It is interesting that infants, animal beings & most young children know this difference.- unless in a really dysfunctional family dynamic. On average this lasts in children until about age 6-8,
An infant or a child, unless the familial environment is very dysfunctional, this is socialized or “parented out” tends to respond by their intuitive awareness. Many times even in the case of under functioning family dynamics a child will still try and respond from their Inner Truth & True Being.
So what is this ego stuff all about and how does it cloud our vision and muffle our Inner Voice?
In esoteric knowledge & Transpersonal psychology: as well as some Eastern philosophies the personality/ego is considered an aspect of the Soul.
Our true ego/personality is an out picturing of our Soul. It is the Soul made manifest or physical.
When we begin to see that there is no separation we ascend & tune into/connect into our Higher Self. In the Higher Self there is no opposite.
The false ego or "constructed ego" is an identity that we; as well as others have constructed. It represents "what got us kudos" in the past instead of what is our true way of Soul Expressing.
First there has to be a dismantling of this aspect of being & expressing to get to the truth of how we express.
As this is done the true preferences and way of being do begin to shine through more & more consistently.
An important step to connecting in to our true Self/self = Higher Self/Soul Expression is by emotional clearing & re-patterning... releasing limiting patterns of thought & behavior. Also, learning to feel our own inner nudges as to what is really right for us.
This separating out from the false to the real brings us in alignment with our Soul and connects us to our Higher Self. This aspect of us speaks to us in nudges, sensing, feeling, flashes of insight and a very subtle energy.
The feeling that you will feel from this inner communication is a feeling that is more diffused and not from an emotional base. One of my metaphysical teachers would always say if the message is coming from the Higher Self there will be a "quiet calm" no matter what you are being called to do, or what emotion is around the decision. In the center there will be a "quiet calm"
What helps me to decipher the familial, societal and constructed ego calls, and there are many, is to ask myself these questions:
1. Is what I am being drawn to do something that I see others doing that I think will make my path easier?
The constructed ego is always looking for short cuts.
2. Am I doing something or about to do something I think will “get me somewhere”?
The ego loves to be going somewhere and to always arrive ahead of everyone else.
It’s great to have a plan, and to put a plan in motion. It is necessary to have persistent effort; however if most of your life is focused on this you are clogging your Spiritual Flow and blocking your connection to your Higher Self.
3. Am I doing this for the joy of experience and expressing? Is there an innate sense of joy and a tingle of the connectedness to life?
The Soul loves to experience, express, create, share, help, build, connect and join in with others.
4. If I am being guided to do something I don’t understand; or that I don’t particularly want to do on an ego level I ask myself “Why”? Is it because of how I will be perceived? Does what is in front of me seem too difficult? Would I just rather not face “it”?
In this case in a clear meditative state I take a contemplative view of my life path. I look at where I have been, what I would like to do, what I am doing and I look for with feeling, not just with the eyes, to the small steps in front of me to see/sense (intuitively) how this is fitting in with the big picture of the Divine Plan.
On our path we won’t always understand, or like what or where we are being guided. It is only the constructed ego that is so shortsighted to focus on present moment likes, dislikes or discomfort. In the realm of Spirit and in the unfolding of the Soul these judgments do not exist. You don’t need to “like” something for it to be right action or life enhancing for you. You don’t always need to “feel good” for something to be “right” for your path. This is where so many are mislead. They speak of feeling “good” to manifest or to prove you are on the right path.
This is where trust in your Higher Self and your Soul Path come in to play. The more you can see the steps, the experiences and unfolding of your path as a map of creation and experience unfolding the easier it will be to flow with your unfolding.
It also helps while traveling on the Soul Path and being open to do your Light Service to have like-minded kindred spirits that can be honest and truthful with you.
It’s also helpful to create space for Spiritual Communion, meditation and daily/weekly use of valid reliable tools for the Path.