“What is ego?” A problem defined is half solved as the saying goes. How can one eliminate ego without knowing what it is? Do we want to eliminate it? Is it really the problem or it can be a problem? One of its definitions is as such: 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.
Neo: This isn’t real?
Mourphus: What is “real”? How do you define “real”? If your talking about what you can feel…what you can smell, taste and see then real is simply electrical signals interrupted by your brain
The human body is efficient and everything serves a purpose. Sometimes we just need to overcome the now negative aspects of the human body in this new environment. Physically, we’re at our limit or simply cannot keep up with the rapid change of our current conditions. Our newly created surroundings are placing demands on the body that it struggles to keep up with, thus we have many ailments of the mental and physical kind, but I digress.
Let me go an a tangent for a brief moment. The goal here is understanding. First we must understand understanding as many don’t, but deem they do. To understand is a form of acceptance. With that said, we must comprehensively understand that we are all one. Whether this conclusion is deduced from religious, spiritual or biological perspective, that’s all that matters. Some may accept this on some level but not all. There is a symbiotic relationship that binds all of us. If we pay attention, most spiritual gurus, people, groups, etc., sound the same for a reason when it comes to this subject. We all create our own world. So if this is true, who created the enemies and predicaments within it?
The ego creates a separation between itself, yourself and everything else (sounds like multiple personality disorder to me). Before we jump into the “negative” aspects of ego, let’s first learn what functions it has. For this we head to our favorite website: Wikipedia.
Reality Testing: The ego’s capacity to distinguish what is occurring in one’s own mind from what is occurring in the external world. It is perhaps the single most important ego function because it is necessary for negotiating with the outside world. One must be able to perceive and understand stimuli accurately. Reality testing is often subject to temporary, mild distortion or deterioration under stressful conditions. Such impairment can result in temporary delusions and hallucination and is generally selective, clustering along specific, psycho-dynamic lines. Chronic deficiencies suggest either psychotic or organic interference.
Impulse Control: The ability to manage aggressive and/or libidinal wishes without immediate discharge through behavior or symptoms. Problems with impulse control are common; for example: road rage; sexual promiscuity; excessive drug and alcohol use; and binge eating.
Affect Regulation: The ability to modulate feelings without being overwhelmed.
Judgment: The capacity to act responsibly. This process includes identifying possible courses of action, anticipating and evaluating likely consequences, and making decisions as to what is appropriate in certain circumstances.
Object Relations: The capacity for mutually satisfying relationship. The individual can perceive himself and others as whole objects with three dimensional qualities.
Thought Processes: The ability to have logical, coherent, and abstract thoughts. In stressful situations, thought processes can become disorganized. The presence of chronic or severe problems in conceptual thinking is frequently associated with schizophrenia and manic episodes.
Defensive Functioning: A defense is an unconscious attempt to protect the individual from some powerful identity-threatening feeling. Initial defenses develop in infancy and involve the boundary between the self and the outer world; they are considered primitive defenses and include projection, denial, and splitting. As the child grows up, more sophisticated defenses that deal with internal boundaries such as those between ego and super ego or the id develop; these defenses include repression, regression, displacement, and reaction formation. All adults have, and use, primitive defenses, but most people also have more mature ways of coping with reality and anxiety.
Synthesis: The synthetic function is the ego’s capacity to organize and unify other functions within the personality. It enables the individual to think, feel, and act in a coherent manner. It includes the capacity to integrate potentially contradictory experiences, ideas, and feelings; for example, a child loves his or her mother yet also has angry feelings toward her at times. The ability to synthesize these feelings is a pivotal developmental achievement.
There are other theories on the ego, but further research can be conducted on your own. One may find that the ego is needed to function as a human being. This series is by far not a treatise on the subject, nor is it a complete how-to on how transcend the ego. The main purpose of this series is to show and give some understanding on what may be holding you back from being the executive trustee of your life.