Q: What exactly is the ego?  How do I free myself from it?  How do I get out from under its control?

A:  The ego is really a figment of our imagination.  It is a collection of thoughts about itself, the world, the way things should be, the way they are, and so on.  It’s the sum collection of our thought patterns.  It is not a real thing, and is always changing.  It is very real as a collection of thoughts, but very unreal in that if you don’t think of it, it takes a back seat to witness consciousness, which is more in line with what you really are.

How can it be real if you witness something, and your perspective changes, your ego changes?  The only thing that stays constant is the witness consciousness.  The ego is always changing, morphing into a thought process that tries to make sense of the world, because it sees itself separate from the world, out of control, and it’s scared.

The ego is always looking for security by imagining someway it can get (imaginarily) control of the world.  Really, our ego has no control of the world, what is happening in the world, or even how our ego is imagining things.  If there is any choice, and this is debatable, it is the choice to put our attention more on the witness, to let the ego and the world be as it is — to let the world and your ego be exactly as they are.

Now this does not mean to act out of the ego, to do what it tells you, or to be a victim of the world and its goings on.  It does not mean to be lethargic or passive in the world.  Quite the contrary.  When you choose to identify more from the witness, choices about action become much easier and automatic.  It’s like consciousness itself is running our life, making our decisions, rather than the ego.  We become perfectly aligned with what is, in perfect sync with life’s evolution.

By the way, when we are totally identified with the ego, the ego seems very big, it seems like a really big deal.  Everything is so dramatic.  However, the more you become aligned with witness consciousness, the smaller the ego looks, the less important it looks.  Eventually, you cannot even take the ego seriously.

Everyone has an ego.  The point is not to get rid of the ego or kill it off.  The goal is to recognize the ego and all of the ways it keeps you in the game.  This frees ourselves from the control of our ego, and lets us live and experience life.  This is the way to get out of the control of the ego.

Also, the ego is not “bad,” just as a thought that you need to go to the bathroom is not “bad.”  It’s just a collection of thoughts about its perceptions, being unaware of itself and the witness consciousness.   It’s an automatic thing.  Do you want to see how automatic it is?  Just sit down, in quiet, with no distractions.  I know most people think this is hard, but actually all distractions are manufactured by the ego.  In reality, peace, tranquility, and silence is the background in which our ego exists, and makes its noise.

So sit down quietly.  Notice all the thoughts that appear to the witness consciousness:  I’m not doing this right.  I should be working.  I should be making dinner.  I’m bored.  This isn’t working.  Where did these thoughts come from?  Are they automatic, or did you make a conscious decision to think them? The answer is obvious.  They occurred automatically.  If they occurred automatically, and you have no control over them, what responsibility for them do you have?  

You own them, they’re yours, but in reality, you don’t have control of them.  You’re not to “blame” for them.  The choice you have is what you pay attention to, and what you believe (although this is highly debatable as well).

When you choose to align with witness consciousness, you get to choose what to do with your ego’s thoughts.  Do you listen to them?  Do you act on them?  Do you even believe them?  The choice becomes yours.

Also, the more you align with witness consciousness, the more choices miraculously occur.  Witness consciousness allows in more choices for you to make, especially ones that seem “out of the box.”

Q: What advice would you give to those who are impatient with their daily, everyday lives and are eager for enlightenment?

A: I would tell them that this is quite normal from the perspective of the ego. The ego is always impatient, because the moment is always silent. This causes fear in the ego which makes it run.

I would tell them to accept this about their ego, and that only by accepting it will they be able to let it go and to transcend it.  I would tell them by accepting their ego, they will automatically feel more at peace, and paradoxically, they will be much closer to enlightenment.

See the ego in all its twists and turns it performs in an effort to co-opt the moment, and accept it for what it is — a fear-based collection of thoughts that is desperately looking to escape this scary moment and get security, even if it is imaginary security.  This will do a lot in bringing you closer to enlightenment.

 In other words, don’t do anything about the ego.  To get away from it, just accept it for what it is and make it your new job to watch it.  This will put you in touch with witness consciousness in a hurry and do more for you than years of therapy.

And just like anything else, the more you practice it, the more natural it becomes, the better you get at it, until it becomes completely natural to identify with the witness, not the ego.

Q: What should I do when I feel anger rising up in me?

A: Take a step back.  Witness your anger.  Why is it there?  Are you wrestling with reality, telling reality that something should be other than it is? This is the first step in dealing with your anger, seeing how your ego wants things rather than what really is.

Another reason why anger pops up is because it may be more acceptable for you to feel anger and dictate the way a situation should be rather than deal with the more threatening emotions that your ego is trying to cover up with anger.  Are you scared?  Are you embarrassed?  Keep asking yourself why you feel these emotions beneath the anger.

Usually, if you do it with sincerity and persistence, they will bring you back to a core reason for this anger.  Once you get to this core issue, feel the feeling of this core issue.  Watch how this core issue makes your ego react.  Witness this.  This will dissipate the energy from this core issue and unravel the whole stack.

For small things, this may happen quickly.  For larger things, it may take much longer and take much more courage and inner honesty.  But once you get to this core issue, and you learn the truth of your anger, you will either be able to take more effective action if action is required, or your perspective will change, dissipating your anger, allowing you to be happier, more relaxed, and at peace.

Either way, you win with this practice.

Q: What should I do when someone is angry at me or treats me unkindly?

A:  The best thing to do is to try and put yourself in their shoes. What are they feeling, what is their perspective?  What are their past experiences in life, and how is this affecting their point of view now?  How are they viewing you?

This practice pulls you out of the duality of victim/victimizer, and puts you into the experience of compassion.  There’s always a reason why someone acts in a certain way, and usually it has very little to do with you.  Usually the person who is experiencing anger is acting reactively from their ego.  Don’t take it personally.

To take it personally puts you at odds with the person, which the person can consciously or unconsciously perceive, and keeps the drama going.  To see the person compassionately usually takes the energy out of the anger, and often times will take the person back, out of their angry state, and make them realize that their anger has very little to do with you.

Of course, to practice this takes time and dedication with identifying more with the watcher than your ego.  Be patient, and practice this consistently.  Often times it will resolve and issue.  If it does not, it will free your energy up to make much better decisions.

Should you confront this person about their anger?  Should you discontinue associating with this person because of their anger?  When you are watching from the witness instead of reacting from your ego, the choice will become clearer and clearer with time.

Q: How does one make quick and effective decisions?

A: The best way is to look at a situation, look at what actions may be taken, and weigh the pros and cons of all of the outcomes and actions.  Then be still, request an answer to your question, and it will come.

At first, this process takes time, patience and practice, but it becomes quicker and quicker over time. One also has to realize that questions rarely have yes/no answers, there is also the “it’s unclear right now,” and “now is not the right time to make a decision on this,” and “you really don’t need to make a decision at all,” and so on.

Since the ego deals in dualities, it expects a clear-cut yes or no answer, which is rarely the case.  In most cases, the ego demands a yes or no answer.  This is it acting out of its child persona. That’s also the reason why it seems to get stuck pondering a question; it doesn’t have enough information to make a yes or no decision, which makes it spin in circles.  It is also not typical for an ego to be patient and still, that is a mark of the witness consciousness.

So as you can see, decision making is very hard for the ego. It’s best to observe the question and all of the parameters surrounding it, and then let a decision come. The right decision is usually the most obvious one (even if we don’t want to admit it).

Above all else, when asking a question, one must be patient and wait for an answer, hurrying and impatience is a mark of the ego, which cannot make good decisions.  Good decisions are made for the ego, come to the ego from consciousness.  The ego then tries to take ownership of the decision-making process, inflating itself, which then sets it up for more pain and disappointment in the future, when the next decision has to be made and it can’t make it again.

Q: How do I end the narrative of me, me, me?

A: The answer to this question is actually very simple — and easy — but takes time, dedication, and patience, like all things do.  One has to realize that the more emphasis one puts on the me, the me’s problems, its conquests, and its stories, the more the story of the me will grow.  The more one watches the me, without getting emotionally involved with the me, the more the me will unravel before its eyes.

The real question is, ‘how do I cultivate witness consciousness?’  The answer is also simple and straight forward, but once again requires time, dedication, practice, and faith.

Begin by watching how you go about your day.  What you do, what you think, what you say, how you feel, how you react to other people, to events in your life, and so on. Do this day in, day out.  Before you know it, you will realize that you are becoming more and more identified with that which is watching than that which is being watched.  Not only are you participating in your life, but you are also watching unidentified to what is going on.  This shift is subtle, but important.  The more dedication to it you give, the more complete it becomes.

Q: How can I be of the greatest service to the world?

A: You can be of the greatest service to the world by being yourself, and being as loving and understanding as possible to everyone and everything you come across.  When you are focused on being as loving as you can be, it also has the added benefit of disidentifying you with yourself, allowing you to assume witness consciousness more fully, and, as a consequence, you’ll also be happier.  So being as loving to everyone is its own reward, it’s not just good for everyone else, but also for you.

Understand that the world needs everyone that is in it, just as they are, and that everyone serves a unique purpose. To be the greatest service to the world, be yourself fully, and be as loving as possible.

One thing people do that brings them a tremendous amount of misery is that they try to be something that they are not, rather than what they are. They think they have to be different in order to be loved and accepted by themselves and others.  What they are showing themselves is how they are not accepting themselves or their divine plan.  But in reality, these people are still being great service to the world; they are showing others exactly how to be unhappy.

Q: How can we escape the never-ending circuit of repetitive negative thoughts?

A: First off, remember that thoughts are just that, they are thoughts about reality.  They are not reality, they are just thoughts.  You could have the opposite thought about the same thing or situation, depending on other thoughts at that time.  So you must realize the “reality” you see is really just perception, it’s true to a greater or lesser extent, but it’s still not reality.

So after you realize that thoughts are just thoughts, you see that they have no power in and of themselves.  Your belief in them brings them their power.  That’s why trying to change your thinking may help make your thoughts more pleasant, but they are still reinforcing that this or that thought is true, and that you believe it.

The real answer is to watch your thoughts, to let them be there non-judgmentally.  Just let them come and go.  This opens the psychic doorway to witness consciousness.  It takes time, persistence, and faith.  Every time you see yourself believing a thought, any thought, bring yourself back to the consciousness that watches all, all thoughts, all happenings.

Negative thoughts then are just seen for what they are, negative thoughts, the opposite of positive thoughts, but not reality.  These negative loops then lose their power over your psyche, or mind, and they gradually wind down.  Remember, to try and fight them or change them acknowledges them, and their power over you, which reinforces them.

By the way, if you master this art of observing in the course of your lifetime, you are doing pretty well.

After writing all of this, maybe the first thought you should ask is, do I want these thoughts to stop?  What happens then?  What happens if all thoughts stop?  Since the ego is a thought form, and it is characterized by motion, reaction, and action, stopping is equivalent to death.  That is why when one practices witness consciousness, it can be very disturbing and anxiety producing.  Your ego feels its own death approaching.

Basically, it boils down to what you want to grow in the garden of your mind, if you want to grow fearful thoughts, believe your fearful thought, think other thoughts about your fearful thoughts, act on your fearful thoughts.  This will make them grow big, scary, and powerful, but only to you, the prisoner of your own mind.

Conversely, if you want witness conscious to grow, identify with it, watch it watch, watch it not react, see how it lives out of the flow of life, rather than the ego and fear.  The answer is to fully take part in this process.

Q: What is the difference between the small self and the Self with a big ‘S’?

A: If you take the small self, and take away all of its attachments, its opinions, its points of views, what you’re left with is pure witness consciousness, the highest expression of one’s self, the big Self.

Q: How do I communicate with this?

A: First, you have to acknowledge that there is a big Self, and a small self. Then, you have to admit that communication with the big Self is even possible.  Most people do not know about the big Self, and those who do think they have to enter into some trance state — some meditative state — in order to communicate with it.  Just the opposite is true.  The big Self is always there, it’s just that we’re too busy paying attention to, and are addicted to, our day-to-day drama.  Others think it’s heresy to think that we have a higher Self with which we can readily communicate.  Meanwhile, they put an altar at the feet of their egos — that’s the real heresy.

To communicate with the higher Self, we first must admit that we have a higher Self, then we must put faith in the act of communicating with it. Then, we may ask for permission to speak with it.  Then, we wait patiently with faith that communication will come.  In my case, when I am feeling peaceful, either during the day or at night, I will ask “Are you there, Big Me?”  Oftentimes, a voice will come back and say “Yes, I’m here, I’m always here”.  Then I start up a conversation.  And when Big Me speaks to me, I listen, just listen, the best that I can.