The End of the Ego Struggle

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Since I have started my self-development/self-actualisation journey, the theme of the Ego has come up regularly in various talks and books, going from neuroscience (does it actually exist?) to spiritual (you should kill it as it is not good for you!) to the more moderate: what is it, how does it affect you and is it useful?

Recently I read a book, The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution, which put the Ego into a different context, for me anyway.

It may not have been the intention of the book but as the author described Man being made of part Essence part Personality, I related this to the Soul and Ego concept, Essence being Soul and Personality being Ego; Essence: what you are born with, Personality: what you develop throughout your life via your experiences.

I then decided to look up where Ego came from historically, interested in when the concept first appeared and I fell on a good article talking about its origin.

In short egotistical straits can be traced back thousand of years ago when Man started to mix in “tribes” types of environment:

“The fossil evidence from 200,000 to 300,000 years ago indicates that our ancient ancestor Homo sapiens first appeared in evolutionary fashion from prior ape-like creatures in Africa. Homo sapiens is unique in having a large brain in proportion to body size which fostered the development of abstract thinking and complex social interaction.”

Before this, survival, mainly alone, was his main concern, then when he started to group with other individuals, self image came into the picture, as of course, he had others to “compete” with, I guess then still on a survival level.

I found this quite fascinating. As soon as you mix with others, you have this need to “prove” your worth, both to yourself and to them.

Obviously in this day in age, “survival” is not quite as dramatic as it was then – you aren’t very likely to die if you are not the fatest runner – yet the “Ego” is still in action, possibly constantly when around people, but also when on your own as many people spend a lot of their time thinking how they should be better or are not good enough, thoughts which come from comparing oneself with others and therefore “Ego” based.

When you see the Ego as Personality instead however, to me, it makes the whole concept more manageable as Personality can and does change and when you realise it is shaped by your experiences, or more to the point how you perceive those experiences, you realise you have some control over this – how did I perceive the experiences? Was this perception correct? How does this perception affect me? What bias has it left me with? How do I change this?

Suddenly this mystical concept they call the Ego becomes mundain, clear and easily rectified, should one want to do the work – which is merely question whether your perception is correct, which you will find is rarely the case.

Quoting from another book I read recently:

“The perceiving eye is weak; the observing eye is strong”

One could describe the purpose of a self-development/self-actualisation journey learning to shape your personality into something more useful than just responding to emotions based on perceptions.

So, in my world, the “Ego” is no more, it’s all about developing my personality now. And finding out my Essence, which unfortunately gets buried if one lets one’s personality take over!

Both are useful though, and that’s a relief. I never like the “Death of the Ego” idea. Seemed a bit drastic, and inachievable, to me. And I am happy being human, so I don’t mind having a personality 😉


The Truth about Love…?

This realisation I had about Desire unsettled me somewhat these past few days. I now realise it is because it brought up a few questions about this thing called love and whether it actually exists.

See, this past month I got to experience desire. Rather, I got to feel desired. By three different individuals on three different levels. I would venture:

  • A soul connection with the Amsterdam homeless artist, with whom I spent many many hours unveiling the newly discovered inner me. And with whom I decided nothing physical would happen, because it would spoil the experience, and he somewhat relunctantly agreed.
  • An intellectual connection with a chap I came across on FB, who told me when we got chatting that he had been attracted to my mind for a while. And who with interestingly when he saw my pic, the intellectual connection seemed to go out of the window. And as he was married, I preferred to sever our connection the following day.
  • An intense online “physical” chemistry with someone I got chatting to on a swingers site which became an intense physical attraction when we met up. [This latter encounter also made me realise I couldn’t do sex without feelings.]

So you could say I have experienced strong desires from those individuals, yet none of those desires were founded on anything real. None of those people really knew me, not even the slightest, yet, they were attracted to me.

This is what has made me realise that desire is never based on anything real, but rather on an imagined, pure speculation outcome.

I also realised how intoxicating feeling desire can be. All because you are getting some attention.

Lastly, I realised that you only desire someone for the effect they have on you (the imagined effect as, remember, you don’t know that person in the slightest at the beginning). So you could say desire is purely Ego driven. And Ego driven emotions certainly have to be avoided.

All this got me thinking that desire isn’t real. Cannot be real.

Yet, “love” comes from desire. You always desire someone first then, move on to Love.

However, how can you love someone when the feeling comes from a false emotion (desire)?

And that question makes me think possibly love (the romantic one) doesn’t exist.

That’s kind of unsettling.



About Ego

In my last post, I talked about Ego and how by disconnecting myself from things and people my Ego was left with nothing to feed on.

I fell on a video this morning from Ask Teal about Ego – How Ego Comes Through the Back Door, and it made me realise that this state of disconnection can be dangerous.

Whilst I believe I need this time out to explore who I am without distractions from the “normal world”, I am by no means wanting to stay disconnected. I see this time as needed to better understand my being. I still love people, I still love the world. However, I want to find the best way for me to contribute to it. And by being distracted by others I don’t feel I am going to find what I need.

I have a friend, whom I have never met and with whom I had a very deep connection in the past, when we shared very deep thoughts, argued even, but felt so connected to. We have never met because he never wanted to. I think he felt scared. 

He is an interesting character to say the least, he doesn’t work and seems to spend his whole life working on his house. He doesn’t sleep and lives on coffee he says. When I say he doesn’t sleep, he literally doesn’t. Which is why at the beginning when we started chatting – we “met” through a dating site – I was very cautious. I know what sleep deprivation is like for I suffered from it badly two years ago. I do know it brings a sense of higher consciousness which can be exhilarating but ultimately I know it doesn’t enable you to live in reality.

Recently, he reconnected with his first love and had a little thing with her – unfortunately she is married, so my friend got really messed up by the experience. And, last I checked on him, he has now fully disconnected from the world. He hasn’t seen anyone for weeks, has no-one in his life and feels better for it, he says.

In my current disconnection state, I worry about him. Because he is using disconnection as a way to escape reality. I am using it to better understand it.

Although being disconnected is an interesting and sometimes fun experience, it is not a state I want to stay in too long. Because I love people.

My disconnection is enabling me to take stock of my being and find a way to better serve the world around me. 

I have found I don’t want to be “different” – I would much prefer being nobody – yet, I feel special. But not “better”. This is the confusion I feel at the moment and that I am trying to make sense out of.

I still feel lonely too. But I am convinced that this is only a temporary state of play. I need this time out to fully process who I am, my mistakes, and more to the point, find out my dreams before they can be realised.

For 43 years I have escaped reality any way I could, without even realising it. When I stopped the drinking, I was suddenly faced with it. I am lucky that I instantly liked who I was without the booze, however I still had to process what made me escape the world for so long. 

The whole purpose of this journey for me is not to disconnect from the world completely, it is to reconnect better.

By giving my Ego nothing to feed on, I can better understand it. I know it is still here though thanks to the few constants I still have in my life and all the reading and researching I am doing too and my reaction to it. Every little bit of connection I experience, I feel my Ego is learning too.

I know my Ego will always be here, but I don’t want it to be what drives me. I want my deeper self to drive me instead.

By newpaz Tagged