Is The Ego Evil?
In many spiritual teachings – especially in the East – ego is the devil – something that must be destroyed. Anything coming from the Ego is evil. At least this is the impression we get from hearing the teachings. (I don’t believe it is the real teaching.)
In the secular world we see this too. To call someone an “egomaniac” is the ultimate put down. (It is funny to hear one ego attacking another as being “egomaniac” or narcissistic. The one making the attack is coming from ego as much as the one being attacked.)
What we need is some clear thinking about this.
Ego only mean “self” – one’s identity. Without an ego the spirit couldn’t operate on the earth plane. One couldn’t get a drivers license or passport. One couldn’t have a bank account or buy or rent a home. Ego is essential for handling the affairs of earth. It could not be evil.
Spiritually the problem arises (and I believe this is what they are teaching in the East) when the human ego – which is very limited – tries to go beyond its sphere. The ego mind is meant for physical survival – for dealing with one’s personal affairs – and it is good at that. It has no need, for the most part, in seeing the “larger picture” and indeed it cannot. So when it ventures into the fields of science, philosophy, theology etc. it is way out of its depth. Hence its conclusions and beliefs are generally false. Hence the evil. But an ego that operates within its sphere – the sphere intended by spirit – it is good.
We can compare the human ego to a car – a vehicle that the High Self – the True Identity – uses in this world. Your car is certainly not evil. But the car is not in control. The driver of the car is in control. And this is as it should be. Should the car start doing its own thing – directing the driver – then we can say it becomes evil – out of order. But of itself it is not evil.
To be truly “egoless” means that you cannot function in the world. Perhaps you could function in a cave in the Himalayas, but not in our modern world.