Saturday, September 24, 2011

Intution and the Ego-Voice: Guest Post by Jimmy Henderson

Intuition and the ego–voice

By Jimmy Henderson
We all presently function under the guise of a false sense of self or ‘ego’ formed by our experiences in this world. The ego is not who we really are, but is little more than an accumulation of self-awareness surrounded by a collection of self-centred thoughts and beliefs, doubts, fears and insecurities. Somewhere in the midst of all this clutter is still that oasis of pure consciousness (our true nature or authentic self) which sometimes reveals itself in moments of guidance, insight and intuition.

This self-limiting chatter from the ego is usually known as self-talk or mind-talk. However, I prefer the term ‘ego-voice’, which links it clearly back to our self-image and feelings of self-esteem. Put simply, the ego-voice is that which we are continually telling ourselves, and, unfortunately, in most challenging situations, usually takes the form of negative self-statements or beliefs. For example, ‘I will never accomplish this’, ‘I am not good enough’, or ‘I will never find anyone else’. This is not intuition, which originates on a far higher level than the ego. And when working with intuition, it will be important to distinguish between the ego–voice and true intuitive messages.

There are a few guidelines which will help you in this regard. For instance, the ego-voice is usually quite self-deprecating, loud and persistent, whereas true intuitions are constructive, more fleeting and gentle. Perhaps this can be better understood using the analogy of a fisherman. It requires years of practice and dedication in order to be successful at fishing. I have seen them standing patiently for long hours in the early hours of the morning. If you speak to them they always have a prior expectation and a high level of confidence that they will catch a fish. When the line has been cast, an experienced fisherman can tell the difference between the subtle nibble of a fish, the tugs or movements of the currents and being stuck in the rocks. A bite is fleeting and subtle, but still precise. The fisherman responds quickly and without thinking. It is only once the fish has been properly hooked that he or she will reel it in. Once the fish is landed, fishermen are always very happy and grateful for this gift of the sea.

Let us apply this analogy to our own attempts at working with intuition. It takes time to perfect our intuition (practice and dedication). Second, we should always reveal an expectation and full confidence that the intuition will be forthcoming. Third, we can learn to tell the difference between a true intuition, the ego-voice, or normal conscious thinking. A true intuition is also fleeting, transient, yet immediate and precise. There is no thinking involved. If it is in the form of an image, the impression will remain briefly even if our attention lapses for a moment, whereas an impression or image produced by an overactive imagination will disappear as soon as our attention is shifted. Any intuitive message should receive an immediate acknowledgement and expression of gratitude. This cements our relationship with our subconscious mind.

Controlling the ego-voice

Our intuition works best with a quiet and balanced state of mind. And the good news is that the chatter and mind-content that produces the ego-voice can be stilled and eventually cleared of negativity. This stillness comes from the rediscovery of our inner spiritual centre through the practice of meditation. And the ego-voice which tells us that we are a failure or that no-one cares can be directly challenged through counselling or the use of positive affirmations.

Jimmy Henderson is a metaphysical teacher and author of a number of self-help books and articles.

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