Inspired by the exchange and sharing in the comments to the earlier post, I had a few questions coming up. For example, how can I recognise in the moment that it is the ego (false self, small self) speaking?
Slowing down and even coming to a stop is the first step, according to many mind training techniques. Guy Finley gives a simple but effective tool in his book “The Secret of Letting Go”:
“The next time you are feeling anxious – or afraid or worried about a problem you are facing – before you do anything, STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN. Remember that the false self is never far away when you are feeling bad.
Got’ya – feeling bad is a sign of a false ego lingering somewhere around. Quite logical because it is this very false self that will be convincing me that something is wrong (with me, the world around, Universe) and has to be changed.
It knows that once it get you running in the direction of its choice, sheer momentum will do the rest of the work. That is why you come to a STOP first.
Then LOOK. Be sure to look in the right direction. This is critical: look at what is talking to you, not where it is pointing. It it is an anxious or unhappy feeling that you are looking at, quietly determine from your own understanding that no negative state is interested in ending itself.
Now LISTEN. If you have done the first two steps correctly, you will soon witness the false self start having a fit. Let it rage. That is all it can do. It has no power. Just remain there, inwardly alert and attentive.
And what about that nagging personal problem? The problem you are left to solve, assuming one still exists after this lying lower nature has been thrown out, doesn’t even resemble the fearsome giant that had been stalking you earlier.”
It is amazingly simple yet we cannot see it: the false self that convinces us that there is a problem, something to be fixed, is the one we take as an adviser in solving those problems, including devising plans how we can defeat the false self itself!
“If we need to be rescued from something, then whatever is rescuing us can’t be part of what it rescues us from. Said in a different way, you don’t jump on a tiger’s back to escape a lion. So it should be clear to us at this point that real rescue from our problems can only come to us from above the level of our problem.”