I have often heard this term, with regards to myself, and of course the common expression “A Man’s Ego”.
So what exactly is EGO? I turn to my trusty search engine again. At the risk of sounding repetitive, I am a Total Googler!!
So apparently Sigmund Freud had a nice understanding of the human psyche(or so we believe..). He defined ego as being a part of the human psyche. The other two being Id and Superego.
The Id is the unorganised part, or what we call the baser drives.(passions)
The Ego is basically the conscious part, although not all of the operations of the ego are conscious.(reason, common sense)
Super Ego is the personality or more notably called the Conscience, that which controls or criticizes the persons Id and Ego.
But I’m off on a tangent here, I wanted to analyse the meaning of EGO.
Osho, the renowned Indian mystic, was also a professor of philosophy. He mentions in one of his speeches that ego is born in a child, as he is unaware of himself, and his awareness of himself comes only through others.
An excerpt “A child is born without any knowledge, any consciousness of his own self. And when a child is born the first thing he becomes aware of is not himself; the first thing he becomes aware of is the other. It is natural, because the eyes open outwards, the hands touch others, the ears listen to others, the tongue tastes food and the nose smells the outside. All these senses open outwards. This awareness is a reflected awareness. He is not aware of who he is. He is simply aware of the mother and what she thinks about him. If she smiles, if she appreciates the child, if she says, “You are beautiful,” if she hugs and kisses him, the child feels good about himself. Now an ego is born. It is not his real being. He does not know who he is; he simply knows what others think about him. And this is the ego: the reflection, what others think.”
Ego according to him, can thus be a good ego, or an ill one, depending on what others perceive you to be.
Again he mentions ” Ego is always shaken, always in search of food, that somebody should appreciate it. That’s why you continuously ask for attention.”
I also noticed a common thread running through most philosophies, all insist on losing ego, in order to attain greater contact with self.
So does ego have any good? Does it have any positive purpose?
Well , here’s my take on this topic.
Is it real or a manifestation of our ability to deal with the pressures of survival?I’m not too sure.I have seen difficult individuals branded as Egoistic. But the perception of Egoistic varies from person to person. Has someone upset you with a harsh word? Has someone stood up for him/her-self? Its all attributed to being egoistic, egomaniac, egocentric. It all goes to show how judgemental we all are. What would happen if a person did not have ego? Like the famous saying goes “Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.” similarly “Too little of a bad thing is worse.”
I rest my case. 🙂