Tag Archive: ego explained

Negativity appears to be a conditioned human trait. Why would I say that? Well, there is nothing negative about the Universe. Once we take the planet Earth out of the equation, what are we left with? Just about everything… The Cosmos which is everything that exists can be visualized as a vast concentration of quantum energy that pulses and connects across a web of particles, gravity and waves of light. There is nothing negative about that. In universal terms, birth gives way to death and thus facilitates re-birth. Stars born from hydrogen gas will eventually die and exhale their tired gases to form new stars. Humans will also be born and then die; only to be reborn as a new form of energy – There is nothing negative about that concept either.

Yet, negativity does exist here on Earth. In fact, negativity seems to evolve and flourish, intertwining its threads into the fabric of society. Born from human thoughts and emotions and driven from ego, in some facet, we all harbor our own negativity – some worse than others. Unfortunately, it is a grim facet of our existence –driven by low self-esteem, money, jealously, anger and greed; negativity in some form has existed since humans began walking this Earth.

Even the unfettered honesty and innocence of a young child can be molested by negativity. Child abuse is a good example of passing on such dysfunction. Social pressures and ego only seem to ratify and reinforce such behaviors. As of lately, social media and opinion based news continue to perpetuate this model of negativity and division. At the end of the day, a majority of humans appear to be flawed individuals; led by the nose of bad information and politicized bull shit; their thoughts so indoctrinated and brainwashed that people do not even know right from wrong. Social consciousness has been warped by a barrage of outside influences.

The world has been a challenging place to live as of lately. From COVID 19, to the many inefficiencies that the pandemic has uncovered. From lack of healthcare to racial inequalities, when we look at the world as a whole, what do we see? A lot of suffering! A thread of wisdom in Buddhist philosophy notes that when we can let go of our egos, there is a fundamental desire fix the world. Imagine if the worlds leaders lived by this advice. Imagine if the top CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies chose to live by this model of mindfulness? The caveat here is that in order to fix the world and bring forth more compassion and less ego, we need to first fix ourselves.

Fix ourselves? We need to realize that a myriad of negative issues, situations and hard wired control patterns can be affecting us as individuals on many unseen levels. Everyone has witnessed layer upon layer of positive and negative experiences that have shaped us to some degree. Influences from childhood, religious upbringing, social media and opinionated cable news have colored our perspective. It is perspectives that that create thoughts, words and actions.

You must realize, however, that the shadows of the past may be concealing hard wired perspectives that are influencing your future and perhaps even the futures of others around you. Are these influences positive or negative? For me, I noticed that anger and frustration can occasionally surface as an adult and even as a parent. This frustration or anger is deep rooted; born from ego and control patterns that directly related to how I was raised as a child and how I project my energy in life. Of course everyone has their own story. The trick is to mentally acknowledge negativity or negative thoughts and handle them effectively before they become words or actions that can reverberate out into the world.

It is about triggering awareness. This awareness (for example) came when I felt frustrated and angry about a situation. When we can pause, breathe and isolate the negative thoughts or situation, it creates a mindful gap in the controlled chaos that is life. I use this as a trigger of mindfulness to stop and not act or react blindly. As an exercise in mindfulness, I direct my attention to the vastness of my True Nature; a place within us all that is boundless, constant and dependable.  The daily life practice is to make space within for such control patterns that facilitate anger and frustration: Isolate these thoughts and understand their source and how they can color your actions and other peoples reactions. When I realize I am heading down a path of negativity, I can make a positive change in my thoughts before they translate as negative actions. Instead of reacting blindly and reinforcing old patterns of behavior, I can change my actions for the better. I can break the chain of dysfunction by connecting to a higher level of awareness. Sense negativity in the thought process. Isolate this negativity and shift the dynamism to a more positive outcome or solution. It can be that simple. Its a useful tool in the effort to bring more positive energy to daily life. Imagine if a 100 people did this? Imagine a 1,000 people. Imagine millions…

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own journey in Self-Discovery.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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ego2I write about the ego and its counterpart True Nature all the time. This is a great question queried recently by Dave, a friend and fellow blogger… Is our ego a friend or an enemy? Shall we settle this once and for all?

This is a complex question and it will come with a complex answer. I have overheard Wayne Dyer tell Oprah on TV once that the ego is not necessary – that there is no need. I totally disagree. Still I am cautious in saying that the ego is our friend… it is not in most cases.

What is the ego? The ego is part of our mental devices that experiences and reacts to the outside world and thus mediates between the primitive drives of our being and the demands of the social and physical environment. . The ego for better or worse thrives on ideals, beliefs and laws that determine a perception of the world and life that is larger than the individual. It becomes the governing force from which we unknowingly base our daily actions.

Ever heard of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? The model describes an imaginary pyramid that begins with physiological needs at its base and aesthetic principles of self-directed growth at its apex. After the satiation of water, food and warmth, humans seek love and safety needs. These requirements are born from a more primitive human existence dating back millions of years. The ego was necessary for the early evolution of humans; competing, breeding and foraging to survive; and it is necessary in the early development of children today. Many of us are born into a world where social Darwinism defines our existence. Though its mechanisms are crude, the ego is an unavoidable social phenomenon that helps trigger survival instincts and stimulate early social evolution.  Now, imagine if a child lives totally alone and isolated from social interaction; he or she will never come to grow an ego. But that is not going to help in human evolution. This child will remain like an animal never progressing or evolving. The ego is basically a bi-product of our social existence.

It was not until more recently – the last 3,000-5,000 years that humans have began searching for self-actualization. This is when modern religion was born and it is when humans began to cross the threshold of a physiological needs based society to an aesthetic needs based society.  Still, the ego remains rooted into our mind facilities growing and maturing as we progress into adulthood. The ego becomes this borderless entity that is so interwoven into the fabric of our minds we do not even realize its influence. . It is a complex array of sources that feeds an ego: From the unattainable benchmark set by celebrities to the materialistic urges brought forth by our peers and the advertising we are inundated with daily. It deals with social acceptance in communal arenas and the moral and mainstream pressures of life. In the “material world” the ego unknowingly gains power from these sources and we as malleable creatures inherit control patterns which subconsciously dictate our actions and reactions in life. Control patterns are subliminal hard-wired urges and intentions that are controlled by the ego and facilitate and reinforce the emotions of fear, anger, jealousy and low self-worth, many times unknowingly.

So what was once a crude but necessary friend in early development becomes this complex false-self that feeds on the infinite variables and situations that society yields. Still, without the ego, how would we know what is a balanced and unbalanced existence? How are we to know what our True Nature is without already knowing the extreme opposites of self-gratified bliss and suffering?  We need to have a matrix in place that takes in consideration all facets: bliss as it relates to our false-self, suffering as it relates to our false-self and this elusive middle ground called enlightenment. When we are born, society hands us our ego. True the ego is not found in the womb – the ego is manmade and in order to socially evolve it is a necessary function in our lives. It is true that most Buddhists would contend that the ego is not a part of us – it is merely a distortion. Still, even distortions are tangible evidence of who we are. When we look in a mirror, that image may be a distortion of our true self – a mirrored copy that is not real, but still it is rather difficult to deny that this image is not us.

The concept of an ego is in itself a yardstick in societal evolution. Whether we need the ego or not is really not the point – the ego exists whether we like it or not. The focus is not to say we do not need the ego but to acknowledge that it exists and then separate its facilities within our mind – make space for it so that when thoughts and emotions arise we can distinguish which ones are proactive to our evolution and development and which ones are merely there to create false-self and ultimately suffering. We cannot deny the ego but must find awareness for its power – the ego helped build a crude but necessary foundation in our human evolution. Now in the search for enlightenment, the key is to limit its authority and power so that true authentic empowerment can arise from within.

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

Image: courtesy of thetakeover.com

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