what is ego? | virtual book

what is ego?

#notes #psychology #ego #fear #fantasy #authenticity #insecurity #inadequacy #honesty Mentioned in what I'm doing now

As someone who likes to think and learn about psychology on my free time, here is my understanding of ego.

Ego is a constructed (and therefore false) self that we all build to protect ourselves (our real, raw selves). Therefore, failing to de-identify with your ego is a failure to

exist as yourself

how to exist

#essays #psychology #ego #fear #maturity #subsconscious #honesty #courage #integrity #insecurity Mentioned in what is ego?, what I'm doing now

Can you trust someone who denies that their subsconsious plays a major role in their life? A good reason to deny your subsconscious is fear of what it contains.

An ego is like a mask that smooths over blemishes and hardens the sensitive spots. It is a tool and a burden. Some egos are so big that they become difficult to remove or distinguish from one’s actual self. If you can’t unmask in private, with a loved one or by yourself, do you still exist? Are you alive?

A big ego is like a great shield that blocks out all – insults, criticism, connection, love, truth. Underneath the shield is a self too fearful to exist. A big ego houses despair and another secret: self-hatred.

Dissociating from your ego allows you to uncover your fears and your stifled self. But before you separate from your ego, you must believe you can exist without it. You must have courage. And you must want to exist without it. You must want integrity.

A person who claims to have an insignificant subsconscious is either a liar or a person of great integrity. And what are the odds that one has no internal conflicts awaiting resolution?


But why is ego a false self? Does construction really imply falsehood?

Maybe a more precise distinction is constructed self (ego) v.s. authentic self (real self).

What’s so bad about ego, anyway? Isn’t it just one’s sense of self worth?

I don’t see ego simply as my sense of self worth. I see ego as a set of beliefs about myself that serve to sustain my feelings of worth, security, adequacy, and such. These beliefs rely on fantasy because their purpose is not to be true, but to be useful. The more desperate I am to compensate for feelings of insecurity, worthlessness, and inadequacy, the more I need to fantasize about myself and thus the bigger my ego gets, and the more I must insulate myself from reality to protect my fantasies from crumbling. This insulation is an artificial layer that exists to isolate us from reality and allows us to tamper with evidence on its way into our conscious awareness. The antidote that halts pollution of the self, the liberator that frees the self from this hijacker, is facing one’s fears and insecurities.

Another way to the think of an ego is as a process that does two main things: one, it seeks and feeds on things that your authentic self needs in order to quell fears and insecurities, and, two, it dismisses, ignores, and denies things that stimulate fears and insecurities. Your authentic self and your ego are in a co-dependent relationship. Your ego has too far in “helping” you, and it’s actually enabling self-destructive behavior.

Are you saying that all egos are self-protection mechanisms?

If you have no insecurities to compensate for, why do you need your ego?