Some words about the word “ego” again, even if I hardly ever use the word myself.
It can be used in two different contexts, and with two different meanings.
In a psychological context, it refers to the “operating system” of the human individual, and – in general – the more healthy and mature, the better. (Although the healing and maturing happens on its own schedule, it’s OK as it is, and there is always further to go.)
In a spiritual context, it typically refers to what happens when words and images are held as true, when they are believed, or – in other words – identified with. Velcro is another word for it, and refers to what happens when words and images appear “stuck on” a corresponding sensation. These sensations then appear to lend a sense of solidity and reality to the words and images, and may also create a sense of charge, stress, and more. This “ego” can easily be, and usually is, intensified through (unloved) wounds and trauma accumulated through a lifetime.
In spiritual circles, the “ego” is sometimes cast as the villain, or seen as something bad. This is a pretty old-fashioned view now, and there seems to be a general shift – in our culture – into seeing it differently.
Here are some examples of how we can see it differently:
If you look for the “ego” can you find it? Can you find it outside of words, images, and associated sensations? Is it really there, the way you (perhaps) thought it were?
The “ego” – or beliefs, identifications, velcro – can be seen as worried love. It’s the mind trying to protect the (imagined) self. Seeing it as love can help us soften our relationship to it.
We can also say that the “ego” is what happens when something in us – or in our experience in general – is unquestioned and unloved.
The “ego” then is not something to be battled or struggled with. It’s innocent. It’s worried love. All it “wants” is to be loved, rested with, and for the stories that holds it in place to be respectfully questioned.
When it’s battled or struggled with, the identifications are held in place and even solidified.
When it’s met, loved, respectfully questioned, it softens. It’s revealed as not a problem at all. It’s revealed as innocent. As worried love. Something to rest with. Something that’s really unfindable outside of words, images, and associated sensations.
– psychological sense, good to have a healthy ego, the operating system for the human being in the world
– spiritual sense….. sometimes cast as the villain, something bad etc.
– can also say, it’s what happens when there is identification w. images/words + sensations
– or, what happens when something is unloved/unquestioned, and specifically beliefs, identifications, velcro, even wounds, trauma etc.
Ego? Could also say anything unloved/unquestioned. (Eg beliefs, fears, identifications, Velcro, compulsions etc.)
– unloved/unquestioned = reactive, blind, close identification, take as what we are (confined)
– loved/questioned = softened, allowed, befriended, happens within what we are