Defining Ego

by Scott Morrice on 07/04/2012

The whole idea of ego, and defining ego, gets a lot of attention. And it has been getting a whole lot of attention ever since Freud basically defined the term for us in the early 1920’s.

Although Freud talked about ego in terms of being a function of our mind, as opposed to being an actual physical part of our brain, others recently seem to have taken it to a whole new level and have almost given it the attributes of a being—a non-physical entity of some kind.

In fact I think that Eckhart Tolle, whose ideas and writings I really enjoy, and find tremendously thought provoking, talks in terms of an ego that enjoys a non-physical entity status. I think his idea of a “pain-body” is the ultimate, and horrific, extension of that kind of thinking. Actually, I find his “pain-body” concept frightening!

However, I’m not there yet. I actually think things are simpler than that.

I believe that we have learned from a very early age, through all kinds of conditioning, certain “truths” about ourselves. And for the most part, and unfortunately, these truths are based on what other people think of us. And of course those others have their own reasons for thinking whatever they think about us—they have their own agendas, most of which they probably aren’t even really aware. But you can be sure that they haven’t been designed with our best interests at heart—maybe theirs—but not ours.

The result is that we are faced with experiencing our world through this set of filters that were designed by others—for us. So we kind of start our lives from a potentially very troublesome place.

The way through this is not, in my opinion, by treating the ego as a separate identity, which would mean that we must respond to it by dealing with it in some fashion—almost at arms length.

In fact, I think this is too easy—it has the feeling of almost “passing the buck”. It gives us the ability to point to something else, almost something outside us, as being responsible for our issues and our problems. And ultimately I think that it allows us to avoid the ultimate responsibility for our own behavior.

I think that way to deal with our ego, the “truths” that color our vision of ourselves, and the world, is to recognize them for what they are, to take responsibility for our situation, and then to re-learn. And, for me, I have found self-hypnosis to be very (read: extremely) helpful in this re-programming. I have already written about this in my Does Hypnosis Work?, Conscious Of Our Subconscious, and Programming Our Subconscious Mind posts.

I’ll keep you posted.

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