is a backwards way of assessing and living life.

You’ve probably noticed the word AMBULANCE written backwards on the front of a vehicle so that a person seeing it in their rear-view mirror can read it. When you look into a mirror, what you see is backwards, too. Your right hand is your left, your eyes are reversed. You understand that this is a backward view that you are seeing and you make the appropriate adjustments. You do not confuse reality with the image in the mirror.

The ego-idea of yourself is very much like the mirror example, without the adjustments. Your ego wants you to look for the inside on the outside. The outer illusion is the major preoccupation of the ego.

The ego-idea has been with us ever since we began to think. It sends us false messages about our true nature. It leads us to make assumptions about what will make us happy and we end up frustrated. It pushes us to promote our self-importance while we yearn for a deeper and richer life experience. It causes us to fall into the void of self-absorption again and again, not knowing that we need only shed the false idea of who we are.

Our true self is eternal. It is the God force within us. The way of our higher self is to reflect our inner reality rather than the outer illusion. The description given by Sogyal Rinpoche in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying is a wonderful explanation of this discovery: “Two people have been living in you all of your life. One is the ego, garrulous, demanding, hysterical, calculating; the other is the hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to.” He refers to this hidden spiritual being as our wise guide.

When we learn to transcend the illusions sponsored by the ego, we can access this wise guide. We can invite in the higher aspects of ourselves to function in their natural, loving, and integrated design.

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Nancy says:

EGO – you have stated this in your talks .. “Edging God Out”….. letting go of the ego and all it’s chaos to come to a place of higher being, of peace and of love!
In gratitude,


Ego separates you. How many things do you want to be separated from? It is a tool, leave it in the tool box and use it to fix things. Empathizing comes from the heart, when you expand your heart no tool is missing in your box. Your heart will always find the proper tool.

Richard says:

Continued; Ego is in charge of the survival of the physical body we inhabit, there is an inherent element of fear in that. We just need to be aware of it and not let it rule.

Richard says:

What Joshua and Rossana said, plus. I love my ego, without it I would have never experienced loneliness, rejection, anger and all the rest. How can I empathize with others who are in those states if I have never felt them myself?

Richard says:

What Joshua and Rossana said, plus. I love my ego, without it I would have never experienced loneliness, rejection, anger and all the rest. How can I empathize with others who are in those states if I have never felt them myself?

Rafael says:

Which is the defenition of ego finally?..if you believe that it is a illusion or a creation of mind then you can not define.But because we are born with our “personal” ego the definition for me is following: EGO IS THE SENSATION OF OUR UNIQUE EXISTANCE IN THE WORLD OF WHICH THERE IS AND WILL NOT BE IN THE FUTURE ANY SIMILAR ONE”

Mona-Lynne says:

Recently had a vision about someone I was dating as this ghost ego and found this blog entry very enlightening. Felt like I was dealing with two people; the real one and then the fear-based ego ghostish one. It appears that some people struggle to be spiritual and their ego pulls them back to the old comfortable places.


Opposites complement each other, ego and soul are part of us. Why deny a part of you? Identify, define and embrace your ego, then let the soul take the lead.

Christopher Wayne says:

The ego is motivated by fear, resentment and lower transient emotions. Peace, true love and joy are pure states of being that come from within and are not dependant upon the world of form . Ego is not a part of your Being it is a separation from your sacred self and is not worth defending. It is the ego defending itself NOT your Being.

Joshua says:

PREVIOUS THOUGHT CONTINUED: …And that is letting go of ego. So, in my humble opinion, it is not necessarily that ego is an illusion or that it should be eliminated from our lives. Rather, we should just be sure that it does not bleed into areas of our lives where it is not useful, or even destructive. Thank you! Love your work, Dr. Dyer!!

Joshua says:

MY PREVIOUS THOUGHT CONTINUED: Allow me to paraphrase Joseph Campbell. He affirmed that we can try to correct our circumstances and change things for the good, but there must also be an ‘at peace’ where we can see the complete destruction of our circumstances as acceptable.

Joshua says:

Rafael, I see what you mean. Ego helps protect us and preserve circumstances that are favorable for us, and without it, our physical form would be in danger. However, it can be harmful when it takes over other aspects of our lives like our happiness. For example, my neighbor has a shiny new car, so I need one to feel valuable.

Rafael says:

The pure and nature form of ego helps a person to his life but when fear is involved the ego is being a monster and change all the character and attitude of this person with distrarctive results.

Rafael says:

I am totally disagree with dr WAYNE that ego is an ilusion.Ego it is a part of our being.The comfusion is that ego has a powerfull guard/servant named FEAR who protect his master NOT TO BE DAMAGED.If we realy love oureself our deepest nature we have to separate ego from his servant………..

Jo says:

having just had a major change in my life I was looking for ‘something’. I have been thinking about how I obtain happiness and your insights have started me on a new road. I have never really considered that I am and have always had the ability to be happy.

Joe Rapisarda says:

I feel the ego is that which helps us manifest our thoughts in this world. The ego is a necessary part of who we are. It is the part of us that tells us we are unique and special. Our spirit or higher self is the part of us that tells us that we are all one energy together.
-Joe Rapisarda

Christopher Wayne says:

as human conciousness evolves we will find out that the ego that was once usefull now serves no legitimate purpose. It is awfull similar to the gills and tails of our ancestors in that we have to out grow them or stay limited by there use

Penny says:

I’m so grateful when I’m blatantly reminded how connected to Spirit we can be. I’m sure you understand and realize your own power, and even all the other authors at Hay House as well. But seeing you all from my perspective is incredibly beautiful! I am trying to understand the message in the mirrors. Thank you for being who you are, I love you.

Deborah, Charleston SC says:

Wayne, Prayers and blessings to you! Powerful words for today. There can be days when we are more likely to be subjected to ego- I have learned to balance the scale. As spiritual beings ego is not true & only our spirit knows what we need to move onto greater heights of awareness.Remembering our innocence works wonders.

Dennis says:

The ego is what you think you are when you don’t know what you are. Do you think you have a Soul? No, you don’t. You ARE a Soul. What you have is an ego.

Nielle says:

what about ego-based applications like twitter & facebook? I find it difficult to keep the ego out of such applications as you need to somewhat identify yourself “as” something or another…

Kenneth says:

The ego needs to be fed, more and more and more. There is never enough to satisfy it. Ego is a destructive illusion. Without its influence, life becomes a more wondrous place. Without its perceived power, we become our true selves. Peace and love become more readily accessible.

marcel says:

took me also years to understand and to be that way. But so very glad. for some it takes a lifetime, others will never feel and experiance that inner peace

Joshua says:

A THOUGHT: We are part of the everything – space, time, energy, existence, etc. Without ego, we are at peace with the fact that changes will occur, but the everything will still exist. The ego makes us believe that certain arrangements must persist. Thus, the ego is the root of all our anxieties.

Joseph Wadas says:

As a hospice worker, I daily deal with the dying. Those who honestly face their own mortality see the illusions and pretenses of a lifetime stripped away. Don’t wait until you are dying before you truly live. Thank you for the reminder. Namaste!

Wilber says:

It seems to me that life is soooo much more of everything when we get out of our own way! Wish it hadn’t taken so dang long to learn that one.


sonia says:

I listen to and/or read something from your work everyday to keep my ego in check. I was introduced to your work 2 yrs ago and I have been applying different things everyday since. I feel honored and blessed just to be able to make a comment on your blog. Does one ever master the ego??:)

Laura says:

Thanks for your teachings… I enjoy them a lot. I think that to get rid of the ego, or at least minimize it is a very difficult job, but not impossible, I am in my way… thanks you and other good teachers. Love.

Penny says:

With 4 young children we chose not to even have a television. It’s a different world now, for sure. Most of the time I can make sense of what you share, but not your affirmation today. I might seek to be alone with myself, but I know I’m never alone. Wouldn’t aloneness just be an illusion?

Penny says:

This sounds so complicated to me. In your book Sacred Self, you start out with a conversation between Spirit and Ego. I loved that conversation. At the time I first read that, I felt so connected to everything around me, the trees, clouds, life, we were in a different space in our lives then.

Mucunda says:

extraordinary book, extraordinary reviews

Mucunda says:

extraordinario libro , estraordinario comentario .