Are you confusing self with ego?

Are you confusing self with ego?

In our most recent episode of Talking Yoga, our host, Colleen Saidman Yee, asks master teacher Ramanand Patel a question from one of our fans: “What is the most precious thing you learned from Mr. Iyengar.”

And while Ramanand’s answer about learning to have confidence is empowering, (Watch or listen for yourself now!) it’s what Colleen asks Ramanand next that is enlightening.

She asks Ramanand if he thinks that a lack of confidence or low self-esteem is the root of many problems today, including the recent increase in mass shootings.

Ramanand’s answer is, “Yes. Low self-esteem means you don’t know what the self is.” He goes on to explain that ego is different, and can never be self-confident, because it is struggling against existence. “Body/mind/sense together create ego. The self is free of all that. It is a witness.”
How many of us are confusing ego with self, and following our egos into places that do not serve our selves well?

Can you think of a time when pride, or anger, or pain, or hurt… when feelings clouded your vision, and you did something that you wish you did not do?

This episode ends with Ramanand explaining to Colleen, and to us, how the people who are committing mass shootings must believe in what they are doing, but that they are coming to that belief out of a place of pain, and hurt, and then anger. 

To understand that, Ramanand says, we must first recognize where they are coming from, and then there is a possibility of doing something about it. And of course, to end the cycle of violence, we must respond out of a place of understanding and compassion.

We’d love to know what you think about this video, and what Ramanand is saying. And of course, we’d also like you to answer this week’s question, “Are you confusing self with ego?” 

Tell us, right here in the comments below, or in the discussions about this episode on Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to include the hashtag, #SelfOrEgo. 

And be sure to watch our newest episode, “The Self and the Ego, with Ramanand Patel” hosted by Colleen Saidman Yee.