Hi everyone, I hope you are all keeping well. Sticking with the topic of my last few posts, I have been thinking more about the self. The self as I described is the whole of person, to be complete one must incorporate all three aspects of the mind. Its not that one aspect of I.D, Superego and Ego should exist without the other. A balanced self enfolds all three parts, ether consciously or subconsciously. (Though better consciously.) We wouldn’t be human without fear or desire nor moral compulsions or reason, these things are important and in fact help us to survive not just individually but as a group. The Ego allows us to govern ourselves which is possibly the most important aspect of being an individual, the ego allows us to choose. Enshrining in us the importance of individuality—the importance of character. It makes us responsible for ourselves and give us freedom from the passions, allowing us to think critically for ourselves.
Without the Ego we are sheep and slaves to our primitive self. I should clarify what is meant here by Ego. The word ego congers up a common understanding of an inflated sense of self-importance, the reality is the Ego is ourselves distinct from the world and other individuals. It is the part of the self that carries a relationship with the external world, the part that is most in touch with external reality. In short it is the mechanism by which we control our thoughts and behaviour, I think this is the best way to understand what Ego is and how important it is. We should cultivate our ego, our capacity for reasoning and embrace ourselves as individual’s that make up a larger whole of humanity. Its only as individuals that we can thrive as a group, take responsibility for ourselves and make the world a better place to be in.
It makes me wonder where the intellect lies, where does our intelligence reside. It must have some physical presence in the brain yet must be accessible by the Ego. This ability for abstraction is a marvellous thing. In etymology the term intelligence denotes “to gather in-between” while intellect denotes “what has been gathered”, I’m not sure what to make of that factoid yet.
Elbert Hubbard once wrote; “Cultivate the intellect, and you shall have a mind that produces beautiful thoughts, worthy images, helpful ideas; that will serve as a solace in times of stress, and be to you a refuge ‘against all the storms that blow. The cultured mind, as compared with the uncultured, is the difference between a beautiful garden which produces vegetables, fruits or flowers, and a tract of land that is overgrown with weeds and brambles.
To be a person of culture is to be at home under all conditions. Your mind is stored with mental images, and memory comes to keep you company, and guide you from nostalgia and the sense of separateness to universality or oneness with the Divine. The country will be beautiful to you in any season, and society and solitude each will be welcomed by you in turn. You are to reject nothing, despise nothing, knowing that everything belongs somewhere, and that it is needed to make up the great mosaic of life…”
It is true that something must inform the Ego, that is where knowledge comes in. So then it is important to hold knowledge of the self, better informing how we interact with the world and how we choose to behave. To know the self is no easy task, it on the journey of self-knowledge that one discovers just who one is and how one wishes to live. What habits one wishes to continue and which should stop. The journey allows one to choose just what kind of person one wishes to be, its only through Ego that this is attainable. One must be honest with one which is hard, I find it hard anyway. At any rate I think it’s a journey we all should take.
I think iv gone as far as I can with this topic, iv talked about interacting with reality perhaps I’ll talk and think more on the nature of reality. remember these are just my thoughts. Anyway thanks for reading my ramblings, please leave a comment and share your thoughts. Stay well all.