As we progress on our spiritual journeys, there is the time when we want to learn the difference between ego and intuition. Before we sharpen our higher senses, these two voices may be challenging to distinguish. As we awaken spiritually, we become more aware of the ego voice. As a result, we may feel surprised to learn the degree to which it runs our decisions. Thus we enter the stage of discernment.
As my favorite book, A Course in Miracles says, we can’t serve two masters.
This statement means that at some point we have to choose whether we follow the voice of our fears (ego) or we prefer the voice of love. As long as we try to follow both voices, we live trapped in between two worlds and feel a lot of confusion about our future. We get stuck in the 3rd and 4th stages of our spiritual transformation.
But to choose which path we’ll follow, first, we need to distinguish which voice speaks to us. I define ego as the part of our mind which is ruled by our fears, limitations, dysfunctional family patterns, and simply anything else than love.
The ego loves to create illusions, such as:
- I’m not good enough.
- I don’t deserve to be loved.
- I’m too old, young, thin, fat, uneducated, overeducated, etc.
- I can’t ever have what I want.
- No one understands me, and I feel separated from others.
- My partner will leave me one day.
- I can’t change my career because of my commitments.
- I can’t travel to the countries I want because it’s too complicated, I’m too old, I have children, job, etc.
We’re all familiar with the voice of our ego. We all have millions of negative and fearful thoughts to the level that we think it’s normal to have them. In a way, it is. Because it’s common, but I don’t agree that it’s our natural state of being.
In our purest form, we’re love. Nothing more and nothing less. Everything else other than love is a projection of the fear-based mind.
You have more options than you think. No matter what your current situation is and how bad you judge yourself in your mind, you can always choose differently. And this isn’t merely a nice saying. I mean it. Realizing that you have more options and acting on them is a matter of learning how to work with your mind and anything that holds you back in life.
Becoming more conscious and doing inner work isn’t easy but it’s not overcomplicated either. You can learn to work with your mind by yourself, or you can ask someone who understands the mind and patterns to help you release them. Either case the options are always available to you so don’t settle for less than you want!
The difference between ego and intuition
1. Ego is always loud
As I mentioned earlier, the ego is the voice of fear. Thus it likes to be loud to make sure that we hear it and fear it.
The ego loves to control, and therefore it needs to look more powerful than it is. Thus it makes sure that we never question that what it tells us is true.
Whereas intuition is quieter and it can come to us unexpectedly and then quickly disappears. Intuition leaves you with a strong feeling that something is true. Often it’s difficult to put its guidance into exact words, yet you sense precisely what (not) to do.
2. Intuition speaks positively
The ego often talks to us in the form of negative thoughts and feelings while intuition’s guidance is positive and supportive.
So if you’d like to eat a chocolate bar, the ego is likely to say something like this; eat the chocolate because you deserve it and you’ll feel better. Or it can also say; if you eat it, you’ll be fat and ugly.
The ego’s guidance makes you feel restricted and heavy.
While your intuition might say; sugar isn’t good for your body. It has a too low vibration for you. Let’s support your body with some fruits instead.
3. Ego is forceful
Another difference between ego and intuition is that ego is likely to insist and push its guidance on you. It can come with a sense of urgency, and the reoccurring thoughts don’t leave you feeling at peace.
Anytime you feel like you’re losing your inner peace and stability when you receive guidance then you can be sure that it doesn’t come from your intuition.
If the guidance made you feel restless and disturbed then it’s the voice of ego. On the other hand, intuition brings peace to you. Even if the guidance of intuition asks you to do something challenging (like leaving a job) when you imagine the result you feel peaceful.
4. Intuition brings clarity
If the message you receive feels confusing and something doesn’t resonate, then it’s the ego.
The ego loves complicated things and the more it can confuse us, the better.
It’s not rare that the ego tries to pretend that its guidance is coming from our intuition. So it offers us something that looks attractive to us.
For instance, it likes us to think that we (or someone we love) is special. Thus it can make you feel that you’re here to save the humankind – which at first can seem like a noble idea.
Yet if you believe it, you’re more likely to start acting a bit bossy, pushing your values and ideas on others (you’re here to save them, after all!) and proud.
Before you notice it, you serve the ego’s purpose which is to make you feel separated from others and special because in that state of mind it can easily control you.
A tool to tell the difference between ego and intuition guidance
I share with you an excellent exercise which has helped me to learn the difference between ego and intuition. The more you practice, the easier and faster you can tell which voice is speaking to you.
Truth always feels light whereas the lie feels heavy.
(This tool I’ve learned from the book by Dain Heer called Being You, Changing the World).
You can feel the sensations of heaviness or lightness in your body. Everyone can feel it in different parts of the body.
For me, the sensations of heaviness or lightness are the strongest in the middle of my chest, exactly where the heart chakra is. For you, it may be another place – like guts, stomach, head, etc.
Practice the feeling of lightness and heaviness
To train your awareness to what kind of energies are communicating with you, find a quiet place where you’ll be not disturbed and close your eyes.
And then, say (in your head or out loud) a positive statement and a false statement. If you’re a man, you can say; I’m a man.
And then observe your body to see how it feels. Do you feel lightness anywhere in your body?
If the statement is correct and you’re a man, you should feel light, relaxed and feeling of expansion.
And then test the negative statement; I’m a woman. Now you should feel tightness somewhere in your body and a sense of restriction.
For women, this exercise feels vice-versa. So if you say, I’m a woman, you should feel lighter compared to the statement I’m a man.
You can go ahead and test any other statements you wish to learn to tune into your body with more ease.
The purpose of this exercise is to sharpen your awareness so that you immediately know whether it’s ego or intuition speaking to you.
When the guidance comes from the ego, then it’s never true. Thus you’ll feel a sense of heaviness. While if it comes from your intuition, then you feel lighter, so you know it’s true for you.
This is an awesome trick so that you can immediately tell whether the information is right for you or not. It can be any information (even related to your job, finances, relationships). So the sky is the limit when it comes to exploring the opportunities this exercise brings.
In the beginning, the difference between the true and false statements can be small. But as you continue practicing it becomes easier to distinguish and you can quickly tune into what other people are telling you at the moment they’re saying it.
So you may be at a business meeting, and your counterpart is discussing a new project with you, and you can immediately feel whether that project would be beneficial for you or not by simply feeling expansive or restricted.