Most of us have the same idea and understanding about the ego as the next person. But what actually is it? Is it the puffed up guy that struts around thinking that he is hot shit? Is it the pretty girl that flaunts her aesthetically pleasing look in public in a way that seems to insist that she is better than any other? Is it the executive that lauds his power over his employees and colleges as a constant reminder of who is the top dog? Well, yes...And no.
The ego is a far more insidious construct.
Construct is the best word to describe the ego. You see, you were not born with an ego, you constructed it from your learnings, and the insistent bombardment of the social structures and cultural norms. It is a construct built in partnership, between YOU and the world. The ego is impressed upon you, and over time you come to believe that it is actually you.
Observing a baby when it is born into the world, you soon notice that it seems to have no control over its body movements. It doesn't yet know how to avoid scratching its own face, or keep its limbs still. Its as if the baby's body is doing whatever, randomly. This is because the baby has no sense of separation between body and environment. When it was in the womb there was no way for the baby to conceive that it was separate from it. Then, all of a sudden it goes through one of the greatest traumas it will ever experience. Being born. The environment has changed completely, but still there is no communication for it to conclude that it is separate from the environment. Everything is simply sensation, and observation.
To be in a state of oneness with everything around you for a grown adult is what many would call transcendence. So you can see how a new born comes into this world from a transcendent state of consciousness. It is everything, and everything is it. There is no concept of this and that, here and there, I and other. It is not long however before this beings parents, caregivers, support networks, siblings and the like, assure the child through language and demonstration that I am me, and you are you, and this is that and soforth.
It is understood in child psychology that an infant grasps the idea of a separate "I" at around 18 months of age, but could be as young as three months. It is at this point that personal characteristics really begin to solidify and the birth of the ego has begun. The ego is continually encouraged to grow through schooling, training and social interaction. The "I" begins to seek to obtain that which it now perceives is other from itself. From here comes the concepts of possession, lack, security and fear.
Soon the child is attaching meaning to its learnt thought process and interactions, and new emotive responses begin to emerge. By the age of seven the child with the help of its cultural input has structured a base personality that will be its platform in the world it now fully believes it is separate from.
The ego has firmly established its own voice, so much so that it has now become the dominant inner monologue within the persons mind. As the person grows, the mind compiles more information, constructs new meanings, and ever increasing conclusions and beliefs.
Now the ego (the construction of "I") is convinced that it is the self. But the true self comes from a place of simply being, just as a baby is when it is ineutero and freshly born into the world. While the ego is nothing more than constant thought. And it is from here that we can see how the ego can cause havoc for the individual, and often does.
There is a very important thing too understand. The ego wants for only one thing. It has an insatiable need to prove that it is real. It strives to stamp its personality on the world, and in some cases retreats inwardly to torment the self into believing that everything that the ego perceives that it is separate from is conspiring against it. All the while 'the self' keeps quiet as it always has from the beginning, sometimes becoming heavily grieved by the neurosis of the ego.
The self feels no need to prove anything, because it knows it is everything. The ego is always trying to prove the personality, because it knows that it is only thought, and without the expression of thought it will cease to exist. So it keeps the self in a constant shroud of thinking and doing.
Now, it is necessary that you have an ego, as it has been developed and inserted into you from the world, for the world. Without an ego you could not survive or function in the world. See, the very word 'world' comes from an old english word to mean 'age of man'. So the world is also just a construct. It is no more than a concept. You could then say that it is simply a thought, or collective ego. The world grows egos...The earth grows conscious beings.
So the problem is, that today more than ever, we are living from our ego's and neglect to come to know the self. The explosion of technology is continuing to strengthen the ego by giving it more devices and distractions to cover up The Self , and thus, leaving us with a multitude of
human-thinkings, and minimal human-beings. A baby just is, most adults just think.
How do I know this? I am in contact with people everyday that grieve over how their mind is running at a million miles an hour. It interferes and disrupts so much of their being and activity that for some they feel that they can no longer take it! Is there a solution? Yes
The first thing is to realise that you are not the ego; (your thoughts and beliefs ). The second is to understand that the ego is not meant to be in charge of your life. It is no more than a collection of thoughts, conclusions and habits. It is everything that the Self is not. The ego is meant to be in service to the Self, for the Self is everlasting. It is pure consciousness. It is the you that was born without separation. The Self that woke up having never gone to sleep...
Every persons position and circumstance is different, so to bring things back to balance where the Self is realised and the ego is servant, is best obtained with coaching and guidance. This is what I specialise in as a life coach. So to see if coaching can be helpful to you, please contact me for your free consultation.