The ego is concerned solely with purely unselfish feelings and thoughts. Two simple but excellent rules may be given for differentiating between a true intuition and mere impulse. Firstly if the matter is set aside and one forgets about it then the impulse will probably die away while a genuine intuition will remain as strong as ever. Secondly, intuition is always connected with something unselfish. If there is any touch of selfishness, it may be taken for certain that it is only an astral impulse. For example it is far easier to affect the physical body with a barbaric thought as compared to a subtle point by a philosopher.
One means the ego uses for communication with the personality is that it impresses its ideas upon the personality in dreams, using sets of symbols. Prophetic dreams must be attributed exclusively to the action of the ego, who either foresees some future event for which it wishes to prepare its lower consciousness. This may be of any degree of accuracy and depends on the power of the ego to assimilate it and then to impress it upon the waking brain. Sometimes the event is one of a serious nature, such as death or disaster, so the motive of the ego is obvious. Stories of such prophetic dreams are quite common. In order to bring through, into the physical brain, impressions from the ego, it is obvious that the brain must be calm. Everything from the ego on the causal plane must pass through the mental and astral levels and if either of these is disturbed, it reflects imperfectly.
The will, is undoubtedly a quality of the ego and must not be confused with the desires of the personality in the lower vehicles. Desire is the outgoing energy determined by the attraction to external objects. In the early stages of evolution desire has complete sovereignty and one is ruled by one’s astral body. In the middle stages of evolution, there is continual conflict between desire and will. One struggles with the desire-thought element. In the later stages of evolution desire dies and will rules unopposed; the ego is in command. To summarize, one may say that the voice of the ego or higher self speaking from atmic level, is true conscience; from the buddhic level, is intuitive knowledge between right and wrong and from the causal level is inspiration. God in every one is the monad, and as the ego is to the monad, so is the personality to the ego. It has been suggested that the higher self ought to take more interest in the unfortunate personality struggling on its behalf on the lower planes. Gradually one should come to realise that the personality that is seen on the lower planes is but a very small part of the individual and that the higher self is the real individual. For there is only one consciousness, the lower being an imperfect representation of the higher, in no way separate from it. Thus, instead of thinking of raising oneself till one can unite with the glorified higher self, one should realise that the higher is the true self. To unite the higher with the lower really means to open out the lower so that the higher may work more freely and fully through it. One should thus endeavour to become certain beyond the possibility of doubt, that one is the spirit or the higher self,. One should develop confidence in one’s own powers as the ego and have courage to use those powers freely. Instead of looking upon one’s usual state of consciousness as normal and looking upwards towards the ego as a lofty being to be reached by continuous and tremendous effort, one should learn to look upon one’s ordinary state of consciousness as abnormal and unnatural and upon the life of the spirit as one’s own true life, from which by continuous effort one keeps oneself estranged.
(The article has taken from the book Life Beyond Death by Anil Sharma)