“Ego can be the source of our sins and also an enabler for our divine self. When we teach it falsehoods about self, either knowingly or not, then it becomes the source of sin, for it causes us to live a lie, and any deviation from the pure divine self, is sin. On the other hand, if we lovingly teach ego to be aligned with our pure divine self, then ego can help us project the pure self into the outside world. Thus, ego can be the source of great good, by making sure our thoughts, words and deeds, especially in stressful situations, are entirely in alignment with the self we know ourselves to be.”
“The ego is largely a structure in the mind that stores learnt behaviours. But also it serves as an adaptation layer between incoming thoughts and awareness. It’s in this adaptation, and the related learnt behaviours, where we tend to teach it not to be true to self. Since most of us lack information on what true self is. So we have a tendency to adopt a self-image that is socially derived, and false. In the early stages of becoming true to self, we adopt a mindful approach, and question every thought and behaviour option that ego presents to us. Over time, the ego learns not to modify those thoughts, as we become more accepting of our true self, and no longer demand the ego adapts them to be acceptable to our false sense of self.”
The ego, as I see it, is a self-learning store of behaviours, responses and learnt knowledge through which we present to the world, and ourselves, the person that we perceive ourselves to be.
The problem that faces the majority of us, is that during our childhood, our caregivers, our teachers, peers and the media all tell us who we are, and who we should be. Also, during childhood and beyond, we have a need to be loved, to be cared for and looked after, and we quickly learn that if we do not conform to the behavioural requirements that society demands of us, we don’t get that love, support and care.
And so, for most children, the decision is made without thinking, to conform, and in so doing forget and reject aspects of self that the world deems selfish, odd or unwanted. How we do this, is we unconsciously ask ego to hide those aspects of self from us, in order that we can please our personal understanding of the needs of society.
How this happens, is that the ego will add an interpretation layer between our genuine thoughts and feelings, and our conscious awareness. Hiding ourselves, from ourselves. Replacing our genuine wants and needs with our learnt wants and needs. This way, our childhood turns to adulthood, and we adopt the idea that we are “normal”.
Over the course of our childhood and beyond, the ego’s adaptation layer becomes increasingly complex, and the “rules of self” it tries to impose become increasingly intertwined and often form structural inconsistencies as we increasingly deviate from our authentic self to become the persona we think will be most acceptable to the world that we interact with.
Increasingly, over time, the ego finds it more and more difficult to maintain this persona with consistency, pleasing everyone we relate to, as well as the awareness of self.
One of the problems we face, is that deep within us, there is the realisation that without a true concept of self, we have very little in the way of self-esteem, self-worth or self-confidence. We try to cover this up by asking ego to count the reasons why we should feel good about ourselves. It diligently proceeds, therefore, to count our good deeds, to measure our material wealth, our intellectual achievements etc., and we play along by collecting more “credits”; we do more good deeds, we get higher paid jobs, we start our own business and go on educational courses, adopt hobbies etc. Yet, all the while, the ego is struggling, for each credit we gain, the pressure on the ego, from those hidden parts of self, seeking expression, mounts up. The ego struggles to cope.
This is where most of our psychological issues come from. This unbalanced ego that we have created eats through the credits faster than we can collect them, and as a result, our issues come to light.
Those aspects of self that we hid in our unconscious, they are thought-forms. These are effectively dissociated parts of the self, they may be well hidden, but they are not without influence. We call them self-doubt, we call them the critic, intrusive thoughts, for some they come as negative voices. These are all aspects of self that we have told the ego to hide from us, yet this was never the ego’s job. It wasn’t part of its design, and so it is clumsy. And we have our problems.
The solution to this, is that we, as adults, can choose to find ourselves. We can recognise we are not the person we chose to be, rather, we are the person we chose to hide from ourselves. The only solution, therefore, is to go back to the drawing board and find our true self, reconnect with all that we deny and give it expression.
One way to do this, is to start being mindful – to question every thought and ask “Is this really me?”, and during that process, listen to our intuition for the answer. Let your intuition, that alternate connection to our unconscious self, tell you what is right, and what is wrong.
Now, the ego is a fast learner. It will pick on your renewed intention to be your authentic self, and it will increasingly re-establish those connections to the parts of self that you were previously in denial of. It will drop its adaptations, and true self will come forward. Don’t be surprised if this process turns somewhat mystical, for the truth is, all of us, are somewhat mystical.
And don’t be surprised, if that process of finding yourself seems like you are going mad! Remember, society has taught you to believe that your true self is mad. You need to remember that you are unique, and that for the most part, external help will be no help, for you are a one-off, what works for another may well be destructive to self.
But also remember; you’ve got this! All you are doing is becoming yourself. It’s a journey with its ups and downs, but it’s also a journey with an end which will see you perfectly able to co-exist with society while being entirely true to self. Often doing exactly what you were doing previously, only now, you are happy on the inside as well as the outside.