Are We at the Mercy of our Egos?
I wish to write about Ego, for it has been a thorn on my side since I first read books on saintly Indian gurus in my late teens early twenties, and wished to emulate them by getting rid of ‘my’ ego.
The saying ‘Ignorance is bliss’ is made up for the ignorant by the ignorant for in truth ignorance is slavery.
In the physical universe the ‘Law of 3’ abounds. So it should come as no surprise that the Human ego is composed of 3 parts too.
The human brain is divided into 3 sections the brain stem and the cerebellum connecting with the nervous system by passes the cerebrum or thinking part. It is the instinctive part of our system, it allows us to breathe, eat, and drive a car or a bicycle on automatic without thought.
The emotional brain, part of the limbic system, is reactive to the environment and it releases hormones to control functions of the body to allow it to fight or flight. its tentacles reach into the ‘guts’ ‘knotted with fear’
The mental part is represented by the grey matter of the cerebrum. abstract thinking
All human beings will represent a mixture of all three aspects, often the mental (adult) vies for top position with emotional centre (child). Unfortunately the body is a pawn in this game of up-man-ship, and the one that tends to suffer as a result of the conflict from the other two.
The mind is represented as the 3rd Chakra. It is about knowledge, rote learning, memory and insidiously about rules and regulations. It can be very rigid, indoctrinated and narrow minded. All the indoctrination and rigidity comes because it has experienced fear as a motivation not to question, obey the rules, it is unconnected to the fearful imprinting in its past that led to such a sheep like unquestioning attitude.
The mind does its best to control its ‘child like’ unruly emotions via criticism, put downs, internal expressions of self dislike, even hate. The mind is a chatterbox, it runs a monologue. When we don’t pay attention we can believe that the nonsense it spews out is real.
The mind is constantly spewing out verbiage , which can easily act as a filter to our perception of ourselves and our environment, in effect isolating us into a world of delusion.
Emotions are connected to the 2nd Chakra in the lower abdomen. WE give our emotions a lot of power, but in a way it is like allowing our children to dictate to us how to behave and make all the decisions.
Our emotions are our fear driven egocentric biological impulses for survival, anyone who does not experience fear is nobbled, for fear is our body’s alert to physical danger.
Our emotions are the centre of our energy (released by our hormonal system) It is the power house that allows us us to do. It needs to be managed and cajoled, for it can achieve wonders with the right prompting.
The Physical body
Our physical body, is like a soldier who is told what to do when told to do it. it is not designed to think for itself, the body thrives on structure. There are few behaviours more insidious than waking up in the morning with an alarm set for another 5 minute snooze and letting our bodies be in charge and go back to sleep – our bodies are designed to take orders not give them.
Of course it is not the body’s fault, the body will take orders from the corporal and the sergeant and more often than not the corporal and sergeant can’t agree.
‘You’ are emotionally upset and will binge eat or drink regardless of whether your body needs it or not. ‘You are angry and turn to the wall and hit it with your knuckles, or perhaps you hit your own head , or perhaps you practice self harm – the result is always the same – your body suffers.
Your critical mind will not allow your emotions to be expressed, be vulnerable, there are dozens of ways in which our minds will supress the expression of our emotions, some necessary for social interaction, but many others not.
Internal conflict gives rise to muscle tensions or spasms. Eventually it is our physical bodies that suffer.
Ego is a warring battle between our emotions and our minds, with fear as the undelaying factor.
As I said, there is nothing wrong with ego, it is a wonderful instrument for survival; Fear is a healthy emotion as long as it flows.
Feel the fear and do it anyway is part of living. Have no fear and do anything – has a reckless quality that can lead many to an early grave.
Unfortunately, when fear does not flow it festers, for unexpressed fear never goes away, and will find ways to express itself and distort our perception of ourselves and the world around us.
We don’t want our self control to be at the mercy of a spoiled brat, on the other hand we do want to experience being the playful child.
We also don’t want our mind filled with blinkered belief systems to control what we do, or how we perceive the word around us.
As long as our minds and emotions control and dictate our perceptions we are slaves, in the true sense of the word.
So what is the answer to our dilemma ? For our distorted perception of the world is easily manipulated, and controlled, both inwardly by repressed emotions and belief systems, and in turn outwardly. For the outer world is invariably a reflection of our inner landscape.
It may have passed you by but what is missing from the above writing so far is any mention of the role of ‘feelings’ for they are often confused with emotions.
Where as ego is focused on self survival, love is not separate from our environment, for in love we are ‘One’.
Feelings arise out of the 4th chakra – our ‘Heart’ In feelings we are separate and dispassionate with regards to our emotional and mental aspects of our ego.
In feelings we have equal measure of ‘self awareness’ and awareness of ‘others’. In feelings we are free to choose. In the ego states of the 3 lower chakras we are not free, we are reactive and manipulated by out of awareness / hidden impulses.
To be FREE as a human being it is necessary to release the traumas / hidden fears that have such inordinate power over our lives. Only then can we perceive reality as it truly is, and only then, will we, individually, as well as collectively, create a loving environment that so far has passed humanity by.