12 Most Eye-Popping Quotes about the Battle between Our Ego and Our Soul

12 Most Eye-Popping Quotes about the Battle between Our Ego and Our Soul

I’ve been in business long enough (and indeed, the game of life long enough) to know the importance of keeping a tight rein on my ego. Whilst our ego, which I have seen nicely defined as “the conscious thinking self”, can be a force which drives us forward to achieve more, it can also be a very destructive thing in our lives. Destructive, yes, as I have seen first-hand how egotism can be the worst of all afflictions, wreaking total havoc on someone’s business.

I really wanted to better understand the concept of “the ego” and its resulting egocentricity so I decided to do some research. I was surprised to find out about the concept that there is a constant battle going on inside us between our ego and our true self or soul.

As I really love great quotes, I thought it would be neat to compile a list of twelve (in no particular order) of my favorite quotes which shed light on this phenomenon:

1. “Every autobiography is concerned with two characters, a Don Quixote, the Ego, and a Sancho Panza, the Self.”

~ W. H. Auden

2. “The ego constantly competes with the spirit for control over your inner voice.”

~ Darren L. Johnson

3. “What is it in you that brings you to a spiritual teacher in the first place? It’s not the spirit in you, since that is already enlightened, and has no need to seek. No, it is the ego in you that brings you to a teacher.”

~ Ken Wilber

4. “Our ego is our silent partner… too often with a controlling interest.”

~ Cullen Hightower

5. “Ego is to the true self what a flashlight is to a spotlight.”

~ John Bradshaw

6.”It is the nature of the ego to take, and the nature of the spirit to share.”

~ Proverb

7. “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.”

~ Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

8. “The soul loves to meditate, for in contact with the Spirit lies its greatest joy. If, then you experience mental resistance during meditation, remember that reluctance to meditate comes from the ego; it doesn’t belong to the soul.”

~ Paramahansa Yogananda

9. “Spiritual practices help us move from identifying with the ego to identifying with the soul. Old age does that for you too. It spiritualizes people naturally.”

~ Ram Dass

10. “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

11. “Anytime there is a struggle between doing what is actually right and doing what seems right, then your ego is interfering with your decision.”

~ Darren L. Johnson

12. “The authentic self is the best part of a human being. It’s the part of you that already cares, that is already passionate about evolution. When your authentic self miraculously awakens and becomes stronger than your ego, then you will truly begin to make a difference in this world. You will literally enter into a partnership with the creative principle.”

~ Andrew Cohen

I hope you find them as insightful and inspiring as I do. Did I miss an awesome one? Please let us know!

Featured image courtesy of  h.koppdelaney via Creative Commons.

Jas McMan

Jas feels like a social media outcast on the 12-Most stage… without a blog, twitter account or any other vocal outlet… he does have a lot to say however, usually about the current state of the world and the reason behind why we are the way we are. A quote fanatic – music, great speeches, meaningful murmurings and inspiring sayings.

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Wow, loved #4 and #11. Ego can easily have a controlling interest in our decision-making process...and that becomes much worse if it encourages us to play in the "gray areas" of what is truly right and what your ego can rationalize as right.

Jas McMan
Jas McMan

Thanks for the positive feedback to my first post Susan! Yes ego does drive us forward but until we understand why it does, understand the human condition surely selfishly driven pursuits will continue to do so, in fact must. We 'need' the next 'prize' unfortunately a 'hug' doesn't give us the 'win', the validation that we are often so yearning for. So we jump on life's endless treadmill in and attempt to feel good by whichever means our strategy to life manifests - be that an ego win for being 'good', or first, or smart or successful etc!


Welcome to 12most! I am glad you chose to submit such an enlightening post. Ego drives us forward with it's wants, but it tends to neglect needs. While we are busy pursuing that next "prize" we forget things, like how good a hug feels.