“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
The Egg in Egotism, no less– that they are MY words not Yours.
But how fragile- how meaningless. Great falls needlessly strengthen the ego
“Try Harder Not Smarter” is an egotistical message
“My life has Meaning, goddamit!”
— Peter Finch character in the movie “Network” (1976)
Seems like common parlance suggests Ego means,
sense of identity, The Self In Contrast To Others And The World,
The identity creation and preservation mechanism that gives one a name, place, space, set of actions reactions and integrity as an individual- typically against the identity of all others-
yours in particular, whoever I am talking to.
Saying “we are all one” is trying to deny an ancient mechanism-
Why not Live with it not against it.
So here are MY understanding.
It’s that which creates and maintains the impression of being a “Me” and not a “someone or something else” or worse still, nothing at all
It is the mental component that Reflects and contrasts itself against other egos.
It is naturally a mechanism of contrast- Always it seems in sets of comparisons- In other words it has to me very little abosolute reality but rather a duality:
There is a simplistic and useful overtone to this form of identity that rejects the complexity and nuance of “Other Egos” which to me is where the real interest lies:
Why do people believe what they believe?
Am I the only person who really gets “It”
even though I cannot define “It”!
What does it take to change ones mind against overwhelming evidence?
Am an actor in my life or just a reactor?
Is ego Bad? or does it just exist and is necessary somehow to our existence like air, water, food and safety?
Freud did say Ego is supposed to be the moderator that exists between baser instincts that are adrenalin and animalistically driven and our “higher” decision-making mechanisms.
We might kill something or come to harm ourselves-
due to territorial threats, hunger, injury, fear etc and the “Higher” functions like volition, intention, the temporal businesses of planning, execution and evaluation that supposedly really make us human.
But do they? In being my honorable slave I do not trust my Ego-
yet it is ancient, largely evolved over thousands of years of “primitive” existence and fits poorly with the safe environment of so called civilized present day society where individual responsibility for safety etc. is performed by proxies like law enforcement, not self.
The scorpion stings the frog to death that is carrying him over the river on his back:
so they both drown, the scorpion apologetically saying as they go under: “I did not mean to sting you but it is in my nature”
Therefore My Ego:
* Whatever It Is , it will preserve itself unchanged as far as it can
* It will spare my “Higher Sense” anything from seeing what does not concur- Confirmation Bias lives here.
* It votes certainty over truth, present comfort over future betters
* It hides. If seen, it feels threatened. If spoken to, it defends, regardless. If questioned it triggers .. Adrenaline.
* It’s always on guard and does not want contradiction, dilemmas, disagreements or dissent.
* It almost has a mind of its own at our expense and does NOT have our real-person here-and-now Civilized Persona existence & enjoyment at heart.
Like our need to bereathe it appears, like air, to be necessary and needs to be judiciously stepped around rather than destroyed or avoided. How?
- Discomfort? Lean into it.
Unlikely to kill you no matter what the Ego says
- Consider existential annihilation is way different to physical death.
Looking stupid because you ignored your Ego’s warnings that you will fail…won’t kill you.
In hunter gatherer circles, mistakes could kill. Not nowadays.
- Learn to recognize adrenalin rise- This will taser the Ego. Be Still.
- Feeling critical? That’s recognition of one’s very own ego in others.
- STOP. that’s it. STOP reasoning. Wait. It will pass.. the Ego easily gets bored and distracted as it’s only Here, Now. Plus, adrenalin generally declines given about 20 minutes.
- Prove to yourself the ego is almost useless. Do what it does not want you to do- go where it does not want you to go. Feast on the results and reinforce that. Good examples; Say Sorry and mean it with excuses. .. Just Say “YES”
- this brings me to Improv, a fun revealing way to unravel the ego.
- the Rules of Improv are generally very challenging to the Ego as you get to practice safely being whoever you feel like being doing whatever you want to do in a safe environment
- that’s it for now. Comment welcomed.