The ego is the 'I' we utilise in day to day life; a useful tool for organizing, planning and predicting events in life and to fill in meaning, consistency and a sense of control over our lives in the world. It is this aspect of human experience that traditional psychology has been most interested in. The ego has developed through the capacities offered by the brain's prefrontal cortex. However, the well-used forward-thinking faculties afforded by the prefrontal cortex has taken our attention away from the inner sense of self. Our society has become so used to using this part of our brain, that it has begun to automatically analyse and categorise our personal not just practical lives, working in tandem with our more primitive, emotional brain, resulting in judgemental thinking about ourselves, an attachment to an emotionally-fuelled identity, rather than feeding our spiritual, inner connection that is our fundamental sense of being life and part of the natural world.
The set of labels, that we call ‘I’ is a central hub of ideals that we use to navigate through the material world. Ego gives us an outward expression of who we 'are' or wish to be. Yet it can turn inward and be driven by negative as well as positively delusional beliefs if what is fuelling our ideals is laden with emotional judgements. The 'I' is like the broadcast, rather than the signal. An so attachment to any one programme, in an ever changing series of programmes, can end up problematic. To consider it this way; the broadcast is is an external projection and so has no real sense of security in this form. To maintain security, defences are built to block the emotional reactivity of self and other. As we grow older expressed and repressed reactivity becomes an habitual way of perceiving and cognizing the world. Many beliefs end up in conflict in different situations as life evolves through more intricate patterns.....and so the ego must find a way of organizing more and more complex information, in its bid to maintain a coherent, secure sense of the world and self.
The chaos of our perceptions and actions, are mirrored by the increasingly chaotic nature of our society. In turn our society breathes in this energetic chaos and attempts to process it using the organizing, predicting and harm-avoidance part of the brain that is already bound up in knots. Defenses mount as we struggle to maintain a consistent sense of self. Conflicting mental states that try to balance our ideals with the reality of how we actually are, emerge as patterns of negative, judgemental thoughts as we give ourselves a hard time for thinking we ‘should’ be something else.
While the ideals in our heads can catalyse action, they can also become a source of obsession, narcissism, depression and other emotional turbulences because we have hooked on to them like a rainy cloud on a sunny day. These experiences are not for us to ‘fix’ but to acknowledge, wholly acknowledge without giving yourself / the other person a hard time. See Mental health and spirituality.
There is a collective shaping of perception that takes place, below most people's conscious awareness, although this is changing. With our increased self-awareness, our increased 'intelligence' or 'consciousness' we resonate more easily with the collective psyche and recognise ourselves in others with more clarity. Ego therefore is not only the attachment to emotional judgements about ourselves or others, but also the mistaken adoption of our experiences as purely 'my own'.
'Me' is 'We' inverted: In my paper; Morphic Minds, inverse theory is discussed as a platform from which to understand the holographic, distributed, quantum nature of our core, inner experience of self. Because human beings are fundamentally connected to each other and the universe itself, we have forgotten that our experiences are part of a collective social memory complex, transcending through patterns of space/time like Fibonacci's spiral, expressing itself in different forms that we call human, plant, animal etc. The practice of compassion therefore, is the focus for peaceful human evolution; for all things are creation and all creation is life itself.
While Ego can be utilised to fulfill one’s potential, it has grown to overshadow a person’s genuine sense of being. The ‘I’ we refer to in the West is an insecure construction, because it is the depction of attachment to temporary constructs, such as our looks, our job, our ideal of who we are. We have become attached to entirely vulnerable concepts,through the habit of where we have placed our attention across generations. We have forgotten there exists the inner, spiritual dimension that our lives unfold from and how this inverts to the form around us.
Your shadow, is in the dark. For as long as you do not integrate it, you will always be…. just that little bit ‘off key’, cast aside from your true form, never quite aligned and always missing the sun.