There is only one trap. The ego has only one tool. Do you know what it is?
Separation. The ego wants to come between you and God, between you and yourself, between you and others.
It has one devious way of doing this, which in all its forms is exactly the same trap.
As soon as you believe in separation, you perceive a difference between you and God, between you and your real self, or between you and others, you have fallen for it.
As soon as you see difference, you will see a different meaning for each party, and will award each of them a different label. One will be more good, one more bad. Or one will be more right, one more wrong. Or one is better looking, or one is more spiritual, or one is more mature, or one is a better friend, or whatever. Conditionality.
To put it even more simply:
The ego wants you to TAKE SIDES.
By taking sides, it gets you to believe that one of the two SEPARATE CHOICES are better than the other in some way, more preferable, more desirable, more true, more credible or worthy or real.
The instant you do this, you COME BETWEEN yourself and God, yourself and your real self, and yourself and others.
Let's be clear about the ego's motives.
The ego does not give a shit who wins the war.
The ego does not give a shit who is better or worse.
The ego does not give a shit who is good or bad.
The ego does not give a shit who is more evil or holy.
The ego does not give a shit who is right or wrong.
The ego does not give a shit who is winning.
ALL it wants to do is SEPARATE what once was one, into separate parts, to distinguish what it is that keeps those parts separate, and to emphasize that difference as much as possible.
IT DOES NOT MATTER which side you take, where you fall, who you align with, or what you think is a better option. If you are choosing darkness and evil, you are just as much falling for the trap as if you are choosing to try to make out your are "good" and well behaved. If you are the winner of the war or the one that gets destroyed, it doesn't matter. The ego doesn't give a shit. All it wants to do is COME BETWEEN, to keep apart, to separate out and to stop there being unity or oneness or wholeness.
So don't fall for the primary trap, the only trap, of believing that you are escaping the ego by going into one of two sides or one of two possibilities. Or that you're more spiritual by siding with appearances of spirituality (the spiritual ego). Or that you're less spiritual if you're siding with appearances of darkness and rebellion.
BOTH the dark (the shadow self) and the `light` (the persona) are parts of the EGO SPLIT MIND. And both of them are dependent on each other. And both of them are attacked by each other. And both of them are doing things which are mistaken. They both uphold the separation.
It doesn't matter what side you pick. IF you pick a side, that is what matters. IF you go along with the illusion that one party is better than another, or one choice is better than another, you are fucked.
The ego's major weapon with illusions is to get you to be convinced that how something APPEARS tells you what IT IS, and therefore its FORM tells you of its inherent qualities. This is totally deceptive. It makes it APPEAR as though some things in the world are innocent victims and other things are victimizers. Some things are good/light, some things are dark/bad. And then if you start to defend the good stuff against the bad stuff, or feel sorry for the victims, or go along with this whole charade of separate enemies, YOU HAVE fallen for the ego.
BOTH sides of every argument lose. BOTH victimizer and victim lose. BOTH sides of every war lose. As soon as you enter into separation and conflict you're losing yourself, losing God, and losing your brother. You cannot fight and win and be free of this fact. The ego's lie is that you CAN fight and win and be free of this fact - that you can get away with it, or one side can actually conquer the other, or that someone can "win" at this game of life.
THERE ARE NO WINNERS IN THE EGO'S DREAM OF DEATH!
Anyone who plays the game LOSES. Anyone who plays the game or goes along with the game comes to believe in separation, and DIES. The only way out is not to play the game at all.