This week I share an excerpt from Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book: Living an Inspired Life. His books have influenced my life since the age of 14, which by the way is 40 years ago (yes that dates me!). At that time, I read: “Pulling Your Own Strings;” one of the first books on my spiritual journey.
When reading through the seven ways the ego can hijack us, keep in mind that he uses the term ‘holy spirit’ – you can insert any word that resonates more deeply with your belief system.
Here are the 7 Ways the Ego Hijacks Us:
We can start returning to being in-Spirit by examining what ego has accomplished in our life, as well as making a determined effort to resist the powerful pressures of our culture’s ego in favor of an inspired life. Ego is just an illusion…so ask yourself if you wish to continue to be controlled by something that isn’t true, or would you rather look into what’s real and never changes? Keep in mind that Spirit is fixed, permanent, and infinite, while ego comes and goes with the wind.
1. The ego says, “You’re a body.” The Holy Spirit says, “You’re not even a person—you’re just like Me, your Source of being.” This teaching shows that our ego insists we’re impermanent, which is opposed to our being what Lao-Tzu (the mystical spiritual teacher of the 6th century B.C.) taught: that which never changes. When we think about our life here on Earth, we can’t avoid the awareness that everything we experience, including our body, returns to dust to be recycled by Spirit. Our ego finds this concept impossible to accept.
2. The ego says, “Your thoughts are very important.” The Holy Spirit insists, “Only thoughts you think with God are real—nothing else matters.” This teaching explains that thoughts centering on ourselves, appearance, possessions, fears, or relationship problems are not only unimportant, they’re not real. Ouch! The ego flinches at such commentary. But if we examine these thoughts from Spirit’s infinite perspective, we see that they’re indeed unreal. When we were totally immersed in-Spirit, we only had thoughts of Spirit because that’s all we were; when we left it behind, we opted for thoughts that our ego told us were important.
3. Your ego says, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.” The Holy Spirit asserts, “God only gives and never takes away.” When living an inspired life, we’re focused on giving our life away and simultaneously observing how it’s returned, thus fortifying the idea of what goes around comes around. Ego is constantly telling us to be fearful about losing what we have and warning us of greedy others who’ll take what’s ours—but God doesn’t take away from us. As we learn to think this way, we attract more of what’s missing in our life. The reason for this is simple: We become what we think about. If we think about giving, like God does, the Universe will provide. If we think about things being taken away, then that’s what we’ll attract.
4. The ego says, “There’s good and bad.” The Holy Spirit maintains, “There’s nothing to judge because it isn’t real in the first place.” When we accept the ego identification card, we agree to judge almost everyone and everything in terms of good or bad. The problem with this is that we all contain the same Spirit from which we originated. If I make you bad and myself good, for instance, I deny the presence of Spirit in you whom I elected to judge. God sees it quite differently: Our spiritual Source knows that only It is real—all of the ephemeral world of form and boundaries is not of Its infinite nature. At our core, the place where we all originate from and return to, there’s no one and nothing to judge. This takes some time to get used to, but once we grasp the truth of this observation, we’re free to tap in to authentic inspiration.
5. The ego directs love and hate toward individuals. The Holy Spirit’s love is nonspecific and all-encompassing. Ego directs us to love some, be indifferent toward many, and hate all others. When we learn to be back in-Spirit on a full-time basis, we discover what we knew in our pre-ego time: There’s no “they,” there’s only “one.” The one Source of all-encompassing love knows nothing of boundaries; differing customs; geographic divisions; family splits; or differences in race, creed, sex, and so on—It only knows love for all. Ego is probably working on you right now as you read, attempting to convince you of the folly of such thinking. It may retort, “How can you love those who would harm you and are your declared enemies?” When your ego speaks in this way, recall the words of Jesus: “You have heard that it was said ‘love your neighbor and hate your enemy’” (Matt. 5:43). This is how ego works—it tells you to divide your love for some and offer your hate to others. Yet Jesus, who lived totally in-Spirit, goes on to say, “But I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matt.5:44–45).
Jesus points so perfectly to the differences between ego and Spirit. When we were in-Spirit, we were a child of our Father in heaven and “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good” (Matt. 5:45). This, of course, means that it’s all one: Evil, good, righteous, and unrighteous are all the same—some move away from the Father, some move toward Him. This is such an important and powerful lesson to get as we move toward becoming inspired by living in-Spirit.
6. The ego devises clever reasons why we should continue to listen to its selfish counsel. The Holy Spirit is certain that at some point we’ll turn toward It and ultimately return. Ego will tout its irresistible logic to assure us that our body, our possessions, and our achievements are all very real and important. It convinces us by insisting that what’s real is what we can see, touch, hear, taste, and smell; therefore, invisible Spirit isn’t real. So ego continues to be attached to stuff and to make the acquisition of money and power a lifelong objective. To that end, it wants us to disdain forgiveness in favor of seeking revenge—very persuasive logic when we look around and see almost everyone doing just that.
Through the lens of inspiration, however, we’re able to see how ego has distorted the message of the Holy Spirit—instead of seeking revenge, we’re more likely to see a very sad nation of strivers and virtually no arrivers; a gaggle of pill poppers, searching outside of themselves for a resolution to their depressing, anxiety-filled, joyless, and often lonely lives. As we return to the Holy Spirit, we’ll no longer be under the influence of ego’s absurd counsel.
7. The ego wants us to regret our past. The Holy Spirit wants us to practice unconditional forgiveness. The Holy Spirit isn’t limited by a past or a future—there’s only the eternal now. Any energy we place on what transpired in the past is groundwork for guilt, and ego loves guilt. Such negative energy fabricates an excuse for why our present moments are troubled and gives us a cop-out, a reason to stay out of Spirit. And thinking about where we’ve been or what we did wrong in the past are great impediments to an inspired life.
On the other hand, when we’re inspired, we’re totally engaged in the now. In an infinite never-beginning and never-ending Universe, there can be no past. All guilt and regret simply serve as ways to avoid being here in the only moment we have, which is now. This is where we reconnect to Spirit—now. If we choose to use up this holy instant with regrets about a past that’s only an illusory thought, then we’re unable to be in the joyful, loving, peaceful, present moment. Cramming this holy moment with thoughts of guilt, remorse, and regret is great for ego… and keeps us totally resistant to being in-Spirit.
I wish you an abundant Spring season filled with much love, passion and adventure. As always I am here to support you in this life journey – and welcome your feedback.