Ego’s Attachments

by Navid Zaidi

مکّے  گیاں  گَل  مُکدی  ناهیں

بهاویں  سَو  سَو  جُمعے  پڑہ  آئیے

گنگا  گیاں  گل  مکدی  ناهیں

بهاویں  سو سو  غوطے  کهایئے

بُلّهے  شاه  گل  تیّوں  مکدی

جے  ُمیں ُ  نوں  مَنوں  گوایئے

Visiting Mecca will not give you the final answer

Even if you offered hundreds of Friday prayers

Visiting the Ganges will not give you the final answer

Even if you took hundreds of dives

Bulleh Shah ! You will get to know the final answer

if you erased the ‘I’ from thy heart

An important characteristic of the unity of the ego is its essential privacy which reveals the uniqueness of every ego. My pleasures, pains and desires are exclusively mine. Similarly, in order to recognize you, I must have known you in the past. My recognition of a place or person means reference to my past experience, and not the past experience of another ego. It is this unique inter-relation of our mutual states that we express by the word ‘I’. However, this is exactly where the great problem begins.

Dr. Wayne Dyer, in his book The Power of Intention, explains:

We humans, with our capability of higher brain functions, construct this ‘I’ with ideas about who and what we are. We, then, allow the ‘I’ to determine our life path with certain beliefs and it gets firmly attached to these beliefs and we cannot let go of these. The ‘I’ is, then, made up of the following primary attachments:

1.  I am what I have. My possessions define me.

2.  I am what I do. My achievements define me.

3.  I am what others think of me. My reputation defines me.

4.  I am separate from everyone. My body defines me.

5.  I am separate from all that is missing in my life.

Basically, our feelings of self-importance are what make us feel special. It’s essential that we have a strong self-concept and that we feel unique. The problem is when we misidentify who we truly are by identifying ourselves as our body, our achievements, and our possessions. Then we identify people who have accomplished less as inferior, and our self-important superiority causes us to be constantly offended in one way or another. This misidentification is the source of most of our problems, as well as the problems of humankind. Feeling special leads us to our self-importance.

With the self as a focal point, we sustain the illusion that we are our body, which is a completely separate entity from all others. This sense of separateness leads us to compete rather than cooperate with everyone else. Ultimately, it’s no match to our inner soul and becomes a huge obstacle to our connection with humanity.

In order to relinquish our ego’s attachments to self-importance we have to become aware of how entrenched it is our lives. Ego is simply an ‘idea of who we are’ that we carry around with us. Unless we remove this ‘idea’ from our life, as suggested by the great Sufi poet Bulleh Shah quoted above, we cannot make a connection with humanity in a positive way.


1.  Stop being offended.

2.  Let go of your need to win.

3.  Let go of your need to be right.

4.  Let go of your need to be superior.

5.  Let go of your need to have more.

6.  Let go of identifying yourself on the basis of your achievements.

7.  Let go of your reputation.

This entry was posted in Classic Poetry, Classic Teaching, Navid Zaidi, Original Essays and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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