Many of us see the word “Ego” as a negative and may well assume that the use of the word is open to being linked in one’s mind with being immoral and unacceptable but there are many interesting ideas that express otherwise.
Because so many of us see the ego as a place where we are only thinking of ourselves we become very much fixed with the concept of selfishness and sometimes even greed. We may hear people express disdain in conversations that may well apply to relationships for example: “He let his ego get the better of him” Or why is she being so egotistical about this?”
According to Freud, the ego is part of personality that mediates the demands of the id, the superego and reality. The ego prevents us from acting on our basic urges (created by the id), but also works to achieve a balance with our moral and idealistic standards (created by the superego). While the ego operates in both the preconscious and conscious, it's strong ties to the id means that it also operates in the unconscious.
The ego operates based on the reality principle, which works to satisfy the id's desires in a manner that is realistic and socially appropriate. For example, if a person cuts you off in traffic, the ego prevents you from chasing down the car and physically attacking the offending driver. The ego allows us to see that this response would be socially unacceptable, but it also allows us to know that there are other more appropriate means of venting our frustration.
The White Eagle suggests that in short, there is an implication of the self, if not watched carefully or dealt with strongly, will automatically react in a negative way - like the old fashioned notion of original sin. There is an implication of force within us which is uncontrolled, runs riot and seeks for itself above others. In White Eagle’s teachings there is no reference to any original sin, or a devil or even a darkness that operates outside of deity. White Eagle also suggests that a display of selfishness is the higher self seeking for expression in a way which is not ideal, but is nonetheless a necessary part of the bigger journey towards becoming a “powerful radiant soul”.
Putting the self before others may be considered selfish but in order to really understand ourselves and help others we must take for ourselves so that we can understand how to give back to others what we take. When we take we learn and if we decide to take too much then somewhere along the lines we are going to learn to put back what we rightfully didn’t deserve.
Another interesting thought that comes from White Eagle suggests that when we see others acting selfishly allow yourself just for a minute to be tolerant and see not only selfishness in our brethren, but a striving for higher self for expression, that higher self which will one day shine forth as a powerful, radiant soul. This way we are acknowledging the truth of human nature and helping ourselves to readjust accordingly, focussing on the fault in a different way and instead seeing the bigger picture rather than the smaller one.
Egotism sometimes pushes something forwards because it speaks in such volumes, it wakes us up to a truth and reality that we had kept well hidden. Egotism can also be seen as the higher voice or the child that has been pushed to the side. Many of us can become egotistical because of a feeling or creative part of ourselves that has gone unrecognised.
The ego acts like a force of energy which then asks for acknowledgement, the problem is, is that the energy is often so powerful and direct that people from the outside circle recognise this as being “arrogant” or “egotistical” when really the idea should be about the right level of encouragement rather than mockery, malice or criticism. This then allows us to exercise the ego so that we can maintain a healthy balance.
Essentially the ego should be remembered as the part of ourselves which pulls us into centre so we can learn as White Eagle expresses again: “Only through complete self–consciousness can the ego return on the path of God-consciousness. So overall what is being acknowledged is that self consciousness which may manifest at first as self centeredness is part of the path towards a fully conscious union with God or the deity in which we choose to follow.
In most cases it will be spiritual light that we choose to walk in that we feel resembles us. We can even find a part of ourselves through other people’s egos which we admire and this is why so many of us enjoy musicals, theatricals, live performances or reality TV. It is ultimately the force of self belief that shines through and touches something within us personally that actually suggests that we are all part of one therefore the ego is needed or we wouldn’t learn what we were trying to express and more importantly, understand what is meaningful to us!
References –White Eagle Stella Polaris Volume sixty one –No 6