The ego is tricky. It’s hard to see and therefore it’s hard to control. Buddhist say that in the war of ego the loser always wins. Which makes complete sense to me. The second you realized you overcame your ego, you have fallen into its trap. Therefore, the best way you can deal with your ego is by observing it. It is by observing that you can take control of your ego. Ego quotes by enlightened minds can help you to see the traps of the ego more clearly so that you can gain control over it.
In this article, I want to share with you my favorite ego quotes that help me be more aware of my own ego.
Here they are 50 thought-provoking ego quotes to forewarn you from its traps.
50 Thought-Provoking Ego Quotes
“Love is happy when it is able to give something. The ego is happy when it is able to take something.” – Osho
“Enlightenment is your ego’s greatest disappointment.” – Wayne Dyer
“Happiness is threatening and misery is safe – safe for the ego. Ego can exist only in misery and through misery. Ego is an island surrounded by hell; happiness is threatening to the ego, to the very existence of the ego. Happiness rises like a sun and the ego disappears, evaporates like a dewdrop on the grass leaf.
Happiness is the death of the ego. If you want to remain a separate entity from existence as almost everybody is trying to do, you will be afraid of being blissful, cheerful. You will feel guilty in being blissful. You will feel suicidal because you are committing suicide on the psychological level, on the level of the ego.
It almost always happens that people enjoy a few moments and then afterwards feel very guilty. The guilt arises because of the ego. The ego starts torturing them, “What are you doing? Have you decided to kill me? And I am your only treasure. Killing me? You will be destroyed. Killing me is destroying yourself.” – Osho
“Ego judges and punishes. Love forgives and heals.”
“The reason that ego and love are not compatible comes down to this: you cannot take your ego into the unknown, where love wants to lead. If you follow love, your life will become uncertain, and the ego craves certainty.” – Deepak Chopra
“If someone corrects you and you feel offended, then you have an ego problem.” – Nouman Ali Khan
“The hallucination of separateness prevents one from seeing that to cherish the ego is to cherish misery. We do not realize that our so-called love and concern for the individual is simply the other face of our own fear of death or rejection. In his exaggerated valuation of separate identity, the personal ego is sawing off the branch on which he is sitting, and then getting more and more anxious about the coming crash!” – Alan Watts
“Do things that feed your soul, not your ego and you will be happy.”
“Too much ego will kill your talent.”
“Love and ego cannot go together. Knowledge and ego go together perfectly well, but love and ego cannot go together, not at all. They cannot keep company. They are like darkness and light: if light is there darkness cannot be. Darkness can only be if light is not there. If love is not there the ego can be; if love is there the ego cannot be. And vice versa, if ego is dropped, love arrives from all the directions. It simply starts pouring in you from everywhere.” – Osho
“Spiritual transcendence is transforming the rigid ego attachments into acceptance of self and others.” – Lynne Namka
“Yet again, the more you strive for some kind of perfection or mastery—in morals, in art or in spirituality—the more you see that you are playing a rarified and lofty form of the old ego-game and that your attainment of any height is apparent to yourself and to others only by contrast with someone else’s depth or failure.” – Alan Watts
“The ego is the single biggest obstruction to the achievement of anything.” – Richard Rose
“The foundation of the Buddha’s teachings lies in compassion, and the reason for practicing the teachings is to wipe out the persistence of ego, the number-one enemy of compassion.” – Dalai Lama
“Complaining is one of the ego’s favorite strategies for strengthening itself.” – Eckhart Tolle
“The ego says: I’m still angry about yesterday, the spirit says: new day, new attitude.”
“Try to understand the ego. Analyze it, dissect it, watch it, observe it, from as many angles as possible. And don’t be in a hurry to sacrifice it, otherwise, the greatest egoist is born: the person who thinks he is humble, the person who thinks that he has no ego.
That is again the same story played on a more subtle level. That’s what the religious people have been doing down the ages – pious egoists they have been. They have made their ego even more decorated; it has taken the color of religion and holiness. Your ego is better than the ego of a saint; your ego is better, far better – because your ego is very gross, and the gross ego can be understood and dropped more easily than the subtle. The subtle ego goes on playing such games that it is very difficult. One will need absolute awareness to watch it.” – Osho
“The ego is always looking to find something – the spirit can see what’s already there.” – Marianne Willamson
“In the ego’s world, power means having the ability to control circumstances to your benefit, to manipulate or dominate people in order to get your own way. If what you want is the greatest good for everyone, ego has little to say. The kind of strength that is giving, selfless, devout, trusting, and patient is decidedly feminine. It belongs to saints and mothers. By affirming this kind of strength, you are demonstrating faith that there can be power without aggression, domination, and control. Is there real power in the feminine aspect? Certainly, there is, and even though the ego has exercised control for a long time, spiritual power has always been in charge. Spiritual power pervades every aspect of life as the intelligence that nurtures and organizes all forms, atom to cosmos. This power is yours to tap into. It comes from inside, and nothing can stop it once you have found its source in the true self.” – Deepak Chopra
“You can either be a host to God or a hostage to your ego. It’s your call.” – Wayne Dyer
“The ego is only an illusion, but a very influential one. Letting the ego-illusion become your identity can prevent you from knowing your true self. Ego, the false idea of believing that you are what you have or what you do, is a backward way of assessing and living life.” – Wayne Dyer
“Ego is just like dust in the eyes. Without clearing the dust, we can’t see anything clearly, so clear the ego and see the world.”
“Ego interrupts intuition.” – Danielle LaPorte
“The ego exists through friction. Have an ideal, and you will become an egoist. The idealist is an egoist. Have a bigger ideal, and you will be a bigger egoist. The greater the ideal, the greater the ego, because the greater is the friction. The ego is created by friction between the real and the ideal. Now you may have the ideal of egolessness – that doesn’t matter. You may say, “But I have the ideal of being egoless” – it does not matter, the ideal brings the ego. Now your idea of egolessness will bring great ego. So the real egoists are those who think they are humble people, who pretend that they are egoless.
The man who is egoless is the man who has no ideals. Let this be the criterion, and you have stumbled upon a fundamental. The man of no ego is the man of no ideals. Then how can the ego be created? – the very energy is missing. The energy comes out of friction, conflict, struggle, will.
When you accept your life – when you take your breakfast, and when you sleep and when you walk and when you take your bath – how can you create an ego out of these things? Sleeping when feeling sleepy, eating when feeling hungry, how can you create your ego? No, if you fast, you can create ego. If you are on a vigilance for the whole night, and you say, “I am not going to sleep,” you can create the ego. By the morning, the person who has slept well will have no ego, you will have a great ego.” – Osho
“Let go of your ego’s need to be right. When you’re in the middle of an argument, ask yourself: Do I want to be right or be happy? When you choose the joyous, loving, spiritual mode, your connection to intention is strengthened.” – Wayne Dyer
“Big egos have little ears.” – Robert Schuller
“The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego.” – Alan Watts
“As you dissolve into love, your ego fades. You’re not thinking about loving; you’re just being love, radiating like the sun.” – Ram Dass
“The ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image, it is your social mask, it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power because it lives in fear.” – Ram Dass
“When the ego dies, the soul awakes.” – Mahatma Gandhi
”‘I am’ is nothing but another name for the ego. Now you will be getting into trouble. If the ego is convinced that the only way is to drop the ego, then who is going to drop whom? And how? It will be like pulling yourself up by your own shoestrings. You will look just silly. Watch each word that you use. ‘I am’ is nothing but the ego.
The second thing: nobody has ever been able to drop the ego because ego is not a reality that you can drop; anything to be dropped at least has to be real, substantial. Ego is just a notion, an idea. You cannot drop it, you can only understand it. Can you drop your shadow? You can run as fast as you want but your shadow will run at the same speed, exactly the same speed…
You cannot drop the ego. Once you start trying to drop the ego you will get in a very deep mess; you will become more and more worried and puzzled. And this is not the way to get rid of the ego. The only way to get rid of the ego is to look at it.” – Osho
“More the knowledge, lesser the ego. Lesser the knowledge, more the ego.” – Albert Einstein
“At the level of spirit, everything is always unfolding perfectly, and you don’t have to struggle or force situations to go your way. It is only your ego mind that is fearful. When you surrender to spirit and listen to the voice of your deeper intelligence, you free yourself from fear and release the obstacles your ego has created.” – Deepak Chopra
“The problem is that we have allowed our egos, the part of us which believes that we are separate from God and separate from each other, to dominate our lives.” – Wayne Dyer
“Don’t create things which are not there – your ego, your atman, or something else. The moment you create things like ‘What is beautiful is my atman, what is ugly is my ego,’ no transformation will be possible.” – Sadhguru
“Self-importance is our greatest enemy. Think about it – what weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellowmen. Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone.” – Carlos Castaneda
“Gratitude is a sacred space where you allow and know that a force greater than your ego is always at work and always available.” – Wayne Dyer
“When you are in anger, in passion, violent, aggressive, you feel a crystallized ego within you. Whenever you are in love, in compassion, it is not there. That’s why we cannot love because, with the ego, love is impossible. That’s why we go on talking so much about love, but we never are in love. And whatsoever we call love is more or less sex, it is not love; because you cannot lose your ego, and love cannot exist unless the ego has disappeared. Love, meditation, godliness, they all require one thing – the ego must not be there. That’s why Jesus is right in saying that God is love because both phenomena happen only when the ego is not.” – Osho
“Less ego, more excellence. Less talk, more do. Less rude, more polite. Less fear, more wins.”
“If your ego starts out, ‘I am important, I am big, I am special,’ you’re in for some disappointments when you look around at what we’ve discovered about the universe. No, you’re not big. No, you’re not. You’re small in time and in space. And you have this frail vessel called the human body that’s limited on Earth.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
“If you evolve within you, there will be no pride, no prejudice. You will perform the action out of pure, absolute sense.” – Sadhguru
“In religion, the ego manifests as the devil. And of course, no one realizes how smart the ego is because it created the devil so you could blame someone else.” – Deepak Chopra
“Your ego is your soul’s worst enemy.” – Rusty Eric
“Everybody, even a mouse, has his own ego. Everybody, even a religious man, has his own ego. Even while declaring, “I am just dust underneath your feet,” you are gathering ego. The ego and the personality have to be dropped, then you will find individuality arising…a feeling of uniqueness. Yes, you are unique. Everybody else is also unique. In this world only unique people exist, so comparison is just stupid because you alone are like yourself. There is nobody like you, so how to compare?” – Osho
“Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.” – Alan Watts
“Learn to get in touch with the innermost essence of your being. This true essence is beyond the ego. It is fearless; it is free; it is immune to criticism; it does not fear any challenge. It is beneath no one, superior to no one, and full of magic, mystery, and enchantment.” – Deepak Chopra
“When misunderstandings grow cut your ego.”
“Ego is a social institution with no physical reality. The ego is simply your symbol of yourself. Just as the word “water” is a noise that symbolizes a certain liquid without being it, so too the idea of ego symbolizes the role you play, who you are, but it is not the same as your living organism.” – Alan Watts
“The ego promotes turmoil because it wants to substantiate your separateness from everyone, including God. It will push you in the direction of judgment and comparison and cause you to insist on being right and best. You know your highest self by listening to the voice that only wants you to be at peace.” – Wayne Dyer
“The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly no longer the ego but just an old, conditioned mind pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist.” – Eckhart Tolle
We hope you are inspired by these ego quotes as much as we are!