April 20, 2013

Don't Know Why

My hands and arms are shaking. I can't seem to stop them. I want to cry and I want to scream. I want to get in my car and drive somewhere far, far away and I want to crawl into bed and never get out.

Why are ego's more important to some people than honoring another person's dignity and self-worth?

What is the EGO and why is it so powerful that one lets it control them. They swing it like a whetted blade, slicing the legs out from under their target.  Use that blade and tell me your intentions were good and I don't buy it. Stop lying to yourself. Good intentions are kinder, respectful, do not destroy dignity!

Dr. Wayne Dyer says that ego is "edging god out".  Eckhart Tolle proposes that the bigger or more "present the ego is in person" the more psychologically unstable (insane) a person is, inferring, I suppose that those individuals with huge egos are pathologically self-centered.

In "That Which Is Always Already The Case" Adi Da Samraj states that the "ego is an activity not an entity. The ego is the activity of avoidance, the avoidance of relationship."  In spite of the fact that Samraj self-defined his own teachings as "crazy wisdom" I believe his statement sounds pretty accurate to me. Ego is a noun/verb that keeps one from having meaningful and honest relationships.

Dictionary.com defines it as a noun with several uses. "The "I" or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others. I passionately disagree.  My ego is not the "I" in me. Ego is the wounded, pouting, selfish part of me (or you) that judges, whines and knocks people down so I/we can climb on their backs and feel bigger. Ego is the part of me, if I let it, wants to be "one up" or first,  The "I" in me is stronger than the ego, so in my reality I will strike out Dictionary.com's first definition of ego. It doesn't ring true.

Second definition pertains to psychoanalysis. "...the part of the psychic apparatus that experiences and reacts to the outside world and thus mediates between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social and physical environment.  Mmm, the "psychic apparatus"!  Sounds like a thick wall the "psychic apparatus" builds up to keep us separate from "all there is", to keep us from being a part of the whole, just peeking out the hole in the wall so the "social and physical environment" can't touch us.

Third and fourth definitions (3) conceit, self-importance and (4) self-esteem or self-image.  Now, between the third definition and the fourth is a tremendous spectrum and we can place ourselves somewhere on that spectrum from conceit with a capital C to a healthy self-esteem.  The closer we are to the Conceit end of the spectrum, the more arrogant, controlling and abusive our behaviors will be! My personal opinion is the closer to the conceited, self-important end of the spectrum the more fearful, wounded and unstable you are. It may be that your "psychic apparatus" experienced some pretty awful demands in your social and physical environment. As you approach the Healthy-Self-Esteem end of the spectrum you are probably more conscious of your choices, connections and, if you have suffered the awful demands referred to earlier, you have learned to accept them as events to learn from not events that define WHO you are.

The fifth definition is a philosophical aspect of Ego; it states "the enduring and conscious element that knows experience. Ah, now we have a definition that rings a little closer to the truth, my truth, I should say.  I agree that the ego is "the enduring.....element that knows experience" but the ego is not the conscious element that knows the experience. If the "conscious" element is aware of the experience, it  digests the experience, learns and grows from it. The ego, after enduring the experience, without examining it, starts to define itself by the event or experience. The ego isn't aware that it is not its experiences, it is not other people's experiences and it definitely isn't what other people define you as.  The ego is your preschooler who doesn't want to take a nap when its tired!

Dictionary.com tells us that the word ego is Germanic in origin, coming from "ich" which means "I". In 1714 it became a term used in metaphysics. In or around 1891 people started using it to mean conceit.  Psychologists or psychiatrists started using the idea of an ego in 1910 and it took 58 years more before the Ego-Train came in to take us on Ego-trips! Lots of us are still on that train. Quite frankly, I'm not sure why because the view isn't very pretty and most of the ride is in tunnels of darkness.

When we don't think about what we are saying; instant flash from brain to mouth, we hurt, we injure, we humiliate, we wound.

What does Dictionary.com tell us about Dignity?  Dignity, a noun, skipping 2, 3 and 4 of the definition; not relevant to this commentary. Thus, #1. bearing, conduct, speech indicative of self-respect.... #2. a sign or token of respect. We see it comes from Latin meaning "worthiness". WORTHINESS!

When you speak to someone from the ego, without the filter, without thinking, what do you think happens to their worthiness?

When you speak to someone from the ego, without filter, without thinking and without respecting the fact that there are other people in the room witnessing the lack of respect, what do you think happens to their dignity and feelings about their own WORTHINESS?

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