I have a fascination of how the mind works and how certain behaviors affect the human being. We often think that the ego is to do with arrogance and self absorption but in fact the ego is, as it’s Latin namesake ‘I’. Without ‘I’ there would be no creation or existence, so you can see the ego is essential for life. The programmed brain gives rise to the developed ego, who we are, how we perceive events and how we interact.
We are what we are, not only by what we inherit but what we experience. From infant to adulthood this becomes hard wired within our brains and affects our behavior and social interaction. The ego is part of the mind – not the brain, it is not a physical entity so has no location. The brain is the physical organ where electrical impulses pass like the hardware of a computer, the mind is responsible for thought and emotion, it is formed from different emotional and spiritual energies through experiences – the software, one can not exist without the other.
The ego deals with reason, logic and common sense but without humility and compassion this can turn to the ‘super ego’ or the ‘egotistical’. The super ego lives with arrogance, selfishness, paranoia, low self esteem and spite as room mates. It is a state of mind that can distort logic, common sense and corrupt relationships.
An inflated ego, is where the ego is massaged to a state that one’s ‘I’ is of most importance regardless of the feelings that may be hurt to those around you, a very common scenario. This state of the ego is something everyone is guilty of reaching, after all we are only human but it is how you check yourself when you get there that is the key to a happy equilibrium.
The feeling of self importance overrides self decency – the ego over takes the place of principals and can be a destroying factor in all relationships from personal to working, it is a sad fact that some value their own ‘ego’ more than friendships or relationships.
The ego can also be constructive as well as destructive, part of what I deal with in Noetic Therapy has been with the perception of those who have reached a state of success in the public eye or what society deems as successful. An example are those who have been in the military that are now in civilian life as well as sportsmen who have achieved a level in their career that has elevated the ego (remember the ego is not a negative word!). The fact is in their minds the level of respect in the forces or in the limelight is an affirmation that they are worthy. It is addictive when one feels good and the ego is massaged, neurotransmitions fire off raising levels of seretonin and dopamine, it is also the feeling of being needed and admired. The key thing to remember is that no matter what life throws at you it is the ego that can make or break you. Your ego can convince you that you are not worthy, not in control of your life or your happiness – fact is you are!