The Ego

Egos are not popular.  Right?  In present culture, two possible fates await the ego.  In the rational behavioural and neuroscience arena the ego is denied as a reality.  The ego does not exist because, so they say, we are our neural pathways.  In the spiritual traditions where the ego is recognised it is horribly vilified.   At best the ego is to be transcended; at worst cast into our shadow.  

I view this as treachery, resulting in the terrible symptoms of criticalness, prejudice and blaming, the casting out of our demons onto others.  The root cause is our own splitting and non-acceptance of the core of our being.  And that is what the ego is.  It is the core part of ourselves that carries our true spiritual essence.  We split if off in shame, can’t tolerate it, like a naughty child.   

I hold that the human ego is to be celebrated as the part of us that makes us truly human.  How so?    The ego is the newest part of our organism that carries self-consciousness (Steiner). It is still evolving.  It is fragile and vulnerable.  It is a child.  And yes, our egos are sometimes naughty, greedy, selfish, willful.  Sure, we know the ego that clings to possessions, boasts outrageously or protests “what about me!”  That’s what children do.  And how do we know this exactly you might ask?  If that’s what we are, how can we recognise it and name it from this detached position?  We know it because the ego is that and more than that.  It penetrates our sentient bodily nature and sinks down into our psyche and emotional needs.  Yet, as the core of our evolving self-consciousness the ego reaches into the substance of the divine, the ocean of pure spirit of which we are each a pure, shining drop.    

Through personal development and evolution, we can nurture the young ego, bring it up well, help it to detach from it’s parents, the body and the psyche and soar higher into divine love.  By denigrating our egos we are turning our back on our greatest responsibility.  We deny ourselves the purpose of life:  to evolve love and compassion.  If we nurture and parent our young egos with compassion and love we grow the capacity for gradually setting our egos free.  Thereby we expand our love and compassion ever more outward to increasingly embrace our fellow travellers, animal and human, and our trusty voyager our planet earth.

© Matt Davies 2013