The Modern Ego and How It Affects Human Behavior

In order to take care of ourselves and others, we must acknowledge the wisdom of our ego.

| November 2015

  • Self Esteem Ego
    “I believe it’s high time we developed a new sense of respect and compassion for our ego. It is not our enemy. It’s our friend."
    Photo by Fotolia/cartoonresource
  • The Sacred Ego
    Visionary, uplifting, and filled with practical advice, “The Sacred Ego” illuminates a viable path to both inner and outer peace.
    Cover courtesy North Atlantic Books

  • Self Esteem Ego
  • The Sacred Ego

Have you ever listened to the news and wondered why we can't all live in peace? In The Sacred Ego (North Atlantic Books, 2015), author Jalaja Bonheim says the ego is a sacred function that deserves our gratitude and reverence. However, two separate layers of unconscious conditioning have kept humanity trapped in violence and warfare for millenia. This excerpt, from Chapter 2, "Birthing the Planetary Ego," discusses how humans disempower themselves by rejecting the ego.

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The very word ego has become a catchall for whatever aspects of human behavior we disapprove of. “He’s got a big ego” we say of someone whom we consider self-centered or pompous. But who gets to decide what’s de­sirable and what isn’t?

Supposedly, the ego is a spiritual obstacle because it gives rise to nega­tive emotions. Yet negativity merely indicates that some part of us is try­ing to say no, which is often a perfectly appropriate and healthy response. Unfortunately, we often we feel we don’t have the right to say no. For women, especially, this is a problem. Many women were taught to believe that to say no isn’t nice and is selfish.

One chilly winter day a woman called Sasha came to see me. Though only in her late thirties, she had a weary, wilted look. From her clothing to her hair, everything about her looked limp and tired.

The issue she wanted to discuss was her marriage. Ever since she’d married Jonathan, he’d been having affairs with women. The pain of it was killing her, and yet for almost a decade she’d been putting up with it.

2/25/2019 7:34:12 AM

This is not an accurate assessment of ego. The ego brings information to us. It is up to each of us to decipher that information and make choices and behave accordingly. But we don't do that. We force the ego to make decisions for us. Since the ego cannot do that, it learns to hate us. It becomes our enemy and wants us to fail. The women in this story were not oppressed as much by men as by their own ego, actually, for allowing this oppressive behavior to go on for as long as it did. It is good to allow oneself to be oppressed: that's ego. Every step of the way, the ego makes bad choices. It makes judgements based on faulty information. It wants us to fail. You don't think the ego wants us to fail? Look at all the bad choices it makes and all the misinformation it gives you. This author confuses the ego with the self. As you grow up, you are supposed to take the information the ego delivers and make your own choices, not listen to ego blather. Who is that telling you you are no good or that the reason the man you are with treats you so bad is because you are bad and you deserve it? It's the ego. What is sacred? God, by whatever name you give Infinite Consciousness. Give yourself to God and He will take care of matters, including what to do with your ego.

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