Ideas are not just ideas. Ideas are extremely powerful. They can keep you stuck in the mud for decades but they can also change your life completely in a very short time. Look at the Islamic suicide bombers. Look at the people in dangerous religious cults or in extreme right wing movements. They often went through rapid personality changes. Look at the politicians. How come they can't see that they are stuck? Are they blind? And look at all those jerks who vote for them. Look at yourself. Aren’t all of us propelled or possessed by ideas?
Ideas can change your life. Ideas can turn you into a slacker or a workaholic. Ideas can make you unhappy, happy, grateful or idiotic.
The problem is that very few of our ideas are actually ours. We have picked them up from somewhere, from home, from school and from the society where we grew up. We have been indoctrinated. Most of our decisions are made in this conditioned and murky part of our brains.
It is impossible to live without ideas. A human being without ideas is like a bird without wings. It is ideas that make you go to work. It is ideas that make you drop out to sit on park benches instead, drinking beer. It is ideas that are ruining this planet with carelessness and greed. It would be so much better for humankind and life here on earth if the majority of us were possessed by environmentally friendly ideas and love for each other.
The conscious part of you, the ego, is just a tiny part of you. It is the tip of an iceberg. This tip is important, though. Here is where conscious decisions are made. Here is where conscious change originates. It is possible change your mind. It is possible to get a more optimistic outlook on life. “No! I no longer accept this nonsense. No! I don’t like racism. No! The meaning with life is not just to get rich.” Ideas like this are created in the conscious mind.
A human being without a conscious mind, without an ego, is a sleepwalker, a zombie, a programmed robot. Ego is not something bad as many of the “spiritual people” believe. The question is whose game you are playing, whose errands you are running. You can be clear and awake. You can stop drinking. You can leave your religious cult. You can replace your neo-liberal or social Darwinist views. You can make conscious decisions.
The Advaita-Vedanta concept of “No-self” is but a concept. Non-dualists believe that they do not exist, that the ego doesn’t exist. This is a silly idea. From a cosmic point of view is the ego of course not very important, I agree, but what is important from this point of view?