An email, from Kelly, dated Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 6:01 PM.
It has been 10 days (typing now) from my last update regarding codependency and suicide,my response is this blog post.
“[…]My continued wondering about being present in the moment, and ego[…].”
“[…] On ego: could you […] please tell me what you mean when you talk about ‘ego’. I got the freshmen psychology Jung ego-superego-id lessons, although struggled then to truly grasp. Thinking your meaning differs and will give me deeper insight […]“
“[…] made some notes on Frau Gertrude (spelling). Will send from iPad. Yep, finally took time to properly read! Made some notes about ego as I was reading[…]”
Regarding my ego and I, it has been as if Cain and Abel are trapped in a single body. A Janus personality not letting me feel comfortable traversing 3-dimensions. Why?
(I’m, at present, little concerned with Freud’s, “Id, Ego and Superego” ideas and more about the ego itself only.)
What is the ego?
I am left to pick out two ideas from the above–
- First is the idea of rationalizations. These are, definitionally, lies we tell to make ourselves feel better…
- Second is the idea that the Ego makes decisions that are better for it’s personality in the long run rather than bringing and furthering anguish.
But– the ego is responsible for all the anguish there ever was; there is no external enemy. This I feel and know to be true. I cannot expound enough on the methodology of Byron Katie; its effect, and affect, have been cathedrals of therapeutically opened doors for countless people.
And then there are connections… Katie’s methodology exposes the truth beneath, behind, above, between, below what our perceived anguish is. And where does the anguish come from?
In other words; the world is a projection of our story. And it is all connected up there…
Now let’s have a personal example…
Take something simple… Remembering that, “thoughts that fire together, wire together.”
A combat boot rests next to me on my bedroom floor, I’m sitting, legs up, staring at my chalkboard.
I immediately think of my late brother Ben Bloom. Why? He always wore combat boots and I, miss him often and terribly. There is thus a connection and we begin the neural network of Jason’s thoughts fired and galvanized together.
Furthermore, combat boots remind me of Heather… A black clad and mascara sullen goth girl in high school, we shared an infatuation with each other, sometimes in was rough, others beautiful.
It is orientation I want her attention badly enough to hike up my shorts and put my boots on the desk.
It is May, 2001– high school graduation, my Mother refuses to attend.
Ben is my teenage years like drunk parallel lines arm around neck and stumbling into, careening against, the other. My teenage years are linked with heart ache, with love. My mother is abandonment as are many ex girlfriends.
So from a single boot we have the following…
And what’s more is that each of these things now are connected to each other…
And while this is base example, 11 thoughts wired still and chalk outlined together; it is not nearly complete. The story is hundreds of thousands of these connections… Dynamic and unmappable.
[Tangential theory… I remember once having a random thought interrupt my current thinking. Like a tree lain down on the tracks ahead my train derailed into thinking something else. This happens to me a lot. Like an unconscious Edward De Bono-ian thought exercise of random word mind hacking. Acknowledging this behavior I grew annoyed with my own mind. But I quickly learned that this happens with all people. What if, like a bus right, a flight with layovers, a grocery store with many things to buy; our brain, when leaving a single thought must traverse, pass and give at least an inkling of contemplation to each thought passed? What if these are our “random interruptions? Just the brain passing all the stops it sees as necessary to acknowledge before it’s destination?]
Well, it’s simple really. Our Connectome, our neural network is a construct of all our schemas, a priori and value judgments.
And where have we garnered these? From our own subjective history.
I talked a bit about all the things I find beautiful that you may not- these are projections from our story.
Ok, now is where the snake swallows its tail, where the ouroboros can only begin to defecate itself back into its own mouth. Not quite unlike the ego does to us.
And so we are back again where we’ve began…
Our Connectome, our neural network is a construct of all our schemas, a priori and value judgments. And where have we garnered these? From our own subjective history.
So, then, who is our spokesman? Which Lorax speaks for the trees we have planted at birth?
“I am the Ego, I speak for the story of this individual.”
Why then, I wonder, does Freud suggest our ego attempts to make better in the long run what may become anguish? Were does anguish come from?
Who says these lines?
- I can’t do it.
- I might fail.
- I am simply not good enough.
- I have been here before, this is a mistake.
- My mother never loved me.
- All of this is my fault.
- People don’t like me.
It is our spokesman talking. The head back voice, the every whisper that makes us believe that we’ve said it. Every voice you hear in your head is your ego thinking it knows what’s best for you. But the ego isn’t us. Not when we become conscious of it.
And I am not alone on this…
(Insert slew of relatable quotes…)
“The greatest con, that he ever pulled was making you believe that he was you.”
“The ego is the worst confidence trickster we could ever figure… That we could ever imagine. Because… You don’t see it.”
Dr. Yoav Dattilo
“Wear your ego like a loose fitting garment.” – Siddhārtha Gautama
“And the single biggest con is– I am you.” – Dr. Steve C Hayes.
“The problem is that the ego hides in the last place you will ever look; within itself.” – Dr. Peter Fonagy.
“It disguises its thoughts as your thoughts, your feelings as your feelings, you thinks it’s you.” – Leonard Jacobson.
“In religion, the ego manifests itself as the devil and, of course, no one realizes how smart the ego is because it created the devil so you can blame someone else […] there is no such thing as an external enemy. All perception of an enemy is a projection of the ego as the enemy.” – Deepak Chopra
“Your greatest enemy is your own inner perception, your ignorance, your own ego.” – Obadiah S Harris
And now, how do we live in the now? I always default to a Byron Katie quote here when I say that, “nothing before, or after, this moment is any of my business.”
Simply, don’t argue with reality.
This is all the fundamental basis for The Work really. Byron Katie uses what she calls a “Judge Your Neighbor” worksheet. It allows you to access all the ego is hiding from you. All the problems it is projecting.
On my bedroom wall, I am reminded, through the Judge Your Neighbor work sheet to…
And the only enemy, that I can tell, ever existed; is our own egos.
The last time I was in New Orleans, John and I spoke about this. I was convinced that the ego was my enemy, the only enemy there was!
I’m uncertain, yet, if enemizing the ego is the way to go though. Or even correct. As of now, however, it makes sense.
John said it is, “simply a voice providing you with information you may learn from.”
But I’ll be damned if I don’t feel like Jake in the elevator scene in Guy Ritchie‘s movie…
A scene, from which, I shall leave this note with…
In Nola, Pittsburgh and Oz. Sincerely yours,
Ps. My first reaction to “enemizing” my ego came in the form of a warning to it.
Before I crucify them,
bloodied, to lintels, and
agonizing, I drill
pilot holes in my beliefs.
A curtesy only, they are
least deserving of my
kindness. They stand less
a sacrifice than my own omen.
If ever, the savage, ego
were to pass by my home,
he’d take heed lest
he be perched among them.