“Ego is not a place or a thing. It is a state of consciousness,” says author David Mutchler, an educator, therapist, consultant, and life coach. “…Ego consciousness is where people are ‘in their heads’ when awake. It is what people mean when they say I, me, mine, myself. For the vast majority of people, ego is how we experience our everyday existence.”
If considering the vastness of space does not make one reflect upon one’s smallness, then perhaps the fact that recorded human history dates back a mere ten thousand years, while the planet Earth is approximately five billion years old, may help put things into perspective. Yet Mutchler writes that, “However tiny or insignificant we may feel in the unfathomable expansiveness of the universe, intuitively we know we count for something.” Indeed, he takes the idea that we are “spiritual beings having a human experience” a step farther, saying instead that we are “spiritual beings having an ego experience,” and this makes all the difference.
The very fact that one is alive provokes a desire to understand one’s place in the world and find meaning in one’s life. This means moving beyond the limited range of vision provided by the ego to the grander, more inclusive view of life from the perspective of Spirit. Without this change in point of view, one feels alone and at risk, needing to fend for oneself in an alien world. The need to compensate for one’s perceived weakness by acting in ways that give the impression that one is important, powerful, and strong results in what Mutchler calls “a universal superiority complex that is the fountainhead of human suffering.”
Mutchler competently compares and contrasts ego-based and Spirit-based definitions of the self and shows how limiting, and damaging, ego-based self-definition can be; he describes the ego-based viewpoint as “hell.” He asserts that by awakening to the ways that ego manifests itself in one’s life, one can develop the understanding and self-acceptance that leads to freedom, happiness, and love—a state of being that he calls “heaven.” Each, he says, is a state of mind: “To enjoy heaven on earth rather than suffer its hell is determined by which is in charge: Spirit or ego. You have a choice about this. If you don’t choose, you are automatically in the grip of ego.”
Beyond the Ego provides guidance that beginners on the path will find easily and immediately applicable; those farther along will recognize their past steps and be able to see more clearly the terrain that lies ahead. The division of the text—which is refreshingly free of spiritual and scientific jargon—into smaller sections will aid those with limited reading time, and the cover design is both elegant and relevant to the content.
Unmasking the ego is the “first giant step into the Spiritual world,” says Mutchler, and his contribution to the literature makes that step much easier.