• Ego Transcendence

    by Dr. James Strohl, Ed.D.

    March 25, 2014


    Ego transcendence is often misunderstand by Western spiritual seekers. In the next few paragraphs I hope to clear up some common misperceptions about the state of consciousness known as ego transcendence. That which we call “ego” is the outer expression of a larger self called our greater Self, inner being, or multidimensional self. You, as you know yourself to be, are one, small portion of a greater Self projected into this time and space reality. Our greater Self takes on characteristics that allow it to perform in many dimensions including this three-dimensional physical world. Therefore, each one of us is a stream of consciousness flowing from our greater, non-physical self and expressing itself through a physical body. As physical beings, we experience this stream of consciousness as an individualized, unique, personality structure or ego. Our ego personality is only one of many aspects, facets, or expressions of the greater Self.

    It is important to note that our greater Self and our earth-based expression of greater Self called ego exist at the same time. Our ego personality always remains grounded in a more fundamental state of consciousness called the greater Self. Our greater Self is always aware of our earth-based existence and is constantly offering support and guidance to us. However, our ego-based personality is totally free to create its own reality, including one that does not recognize the existence of its fundamental source of support and guidance.

    Ego transcendence does not mean getting rid of our ego personality structure, it means transcending the illusion or limited view (deceptive appearance) that the ego is actually who we are. It suggests acknowledging the ego for what it is — an outer expression of our greater self — and recognizing that the ego is simply an instrument through which the greater Self expresses itself.

    The ego does not dissolve upon transcendence. As human beings we will always experience a sense of ourselves having a body and personality. The operational functioning of the ego remains intact, although it becomes less dominant in our everyday living. What dissolves is our sense that we are separate, independent, self-sufficient entities. When transcending the ego in this manner we are able to recognize, access, and receive the infinite resources of our greater Self on an ongoing basis.

    In brief, transcendence suggests freeing ourselves from being lost in the ego — lost in the illusion that our sense of being a personalized self (ego) “is” our deepest, truest existence. It means transcending the illusion that the ego is the fundamental core of our existence.

    Transcendence occurs when we recognize the ongoing presence of our unchanging, greater Self that observes “all” that is happening, including observing the beliefs associated with the ego. Eventually we realize that the ego is not a thing (not a noun), it is a process. The ego is actually refined, dynamic, interactive processes, functions, or streams of consciousness that permit our greater Self to manifest and know itself as a conscious entity in this physical reality.

    Accepting and opening ourselves to all that appears in our awareness allows the boundaries between our greater Self and ego personality to dissolve, thus freeing us from the illusion of separateness. To be a fully-human, transcendent being requires resolution of the apparent paradox that we are both spiritual beings and human beings at the same time.