Many people are not interested in letting go of the ego, while there are people who are interested in letting go of the ego, but they find that it’s not that easy to be free from the ego or egoism. This is because the mind is being hardwired by worldly thinking and belief that based on egoism.
The moment we were born into this world we were being nurtured under the worldly thinking and belief that based on egoism to identify this life existence of a body and a mind with certain qualities of names and forms to possess a strong worldly personal identity of “This is I”, “This is what I am”, “This is who I am”, “This is where I came from/belong”, “This is what I should believe”, “This is how I should think, behave, act, react and feel”, “This is good and right” or “This is bad and wrong”, “This is successful and meaningful” or “This is failure and meaningless”, “This is happiness” or “This is unhappiness”, and etc. We were being told that “This is who I am”, and if we behave like this and achieve this ‘quality’, then “I am good” or “I deserve happiness”, while if we behave like that and don’t achieve this ‘quality’, then “I am bad” or “I don’t deserve happiness”.
Human beings are being hardwired by the worldly thinking and belief that are influenced by a particular heritage/cultural/religious/political/social belief, values and ethics to feel good or happy or proud/meaningful about oneself or one’s existence if one conforms to that particular thinking and belief to live life, to behave, to act and react, or to think and feel. As well as to feel bad or unhappy or guilt/shameful about oneself or one’s existence if one doesn’t conform to that particular thinking and belief to live life, to behave, to act and react, or to think and feel.
The sense of belonging is one of the characteristics of the ego. Human beings are being hardwired to think and believe that everyone should attached onto and identified themselves with a personal identity as well as a group identity that make them feel that this is “who I am” and “where I belong”. It’s very difficult for many people to understand that the life existence of a body and a mind doesn’t really need any identifications or sense of belonging to be ‘somebody’, to feel secured, proud, good, confident or meaningful. Even ‘psychologists’ who deal with psychology problems (especially low self-esteem and depression), believe that human beings need to/should attached onto and identify themselves with a ‘strong’ personal identity as well as a group identity that make them feel that this is “who I am” and “where I belong”, to feel secured, proud, good, confident and meaningful about themselves. There’s nothing wrong with that, just that it doesn’t stop people from continuously be disturbed or determined by craving and aversion towards all the perceptions of names and forms, and experience suffering. As people are still not free from the root cause of all kinds of affliction and suffering – ignorance and egoism.
Ignorance doesn’t allow the mind to know that it can be free, peaceful, happy and live life meaningfully as it is, without any personal identifications or sense of belonging, being free from all kinds of insecurity, low self-esteem, meaninglessness, void, loneliness, craving, fear, affliction or suffering that arise due to ignorance and egoism.
Ignorance and egoism stop people from letting go of the ego or worldly personal identity with some qualities of names and forms. There is huge fear of the unknown. The mind doesn’t know why, but there is great fear or resistance towards not being ‘somebody’ that will make ‘I’ and other people to feel proud of.
Based on the thinking and belief that was being hardwired into the mind about what is good and bad, right and wrong, should and shouldn’t, that influence how one should think and behave and feel, the ego constantly judges itself as well as others, and has great expectation towards oneself and others to conform to that thinking and belief to think and behave and feel towards everything that the mind perceives or experiences through the senses. The ego ceaselessly looking for acceptance, approval, support, acknowledgement, agreement, attention, liking, love, respect, praise and compliment from the world or the society that it thinks it belongs to. The ego doesn’t want to possess or be related to anything that doesn’t conform to that thinking and belief. It will feel bad or shameful about itself and others who doesn’t conform to that thinking and belief. It wants to build a worthy reputation as well as would do anything to protect that reputation at any cost.
Even those who are practicing yoga, would also identify themselves as ‘such and such’ yogi, ‘I’ practice ‘such and such’ yoga, ‘I’ came from/belong to ‘such and such’ yoga lineage/school/group/community/affiliation, or ‘I’ have ‘such and such’ certifications and qualifications and years of experience.
It’s up to everyone’s self-inquiry and self-realization whether one will realize what is going on in this mind and be free from ignorance and egoism, or not.