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Ego is the feeling of being separate from God, from that which is. Since we feel we are separate from God and everyone and everything else in creation, there is no connection with our inner essence, with the thing that has been in existence since beginningless time. Some of us call it the "soul," some of us call it the "spirit." In reality, it has no name; it just is.
Most often, when people refer to the soul, they are actually talking about the ego. Most of us have no idea who or what our souls"are, because we do not have access to that level of consciousness. The ego which we have acquired during this lifetime has completely obscured the essence of who we are, and it usually takes years of hard work to uncover our true Selves. Our egos have no "connection" with the inner Self, only with the body and our emotions. As the great Ma Yoga Shakti states in Daughters of the Goddess: "Body, mind and spirit should be in harmony with each other. The spirit should speak through your intelligence and intelligence should direct your actions." Our egos dictate our actions.
In order to attain the final stages of egolessness, we must mature through all the stages of ego. Ego has a legitimate function. It is like this. Consider ego like a toothache. We have all had a toothache. Painful, isn't it? But, think about it: If you have never had a toothache, you cannot enjoy not having a toothache! It is not possible! Do you see my point? So, you have to have ego in order to really "experience" egolessness, and this is a very strange concept at first.
If you do not have a strong, mature ego, it is very unlikely that you will ever achieve a state of egolessness. Now, I know this is strange to you, but I have to tell you my perception of the truth. I will leave it to you to judge. The problem, you see, is that most of us have weak egos. I know I'm getting into trouble now! Our egos are not yet "mature" enough to transform into the experience of egolessness. I want you to see why I make this statement.