What is the difference between the mind and the ego? The ego could be described as a movement of thought in the mind that has a limited perception of reality, it actually clouds it completely. It’s the false sense of self.
When the identification to that false self vanishes (through experiences of spiritual awakening and self inquiry), then Spirit (our true nature) uses the mind instead and that’s when inspired thoughts happen for example.
That’s when we experience that we are not the doers in life, but that which the actions are being done through.
When the mind is used by ego (will-power; “I want this, I don’t want that” etc) there’s strain and struggle, suffering and frustration, and an occasional moment of accomplishments and happiness, but it is always shallow and fleeting, the ego is never satisfied with the present moment, even if it is really great, it always want more, so there’s always a sense of unsatisfactory present, even if it’s very subtle.
There’s never really true presence in the Now-moment, because the mind is always projecting.
It’s always on the search for more experiences, more success, more happiness, more more more. The ego looks for completeness outside, in the world, oblivious of the true reality that already is complete in itself. Nothing needs to be added to the true self.
When the mind is used by consciousness there’s flow and natural unfolding, spontaneousness (if that’s a word) and we are grounded in the here and now without projecting into the future (which doesn’t exist) or doing anything for the sake of getting somewhere; things just happen and they happen naturally.
We in turn respond to the movement of Life that moves through and as us by listening to our intuitive knowing in every moment.
If things needs to get done they will, but there will be no figuring out and planning and plotting involved in the way that the ego does things.
Actions happens as a direct result of us responding to the intuitive knowing, and they happen simultaneously.
We no longer go to our minds for a second opinion but are instead trusting our intuition and going with it, without the need to understand why it leads us in a certain direction.
The ego-mind divides and makes everything and ourselves as separate from the One/divine consciousness; there’s a sense of being a person who lives in a world and they are separate.
So that belief (or any beliefs for that matter) is what keeps us in bondage of the ego, but when realization happens, the veil is lifted and the mind is freed to be used by Spirit.
All beliefs crumble and we see very clearly that none of them are valid or true in any way.
It’s the identification that changes, and we see clearly that ego is only a movement of thoughts and beliefs in the mind and nothing more. Now thoughts can come and go, but we don’t get stuck in them.
We know they are not the Truth, so they are allowed to come and go, and by the allowing of that, peace and stillness is present where there before were strings of endless thoughts that we believed in an got attached to.
The ego might still be there after a clear seeing into who we really are, but we see it as it is (an illusion) and our identity is no longer attached to it; we have realized we are not the person we thought we were.
by Maria Erving