The Clever Ego:
Its Arsenal and Armor
by Lacy Frazer and Marie Mohler
“For I cannot know the UNKNOWN, if to the known I cling”
– Robert Fisher, Author of The Knight in Rusty Armor
In January’s blog post about “The Conditioned Self,” we discussed and described the Conditioned Self that is governed by the Ego. It is The Ego that steadily seeks to preserve the status quo regarding our beliefs and view of the world. And the EGO, in large part, is the governing force inside us that committedly seeks to maintain the separation between self and others (including a higher power). It strives to maintain this core separation out of fear and perceiving the world “as a dangerous place,” while at the same time, it employs fear to maintain and sustain that very separation. Allow us to elaborate.
As Dr. Wayne Dyer conveys in the movie The Shift, we essentially have everything we need in utero to be our light and our blueprint of perfection. But the minute we are born, our parents or caregivers “take over” and we are exposed to the conditions of human life. In some way, shape, or form, as time unfolds, we learn on some level ~ that the world is not a safe place, that we need to protect ourselves, and that we are separate from everyone else. It is at this point that we, often unconsciously, cultivate our own separation consciousness. The world around us proves to us over and over again that we are individuals who must compete, compare, judge, and blame in order to maintain our ego identity. We are taught about “being number 1” on the athletic field; or that going to the best schools will get us places; or that climbing the corporate ladder leads to money and status; or that more money and more stuff defines “success.” What can be even more disconcerting ~ are the messages we receive and ingest . . . if we are unable to achieve these things. We might come to the conclusion that we are a “failure”; we don’t belong; we will never be “enough”; and/or that we are “unloveable.” To cope, we then strive to keep these negative emotions and experiences at bay. But they inevitably leak through and show up in our daily lives in some way . . . which can lead to profound suffering. So, in a sense, and over time, many of us become our own worst enemy, repeating pattern after pattern, often ~ by default. We “buy into” cultural norms, societal expectations, and familial patterning, and we develop an entire world that we believe we have to live up to. We find ourselves driven by words like “should.” And it is ultimately our repeated inability to live up to the expectations of the world that we have set up, that can lead us to experience anxiety, depression, failure, a lack of belonging, and most of all, a disconnection from self, others, and a higher power.
Traditional psychology describes a variety of defense mechanisms used by the Ego to help avoid or ward off unpleasant feelings (i.e., anxiety, depression, inferiority, etc.) or to make us feel better about ourselves. We use our intellect to feel superior to others; we use rationalization to justify our feelings and actions; we use denial to suppress and avoid truth; we use judgment to elevate our sense of self-worth and to make us feel better about ourselves; we victim-stance to diffuse responsibility for our experiences or for who we believe ourselves to be; we resist anything that threatens our view of our self as a good person; and we project what is ours onto others to avoid ownership. These defensive strategies are all part of the Ego’s Arsenal and Armor to protect its identity and avoid perceived emotional pain. However, the irony in all of this ~ is that the Ego’s strategy is actually the cultivator, reinforcer, and perpetuator of our own personal pain ~ by maintaining the belief that we are all separate from each other, separate from our “authentic self,” and separate from a higher power. The tragedy of consistently living from this Egoic state, from this conditioned orientation to life, and from this conditioned place that generally lacks any True Self Awareness, is that we live our daily lives without ever experiencing a Sense of Authenticity, a Sense of Personal Empowerment, a Higher Sense of Connection, A Sense of Meaning and Purpose, and a Sense of Oneness with All That Is.
So what is the antidote or organic remedy to all of this disconnection and separateness? LOVE. Love is the Pure, Positive, All-Knowing Energy that exists in the universe. It lives in every one and every thing. And thus it is the organizing force of all things. Love is the energy of collaboration, community, forgiveness, acceptance, oneness, and compassion. Love can express itself as kindness, openness, non-judgment, non-attachment, connection with nature, and most of all, the desire to serve and help others. Love is the energy that rises inside us and pours forth through us once the barriers of limiting beliefs are seen, cleared, and released. Love is the feeling of appreciation for ourselves as part of a Greater Whole . . . when we allow ourselves to live our talents, to share our gifts in the world, and to do what makes our hearts sing. Love is the essence or the feeling inside ourselves when we listen to our intuition (our perfect innate inner guidance systems), when we honor that special and wise part of ourselves that knows the greater truth, purpose, and meaning in who we really are, when we tune into the incredible light and life force inside us that connects us to all life on the planet, and when we allow ourselves to be a vessel or conduit in the world . . . that helps others to do the same.
Doesn’t living a life governed by the Energy of Love and our Wise Open Heart Centers sound much more fulfilling and meaningful ~ than living a life of fear and separation that is governed and dictated by the Ego (and solely our Mental Mind)?
If these messages are resonating with you, then a part of you is summoning them into your field of awareness. Perhaps it is time for some deeper self-reflection and self-attunement to facilitate a more authentic Knowing of Thy Self. Perhaps it is time to consider a life of greater meaning, service, purpose, and compassion for yourself and others. We all have the ability to shed the armor we have adorned and proudly worn for so long, and to journey to a place of authenticity, joy, inner alignment, and love. You are being invited to consciously step up in your life, to escort the ego back to the caboose of your train, and to allow your Soul Self to be the author, creator, and driver of your life experiences now. Its a wonderful experience to become aware of the freedom of choice we all truly have to live an Authentic Life, a Chosen Life, free from our Conditioned Armor, and free from the Ego, that once managed us on auto-pilot, by default. Does it require some work? Yes. Does it require change? Very likely so. But is it worth it? Absolutely. Because the True YOU, the Authentic You, and your True Nature of Light Within is most definitely worth it.