Awakening powers of the nous to the realms of the psychical and noetical must not be mistaken for an indication of dwelling from and in the True Self. Inner work, to tame the ego, is in constant need. In fact, from my perspective, Daskalos’ exhortation that one must “kill the ego” can be quite problematic for people who miss out on subtle nuances.
As Einstein rightly said, “No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that caused it.” If I set out to kill my ego, I become more egoic, but now the strength of the ego becomes more cleverly disguised and harder to see. If I think, “Wow, I am quite developed because I am attracted to the higher things, especially to lightwork (ala Researchers of Truth),” then I am fooling myself with a new kind of arrogance that creates a “me” and “the rest.”
I admit that I have this attitude from time to time and when I do, I thank God that God (every single time!) brings me back to earth by exposing my heretofore hidden ego.
Initiation rights, in my opinion, can be dangerous to those initiated, especially if one is moving from the edge towards more increasingly inner circles, if a person does not have a really good and ongoing practice of identifying the ego’s need to be important and special. Life-giving groups that utilize initiation to higher levels of participation are precious precisely because a major criteria for “advancing” is the lessening of the ego, and not the opposite.
My own mantra regarding my ego is nothing new but it really makes sense to me. Rather than “killing the ego,” I transcend and include it. I look at it with compassion from a more centered place. If I am hurting because of some encounter that left my ego bruised, I don’t try to get rid of the hurt but approach it and the ego’s reaction (the cause of the hurt) as a gift given for my overall spiritual development. The main fruit, for me, of this gift is humility. And from humility I am suddenly able to see even more expansively than ever before.