The fastest way to align with the best parts of yourself and perceive the oneness of all humankind is through the ego.
The ego is the mindful aspect of your self. In fact, if you want to get to no-ego you want to fully embrace ego, and then you will observe no-ego within you as you elevate your consciousness to oneness with all. (Gineris, turning me to we:the art of partnering with mindfulness, 2013)
This is not unlike the very power of breath in yoga to dissolve the blocks of energy within your muscles. Embracing the blockage, and breathing with and through it transforms the energy.
The concept of ego in psychological theory is the role of mediator and rebalancer in the tripartite aspect of the human mind developed by Freud.
The ego’s job is to mediate between the primitive needs and wants, the id, of an individual and the introjected societal shoulds and should nots inculcated from your parents, the superego. (Freud, the ego and the id, 1923)
The ego has gotten a bad rap from alternative healers indicating that it is power and control based. I suspect this has to do with the Buddhist concept of living free of inner desires. There is no need for a mediating aspect of mind if you are not in such an inner battle between self and society.
Another confusing piece of the puzzle is the term egoistic or egotistic, it references an inflated picture of self and selfish behavior. The root of these words is ego and so there is a tendency to attach selfish, power-hungry meaning to the word ego.
But this is the same mistake as calling someone who is hypomanic depressed. it is understanding the meaning of the prefix hypo, less or under, without understanding the meaning of the word. When an individual is hypomanic she is agitated frustrated, aggressive, but not in a full-blown manic state… so just under (hypo) mania. She is still hyper-aware and hyper-agitated.
Your ego is not selfish but rather holistic, attempting to discern ways to guide your actions and thinking toward caring for individual needs while living under the expectations of society.
The problem with an interpretation of ego as power-hungry is that it pulls you away from the part within you that is actually guiding you toward spirit.
Ego is that aspect of yourself that invites compassion, neutrality, lovingkindness, and the concept that we are all one to come into your mind.
Shift your relationship to the word ego by clarifying the underlying meaning.
- Avoid acting in a selfish manner.
- Use mindfulness, compassion, and lovingkindness in your decision-making.
- Embrace the perfection of spirit already within you, guiding you toward the most holistic and loving action that allows for the oneness of the universe to be represented.
Ego/no-ego, rebalance your internal picture so that you can increase your empathy and connect to the spirit within you that is connected to all. Then your needs and society needs (or group, or couple needs) clarify, become aligned, and your actions are empathetic, bounded, and resonant from an inner security.in love and light, bg
dr beth gineris is an integrative medicine practitioner in albuquerque, new mexico. she offers compassionate, mindful guidance to online coaching clients and clinic patients daily using her medical intuitive, clinical counseling, energetic rebalancing, and oriental medicine skills. you can find her at http://www.bethgineris.com
Das, Lama Surya. Buddha Is as Buddha Does: The Ten Original Practices for Enlightened Living. HarperCollins, 2007.
Freud, Sigmund. The Ego and The Id. w.w. Norton & co.,1923.
Gineris, Beth. Turning Me to WE: The Art of Partnering with Mindfulness. Createspace, 2013, p186-190.