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The Self, Ego or Delusion

Updated on July 15, 2016
Carl Gustav Jung from Michael L. Newman
Carl Gustav Jung from Michael L. Newman

The Self, Ego or Delusion

By Tony DeLorger © 2010

How close are we to the truth about us? Can we objectify the ‘Self’, the individual part of us that is evident and exists, and with which other human beings can associate? That recognition proves to us that we indeed exist, without it we would be assuming the ‘Self’ existed at all. Our perceptions however flawed would simply be blind projections from a log of experience. Quantifying experience in no way assesses or supports any reality of ‘Self’.

Because we can learn and associate, experience and discern, can in no way be credited to ‘Self’. The vessel we call brain can do all these things but cannot alone be called ‘Self’. Ego is the expression of the vessel, its psychological manifestation of the will and organisation of the conscious mind: to survive, protect, sustain and to interact with the world, with perceptions, memories, thoughts and feelings.

But Ego cannot be ‘Self’, it is born of conscious experience; it is the organiser and again projects outwardly to the world as personality. Ego provides identity and continuity for the personality. We feel the same person all the time and this is because of the Ego. How individual we are depends on how much of our experiences the ego allows to become conscious. The parameters of this task purely depend on our makeup: whether we are emotional, or pragmatic and thoughtful or what arouses anxiety in the ego. Whatever type we are, those experiences are more readily accepted into our conscious experience, and adds to our individuality as a human being.

So what is ‘Self’? According to Jung ‘Self’ is the archetype, the organising principle of the personality. ‘Self’ unites the personality, giving it a sense of oneness. When we feel out of sorts with the world, the ‘Self’ is not doing its job. ‘Self’ is the central archetype of the collective unconscious, controlling order, organisation and unification. The goal of every personality is to self-realise, with the cooperation of the ego, for without it the appreciation of the self would not be realised.

The path to self-realisation is not just achieved by religion or meditation but by self-knowledge. This is a path to self-realisation and accomplishes both fulfilment and self-knowledge and understanding.

So having explored these terms and gained some basic knowledge about how we work, how close are we to understanding ourselves? It needs a little more thought, does it not? Perhaps we are deluded in thinking we have some control over what we think and how we act, about how others see us. The ‘Self’ is a mysterious part of our makeup, much of it below the surface of our consciousness. How our personality came to be is an interesting question considering the mechanics of its development.

Self-knowledge is an invaluable tool and needs more than a little effort, but an effort that is well worth it, don't you think?


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    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks Krystal, glad it gave cause to think about. Take care.

    • KrystalD profile image

      KrystalD 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      I found this hub fascinating. I have wondered about "self" and how much it actually defines our thoughts and decisions. It is a good question you leave us hanging with! Meditation is in order for this one. LOL!

    • profile image

      Wooded 7 years ago

      I certainly do! Nice hub!