Updated: Aug 5, 2019
"Ego" in its pure definition is "a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance."
Recognizing, loving and caring for the Self is something we aspire to do on a daily basis at The Essential Way Project.
Freud's ego was "the part of the Id that has been modified by the direct influence of the external world." In Freud's concept, the Ego is the mediator of our primitive, instinctual and infantile Id.
Sounds like fairly good stuff, right? The Ego is our "control" mechanism for impulsive behavior. So why does "the Ego" get such a bad rap at times?
Because an ego, also left unchecked, becomes bloated with unrealistic ways the world SHOULD operate to serve the Self. The ego, when left to its own devices, will try to manipulate the environment to serve you in selfish ways that forsake all others.
In essence, your ego will ostracize you from reality and from "the group" which we are biologically pre-disposed to serve and operate in concert with.
Too much ego and you will become lost. Too little ego and you will never get where you want to go.
So what is the remedy?
Honest self-awareness will save you.
What does this look like?
The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius is said to have had a servant follow him during the day, whispering "You're just a man," in the Emperor's ears at odd times.
Probably not acceptable or feasible in the 21st century...
Whether this is indeed true or not, the concept is clear: we need to constantly understand WHO we are, WHY we walk through life, WHAT our desired objectives are, WHERE we sit in the long-term nature of time, and HOW best to approach our passions/desires in order to keep the ego from running wild. This is the duty of self-awareness.
Self-awareness takes study, discipline, Art and practice. It is a cyclical virtue: as you grow, you begin to understand more, which leads you to practice more, which brings you back around to more growth and the cycle repeats.
Where should you start? Always check in with WHO you are.
How can you control yourself if you do not know yourself? Have you ever taken the Kolbe A Index/Instinct Test? To properly utilize your Ego in the most beneficial way, understand your Id.
And, for even deeper understanding of the Kolbe A Index test and how it can relate to you operating at an extremely high level of self-awareness: go see our friends over at Illumine Academy.