It is great to be here once again sharing with you all interesting insights on various esoteric subjects. In roughly two weeks my book will be available on various eBook platforms and I look forward to sharing my work with you all. In all of this I am excited yet humbled at the grace of God in my life. I’ll put up links to various platforms where my book can be purchased as soon as it is released, if you haven’t gotten a pre-order, do so now to take advantage of the special discount.
Without further ado, today let’s talk about something most of us must have heard at some point in time, either from a friend or someone who feels the need to “instruct us”. To begin with, what is the Ego? The basic definition is “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Psychoanalysis takes the meaning a step further by saying ego is the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious, and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. In Metaphysics ego is described as a conscious thinking subject.
Since we are looking things from a metaphysical perspective we will be working more with the third description, as what we have to discuss is beyond the scope of the first two. In spiritual circles we usually talk more about the real ego, which is the self or the soul. We make allusions to the real ego as the real self because it is distinct from the gross body and connection to this ego awakens our real identity. Often times there is a mix between the two ego’s; the real and the false ego. People who are very much on the bodily platform take the false ego; the body and its designations to be the real ego; the soul. They make plans and arrangements in life based on what they perceive from the false ego and thus fall time without number into a pool of distress and disappointment. Those who identify the false ego as the real ego, usually define ego from the physical perspective of the first definition.
To them, ego is that which supports their self-esteem or self-importance. Anything that goes against this is seen as a detriment to their ego and the response could be defensive whenever people see their ego threatened. However to tie our very core value or importance to things that relate to our physical bodies is to limit the true meaning of the real ego. When we feel our ego needs a car, house, money etc. to survive we are actually operating on the level of the first definition which is totally physical. The second definition says it (the ego) mediates between the conscious and the unconscious… Here we see an attempt to ascribe something more to the ego. Somehow or the other, people must have seen through practical experience that you can still maintain a good level of self-esteem without depending on external appraisal. This means that the ego is beyond the external. The only confusion here is that we can see that Psychoanalysis doesn’t have the name for the real ego and doesn’t really know where to place it and thus says it is between the conscious and unconscious. They know it is more than the physical but are not entirely sure if it is spiritual.
Metaphysics tries to solve this dilemma by saying it is the conscious thinking subject. What does this mean? For the body to exist or be alive there has to be consciousness, a very important factor. The present of consciousness in a body is what determines if it is dead or alive. Beyond consciousness there is the subject (the real self) that is responsible for this “thinking or thoughts”. Automatically Metaphysics separates the mind from the ego by saying it is the “thinking subject”. The Mind is the playground for our thoughts and as such it cannot be the ego. So if the mind is the playground for our thoughts and the ego is consciousness, this means it is more and superior to the mind. More so, because the ego is described as the thinking subject naturally we can see where the “I and Me” concept truly lies. The thinking is done by a subject (the ego), and our thoughts are filled with objects of the senses which are also the object of the subjects thinking. Simply put, the ego (subject) is responsible for our thought process (object) to the degree that it sees itself as real or false.
So how do we differentiate real from false ego? Real ego means understanding the soul or the self to be higher than the mind and body. It means understanding that we are infinitesimal spiritual sparks fully cognizant, blissful and eternal. False ego on the other hand is based on the bodily identifications, which is taking the body to be the self. It is built on the premise that whatever we are is based on the external identifications of the body that we can see. It says there is nothing higher than the self and as such gratification of the senses of the body is the highest goal of life. Not only is this thinking erroneous it is also detrimental to the awakening of our real self. Living by such philosophy deprives the spiritual practitioner the chance to connect to something deeper; the soul or real ego.
There is a more practical approach to this delineation here and due to space I’ll present that in a sequel to this, next week. In that sequel I’ll try to help you see the application and also misapplication of the real and false ego. I’ll also help us identify situations whereby people can misconstrue the real meaning of the word ego so as to be politically correct or just to make others feel less important. I’ll also help us see how we can tune in to our real ego without becoming naïve or losing self-esteem.
Till then do read, share and follow for more.
PS: Photo credit, not mine.