Ego is Good/Ego is Bad/Ego Doesn't Exist at All?

Friday, 26 October 2012

I've just been reading a post and a lively set of comments about the ego.  And of course in such a conversational terrain, there is the usual argument going on ~ that of yes, there is an ego/no, there isn't an ego.  It's an interesting and frustrating conversation because I agree completely and utterly with both sides.

This is my personal take, subject to change or variation at any time.  I'm sure you have your own and it's probably different to mine.  But the way it seems to me out through my eyes and after pondering and daydreaming about it ~ I think that I absolutely do have an ego, and it is part of my responsibility as this particular human to learn to balance it, to learn to love myself no more or less than anyone else, which is, in fact, an entire life's journey the perfected aim of which would be me being totally in love with the entire world because I Am That. 

On the other hand, at the same time I feel like my aim is to learn to stop loving myself too much (a sort of love which, if it really is love at all, is a much lower form of it), or else I will forget that I am the ocean and that I don't believe there is any fear in death.

Because in that respect, no, there is no ego.  Damn right.  There is no such thing as an ego, just like there is no such thing as bloody anything.  The full and beautiful void.  The no-thing.  And you know the drill ... go down far enough and it's just more empty space than molecules.

So I think we can get caught up in these distinctions where different sides say "No, you're wrong.  There is an ego," and the other side saying, "No, you're wrong. There isn't an ego."  But the way it seems to me is that they are both exactly right. 

What a fucking trip :)


  1. Cosmic Fun, Sue. Is this not All That Is, showing up as the ego, trying to work out whether the ego exists? And why wouldn't it already? And this is All That Is saying, I'm a teapot;)

  2. Thanks for this post, Sue, interesting. There is definitely an ego if we define it simply as the first person, the "I" in language. I used to dream about strange and often humorous conversations with First Lady, Hillary Clinton. Once we were discussing a tennis racket with a very short handle (like a hand held mirror), which I had found and belonged to her. I finally realized, in all those dreams, I was talking to my ego.

  3. Hi, Sue. Obviously, because I'm a depth psychoanalyst, I'm biased in favor of the ego. After all, what is it but the ego that even bothers asking the original question? But here is the problem: the ego isn't a material construct; it isn't a thing, but it isn't nothing, either. It is, rather, a no-thing. No-things are terribly problematic in Western rational thought because we tend to conflate materiality and existence. But no one is able to vivisect me and find the organ of the ego, and it is, in fact, literally true that the ego isn't an organ at all, or if it is, it is an organ of psyche. How's that for an Immateriality imbedded in immateriality? The thing is, both Freud and Jung identify the ego by inference. You can't see it, but you can see its effects. It's a bit like the new updated version of my Angry Birds Seasons game on my phone: The new halloween theme has "ghost blocks" that you can sail your angry birds right through, yet in some instances the "ghost blocks" act in a physical way as regular blocks. And by invoking Angry Birds, my credibility quotient falls to zero...but that's the thing; something is there and it operates on us as we operate on the world through it. I may not know what it is, but I know that it is.



  4. I agree with Sarah...even though the ego is not a tangible thing, it still exists in the sense of "I". It's where our understanding of ourselves as an individual is born. Self-preservation and self-love are regulated by it. Just my take.

  5. Thanks to each one of you for leaving your interesting thoughts and observations. I loooooooove these sorts of conversations :)

    I have this rule that I like always to respond to comments individually. I feel it's only polite to acknowledge the time someone has taken to share a bit of themselves with you. However, I had a few bad days after I wrote this post where I was hanging on the couch with allergies, and now all of a sudden it's been a week!


Newer Older