If you are to awaken, you will have to come into right relationship with the ego, which means that you will have to master the art of being present.

When you are present, you have transcended the mind and the ego. This gives you a view of the mind and ego from a transcendent perspective. It is easy to witness how the ego functions and how it uses thoughts and feelings to pull you out of Presence.

The ego thrives on the energy of judgment and rejection. Any attempt or intention to defeat the ego simply strengthens it. But if you are present and you relate to the ego with love, acceptance and compassion, it has no defense against that. If you regard the ego as your friend and protector, it will gradually begin to surrender.

The ego has been protecting you against the pain of living in a world where no one is present. It remembers the pain from your past, mostly from your childhood, and it develops strategies and ways of being in the world designed to help you avoid that pain in the future. But the pain is from the past. In the present, there is no pain and so there is no need to protect you.

At first, the ego will resist you becoming present, but as you settle more fundamentally into Presence, and as the ego trusts the flowering of Presence from within, it will gradually relax and surrender. It will no longer try to pull you out of the present moment. This will allow you to settle even more deeply into Presence.

The two dimensions of ego

Leonard Jacobson explains how we leave the present moment, become imprisoned by thought forms and function in the world as egos. He describes a second level of ego, which is completely independent of us and reveals the way to overcome its dominance in our lives.