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Discussion in 'Spiritual Growth & Development' started by jimrich, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. mac

    mac Staff Member

    I follow this thread mostly at arm's length and thought members who have been active in it might be interested in the following piece lifted from Roberta's blog this morning. I neither agreee nor disagree with the section I've posted. It's selective, my choice and Roberta neither asked me to post it nor gave me permission. I hope she won't mind my doing it....

    "What is the ego? Do we even need it? Might it be a part of our eternal minds?

    What I have found has been just a mess of confusing interpretations of what the word “ego” means, and a hot insistence by various experts that either the ego is good or the ego is bad, or perhaps the ego simply is who you are. Sigmund Freud used the term in constructing his model of the human personality, and in my younger life we used to say that someone who had “a big ego” was too proud, and someone who needed “an ego boost” had been beaten down by life. The rather fanciful definition of the ego used in A Course in Miracles comes down to this: “The ego is idolatry; the sign of a limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death. It is the ‘will’ that sees the Will of God as enemy, and takes a form in which it is denied.” (Do you see why you will need a study group?)

    While the ACIM definition comes closest, no definition I have found can entirely match my understanding of the ego. Perhaps we have been using the word “ego” to cover a number of unrelated things? But in the area of achieving spiritual growth, the word “ego” has a specific meaning, and unless you learn how to spot your ego and eventually learn how to take it down, that pesky nonentity will forever keep you from becoming the perfect being based in love that you already are! So let’s begin by stating our best definition of the word “ego”:

    “The ego is a limited and separated entity that pretends to be a part of yourself. It was born as an accessory to your body, and it will die when your body dies. The ego is a guardian of the body and of its own survival, focused on making you fear and fight every threat to itself that it perceives. To operate successfully, it tricks you into believing it is a part of your own mind. It is what you perceive as your personal ‘will,’ and it makes you distrust and fear God and also fear whatever might help you grow spiritually because your ego knows that your spiritual growth will eventually bring about the death of itself.”

    That is a working definition for now, but as I read it again I think it works fairly well. And you can right away see our problem! The ego has priorities of its own that are contrary to the very reason why you chose to live a life on earth. It is your enemy, but it pretends to be a crucial part of who you are."

    The full text may be found at:http://robertagrimes.com/human-nature/the-extinction-of-the-ego
  2. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    What is surprising to me is how much interest there has been in that post about the ego! I've been hearing from people and answering comments ever since it went up. It astonishes me sometimes to see what resonates!
  3. mac

    mac Staff Member

    But no additional interest shown in this thread.....o_O And none of the blog responders ever contribute to any discussion threads here.... :(o_O

    Go figure!
  4. kim

    kim Regular Contributor

    Is the ego only like a temporary image worn by our soul?
  5. mac

    mac Staff Member

    Since my earlier posting I have taken a look at responses in the blog. What at least some need - it seems to me - is a personal response to address their personal neeeds and issues. It's very different from the here on ALF where although personal issues are often raised, members also engage in discussion or debate on other issues too.
  6. mac

    mac Staff Member

    I know little about this subject but it seems to me that ego only applies to the 'composite human' (body & soul) situation and not to its eternal component, the soul/spirit.

    It's relevant to spiritual progression but not to the afterlife situation.
    kim likes this.
  7. kim

    kim Regular Contributor

    I read your blog about the ego yesterday, and I went back today to read additional comments after I posted the question above. Tim Knappenberger commented that August Goforth described it as "the simulated self", so that answered the question I asked above!!!

    Then, Roberta, I read more, and you don't know how happy you made me when I read your response to another comment! Everybody needs to read this! This is what you wrote: "you should greet stress and fears as actually good news that your spiritual practice is working! Just push through it and do it-refuse to give up-and put up with the fear. In the end the ego will yield. And what a glorious moment that will be!!". Those words entered my life at the perfect time!:):cool::)
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
  8. kim

    kim Regular Contributor

    Thank-you Mac!:) I like what you said in contrasting the body/soul to the soul/spirit, and especially when you specified that it was relevant to spiritual progression but not to the afterlife situation.
  9. Convolution

    Convolution Established Member

    Seems it's one of those words that many have different definitions for. People could argue nearly endlessly without finding resolution.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
  10. mac

    mac Staff Member

    Similar to the meaning/definition of 'medium' and mediumship.

    As long as there's no widely-agreed definition for the word 'ego' there will be a wide divergence of views - and views are all they are. For every passionately-argued definition there will be someone else pasionately arguing something different. It's one reason I generally keep my distance from this subject.
    Convolution likes this.

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