What is the Ego? It’s a really great question.
The earliest definitions of the ego date back to when we lived in survival, hunting and gathering days. It was said that the ego was a protection mechanism that kept us alive in times of danger and confrontation. It was the ego that would protect us and create our identities as human beings – those who needed to live, be superior to other animals, stay away from things that made us ill, dress and keep warm, and basically ensure the survival of the body we are in. The ego is what differentiated us from the spirit.
Sigmund Freud became famous by explaining the ego in psychological terms – the Id, ego, and superego. Freud explained the ID is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends and the Super EGO as the part of us that does critical thinking and moralizing of right and wrong, whereas the ego is the organized, realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the superego.
In the 1970′s the definition of the ego was the “macho, cool, self-centered, hot guy in school, who thought he was all that.”
But just like people, words evolve and the word ego has evolved to reflect the current level of understanding and consciousness around the world.
For purposes of greater self-understanding, the ego is now defined by Tina Olivero as our “Human-ness” in other words, one part of two – “Human” and “Being”. This is the era of duality. We now understand Human Being as two distinct entities. Our human-ness and our being-ness. Together they make a human being.
Our ego selves or HUMAN personality is what has us make mistakes, take a road of disempowerment, self-sabotage, suffer, be resistant, be stubborn, be confined, be confused, be disempowered, be the victim, blame others, feel powerless, take on addictions, relies on physical senses or eyes, ears, smell, touch, and so on.
BEING (HIGHER SELF)
The BEING personality is the opposite of our humanness, thus causing our dual nature. BEING can be described as our presence, our place of empowerment, positive energy, higher position, evolved or spiritual way, is love, willing, growth, contribution, freedom, self-expression, creativity, creates unity and understanding, utilizes unseen senses such as heart, intuition, feelings, etc.
THE DUALITY OF OUR NATURE
The duality of our nature as 1.humans and 2. beings means that human beings have a lot of variation and experience within their personalities. So much so that it may seem like there’s more than one person in there. That’s because of our dualistic nature. Human beings have the ego and the higher self specifically to create an entire range of emotions, feelings, and experiences that make life very interesting.
To playfully on the court of life is to deeply explore both sides of ourselves. To understand who we are and who we are not. And every time we have a clearer understanding or “aha” realization – in that moment we gain access to our higher selves. It’s actually the disempowered ego that gives rise to the higher self, our growth and evolution into a more conscious way of “BEING”.
There’s no right or wrong, no good or bad. The ego is an essential part of our “growth” which is required on this learning planet. Yes, that’s right, this is the learning planet and we can either embrace our growth and learn or we can resist it. When we resist it…that’s the ego. The emotion associated with resistance is suffering – EVERY TIME!
OK now that we understand that, then it’s simply an egoic understanding and awareness that will allow us to surrender that ego and move into the higher self. It might look like giving up being right, or being coachable, or being loving, or taking the high road, or moving out of the drama, or taking responsibility for the outcome, or shifting to an empowering view. The actual SHIFTING is an experience like no other. It’s beautiful and when we do it, we realize profoundly that we can find beauty in the toughest of places. It’s all good.