New Day Herald

Russell Bishop

Let Your Spiritual Ego Lead

What’s the difference between your human ego and your spiritual ego?

Many years ago I was working with my spiritual teacher, John-Roger, when he challenged me to live more from my spiritual ego than my personality or human ego.

That brought me up short. Or should I say, elevated my consciousness.

Here’s the backstory. Earlier that year, I left a consulting company I had created and then spent several months languishing about what comes next. The opportunity arrived for me to have an extended sharing with J-R at a Living in Grace Retreat – not just with him, but in front of another 200 or so people attending the same retreat.

When J-R called on me, I began saying that I had next to zero motivation to do much of anything. When he asked me why, I said that I had spent the previous 20 years of my life working to make a difference in the world, to make a contribution to the greater good.

He asked me, “what’s the problem with that?” And I said, well, if I say I’m here to make a difference, I’m basically judging God. Without skipping a beat, J-R wondered out loud how I came to that conclusion.

My response: well, the notion that I could be making a difference is a bit like saying, ‘Dear God, you’re doing OK. But if you had me in there, boy, could we really improve things.’

J-R chuckled a bit and then gave me one of my most important life lessons.

Paraphrasing here:

If you think you’re here to make a difference, then you are likely experiencing life and your work as something that comes from your ego, your personality. No matter how good that work might be, even if it appears to be making a meaningful difference, then it is pretty easy to get caught up in the human ego – kind of, ‘look at me – look how great I am.’ And that can lead to all manner of difficulties as you slide down that slippery slope.

In addition to the human ego, you also have something we call the Spiritual Ego. As you attune more and more to the Spiritual Ego, you may discover or sense a call to serve – what you are calling ‘making a difference.’ And that is well and good.

However, the Spiritual Ego is not designed to do work in this world. That is the domain of the human ego and personality. You, Russell, have a range of experiences and skills, as do each of us. When the Spiritual Ego calls, and you notice that call, you may discover that the Spiritual Ego needs those skills and experiences in order to deliver on the call from Spirit.

In other words, Spirit can use our skills and experiences to ‘make a difference’ in the world. If you, Russell, choose to answer that call, then Spirit can, indeed, make a difference in the world, using your skills and experience.

The trick is to remain ever mindful that your skills and experiences are the tools Spirit may be calling on to do that difference making work in the world. As you remain conscious and follow the inner direction, you may become even more skillful, even knowledgeable. Just keep in mind that Spirit is the architect while you are more like the carpenter.

In the work I do today, I liken myself to the electrical wire that runs from the outlet in the wall to the lamp. The wire is neither the source of energy nor the light that comes from the lamp. I am simply the wire that Spirit can use to get the energy to the light.

And so are you. We can all let Spirit use us to bring more Light to the world.

Russell Bishop with John-Roger at a workshop in April 1989

Editor's Note:  You can learn more about Russell's work here.

14 thoughts on “Let Your Spiritual Ego Lead”

  1. Hey Russell, Insight was/is a really good wire from the outlet to the lamp!:) You are an amazing ‘wire keeper’ and thank you for all your work with Insight.
    God Bless
    Dave Wright

    1. Russell Bishop

      Hi Bea:

      thanks for your loving thoughts. Indeed, I remind myself of this every day lest my ego get ahead of my Soul.

    2. Russell Bishop

      Hi Bea:

      thanks for your comment – indeed, I need to remind myself of this every day and especially when I’m working with someone. Light ahead!

    1. Russell Bishop

      Hi Darrell:

      Your steadfast loving service and amazing Light are an inspiration to me. Blessings to you.

  2. I love you Russell. Thank you for your heart felt service to all of us over the years and for helping to extend the ministry of Spirit in us

  3. Dr. Ania Bella Sara

    Thank you, Russell. You have, and you do make a difference by showing up, utilizing the inner guidance, talents, skills, and abilities. This was once again helpful for me, and called me out, and into that place that wants to contribute on this level. I know clearly that does not take place without spirit’s help. God bless you beloved.

  4. I’m “late” in reading this edition of the NDH, but your contribution hits EXACTLY home regarding issues I am dealing with (and have dealt with–for eons!). Thank you, Russell. Your presence has blessed us all, even though years ago at Insight your human ego reflected back on mine and stirred itchy annoyance. I love that memory! Loving you,

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