One of the most insidious ways the ego strengthens itself is in criticizing others. Whether it be their appearance, their beliefs, their politics, or any other criticism we level at others – whether out loud or just in our own minds – what we are truly doing is giving ourselves a reason to feel superior. We are getting a little burst of pleasure from seeing ourselves as superior in some way to person we are criticizing. It could be intellectual superiority, moral superiority, spiritual superiority, financial superiority, or superior in some other way. It all comes down to the same thing….our ego congratulating itself on being better, greater than, or more than someone else’s ego. This sense of superiority is what allows us to create a greater sense of boundary between “me” and “not me.” The ego grows more dense through the practice of showing where others are wrong, and it is right.
Part of the Great Work is understanding the mechanics of ego and mind, so that we are no longer ruled by them.