Realizing spiritual freedom is a subtractive game. We subtract attachments to realize the freedom that we already are.
Too often, people get stuck in an additive game. They add beliefs, practices, clothing, soulmates, gurus/teachers, and more to make them “feel” spiritual. But this does not work. This is how a spiritual ego gets created. It covers up ego attachments and enables a whole variety of desires and fears. This continues a person’s suffering.
Dissolving the ego is like wanting to find more space in your home. If you want to do that, you don’t buy new furniture. You get rid of what is already there.
Engaging in this dissolving process requires discipline and inner work to counteract the multitude of unconscious processes that are actively rebuilding and reinforcing our ego selves every day. In time, that inner work goes away much like the cart that helped you discard an old couch, but let’s not be too quick to get rid of the cart yet, shall we? I’ve come across many people who think they are much further along on their spiritual paths than they are. So always err on the side of humility and deeper inquiry in your inner work.
For those who have a spiritual awakening, your awakened energy introduces you to this subtractive process, which can be quite jarring at first. Through surrender, you allow all the internal junk to be taken out of you, and as you are emptied out, you go through a process called ego death. The more fully you surrender, the more you realize who you truly are and the freedom in which you have always abided.