Fighting Off the Evil Ego
Money, Fame, Power?
"Transference neuroses correspond to a conflict between the ego and the id; narcissistic neuroses, to a conflict between the ego and the superego; and psychoses, to one between the ego and the external world."
- [Freud, "Neurosis and Psychosis" (1923)].
Pulling the Weeds of your Mind
are all born as a budding flower, without blemish, untainted by the
elements surrounding us. Inside of this flower is a seed - this seed is
what some may call the Ego. It is what connects us to the world; a
relative tool to rank ourselves as a human being. This tool is in
constant use by many, overheating and burning up inside. Your ego can
make you happy, sad, angry, jealous, fearful, and many other emotions.
Every instance, it continues to feed off of these emotions and grow
stronger. Most people begin to identify their ego as themselves, and who
wouldn't? It creates a comfy little place in society for them and in
their eyes they feel like they belong. This is where stereotypes,
dissected religions, and even levels of classes (the poor vs. the rich) begin. It is also appealing, and easy. People can choose what they want
to be from choice A, B, or C and its over. They can live their entire
life just as another before them. Although the ego can also be an
obviously destructive force. It is the voice in your head that causes
doubt, and feelings of worthlessness. If you can't follow everything
accordingly it will tell you that you aren't as good as everyone else.
If you are a naturally productive person it might tell you that you are
better than other people. The ego will tell you whatever it wants to get
you to keep pumping emotional feeling to it. One must realize that
their ego is the growth of the seed of selfish desire, and is best to be
disposed of like a weed.
Catching your ego at work.
For example: You are at a point of despair, and your recent thoughts have led you to the conclusion that you are the victim. This thought usually leads to the emotion of self-pity - one of the most deceptive used by the ego. I want you to retrace your thoughts back to the root of the problem from an unemotionally attached point of view and think of why you were hurt by this. You must realize that the ego loves drama, it is the biggest soap opera of them all, and it will create big messes of emotion out of small discordance if you allow it. In retrospect, you find yourself forgetting about the ordeal altogether and it was only wasted time fretting over insignificance.
The Ego Creates Fear
The most destructive emotion caused by the ego, in my opinion, is fear. It is the guideline to everything. It can take away the thing you love, or never let you have it to begin with. This is the most nonsensical emotion in my opinion. Fear is usually caused by thinking about the past or the future, trying to measure it to the present. This is a hard practice to overcome. I have found a lot of insight on this topic in The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, but still am challenged by the idea of how to overcome fear. He explains that only when you are in the present moment, are you free of the demon known as fear. Fear is a leach that will feed off of every other negative emotion you create until it governs all of your decisions. Don't allow it.
We must learn to live ungoverned by false desires stirred up by emotions. It takes dedication and knowledge of the inner workings of your subconscious but with practice the ego can be overcome. I challenge you to fearlessly take on life and work towards your goals, uninhibited by the nagging feelings of discouragement. Everyone is equal and has the potential. Use your mind for you rather than against you.
See also: How to Relieve Depression and Anxiety