The Ego: an Understanding of Self and all it Creates

The Ego

The Ego is that part of you that you present to the outside world; it is the “you” that your friends, partners, wives, husbands and the world perceive you to be. The Ego has been created from all the events and experiences that have happened to you from the time of your birth up until now. Your ego relates to others through the use of its body; its eyes, mouth, ears, nose and its tongue (speech). 

The ego can either be conscious of itself, which means that it knows its own triggers and fears and takes responsibility for them, or it will be unconscious and not aware of anything except that it is being triggered into responding in a way that is not only upsetting and unacceptable to the partner but is upsetting and unacceptable to itself; responsibility for the responses it has will be fault of anything or anyone but itself. 

Your Story

Everyone has a story; that story is the life you have lived from the day of your birth. The very second you heard and recognised your name, you became an identity; an identity the ego was happy to assume. From there on, the events that occurred to you and in which you participated in have assisted in creating the story in which the ego portrayed to the world.  You (or the Ego) are the participator in the art of living life; the problem started when you (the ego) believed that you were/are the thoughts and feelings about the life you are participating in. The events you have participated in have created beliefs, values and morals which you now fully believe are you and you will defend them come what may. The events and stories are valid but they are not you or the ego; they are just events that have occurred. The beliefs, values and morals that currently direct your life have been created because of the fears you felt whilst living and participating in life. The fears are real enough because fear itself is trying hard to keep you from making the same mistake twice. Fear itself is natural enough; but its job is to save your life in a life threatening situation but not interfere with your everyday experience where there is no life threatening event happening.

The Unconscious Ego

This is the ‘you’ that is trapped in the never ending cycle of thinking and thought. Some attributes of the Unconscious Ego are:

The Unconscious Ego dislikes itself to the point of craving freedom from itself but uses anything external to accomplish it. For example: the unconscious ego will try to feel completed within itself by attaching itself to another person (unhealthy and co-dependency) or another thing (a drug, possessions or an unhealthy addiction). 

The Unconscious Ego is not conscious of itself or the fact that it is thinking. The first question the Unconscious Ego needs to ask, to become conscious is “What am I thinking?” or “Who is thinking?” As soon as the Unconscious Ego asks itself these questions, it begins a journey of the discovery of itself; it has started to become a Conscious Ego; but the journey doesn’t stop there.

It will not take responsibility for its actions or thoughts; it will look outside itself to apportion blame upon others actions and words, or it will blame some ‘thing’. The unsettled feeling it has experienced will always be the fault of something or someone else. It will not recognize the unsettled feelings it is experiencing are of its own making but does not have the ability to discover the ease of those feelings until it is pointed back to itself, in which case it is very likely to fall into denial unless it begins to take notice of its own feelings and accept them as its own.

In some cases the Unconscious Ego will feel numb to anything outside itself and certainly not within itself. This numbness is the inability to feel and/or the denial of its feelings toward itself and/or the outside world. It is seen as a ‘safe place’ because nothing experienced can find its way through to the reality of itself. It feels safe because it feels nothing; in essence it has removed itself from the reality of life and can be seen by others as an emotionless, uncompassionate and unmoved personality.

The Unconscious Ego is powerless and feels it must keep the focus of others on it by grandstanding and manipulation. It doesn’t trust itself and therefore can’t trust others; it finds it almost impossible to love others generously and without complication because it cannot love itself just the way it is. It always has to work hard to be noticed because it can’t or won’t be attentive and take contemplative notice of itself; it is insecure but at the same time will try to portray security by puffing up its own importance over others.

The Conscious Ego

The Conscious Ego is the Unconscious Ego being conscious and aware of itself. As soon as the Unconscious Ego turns toward itself for the answers it not only knows it has but wants to experience, it becomes conscious of itself. It sits quietly behind and amidst the noise created by the incessantly thinking and highly dependent unconscious ego.

In stark contrast to the Unconscious Ego, some attributes of the Conscious Ego are:

The Conscious Ego knows itself well. It is very aware when it is thinking and of what it is thinking. It is always looking inward for its own wisdom and answers to events that life gives it. It is not looking for itself in any other or anything because it knows, without doubt, what and who it is. It allows its thoughts to be thought and feelings to be felt but will not project them onto others, because it knows it is the only one who owns them.

Faithful; it is true to itself

Generous; it sees itself as a gift to be given

Long Suffering and patient; receives suffering and sorrow gladly because it understands the true meaning of them; patiently waiting and knowing the lesson will be apparent, bringing the end to its suffering. 

Peaceful; it seeks peace within itself.

Content with itself; It is satisfied just the way it is without trying to be what it is not.

Caring and committed to itself and its well being. 

It is understanding and compassionate to itself.

Sacrificial; knowing it has nothing to lose or gain (puts the higher cause first and not self) because it knows it has everything at its disposal. 

It is humble; knowing that there is something greater than itself it is seeking, but knows it is already ‘one’ with.

Notice that the Conscious Ego and all its understandings and perceptions are about itself. The person who is conscious or has a conscious ego will seek his/her own truth within themselves and then share that ‘self’ with those people he/she communicates with, without any effort, feelings of intimidation or fear of rejection and is able to freely speak his/her own truth. 

The Simplicity of it all

I am very aware that most of the above may very confusing, so in short, just remember this: the ego is the ‘you’ that you are offering to your partner and the rest of the world; all your actions, reactions and so forth. But also remember that you (or your ego) can be manipulated by the ‘story’ you have lived in your life; you are living the story of past relationships, past events whether good or bad; the ‘story’ is your life education, when none of it actually exists; they are just memories stored in the brain.

A conscious person will always have some sort of ‘method’ to remain conscious; whatever the method is, it will be as simple as ‘looking inside’ his/herself to discover the depth of themselves. On the other hand, the unconscious person will always be looking outside themselves (the events, people around them, objects they may own, etc) with the expectation of discovering themselves within them. 

Examples

1. Conscious Person: whilst partaking in an event (maybe a heated discussion or some sort of financial stress), this person will take into account all of their feelings and thoughts about the event but not attach themselves to them; rather this person will acknowledge all the feelings, remain calm and focused on expressing themselves from the heart without fear. They know they are responsible for their actions and are fully responsible for a mutual or better outcome. Personal empowerment is a natural occurrence within a conscious person. This conscious person will know without doubt that every decision they make will be subject to outside judgement and perspectives but they know themselves so well that any outside influence, although it may come into consideration, will not interfere with their decision making process and desired outcome which will benefit all around them; the ‘greater good’ is the highest consideration and not just themselves, even though the decision may not be a popular one. As and when mistakes occur (and they will), this person will not suffer guilt, easily admit to mistakes and rectify them.

2. Unconscious Person: whilst partaking in an event (maybe a heated argument or some sort of financial stress), this person will not be conscious of the fact they are thinking their thoughts or be conscious of their feelings. Everything will be perceived as the fault of everything and/or everyone else. Personal responsibility is not an option and therefore the ability to produce a mutually beneficial or better outcome is also not an option, unless forced into it. The feeling of being forced into a mutually beneficial outcome will be perceived as aggravating and a loss of control of any event; in this case they are correct, in that they never had the personal empowerment to control themselves, let alone the event. Doubt will almost always manipulate any decision making because it is based upon outside influences without any consideration to self. The result of any decision making processes, even though outside influences may have been utilised, will ultimately only benefit self; the ‘greater good’ will not have been seen or recognised. With any mistakes that occur, this person will very rarely take responsibility or admit to failure and project the failure onto something or someone else. 

What is a ‘Method’ to becoming Conscious?

Personally, meditation has been the method I have used with the greatest success. In saying this, there seems to be a misunderstanding with regard to meditation. It seems to have become a series of complicated processes that most just want to avoid. Meditation in itself is very simple in application and probably the most rewarding even as a beginner. The more it is practiced, the more mindful a person becomes. As he/she expands mindfulness, a perception of something bigger within begins to develop; an awareness of what many people call the ‘Higher Self’ which is what I believe to be the ‘Conscious Ego’ (or consciousness) is achieved. After practicing meditation to reach this stage of awareness, meditation becomes a way of living in everyday life; by this I mean a person will consciously connect with their consciousness even while doing work, daily chores and even the most mundane jobs around the house. Everything begins to have a purpose that may not have been perceived previously; life changes for the better. The added benefits are that many issues such as anxiety, anger, depression, and motivational issues begin to disappear quite naturally. 

The added benefits may not be immediately perceived because it takes a bit of effort and persistence to maintain a practice of a mindful meditation on a daily basis. Many of my clients assert they do not have the time, but as I repeatedly suggest:

1) It only takes 10 minutes of quietness without distraction (so turn off your phone) per day. And if you can do that twice per day that’s even better. Even 5 minutes is better than zero minutes! Everyone can find a place of peace and quiet; try a park, go to the beach, take a nice warm bath, you could even try it in the toilet….no one is going to interrupt you there (one would hope!). Yes I know it’s difficult but if you really desire to see change in your life you will be focused on making time for yourself.

2) The suggestion that you don’t have time would tend to mean that during your daily life, you are not putting yourself first and looking after the most important part of yourself; which is you! This is the main reason you are having difficulty in the first place! You are putting everything and everyone else first; that is being unconscious which is the very thing you are trying not to be! For just 10 minutes a day put yourself up as number 1! 10 minutes a day that’s all it takes.

Many have come to me and said they have found an app on their phone to assist them to meditate and, although I say that this is ok to start with, you’d really want to learn how to practice meditation without gadgetry to assist you. There are two main reasons for this: 1) You will become dependent on something outside of yourself to discover your authentic self; in essence this doesn’t because now you are focusing on an external device to lead the way. Your authentic self will get hidden behind the dependency of the phone. So if you need to start meditation by using an app, put a limit on the amount of times you think you have to use it, and then gradually wean yourself off it. 2) Your phone has a tendency to be the distraction subconsciously; in that I mean most people subconsciously expect their phones to beep and buzz as messages come in. The subconscious part of your mind is just waiting for the distraction; the expectation of the distraction is the distraction.

An Awareness Exercise to Try

Being ‘Aware’ is, most definitely being aware that you are thinking. It goes further than this though, in that, the object of the exercise is to become aware that you are the awareness. The more you sense that you are the awareness, you will sense a freedom and greatness within you that has no connection to your thinking at all. (Please don’t try this while you are driving or focusing on an activity that may cause injury. Pick a time that is relaxing and comfortable for you in which you are doing nothing. This time is for you and you alone)

1) At any time during the day or night, stop what you are doing whatever it may be. Allow your thoughts to materialize.

2) Observe them without entertaining them or connecting with them. Don’t judge or label them. Just observe them.

3) Now, ask yourself “Who is the observer of my thoughts?”

4) Once you have sensed or located the feeling of being the observer, focus on it (the observer). The observer is Awareness; you have connected with awareness itself and the awareness is the real you, without being interfered with by thought. 

It’s almost like looking through the window of your mind, knowing that the mind and its thoughts are not the real you; the real you is the one looking through the window; Awareness itself.

Meditation does exactly the same thing but you are more able to focus on being the observer of your thoughts and that you are thinking. There are no distractions to take your focus away from your Inner Self. By practicing meditation in this way, you will very quickly discover your conscious self without the effort of focusing; you are training your mind and taking back control of one of the most powerful parts of your body. By becoming your own consciousness, your ego has no option but to follow you and life around you also has no option but to become a more liveable, prosperous and abundantly happy place in which to live.

The Main Points: 

1) When observing your thoughts, you are observing that you are thinking; what you are thinking is not of importance at this stage, so try not to involve yourself with them; just see them as objects.

2) While observing that you are thinking, try to be aware of what (or who) is observing; this is your conscious self. It doesn’t get itself entangled in the thoughts themselves; it just observes the thoughts without judgement or connection with them. 

I hope you have enjoyed this article and that it may have assisted you in becoming your free, conscious and authentic self. Within this conscious self you will discover your real power to life; the life you have desired. In amongst it all you may well discover that your desires will change because of the discovery of your authenticity and that is the beginning of self empowerment. The next article to be posted soon will be on the subject of Levels of Consciousness and Awareness. 

If you feel you require help with any of this please do not hesitate to call or email me.

Tony Kane 0474 570 063

Email: tony@tonykanecounselling.com

Advertisements