Dance With Your Gorilla
I have been so liberated by regarding my ego as a large hairy gorilla, I want to share the practice with my friends!
Some seekers believe than spirituality requires us to annihilate the ego. They follow the path to No-Self. All I have to say to them is, "Good luck."
If you attempt to annihilate your ego, you'll only put it in a closet where it will turn into a 700 lb. gorilla, like mine. This gorilla escapes and attacks you at the most inopportune and socially compromising occasions.
So give yourself a break. Don't suppress or control your ego. Let your gorilla go. Let it sit on your shoulder and flutter its little pinions with delight, because when you let your ego out of the closet, the gorilla turns into a butterfly. Here's the secret: The more you free the ego, the smaller and lighter it becomes. The more you confine and control the ego, the fatter and denser it grows.
Ego is never bad when you know it's there. Ego becomes a problem only when you pretend it's gone.
Your ego developed over many lifetimes to protect the embryonic Spirit within you. The ego was your Spirit's helmet and mask. Spirit wrote the music, but ego sang your song. Ego provided your Spirit with theater costumes for trying on different roles. By playing these roles, your ego created karma. The karma came back to punch your ego's nose, or French-kiss your ego's lips. With every karmic bruise or lip-stick stain on your poor ego, the inner Spirit gained precious lessons about its wholeness.
Now ego has brought you to the feet of the Master. It's job is done. Why not show some gratitude instead of kicking or strangling it? Say, "Thank you, good and faithful servant. Your work is finished. You can stick around if you want. Just shut up until recess. Then we'll play. That's the deal."
The really important thing to know is, your ego is not you. It's your side-kick, your playmate. Your real Self is clear empty awareness, spacious as the blue sky, so your ego will have plenty of room to play when you let it go.
Dance with your ego. Stroke its wings from time to time. And before you go to sleep at night, give your ego a big kiss. Otherwise, you may wake up with a gorilla in your bed.