Awareness isn’t empty. It may be a container of sorts, but it’s not an empty vessel. What does it contain? It contains thoughts, and those thoughts manifest in physical form. This is what we call physical reality. Everything aside from awareness that we perceive to exist is an expression of the contents of awareness.

Since awareness holds thoughts of an ego, the ego is manifest in physical form as a human body. The ego benefits awareness by giving it a first-person perspective with which to interact with its manifestations. Living as a physical being means entering awareness itself and exploring the contents first-hand. Why on earth would awareness want to do this? Because awareness learns about every part of itself from the perspective of every other part.

Awareness itself is perfect as-is, but the perspective of the ego is such that it always seems imperfect. The ego’s first-person perspective sees flaws while the third-person perspective of awareness sees only perfection and joy.

If awareness is perfect, then why did it create the ego in the first place? Because the ego is perfect too — in its own way it follows the perfect path towards discovering that perfection. What is perfection if there is no one to perceive and appreciate it?

An integral part of perfection itself is the creation of an observer whose role is to discover and appreciate that perfection. And in order to appreciate perfection, that observer must also understand imperfection. That observer is the ego.

It’s ironic that our egos, which we perceive as so imperfect and flawed, are actually part of perfection itself. Perfection cannot exist without imperfection. In fact, as paradoxical as it may seem, imperfection is actually contained within perfection. Our deepest flaws are that which give rise to our greatest beauty. Our most horrific and painful failure experiences are those that allow us to grow the most and to help the most people. Our failures are perfect failures. That which causes us the greatest suffering is also that which gives us the greatest joy. The only difference between suffering and joy is perspective, such as the perspective of time.

Some people say that the path of spirituality requires that we abandon the ego. That is not an opinion I share. I believe the path to enlightenment requires a deep appreciation for the ego and its role in the self-expression of awareness.

The ego is not a mistake. The mistake is ego identification, and it’s still a perfect mistake because it leads to deeper appreciation of awareness identification. The ego may not be your true self, but it is a vital part of a greater whole. The ego’s purpose is to perceive and appreciate the contents of awareness, eventually leading to the conclusion that everything is in fact perfect as-is, including the ego itself.

Love your imperfections, your flaws, and your mistakes, for they are also the source of your greatest joy.