Self Vs Ego

By Sally Kempton

" One way to know you are experiencing the ego and not the Self is that the ego always experiences itself in comparison to others. The ego never feels fully equal to others: it sees others as higher or lower, as better or worse. The Self sees everything and everyone as equal to itself.

The ego bears the same relationship to the Self as does a light-bulb to the electrical current coursing through it. The bulb looks as if it gives light independently, but in fact it doesn't. It is just a container. The true source of illumination is the electrical current that runs through the bulb.
In the same way, it is Self that gives energy to the ego and enables the ego to perform its function of making you think that the boundaries it sets are the real you. The ego is a useful instrument. For one thing, if it weren't for the ego, we would have no feeling of being an individual self. The ego tells us who we are in the limited, worldly sense; where the body comes from, how old it is, what we 'like' and 'don't like'. So, the ego is not always a bad thing or an enemy to exiripate. It is simply limited - and limiting. 

To become fully in the Self, we penetrate beyond the ego's confining messages. Once as you let go of identifying with the body, mind, and emotions, then you naturally experience yourself as vastness, as pure being, as joy, as Awareness, as light. The Self has three main qualities: (1) sat - permanently real, (2) chit - aware of itself and everything else, and (3) Ananda - joyful. "

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This is from her book - Meditation for the Love of it.
She is one of my meditation teachers. She is absolutely brilliant...check out her work. This piece above has been very practical for me in witnessing how many times a day my ego turns it up a few nothces to override Self. However, when I am experiencing the joyful moments in a day -- e.g., juicing, laying in bed with my children reading books, playing my guitar, back country skiing, etc. - I consciously steep in the experience. I ask myself what does this feel like? What does it look like? What does it taste like? I facilitate the joyful moments to sink deep and to penetrate the soul.