The Rise And (Eventual) Fall Of Ego Identification – A Foray Into The Psychological Landscape

Whoa! That title, right?

Well, it’s not that serious.

Basically, I want to talk about how I fully believe we are beings that are two halves seen as a whole, much like a magnet has a north and a south pole, we’re comprised of a permanent and an impermanent “self”.

The former, or permanent, is what most refer to as the spirit, soul, chi, ki, and so on and so on.

The latter, the impermanent, is the essence which identifies with the body and everything else bound to the laws of time. This is what most refer to as the ego.

A Man Who Represents Himself Has A Fool For A Client

What I’m about to go into is my interpretation of the psychological minefield we’re all born into based on a rudimentary understanding of the Freudian ego, id, and superego concept but based largely on my experiences with my journey, and most specifically the part I would classify as an “awakening” similar in context to what appears to be amassing quite a bit of cultural fervor of late.

regal-looking-lawyer-typeThat said, like all things I outline in this blog this will be one of my “truths” which is simply a declaration of how I see the facts based on my subjective understanding based on my particular set of consequential knowledge… how’s that for a disclaimer??

What We Think We See

Can we agree that thought and the battlefield of the mind are highly volatile things?

Volatility, in scientific terms is a measure of how likely something changes from one state (liquid or solid) to it’s gaseous form.

Basically, how fast does it come apart when “under pressure”.

This is a great analogy for our minds because there are all sorts of quotes about how you find out who a person “really is” when under pressure.

It gets even better when we understand the “pressure” actually stems from the basis of these same quotes… identification (or knowing or thinking we know what something in the temporal, time-inseparable, realm of understanding) of what something or someone is.

What I mean by that is that we all seem to carry, from birth, a need for things to be one thing and that’s it!.

hillbilly science cletus beaker

“That’s just the way it is and it ain’t gon’ change no time soon'”

I have to mention the term cognitive dissonance again because, what it refers to is what I believe is the root of this need.

…But Is It Safe?!?

When Maslow published his hierarchy of needs it revolutionized the way we could all discuss psychology from a more even keeled place and I want to talk about the second largest in the stack, which is only there because it is just slightly less than a need for food and that is, our need for safety.

I postulate, as many have before me, that emotion, much like the magnets I mentioned in the opening, are binary; just love and fear.

maslow's hierarchy of needsThe second layer is where we leave the objective arena and enter into a place where our beliefs inarguably hold just as much weight, in terms of reality, as the measurable universe.

The analogy I like to bring out most when discussing this is; dogs.

I grew up around a ton of them, of all shapes and sizes, my mom just couldn’t say no to a wayward canine, so I’m very comfortable in the presence of a dog who is barking, either in defense of his property or from being frightened.

This, however, is not the case for a lot of people.

If you had a traumatic experience with a dog that warranted a dramatic change in your sense of security and safety in their presence, it is a clear example that your reality is different than mine when there is a barking dog present.

Perception IS Reality

I’ve used that title before and I’ll likely use it again.

girl wearing fear is god jacketMaslow hit the nail on the head by having this fear-based understanding of reality be so high on the list.

From the moment we go from being completely cared for by our parents to being left to our own defenses we shift into full on classification mode.

We have an innate need to have the things that we see, hear, and otherwise interact with be one “thing” versus another, for if that weren’t the case we’d have no idea whether to place it in the “safe” or “unsafe” area of our mind’s eye.

This is the pain of cognitive dissonance, of trying to hold two equally opposing thoughts or concepts as being true, and it’s why we label… everything and everyone.

By Definition, To Label Is To Judge

the croods motion gif of monkey saying dun dun duuunnnnn

This is why it’s our default mode and why we all must start out by knowing ourselves as our ego.

The ego is the part of us that knows time has teeth.

Our ego is both our biggest gift and our greatest curse.

Side note: Not too long ago I read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Click to expand:

If you haven’t read it, or even heard of it, you might find it pretty interesting if you come at it from this perspective.

This wildly flies in the face of the belief system it’s founded on but I imagine you’d be hard pressed to not somewhat be able to hear the “influencer” as both wearing the costume of the demon (who the book is about; a demon that writing letters to his understudy with detailed lessons on how to keep Christians from hearing the word of God) AND as your scared childlike voice who may cower reflexively in fear at various aspects of reality, the way the child who was bitten recoils from any dog.

vidar-nordli-mathisen-photo-unsplashThis is why I titled this “the rise and fall of the ego” because, similar to the old adage states;

It’s our parent’s fault for making us this way, sure; but it’s our fault if we stay that way

Try to break free of this understanding that you are (only) your past actions and whatever credit you give yourself, based only on the fear-based and time-bound understanding of the universe.

There’s NO WAY There’s Just One In There

fighting-bysonIs it so hard to believe you’re more than that?

Even the Freudian based understanding that I mentioned above postulates that we aren’t really just one “person”.

I’m not saying it just to be nice or to sound like Tony Robbins, saying that you’re more than your worrying, doubtful, and spiteful self.

You would be no more than a computer who was programmed to do routine activities based only on what was 100% classified, quantified, and verified as “safe”, if this wasn’t the case.

You have an inborn ability to look at two things that carry identically equal aspects of fear and joy, as it relates to what came before in your mind which might be none of either, and decide… you make a choice.

THAT IS CREATION! You are a walking talking big-bang, temporarily in the shape of a human being.

You can look at a space devoid of form, think; “this really could be so much more”, fill it with things, life, and love, and so it is written, and so it is done.

How are you not as much a god, in those terms, as you are a mortal creature?

It’s More About Mortality Than It Is Morality

double exposure of man peering into distance over cityscapeFreud saw it as morality that has kept us from completely destroying ourselves through total consumption but I swear it’s more than that.

Morality feels like a learned response to the given circumstances based on what you feel “should be” yours and how much that leaves for everyone else. However, most of us don’t need to be told what we know to be right, in our core.

Tell me you haven’t had some interaction with your parents, likely very early on, where you asserted something they were doing just didn’t “feel right”.

Where did THAT sense come from?

Do you really think the world based on Kim K.’s butt and how many likes you can get determine your worth taught you this idea of goodness;

Or is it more likely it originated from the same place we all come to know as the origin, the place where our ability to love comes from, that we get a full sense of when we feel it permeate our entire body during special moments in our lives such as; the birth of a child or an act of sacrifice for a loved one?

Reached A Point Where It Might Make Sense?

woman on swing over waterfallOkay, so maybe you don’t agree with me that your power to choose makes you god-like by definition, but don’t you get a sense that there is something that’s just slightly incomplete with what we’re taught by society?

If you’re not here with me, it’s really okay by me.

Eckhart Tolle says;

“We need our suffering until we don’t”

This need I described, to classify and feel safe through labeling people, or parts of ourselves, as this or that in service to a belief that the universe needs us to uphold justice and seek those who need to be held accountable for the way things are…

….that’s what he means by that statement.

It’s noble and I applaud your valiant stance, I honestly do, because I held on to it just as tightly, or tighter, for most of my life.

Who am I to you to ask that you jump off a cliff with no parachute while I’m yelling “DON”T WORRY YOU’LL BE FINE!”, deep breath in … still yelling…”There’s something down there that makes it so you don’t just go away for all eternity, it can’t really be fully described using words that have an origin and understanding based on a world struggling the same way I am”? [great, now I’m light headed]

man free falling sideways

… but even if I’m wrong, I’m not really asking that you jump off a cliff.

I’m just asking you to love yourself fully and just try to place your faith, and locus of control, within yourself and then as a result, maybe … just maybe, you’ll look upon the world with the same joyfully tear filled eyes that I did as you come to understand it as having the same power and propensity to love, that I believe wholeheartedly, to be radiantly emanating from … inside of you.

If you’re not ready, it truly is fine because, above all other aspects I know to be true, love is the most patient element in the cosmos…

rafael-barquero-photo-unsplash.jpg

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