“A man cannot be egotistic if he has true knowledge. In other words, in samadhi man becomes one with God and gets rid of his egotism. True knowledge is impossible without samadhi. In samadhi man becomes one with God. Then he can have no egotism.” ~Ramakrishna
“In samadhi the ego is dropped. Now you don’t have any limitation, no definition, you are merged with the whole—but merged with the whole in a tremendous awareness. You are not asleep. Worries have disappeared, because worries exist only with the ego.” ~Osho
“It is on account of the ego that one is not able to see God. In front of the door of God’s mansion lies the stump of ego. One cannot enter the mansion without jumping over the stump.” ~Ramakrishna
“Ego has usurped the throne of God, and you suffer in the absence of Divine grace. Let go of your ego, and God’s grace will flow into you.” ~Dancolin Flamiano
Throughout the ages gurus, prophets, and spiritual teachers of all sorts have told us that egotism is preventing us from rising above the muck of the world of matter and experiencing the much greater worlds of spirit. Yet we can see all around us that we have not only ignored this advise for the most part, we actually honor those with overblown egos as heroes! We give Donald Trump a TV show! We call LeBron James “The King”. We elect congress persons, senators, and even presidents based on those who best express their extreme egotism in the primaries, then wonder how we ended up with a government where those who are supposed to be taking care of the country are instead only promoting themselves.
On the other hand, there are some modern spiritual gurus who simplify the whole thing a little too much and tell us that we need to utterly destroy our egos. This isn’t any better that letting the ego get inflated to the size of a parade balloon. If the ego becomes completely destroyed, you become indecisive, week-willed, and lazy. You have no ambition. Not even the ambition to improve yourself, spiritually or otherwise. And that is certainly not a state for anyone to live in.
So we need the ego, but we also need to keep it under control. A guard dog isn’t very useful if you can’t control it and it attacks people indiscriminately. It has to be controlled. It has to take directions from it’s owner, or is it not useful. Likewise, the ego is useful, but only when it is put under control of the soul and the divine wisdom of the soul. It is the very nature of the ego to seek material comforts, material pleasures, and other things material. It doesn’t understand the spiritual, and usually fears it. You need to speak to you ego as if it was a guard dog or an unruly child and convince it that it is in it’s best interest to listen to the soul and do it’s bidding. Of course, you can’t teach that guard dog to take orders from a nonexistent person and you can’t teach the ego to take direction from an unawakened soul. Therefore, you need to start practicing the spiritual techniques that awaken and enlighten the soul before it can possibly control the ego. And you need to do that before you can convince the ego to be guided by the soul. In the meantime, though, you can at least keep your ego from getting as puffed up as the guy in the illustration who thinks he is king.
“The weak are dominated by their ego, the wise dominate their ego.” ~Hamza Yusuf