Destroy Your Ego? Not the right approach…

Just wanted to put a few words in about the ego in response to a very insightful posting at:

http://www.spiritportal.org/ego.html

If you don’t understand anything about the ego I suggest leaving this post alone for now since the following won’t make any sense. If you are curious though I can give you some background information on why I am interested in the ego.

My thought: Ego is the cause of all fear. We fear to keep ourselves safe. Our only motivation to keep ourselves safe comes from the ego – whose role is to protect us. If we had no concept of “I am” (a purely ego creation) we would have no need to feel safe because we do not truly exist as an individual. In other words without any differentiation between myself and the rest of reality I am one with that reality. Thus as the only one entity existing in reality no external entity can threaten me except myself.

I don’t like fear

Fear always supresses me from doing what I want

Many of my fears are irrational – in fact most of people’s fears are irrational

There is nothing fear can do which logic cannot do

i.e. If you see the edge of a cliff and fear it – you will not go forward because of fear. But pretend you

had a disease which prevented you from feeling fear. Would you still step over the cliff?

I argue probably not – because you have the power of logic to back you up. Logically if you step over the cliff

the force of gravity will exert such a force over time on you that you will splatter on the ground and get seriously

injured or killed. Thus, I should not step over the ledge to keep my well being safe.

Fear is a base level motivator – it is only effective for people who’s logic is not fully developed

i.e. A baby might be scared of snakes/spiders right out of the womb enough to not want to crawl after it.

This inborn fear serves to keep the baby safe until logic can take over. Logic should dictate some snakes

and spiders are safe to play with and others may be dangerous.

Fear as a motivator beyond birth is the weakest motivator – Once the fear is gone so is the motivation

One of the things I stopped doing is exercising. Is this a bad choice? Probably. Why did I do it then?

Because my old motivation to exercise was FEAR!

Fear of not being able to accomplish what I needed without the boost from exercising; Fear of what other people would think of me; Fear of my own well being in the future. Fear fear fear fear fear…

Funny thing is once I faced my fear and dwindled it to near nothingness – my motivation dwindled as well!

A lot of new age philosophy states fear and love are opposites. This seems to make sense to me. Looking above at the exercise example I could exercise because I loved myself. I could also exercise because I loved someone else or because I had a mission to accomplish which required me to be in optimal health. Love is a much more powerful motivator than fear. People don’t mind doing things they hate as long as their motivation is love. Pop culture and movies are filled with all kinds of stories about characters overcoming the shittiest of odds and doing the most messed up things for love. If fear is the worst motivator – love would be the best. Thus I think love and fear are indeed opposite in that regard.

Anyway – back to the ego…

It seems that to remove fear we must destroy our ego’s and destroy the illusion that we are unsafe. Unfortunately many people advocate exercises to conquer and destroy the ego. I think this is the wrong approach after reading the web page posted above. The ego is only looking out for us – what guilt is there in that? Why would we destroy something that only has our best interests at heart?

Looking at it this way most people would agree that ego was necessary in the past to keep us safe. In a barbaric world where no one cares about each other you are out on your own. To survive you must be strong and destroy your opposition. In a world with no love appealing to someone’s kindness or mercy will just end up having you as their next victim. Without our ego to make us fear, make us angry, and make us selfish we wouldn’t survive. A lot of new age texts I read all agree that the ego’s purpose was for our protection in an immature world.

Given the modern times though people are a bit more open in their capacity to love and accept. Running around and destroying everything in your path is probably not the best approach in the business and social worlds (though sadly it does seem to work for the chosen few). Within today’s world then it seems are ego is an outmoded mode of survival so we should discard it. The ego’s generated fears seem to be counterproductive to us now – we fear getting into new relationships, we fear for our survival and take jobs which make us unhappy, we lock our doors at night and fear contact with new people thinking they might be dangerous. The fear which once served us well now serves us against ourselves.

Should we destroy our ego then? I think not! Destroying your ego would be akin to the following dialogue to a very close friend who’s been there with you since the beginning:

” Dear Friend (aka ego),

Thanks for being there with me all these 100,000 years and supporting me. I can’t believe how kind and selfless you were throughout all this time. When I was hungry you gave me the necessary fear to avoid my own death while pumping me with aggression to hunt down food for myself and my close kin. When I was sad and lonely you filled me up with visions of self worth and grandeur – to rise above everyone else and be the best at everything I did – not to settle for anything less. For all this time all you’ve done was serve me and my own self interests. Money, sex, power – you always told me to go for whatever I wanted – that it is my right to have all that I want. I would not have it made it this far through time without you. Without you I would’ve been slain by my enemies, dead of hungerthirst, and/or living a life well beyond my expectations and demands. Thanks ego for getting me through to today. There was nothing you wouldn’t do for me. Everything you did was always for me and my self interests – I couldn’t ask for anymore from a friend But…

well, it is 2007 now and your actions have given me sub-optimal results. Your generated fears are no longer valid – we have laws and rules now so my life isn’t in danger 24 hours a day. My attempts at being the best and not settling for less have labelled me selfish and arrogant by others. Your obsession with my safety has made me afraid of even the most mundane things – women, the internet, what other people think, the paranormal, various lifeforms etc… Well anyway I what I’m trying to say is

god-damnit! YOU’VE RUINED MY LIFE!!! IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT! IF YOU DIDN’T GET IN MY WAY EVERYTHING WOULD BE SO MUCH BETTER TODAY. WITHOUT FEAR I WOULD BE A MUCH BETTER PERSON! BUT YOOOOU HAD TO GET IN THE WAY. GO TO HELL! I HATE YOU! I AM MUCH BETTER WITHOUT YOU NOW. IN FACT NEXT TIME I MEDITATE I’M GOING TO TAKE A KNIFE AND ATTEMPT TO DESTROY YOU. DESTROY YOU IN REVENGE FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE TO MY LIFE. ARRRGH!!!”

Looking at the above it does seem somewhat weird to want to destroy your ego. After all it’s been on your side since the beginning. Your ego has the capacity to make mistakes just like you. You just need to unify with your ego and send it a reminder that things are different.

“Dear ego,

Things are different now. I know you’ve always been there for me and my self-interests. Given the shifting world though it would serve my interests better if you replaced my fears with truth and love. I know you’ll do that for me because you have never failed to serve my self interests once before. Thanks. I loves you ego <3.”

Once your ego gets the message then it will let go of it’s old programming to help advance you to the next phase of development. It’s a win-win situation here – both you and your ego are happy! You’re getting better results in your life and your ego is still your friend.

In short, love your ego – don’t destroy it.

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