It is not unusual to read or hear mention of the idea that in order to progress on the spiritual path that we need to destroy the ego, or at least to somehow rid ourselves of it. But the unreality of this possibility was expressed by Adyashanti when he wrote "Trying to get rid of your ego would be like trying to get rid of your shadow," suggesting it's not something we can hope to dispose of. However, there seems to be agreement among sages and teachers that we wrongly identify the ego as who we are, and we have the potential to recognize this false identification. A.H. Almaas says: "Since the beginning of man's experience as separate ego, and his resulting alienation from his true being, there have been teachers and religions whose purpose was to help people maintain a connection with or return to essential Being. . . Many of us have benefitted from these efforts, have felt our suffering decrease, and even found some peace and fulfillment. And humanity as a whole has benefitted. . . . The soul informed by the ego is asleep. This is why enlightenment is called awakening -- your soul wakes up to what is really here. . . . The most evident manifestation of the soul being asleep is one's unshakable conviction in conventional or consensus reality, and in the content of one's overall social conditioning."
With understanding and practice we begin to view ego as having no substance or form - it's more like an aquired mental structure of believed thoughs. Recognizing this can lead to a dissolution of our belief in its reality, and in doing so become liberated to know and experience our true self.
Fighting the ego, the mind, is precisely what the ego wants. You cannot fight the mind. You cannot suppress the ego. Fighting, resisting, controlling is an impossible action. What is really needed is to yield, to see things as they are.
~ Ramesh Balkesar
All suffering is caused by the ego, which is personal identification with the body, mind and conditioning. Realizing this and consequently dropping the false identity, one is immediately and permanently freed from the wheel of all sorrows.
There seem to be two kinds of searchers: those who seek to make their ego something other than it is, i.e. holy, happy, unselfish (as though you could make a fish unfish), and those who understand that all such attempts are just gesticulation and play-acting, that there is only one thing that can be done, which is to disidentify themselves with the ego, by realizing its unreality, and by becoming aware of their eternal identity with pure being.
~ Wei Wu Wei
If one considers oneself the doer, one has to reap also the fruits of karma. When the (identification with) ego is destroyed through Self-enquiry, there is neither the doer nor karma. The ever-present State of Liberation alone remains
~ Ramana Maharshi
It is said that the ego must die in order for you to truly live. But nothing need die; you simply need to grow up. A child does not die in order to grow into an adult. The child simply grows up; it evolves and leaves behind what is no longer appropriate. See that the ego is no longer useful or appropriate and leave it behind. Only the ego makes its own demise seem dramatic.
The saint is a man who disciplines his ego. The Sage is a man who rids himself of his ego.
~ Wei Wu Wei
If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It's very important to be aware of them every time.
~ Deepak Chopra
Accepting the ego and not fighting it all the time, is a big step.One of the astonishing laws of the universe i s that where there is no resistance, there is no conflict. If you don't put up the fight, the ego can't either. The ego must be terribly frustrated if it does not find resistance.
Ego is non-existent, otherwise you would be two instead of one - you the ego and you the Self. You are a single, indivisible whole. The ego or separate soul is a concept. God, the world, the mind, desires, action, sorrow and all other things are all concepts. The ego-self does not exist at all.
~ Ramana Maharshi
The great opportunity of human birth is to transcend the egoic mind, through perfect knowledge and devotion, and thereafter remain as the natural mind, the Supreme Being.
The very desire to seek spiritual enlightenment is in fact nothing but the grasping tendency of the ego itself, and thus the very search for enlightenment prevents it.
~ Ken Wilber
The ego is the defense against enlightenment. I'm not saying that ego is bad or evil because it's not. I'm saying that ego is a social and personal construct and therefore an illusion. But there's nothing wrong with an illusion. A painting is an illusion; a movie is an illusion; a good novel is an illusion. The problem isn't with illusion; the problem is with the emotional attachments and addictions of ego.
If one considers oneself the doer, one has to reap also the fruits of karma. When the ego is destroyed through Self-enquiry, there is neither the doer nor karma. The ever-present State of Liberation alone remains
~ Ramana Maharshi
All is perfect, so perfectly perfect! Whatever being lives, moves And breathes on Earth At every level from atom To galaxy is absolutely perfect in its place Precise and choreographed, Because "That" flows from the Glory of God, The Lord, The Self, Consciousness, The Source, Awareness, Peace and Love, And is therefore perfect. When you have surrendered your ego To "That" You will find true happiness. Never ever envy the place of Any other man or woman.
~ by Alan Jacobs from The Isa Upanishad
Let there be an invisibility about you today. It is only the ego that seeks recognition, respect and attention. Let yourself slip into the background. Be invisible.
~ Jac O'Keeffe
You have to become aware of yourself, of who you really are. To understand that I am not this body, I am not this mind. I am neither person, place nor thing. I am pure awareness. I am absolute reality. I am total freedom. Not limited to the circumference of my body, not limited to anything. I expand in all directions. My essence is in the plants, in the trees, in the sky, in the people, in the animals, I am all of these things. The whole universe is my Self. Everything emanates out of my mind. Everything comes out of me. This whole creation is my creation. If I want to find this is true I have to go deep, deep within myself. I must dive deeper within myself and find the source of my being which is consciousness. As I go deeper within myself, the whole universe follows suit and the whole universe dives deep in me, everything goes within me, everything. That's where it came. It goes back to where it came, to the source of all life itself. I am that Self. The one Self, unblemished, pure, all-pervading. I and the father are one, I and the Self are one. I am that one! You must talk to yourself that way. As you talk to yourself this way the ego begins to listen. The ego begins to diminish. Until one day it will disappear entirely completely. Then you will discover you have never been the ego, you've never been human, you've never been anything. You have discovered your nothingness and the you as a feeling that disappears also. There is no you left that has discovered anything. You is gone. There is just is-ness. You have become is.
There is nothing that strengthens the ego more than being right. Being right is identification with a mental position -- a perspective, an opinion, a judgment, a story. For you to be right, of course, you need someone else to be wrong, and so the ego loves to make wrong in order to be right.
~ Eckhart Tolle
The ego is a concept, an assumption. It is merely an idea. What is that idea? It is the notion that you stand apart from the deeper reality of things as an independent and autonomous self, a limited being. As you look into this matter, you find that this assumption proves to be entirely false. So the ego simply evaporates due to discovering its non-existence. There is no 'ego death' needed or possible, because there is no ego present to die.
~ John Wheeler
There is no journey for you to travel, no shift for you to make from ego to Self, as this requires two and, therefore, is just another thought.
"The reality is that we don't have any control; the ego has no control over how reality unfolds and reveals itself. How is it the case that the ego doesn't have control? Simply because ego is merely a thought in your mind. It's an image. It's a way your mind references itself, thinks about itself, andcreates a sense of self in the first place. If your whole egoic self is merely a product of imagination, a mechanical result of thoughts linking themselves together, then it's obvious that a thought doesn't have any control. A thought is just something that occurs. It happens and then passes away."