Katja Laurien

Inspiring your spiritual journey

Ego or higher Self? The 3 main differences

6. January 2019 • Katja Laurien

If you hear voices in your head, no worries. You’re not crazy, we all hear them. Hearing them better and clearer is even a sign of increased sanity. There are so many voices in our head (the ego, the higher Self, the inner child, the inner critic etc.) it seems like there’s an entire village in our heads. Distinguishing between these voices helps us to control them and to stay sane. But therefore, we need to first hear the voices and give them attention.

I’ve been listening to the voices for years now and have come to a couple of conclusions which have helped me deal with my chaotic inner villagers. Today I want to highlight two of them: the ego and the higher Self.

The ego

This word is loaded with so many negative vibes. In my opinion it’s not justified. I don’t think the ego is only bad. It helps us organize our day to day actions. Essentially, it keeps us alive. This is the primary task of our ego: ensuring our survival. Well, that’s kind of our ego, isn’t it? So, why is the ego loaded with such a negative stigma? In my opinion, there are three reasons which are not so much connected to what the ego is, but how the ego operates. Being aware of how the ego works, will make it easier for us to see through our egos logic and choose differently.

# 1: Connected to the materialistic world

The ego is programmed to think in terms of what makes sense. Survival is a pretty responsible task it needs to take very seriously. It can’t afford making mistakes by doing illogical things.

Therefore the ego acts on what it thinks it can control. Whatever measures are taken, they need to be part of this materialistic world. The ego needs to have some prove in time and space in order to make sure it will succeed. Higher spheres of energy are not realistic and tangible and therefore not a safe path to take.

An ego, for example, would never trust in the universe that all is going to be good. Relaxing in the midst of a potentially dangerous situation? That’s suicide! The ego would rather waste energy in thinking of ways to control the situation. Unfortunately, our egos are not very well in distinguishing which situations we can control and which we can’t.

# 2: Seperate from others

Our ego believes that it is independent from other people. It is only helpful and friendly with others when it fears its survival. You won’t be surprised to hear that the ego is especially friendly with people who have power. After all, they might end up killing him (or not giving him a job which might eventually kill him).

But it’s unable to see the energetic (invisible & uncontrollable!) link between all of us human beings. Doing someone else harm inevitably means we do ourselves harm. When we yell at someone because we are mad at them, our ego thinks it is saving itself from repeating the scenario. It thinks the other person won’t like our yelling and therefore will never do it again. But this is not the way it works. Energetically, we are sending negative vibes to the other and to ourselves. We continue feeling bad, but still think it has to do with the other.

# 3: Survival mechanism fear

Our ego has been our survival mechanism since the very existence of mankind. And unfortunately thinking in fear is in the evolutionary sense the safest way of thinking. Back in the days you’d better just run whenever you heard an odd sound. You didn’t have the luxury of checking out whether there was a mouse or a sabre-toothed tiger behind the bushes. Lingering around for just a second longer could make the difference between life and death. That’s probably also the reason why our relaxed and optimistic ancestors didn’t have the chance of passing their relaxed genes further to the next generation. So basically, we are all programmed to be in fear, that’s how we have survived.

But times have changed and our ego needs an update. Having a relaxed and trusting mindset nowadays does not equal suicide. To the contrary, it can enhance your experience of life. Fortunately, all of us are also equipped with a higher Self, who gently wants to pull us into the other direction.

The higher Self

Undoubtedly, we all also have heard this calm voice at some point. We wish we could hear it more often, but the voice of our ego can just be so loud in the midst of its panic attacks. Besides, sometimes it’s very hard to tell which voice is talking. The ego has many smart tricks and can be so convincing, it almost seems like your higher Self is speaking. But in fact it’s not that difficult if you know what you should listen for, because the higher Self is motivated by directly opposite forces.

# 1: Connected to the universe

The higher Self doesn’t judge situations by it’s logic. It knows there is a higher order which is unknown and illogical to humans. It feels the vibrations and energies of the universe which call for trust and surrender (I call it the universe, you can call it whatever you prefer). Making plans for things that aren’t in our control is a waste of time. Tapped into the power of the universe, our higher Self not only knows when to take action and when to lean back; it also knows which actions to take.

But before we can hear our inner guidance, we first need to be very connected to ourselves. This takes time and dedication to really let go. By letting go we ensure not to obstruct the universe from helping us. If we want to keep too much control, we don’t give the universe enough space to surprise us. And believe me, the universe sometimes has very creative ways we could have never imagined with our logical mind.

# 2: We are all one

Since our higher Self is connected to the energies of the universe, it knows that we are all one. No matter how illogical it seems to spend your energy on the wellbeing of someone else (without getting anything in return!), it knows that every bit of positive energy spent on another directly returns to yourself.

This has to do with the fact that our emotions are transmitted directly and energetically from one being to another. Therefore, we all share our pain and joy; our shame and pride; hate and love. Energetically, there are no boundaries between us and others. So, taking care of others is taking care of ourselves. And taking care of ourselves is taking care of others.

# 3: Well-being

In fact, our higher Self might be the updated version of our outdated ego. It’s main task might not be our survival, but it’s our well-being. It ensures that we feel energy, joy and love throughout our worldly experience. What sense does it make anyways to survive in a state of fear and confusion?

The higher Self knows that there is never a need for fear. Even the fear of death is senseless, since death as we imagine it to be doesn’t exist. If there is any fear, than it is the fear of not living our lives to the fullest potential; of not loving enough; of wasting our precious energy.

But these fears are all not relevant to us, if we know how to listen to our higher Self. Don’t beat up on yourself if this voice is still very silent, that’s normal. Quiet down, be mindful and start listening. The voice will automatically become louder and clearer when you give it more attention.

The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival

— Aristotle