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ARE YOU SOMEONE WHO
hat is the ego?
ego: the opinion that you
have about your self
psycholog y: a part of the mind that sen ses
a nd adapts to the rea l world
ego: a person’s sen se of self-e steem or
Source: Oxford Dictionary
Much has been written about the ego. You
would have thought it was something that
actually existed observably like a rock, a
seashell or a goat. Instead, it is merely a theory,
idea, thought form or concept. The more you
believe it to be real, the more real it becomes.
The ego, in describing one’s identity as a
“s elf ” or separation and individuation from
one’s birthmother, represents something
that can be ‘proven’ to exist. It is a healthy
part of differentiation. Yet, the negative
c onnotations a scribed to the ego are what
c onc ern me. The “ego” is required to undergo
a c onversion, a re wiring, a redefinition.
How ha s self identity come to denote a
bad thing, to the extent that people actua lly
feel the need to apologise for having an ego
a nd clean se their sins away for being so
selfish? In actuality, we are created via the
illusion of separation, so it feels very real to
us. This is the challenge and opportunity of
being human beings tasked with free will
decision-m aking a nd exp erience.
It’s a n existential dilemma . Do we foc us
on ourselves purely as spiritual beings part
of the God self, the Infinite Universe, the
All That Is? Or do we focus on ourselves as
separated beings here to have the experienc e
a nd cre ation of the individual self ?
It seems to me that both goals can co-
exist – different paths to the same goal
which is universal. Some might seek love,
prosperity, adventure, happiness, pe ac e, yet
everybody wants to feel fulfilled.
How we define words is key to
c ommunication. The word, “ego” is a n
a mbiguous word that ma ny people seem to
regard with, at best regret, at worst, disdain
and shame. It is the devil that needs to be
rejected, purified and the source of most of
our problems and unhappiness – See : http://
w w w.elephantjournal.com/2010/06/ego -
In psycholog y, the origina l “e go”
wa s a ctua lly neutra l, denoting the self
preser vation and self focu s of the identity.
Later, “ego” denoted “self ” a nd then
branched out to mean something different
a n engorged, ignorant a nd gross form of
selfishness and narcissism.
This self centredness could then be
argued to be at the centre of unhappiness.
If the ego is a veil between us and God
(as Rumi wrote), then isn’t it time we killed
The death of the ego is said to involve a
loss of the division between the self and the
environment, henc e one bec ome s “one” with
“a ll that is”.
“Ego death means an irreversible end to
one’s philosophical identification with what
Alan Watts called skin-encapsulated ego.”
~ Stanislav Grof
The ego is much misunderstood and it’s when it’s hijacked
by self-centredness that all our problems arise, suggests
David G Arenson ND.
The Ego is Dead!
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