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  • Writer's pictureGurmat Therapy

This is why the Ego (Haumai) is the disease, simplified

The concept of the ego (haumai) as a disease comes from eastern wisdom and psychological traditions that view the ego as a source of suffering and dysfunction. In this view, the ego is seen as a manufactured identity cultivated from a set of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours that keep us stuck in a limited and distorted view of ourselves and the world.

Here are some reasons why the ego (haumai) is sometimes viewed as a disease:

Separation and division

The ego creates a sense of separation and division between ourselves and others, as well as between ourselves and the rest of the world. This can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness, and disconnection, and can make it difficult to experience a sense of unity and interconnectedness with all of life.

Fear and anxiety

The ego is often driven by fear and anxiety, and seeks to protect us from perceived threats or dangers. This can lead to defensive and reactive behaviors, and can create a sense of constriction and contraction in our bodies and minds.

Limitation and lack

The ego is often focused on seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, and tends to view the world in terms of limitation and lack. This can lead to a constant sense of striving and dissatisfaction, and can make it difficult to experience true happiness and fulfillment.

Identification with the self-image

The ego is closely tied to our self-image, and often relies on external validation and approval to maintain a sense of identity and self-worth. This can create a sense of insecurity and dependence on others, and can make it difficult to fully express our true selves.

Attachment (moh) and clinging (trishna)

The ego tends to be attached to specific outcomes, experiences, and beliefs, and can be resistant to change and growth. This can lead to a sense of rigidity and inflexibility, and can prevent us from adapting to new circumstances or learning from our experiences.


In conclusion, the ego is sometimes viewed as a disease because of its tendency to create separation, fear, limitation, identification, and attachment. However, it's important to note that the ego can also serve important functions in our lives, such as providing a sense of identity and helping us to navigate the world. The key is to develop a healthy relationship with our ego, one that allows us to recognize its limitations and transcend its limitations when necessary.


ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਅਹਿਨਿਸਿ ਅਗਲੀ ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ॥ Ŧarisnā ahinis aglī ha▫umai rog vikār. Desires increase day and night, and the disease of egotism fills us with corruption - Guru Nanak Dev

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