The chakra (energy center) system typically puts ego and the mind in the third chakra. Personally, I consider it more of a combination of the 6th chakra and the 3rd chakra. The 6th is located at your third eye–a space above the bridge of your nose at the middle of your lower forehead. Usually, the 6th chakra is considered the space of your imagination and your intuition. To me, that’s just a little too narrow and a little too right brain-focused. I like to think of the 6th as all the faculties of the mind, which link down to other aspects of our energy system. As I said in earlier posts, I take a lot of different systems and synthesize them to make them useful for me. I’m interested in helping you heal and awaken, and if it means creating a bridge out of baling wire, gum, and cereal boxes, then I’m going to do it if it works for you.
In any event, intellectual power in Western society has been out of control for some time. People are entirely too caught up in their intellectual egos, but intellectual power is an important force. Let’s take a moment to talk about how we can bring it back into alignment and service with spirit.
Ego Does Not Equal Evil
Lately, a lot of teachers have really expounded against the ego. It’s a natural reaction to the megalomania that has infiltrated itself into society. Everyone wants to be the greatest. Look at the television show American Idol. These poor kids go up there to become these huge icons. Is that happiness? Is that true to who they really are? Or are they just caught up in this fixation with superficial beauty and artificial greatness? People often wonder how the famous can so quickly fall into drugs and other harmful practices, but I get it. They’ve gone looking for fulfillment, but have followed the path of ego and the programming of society. They are now poorer on the spiritual level and constantly grasping for something to make them feel alive again.
But with all that said, ego is not the problem. Ego is a car. You can drive it off a cliff or drive it to your grandparents. It’s just at some point we put it on ego auto-pilot, and we just decided that its programming knew better than our own inner guidance. Either that, or we hooked it up to someone’s tow truck to take us somewhere because we thought they knew better than we did. Well, they don’t. The ego is a vehicle. You need to get into the driver’s seat, take responsibility for the ego you’ve created, and take the wheel.
Putting Your Ego Up on Blocks and Doing a 5-Point Inspection
Not sure why the car metaphor is so strong today, but anyhoo…. First, you need to stop moving. You need to look in the mirror and take stock. Who have you become? Why do you think you need to be this? Take a long time. For some of you, just doing this will immediately catch you attention. It may be shocking. You may feel anything from being a ruined mess to slightly off-course. You may also realize that you’re very beautiful. Your emotions may run the whole gamut, including feeling like you don’t know yourself anymore. But this is your creation. All the clothes, hair styles, workouts, and what not have all been part of your creation of this you–this outward ego.
Inside, it gets muckier. You start to listen to the thoughts you’ve been saying about yourself. You start to hear the programming. In Don Miguel Ruiz’s tradition, you are listening to what he calls, “The Voice of Knowledge.” This voice isn’t necessarily knowledgeable–it’s the ego voice that has been talking to you your whole life. At this point, sitting to meditate with your eyes closed can be really helpful. In meditation, you can practice separating yourself from the thoughts and the stories this voice tells you. You may even recognize the voice as that of your father or mother’s voice. It doesn’t matter who it sounds like though. You are beginning to engage with it and take ownership of it. In meditation, you start to work on creating the space for you–the witness, the one who watches the thoughts because you are not your thoughts.
Your Intellectual Power as Gateway to Enlightenment
It must be said that your intellectual power can be a gateway to enlightenment. When your mind becomes a tool of spiritual awareness and your ego is turned toward the aspiration of awakening, the fire of the third chakra and the focus of your mind become an incredible ally. The ego and mind can become a means to healing issues, finding spiritual tools, and enacting change in your life. The ego and mind won’t get you enlightenment. They won’t awaken you. You can’t think your way through it, but you can get to the doorstep.
Look at it this way. You are creating a mind frame that questions, “Hey, why did I yell at that person?” But it doesn’t stop there. Creating what I call a spiritual ego can set up a new program to bring awareness to pain in your body, your energy system, and your heart. It begins running a new process instead of the pain of: “Well, it’s that person’s fault. He was a jerk. He’s always a jerk. I hate him.” That’s the old self-defensive mechanism that so many people are ingrained with. The old programming also can go a masochistic direction for some people, going: “I’m worthless. I’m bad. I’m mean. I shouldn’t yell at people. I should keep quiet.” The new process says, “I got really activated about this. What did this person do? They disagreed with me. Why don’t I like being disagreed with? I feel like we’re not going to succeed on this project if my idea isn’t used. What happens if you don’t succeed on this project? I’ll get in trouble.”
You see how this goes. We’ve already drilled down to an underlying issue of rejection. But it probably goes deeper. Probably, you’ll end up in some initial moment in your life where being wrong would lead to being rejected.
Taming the Intellectual Beast: The Ox Returns to Pulling the Cart
For many people, you’ve got a lot of work to do to grab this bull by the horns. For others, you may have been avoiding your intellectual talents. Perhaps, you weren’t given adequate means to develop your mind. Perhaps, you’ve been frightened by the use of the mind and ego by others so you’ve given up your responsibility to develop your own will and mind. You’ve been letting other people tell you what to do. Lastly, you may also have simply preferred to live in a different energy level. A lot of people focus on their bodies (professional athletes, dancers, etc.) or on their hearts (healers, counselors). For those who have not stretched your intellectual mind, I encourage you to begin to do so.
When the intellectual power is owned and the ego tamed, it can create a structure and focus to your spiritual process. It becomes the house that weathers storms and allows your other gifts to grow and expand in safety. The mind and ego are powerful, powerful tools. Bringing them back from the insanity that they’ve reached in Western society is so very important. In doing so, you’ll have established an amazing foothold in your ability to process, to grow, and to expand your life–not just in spirituality, but in general.