The ego. So much has been written about it. I’m not going to try and re-iterate what the likes of Freud and others talked about. It’s all there online and in books. I just want to make a couple of points for those who haven’t yet reflected on it.
Our ego is that part of us that, simply put, won’t accept. It’s the little voice that makes you say, ‘yes but… ‘ with a need to be right. In an argument it’s so strong that you often lose all sense of reason and logic. If you see something you disagree with, the ego forces you to put that person right to give you a sense of superiority.
Another issue with the ego and for me the most important issue is the identification of self, it tricks you into thinking that it, is you. It isn’t. It’s merely a function of the human mind. I specifically say human because in terms of vanity, greed and the incessant need to be right and feel superior to others, I really don’t feel animals possess such a thing.
The last thing your ego wants is to be found out, by you. I’m sure it will hate you reading this and will put up a lot of reasons in your mind as to why this post may be nonsense. Once you recognise that the ego is a function of your mind you will appreciate that it is not part of the self, it isn’t you. If your ego really was you, you would have immediately noticed that my referring to “your” ego as being an error. It can’t belong to you and be you. If you lost a limb, you’d still be you, no part of your identity would have gone.
Your ego is the cause of so much of your unhappiness because it doesn’t allow you to accept situations as they are. So what if somebody says something you believe to be “wrong”? You may see somebody on an online forum make a statement that you just have to “correct”. Well, why? Because you’ll be better than them? Are you going to spend the rest of your life correcting others?
Don’t confuse what I am saying with never needing to take action. If you’re a Paramedic you do what you do to save lives. It’s your training that makes decisions, not your ego. For other roles where you have authority over others be very aware of your ego as in such roles the ego is fed so much you can and probably will lose perspective. You may have heard of the often repeated Prison Experiment by Dr. Zimbardo where random people are given authority over others. The results were and are horrific.
Probably the best book I’ve read on the ego is Eckhart Tolle’s, The Power of Now. If you’re interested in increasing your self-awareness and recognising the root cause of much of your unhappiness I totally recommend it. You know I’m right *wink*