Shall we function as spiritual beings seeking the enfoldment of consciousness in the universe, or as egos seeking our personal domination and enjoyment of outer reality?
The ego is the sense of 'self', the image we have of ourselves, the ego's primary job is physical survival and is conditioned by society, previous experiences, culture and fear. The ego tells us what we should or have to do, what is right or wrong, it always wants to be right, it fears, judges and does not like to be questioned and enjoys to be the victim, it strives to protect us from embarrassment or failure and does not want us to look bad. The ego talks about wants, securities, plans, anxieties and stresses. It will often also think of the worst possible scenario and be quick to judge and discriminate. The ego can never get enough, and holds on to everything. The ego often feels dissatisfaction, and seeks satisfaction from the outer world, in the next experience, using this moment as a means to the next, and reacting to each moment from a state of lack. It has a job to do, it has its place, but we have to learn to recognize it for what it is. The ego's voice is load and strong, and often dominates the spirits voice which is softer and calmer.
The spirit or soul is our true self, us behind the mask or the labels, the intuitive voice and the internal guidance system of our soul and is connected with the universe. It is here to look after us emotionally and spiritually and communicates without words. The spirits voice is what's felt, from within. We often have to ask the question, it is not telling us what to do, feel, thinks constantly as the ego does. We seek the wisdom from within. Our spirit is a source of unconditional love, courage and strength, wisdom, and happiness and joy. When our soul is in charge we feel free and we follow our true path in life, things just feels right, and we accept and truly love ourselves despite the flaws our ego brings to our attention. The spirit is non-judgmental, non-demanding and our happiness is not dependent on desire or material goods, status, labels etc, which is a main priority for the ego. The soul does not seek satisfaction from the outer reality, or in the next experience, because the soul is already happy, and therefore does not use this moment as a means to the next.
A way to look at the two is to use the ego as a tool, lead by the spirit. In the world we live in we do not wish to abolish our ego completely. But then, not letting our ego working it's way into our identity and let it become who, or what we are. Use the ego as a tool, lead by the spirit.
When all comes to all, love always wins, the ego is the one in service and must surrender to our spirit. The spirit humbles and heals the ego, and it is the ego who reports to spirit and is held accountable by it.
When we become more aware about these two forces, we can learn to balance them, find our true purpose and live a life in unity, with MORE joy, love, understanding and acceptance and peace, and LESS suffering, stress, fear, hostility and judgment.