Egos and souls

Lovely phrase I got from Jamie Catto– “Egos trying to act like souls”. We imagine we know what “Enlightenment” looks like, we judge how far along the path we are, and we try to behave as if we are more enlightened than we are, or even have Attained Enlightenment. This can be a good thing. It is good to walk your talk, and acting in a particular way strengthens the brain connections leading to acting like that. We wear down the path. It is a bad thing if it gets you to suppress contrary information out of consciousness. You reach cognitive dissonance, and deny reality.

I thought, oh brilliant. Another thing to judge myself on. I shall immediately start to judge and analyse whether I do that.

It’s not conscious and unconscious self. The unconscious self is looking out of my eyes, hearing what I do not hear consciously, fully aware of all my sensory input. Something in me notices my friend, and I become conscious of her. There is a constant interplay. When I write, words bubble up from unconsciousness, I am consciously aware of something, it fades away. Always there is that memory within me of sitting on my father’s knee, crying and being comforted, and it surfaces for a moment now and then. Sometimes consciousness ruminates, like chewing on gristle, ideas I have chewed over many times, and sometimes it goes to work analysing a problem new to me. Analysis is good. And a temporary solution to a problem popped into my head just now, it had been stewing unconsciously, and I emailed it to a friend.

Insofar as there is a “self” or different “selves”, they are both conscious and unconscious.

So what is the Ego, as opposed to the soul? Is it Ego when I am judging and analysing, soul when I am simply perceiving? So INTP is always more enlightened than INTJ? What about Thinking/Feeling, is Feeling always more enlightened, or is that another false dichotomy?

The concepts of ego and soul, considered as different from each other, might not mean this, but ego is divided against itself, with superego telling it to be sensible and id trying to overwhelm it with impulse. Soul is one, thinking out routes to feeling-driven goals, thinking and feeling working together to prioritise, getting to know people and learning new information, seeing what is, and what is possible, going with the flow to build a structured life- EISNTFJP. Not that I’m there yet, I can talk without walking, the best “The Healthy Relationship” articles are written by divorcees. If the Tao is flowing like water, does that include learning how to perform a task, or just performing it?

I hold myself back, because I am afraid, because I am hurt, self-conscious, untrusting. BAD THINGS MIGHT HAPPEN and however not-bad they turn out they still seem bad in advance.

6 thoughts on “Egos and souls

  1. This post really has me thinking! Shortly said, I feel we might live in a society that is “easier” to navigate if you follow your ego. Easier in terms of making a living and having shelter, basic needs. In a perfect world, I think we would all be able to express our selves through our souls and still be able to have basic needs. I still think we certainly CAN do as we’re inwardly drawn to go, but it’s hard to siphon through the societal pressures, the norms. Maybe that makes sense?

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    • Yes. And, “Post-materialism” is where people grow up not feeling their basic needs will be threatened, and so can be more generous-hearted. The drowning person fighting for air is expressing their soul, moving along the Tao.

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  2. Clare, I’m not sure I understand, let’s see. To put it in transgender context, are you saying that it’s possible for one’s ego to drive self expression perhaps partly to justify itself? And maybe that is triggered as doubts and concerns come to mind such as Bad Things Might Happen?

    Indeed, our egos are wired to protect us, to help us present to the world in ways that bolster our presence whether that means in ways that are in alignment with gender, or regardless, that say, I’m real and deserve your respect as a fellow human being.

    I will say that this kind of introspection is tough to contend with, for me and for my younger son. I try to manage it by pushing myself to be vulnerable, to be mindful of my emotions, and trying to stay present in the moment. Yes, bad things may very well happen, and they probably will but hopefully not too often. Good things happen too.

    I particularly love the painting in this post. I wonder what she’s thinking about. And, true to myself, I wish I was her!

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    • Allow me to add, please, that I hope you don’t take my comments as my trying to minimize or deny your feelings. I would never intentionally do that. Writing sometimes doesn’t convey all of what we mean, and I only mean to say nice things.

      That said, it’s easy for me to say that I’m able to handle my emotions. Untrue! I try, and I think I’m making progress. But unlike you, I’m not living out as a woman. I’ve had a couple of Halloween experiences in my life that were wonderful. In several weeks I intend to go out to start experiencing what my life would really be like. Hopefully only good things will happen but we have to be prepared for the bad, too.

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      • I never see you as minimising or denying my feelings. I read only nice things from you.

        She is wonderful, is she not? She is calculating and evaluating, not to be fooled or flattered out of her purpose.

        Taking oestradiol, I find my feelings more labile. Especially when my hormone levels change, I can lose control. This can make me seem to live with greater immediacy, but it can be wearing. After bad experiences I fear more bad experiences, so hold back. My fear is not always rational.

        Mindful presence is wonderful, and experiencing Real Life is wonderfuller. I wish you joy from it.

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    • Here’s the thing. I am at war with myself, a Chaos of thought and passion all confused, a series of conflicting impulses, some conscious, some unconscious. How could I imagine there was some “ego”, Latin for “I”, with much of my character and personality deciding between rational Superego and lustful, impulsive Id? My ego is as divided as any other part of me. There is a whole organism, and impulses within it; no lesser “I” than all that is within my skin.

      Or, what Kaitlyn calls “following your ego” appears to be accepting various offers you cannot refuse: the powerful so organise society that the powerless comply with their demands, because we will be even less happy if we don’t. Yet some of us are tragic victims, going after our own desires however much Society, or even Reality, get in our way.

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