Ego or Intuition—Which Is It?
Are you often confused about which direction to take, which choice to make? Then when you finally decide, do you keep questioning your decision, wondering if you made the right choice? We’d been doing a weekly radio show on BlogTalk radio (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/uthradio) in which we answered a Question of the Week sent in by a listener. On one of our shows we chose the following question to analyze: “I’m unsure about making decisions. It bothers me that I just can’t make a decision and stick to it. Can you help me?”
I had two words to describe the dilemma this person felt, ego versus intuition. Well, that’s three words, but you get the picture. Her ego was causing the confusion, and she’s not alone in this. The ego plays tricks on us; it makes us believe we’re going in the direction that leads to positive, productive results but which often produces negative results. The ego is a function of the mind, while the intuition is a function of the heart. The ego causes us pain and suffering, the intuition never leads us wrong.
My advice to this person was: follow your heart. This saying is usually restricted to the area of romance, but it should be related to all areas of our life. Follow your heart means listen to what your heart is saying to you. Intuition or inner knowing comes from the soul and is displayed through the heart center, that energy center located in the mid-chest region along the spine. When you’re in tune with your inner knowing, you’re able to read the messages from your soul. It takes practice to sharpen the intuition but once it’s honed, you can rely on it every time.
I’ll give you an example of a time when I ignored the feeling from my heart (intuition) and chose instead to follow the voice in my head (ego). We were experiencing rainy, stormy weather and after a couple of days, the rain held up. Aha, I thought, I can go grocery shopping. But when I opened the door and looked out, a feeling of unease came over me. I was picking up disturbance in the atmosphere, “danger” in the air. Right away my intuition sent me a message: “Stay, don’t go.” I closed the door and resolved to stay home.
Then I heard the weatherman say, “We don’t see any more rain in the forecast for a while”, and my ego kicked in. “Why not go?” I reasoned. I was temporarily conflicted between the message to stay home and the voice in my head saying “go.” In the end my ego won out. I talked myself into going.
Let me explain: because I hadn’t yet reached the stage where I would implicitly trust the feeling in my gut (make that my heart), I used my mind to rationalize why I should go. At the moment this was happening, there was no clear-cut distinction between the voice in my head and the feeling I had. The little ego knew this and sought to capitalize on my doubts. The ego wants to rule. It makes us think that the only way out is to reason with the mind. And more often than not, we decide in favor of the ego.
Which is exactly what I did, I decided to go shopping not in my immediate neighborhood but at the Whole Foods market about 45 minutes from my home. After all, the weather report says the storm has passed, I reasoned. And so I jumped in my car and set out. I made it there okay, and then it happened. As I moved into the turn lane to make a left into the Whole Foods parking lot, another driver decided he had the right of way to make a left turn from a driveway off to my right. His timing was such that he hit my car, damaging it to the extent that the insurance company wrote it off. I considered that a learning lesson for me to heed that intuitive voice, and I said a prayer of thanks to my angels and guides who I know are always with me.
It takes a lot of near misses and negative outcomes before you begin to absolutely trust that first impression you get which comes through intuitive knowing. You’ll make mistakes because you’ll be trying to reason with your mind, to ask yourself, “Am I doing the right thing?” But when you get to where you know it’s your intuition and not your ego, you stop second-guessing yourself. You’ll get to the point where you know, without a doubt, that when you follow that feeling or that voice that comes from the heart, you never go wrong. Some people hear a voice from within—these people are called clairaudients. Others have a feeling—these are the clairsentients. Still others see as in a vision—these are called clairvoyants.
When it’s your intuition, you don’t worry about the outcome because you know that you’re going in the direction that will benefit you. Your intuition always guides you to a positive outcome, even though it may not appear so at the time. You may not be able to see the result right away, but before long you’ll come to understand that you made the correct choice.
The question is: how do you sharpen and grow your intuition? You do this through daily meditation. You start a meditation discipline. Meditation is the most important spiritual practice that you can undertake. It’s important to form the habit and it’s good to meditate in a group at least once a week or whenever the group meets. You can learn the correct way to meditate through a group such as an SRF group (Self Realization Fellowship; http://www.yogananda-srf.org/), founded by Paramahansa Yoganada of India. Once you develop a meditation discipline and practice regularly, you’ll find that you stay longer and longer in meditation without being conscious of the time.
I refer you to my book, Radical Goal Setting: The Science of Turning Your dreams into Reality, which has a chapter on how to meditate and a relaxation exercise to help you get there. The book and relaxation CD (Awakening Your Divine Potential) are available for sale here on our web site under Services and Products. You can reach me at the following address: email@example.com.