Our need to survive is so great that conforming, adapting and responding in the way the world asks and more often demands of us, becomes second nature. Second nature is the operative term here because this is not who we really are. Our ‘first (original) nature’ becomes sublimated by the need to survive and our second nature namely ‘ego’ is established in its place.
Understanding the internal politics of the self holds the key to building a relationship with ego, which is enabling, empowering and ultimately liberating. The ego has now become like an entity existing separately within us and has become a law unto itself, therefore, the community of the self is not something it respects as it seeks to survive at any cost. This is why to dismantle many of the negative manifestations of the ego we need to engage in constructive and creative dialogue with it. We need to sit around the negotiating table and convince our ego of the benefits of rejoining the community of the self, only then can self-integration and well being be achieved.
We cannot re-instate balance and harmony by simply battling with our shortcomings and deficiencies, a more subtle, sensitive and gentle approach is needed. Brute force is not the answer, nor is denial and pretence – understanding, patience and persuasion hold the key. We need to remember the ego is a self protecting mechanism and it works to keep the self from harm, it is not aware that many of its defensive responses actually cause harm. We have to educate our ego, which of course is to educate ourselves, but because the segregation of the self is now so great the ego has become a self-contained system functioning out of habit. The pattern of responses the ego now has within its huge portfolio only exists and continues to exist because they have never meaningfully been challenged and so because of ignorance and the power of repetition these patterned responses have become habits which automatically emerge according to the situations that the ego is faced with.
It is time to relate to our ego differently, time to stop letting it run riot, because the current state of anarchy keeps us enslaved to arrogance, selfishness, fear, carelessness, defensiveness and much more. Our ego is responsible for so many negative manifestations, which are all preventing us from discovering our real self and evolving emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Find some time at regular intervals during the course of the week, five or ten minutes at a time will do and visualize yourself sitting down around a camp fire with your ego. Give your ego a personality, create an image of it that you can relate to and form a friendship with. The image you create can be anything you want, what is important at the outset is to maintain your chosen image so that over a period of time you can become familiar with your ego in this form. Once a relationship has been established you may if you desire change its image and form, but it is wise to wait until there is some stability in the relationship. Also where you meet can change and alter to suit yourself… as the relationship grows.
By meeting with your ego in this way the things that need to be said can be said with patience, kindness and empathy and then the ego can hear these messages and not be threatened with the idea of its extinction. Explain to your visual image (your ego) about its conception and evolution… help it to understand it is a powerful aspect of the self that has fragmented in an attempt to ensure survival of the self. However, its admirable endeavours are inadvertently causing further fragmentation and dissatisfaction and only by it surrendering its current role can “completeness” be achieved. Assure your ego this is not about its extinction, this is about integration. Once this is understood your ego will work with you and not against you and personal growth is guaranteed.