Valuable vs. Neurotic Ego and Ego Development

Excerpt from Chapter 10 - Psychology

Please consider the idea that the ego is really just a computer, a very useful computer that gets you to work on time, that figures out how and when to get your taxes filed, that gets you enough food to eat and that figures out the best way for you to approach your spouse/boss/child/whomever. This ego computer is absolutely essential and desirable.

Most people following New Age spiritual paths have been taught that ego is bad and needs to be discarded if one is to be spiritual. Such a putdown of ego goes along with similar putdowns of examining one's psychological past. Such putdowns are negative critical judgments that are covering over underlying prejudices and fears. My opinion of those making such judgments is that they are stuck in their neurotic egos, using their judgmental brains to cover over their own psychological garbage.

Yes, most all of us have neurotic egos, the parts of us that want cigarettes, alcohol, excessive meditation, or too much food. Neurotic ego also leads us into ongoing inappropriate relationships, unhealthy spiritual systems, jobs we dislike, as well as all sorts of gluey sick attachments. Neurotic ego is everywhere.

The goal is not to throw away ego, but to do the work that helps us to get beyond and to drop the neurotic aspects of our egos. This can take decades, often lifetimes, but it is a developmental process that bears fruit every step along the way in terms of less stress, more happiness and better alignment with soul purpose. Any type of effective psychology will help us drop some of our attachments to neurotic ego.

Most recognize the inflated ego (a variation of "I am so wonderful"), but the deflated ego comes in two common guises, one of which is not so obvious. If I berate myself or feel bad because of my inferiority, then this is obvious unhealthy ego deflation. A less obvious time where a deflated ego often reveals itself is whenever I feel awe, veneration, or admiration. Feelings of awe or great mystery or looking-up-to place us in a childlike position. When we look up to, we usually fall into our adaptive personalities and no longer see, feel or think clearly.

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© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze

 

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Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "All too often clients presume that the therapist knows what is best for them and knows the answers; more often than not, that is just therapist and client wish-fulfillment."