Sufi Books & DVDs

Ego is the Enemy – Book Review

The Naqshbandi’s maintain that mastery of the ego forms a significant part of the Sufi quest. ‘Ego is the Enemy – The Fight to Master Our Greatest Opponent’ by Ryan Holiday, is a very helpful book to aid this quest. Some quotes from the book are:-

– The aim of that structure is simple: to help you suppress ego early before bad habits take hold, to replicate the temptations of ego with humility and discipline when we experience success, and to cultivate strength and fortitude so that when fate turns against you, you’re not wrecked by failure. In short, it will help us be:

  • Humble in our aspirations
  • Gracious in our success
  • Resilient in our failures

– With accomplishment comes a growing pressure to pretend that we know more than we do. To pretend we already know everything. ‘Scientia infla’ (knowledge puffs up). That’s the worry and the risk – thinking that we’re set and secure, when in reality understanding and mastery is a fluid, continual process.

– Each of us faces a threat as we pursue our craft. Like sirens on the rocks, ego sings a soothing, validating song – which can lead to a wreck. The second we let the ego tell us we have graduated, learning grinds to a halt . . . always stay a student. As in, it never ends.

– If success is ego intoxication, then failure can be a devastating ego blow – turning slips into falls and little troubles into great unravellings. If ego is often just a nasty side effect of great success, it can be fatal during failure.