That is what my spiritual teacher, Yogi Bhajan forcefully yelled out! Needless to say, with my spiritual/Christian background, I nearly fell over. Of course I could feel Yogi Bhajan laughing about the profound effect his words had on me!

Here I had been letting go of my “ego”, or so I thought, being meek and humble, melting into the background. The result was that I had no projection, and could not hold any Presence. Yogi Bhajan had a huge ego so that his earthly identity could hold and project this incredible, Ultimate, Infinite Consciousness! And he did it through his cleared-out earthly personality, his ego.

So, when we take a fresh look at this much maligned little word--ego, we find that it has been greatly misinterpreted by our popular culture! It has come to mean: pride, overbearing self-importance, can’t see beyond the end your own nose, Me first, no one greater in the Universe or deserving of everything than ME, controlling and manipulative, self aggrandizement. Well, you get it.

But in fact, that little word “EGO”, which literally means “I” was coined by Dr. Freud a century ago to identify the organizing principle of the psyche. This ego is a very sophisticated and important apparatus. It is the mechanism or platform that keeps all of our psyche integrated and working as a whole, and we express it as our personality.
It is our identity.

When it is malformed because of inappropriate feedback, especially as a child, or it is broken due to intense early childhood trauma or even past life trauma, the ego cannot knit together the various facets of the personality very well. It cannot hold supportive thought, projection, strength, will, or carry-though. It disassembles or becomes rigid when faced with challenge. The replay of subconsciously-stored difficulties crush the ego.

On the other hand, the self aggrandizing ego seems to be the polar opposite way of dealing with a similarly crippled ego or self identity structure. That is, instead of giving up self-power and projection to hide or disappear, it seeks to stock pile greater and greater power, wealth, fame and so on to make up for its inadequacy. These are both sides of the same coin—the dysfunctional ego.

Which of us doesn’t have to grapple with our own ego in some way? Certainly, we can’t harshly judge this process in ourselves or others because our own Souls have put these challenges in our path for the sake of solving/healing them to develop particular gems of strength, ability and wisdom within our transformed ego. (For more explanation of this process, please go to

I found a wonderful clue in understanding this when I asked my dear friend, Ek Ong Kaar Kaur, who is also on our Soul Answer University faculty about a word that was translated as “ego” in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scriptures.*

First she humbly blessed that old, imperfect translation! Then she noted that the word that is pronounced “haumay” actually means the small me, or mine—that which I see as my own small self or belonging to me. Everything is wrapped around ME—whether aggrandized or small. It is that identity process which keeps me separate from the “ALL in all”. “If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.” Yogi Bhajan’s well-known quote.

So, in fact, he was demonstrating an enormously huge, well knitted, organizing principle of ego or self knowledge that is so neutral and clear that it could act as the most strong, cohesive container and pipe line to project the unbounded Infinite Consciousness that flowed through him—no holds barred.

This is an ego that is Infinitely subtle, powerful, radiant, graceful, compassionate and accurate. And by his personal ego’s perpetual bowing to that Infinity, it becomes innately humble—not to humans, their judgments or to cultural norms, but to the Great Consciousness of All that is ever seeking to powerfully create anew at every moment.

What a sophisticated balancing act it is to heal from that which keeps us either small or self important—bouncing back and forth between them, fully clearing then re-weaving together our earthly ego to project our Divine Identity. Yogi Bhajan certainly had a very distinct and strong personality which arises from the ego! And he told us time and again that the spiritual path is about changing our identity, our ego—not killing it. Here is yet another view of that process.

Who is the “I”? And WHO are you—really? This is where surrender of the small “me” ego comes in to accept the freedom and flow of the Great Ego or Great “I”. I know you are up to it, Dear! Take a chance, and “consciously become conscious of your Consciousness” as Yogi Bhajan often instructed!

To help bring this Consciousness into your own being, please try this meditation to let “Thou” prevail. Go to .

*The Siri Guru Granth Sahib is written by Hindu, Muslim and Sikh authors who were in their highest consciousness as they wrote. It is not a history or a system of beliefs, rather many descriptions of higher Consciousness and how to obtain that. Sikhs never attempt to convert anyone, but hold everyone's Consciousness and their personal quest towards it to be wholly sacred.

Copyright Siri-Gian Khalsa,, 2011
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Author's Bio: 

Siri-Gian Khalsa's passion is to help you get in touch with your own Soul--your God-Self!

She is an accomplished teacher, intuitive and healer, and has been a student of Yogi Bhajan and Kundalini Yoga and Meditation since 1976.

Please visit her extensive website at for lots more articles, courses and personal sessions.