Question of the Day: No. 537

Here’s a question for discussion: Is ego really the enemy?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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You can find AP2’s personal blog here at: https://clear-air-turbulence.com


45 thoughts on “Question of the Day: No. 537

  1. There’s the ID, Ego and Superego all three in balce are required to make for a well rounded person. The ID is the primitive instincts, the Ego is the part of us we precent to the world and Superego is our higher values.

    The ID and Superego are always in conflict the result of that battle brings us to reason with the will to power and self -overcomeing. The will of the Ego determines who we are. The Ego is fundimaly the key to a better social order

    By attaching the Ego we can motivate better reasoning and become as supermen, something beyond ugood and evil. Because in balance one becomes secure in themselves having knowledge of one’s uself and thus cease to push one’s uwill on to others while thriving as an individual.

    1. Thank you for such an informative response. I think balance is an important word. The ego is a tool to be used. Problems start when the tool takes over and starts using you. The ability to transcend the ego is important, but so is building it up. We want to hold both ideas simultaneously. Thank you for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment.

  2. Every individual has a quotient of self-importance. And that is necessary to mark one’s place in this ever-changing and fast paced world. Self-esteem is a quality that doesn’t need to be imbibed. It’s within a person, but it’s level can fluctuate. Too much of it and it becomes an ego problem, too little of it, and it reflects as low self-worth. Both are damaging, both need to be rectified. Can ego be the enemy? Then low self-esteem is no less guilty. A person’s mind conjures certain states that are influenced mostly by circumstance, experience, and interpersonal relations. We are what we live and our basic natures can’t be overlooked either. Some things are just innate and have no logic or reason to them. There really is no enemy. Usually the person in question is the one who is suffering the most. No winners or losers really. 🙂

    1. I agree that low self esteem is no less guilty. I don’t believe the ego is the enemy. It becomes an enemy of sorts when we fail to see it through. When we fail to question what it is telling us about our selves and the people around us. Those unable to step back from it often encounter the biggest issues with it. In this sense I believe a basic understanding of the mind can be enormously beneficial. Thank Terveen for always leaving such thoughtful responses. Have a wonderful weekend 🙏

    1. Love it. It certainly is. Although I don’t think taking pride is always a bad thing. But it certainly can be when used to block feelings of shame and/or guilt. Thank you for adding your comment 🙏

  3. Ego is not a problem for me. I see Ego as an obvious Human paradigm in the third dimension, and everything outside of Ego is not obvious. The “outside” of the human ego lives in the framework of experience. Feel free to raise your eyebrow and give a little cringe from my comment; I don’t have an Ego attachment to my thoughts. ( insert smile)

    1. Not at all. I like your thoughts. The difference between awareness and ego is something many people fail to see. I certainly think that is more of a problem than ego itself. Thank you adding your thoughts Doug 🙏

  4. Ego is a common and natutal part of a human. The point is the balance you have in it and the way you handle and show out the ego. Ego can destroy you but at the same time it can give you confidence and boost your self esteem.

    1. I agree. I don’t the ego is the problem so much as an inability to transcend it. If you have an over inflated sense of self worth or low self-esteem, the inability to see through it becomes the real issue. Then you get trapped in those states. Thank you for adding your thoughts. 🙏

  5. I see it this way- When we say ego is an enemy, we tend to ignore and run away from it. This is what we try to do with our enemies. We avoid them. But then, it comes in other and much dangerous ways. This act of denying that you have ego, makes it purge out more to show you that it is indeed there.
    But if we treat it as a friend that is little frustrated, not on the right way, we try to understand it and to talk to it. We understand what it wants and then calmly see, if it is right to do or not. Overall, we have to make ego our friend and acknowledge that it is there. Only then we can control our actions. This act of acknowledging that it is there, also opens us to control it. We can sit calmly with ourselves and make it shut and show the right way.
    An enemy’s ways are always hidden and we don’t know in which way the attack will occur. The same goes with ego as an enemy, I think.

    1. Very well put. I believe we have to start with acceptance for our ego as it is. If we resist it, it will only scream louder. True change only starts from a place of acceptance. To do that we need to practise self compassion. I believe being able to transcend our thoughts is important too. If you can’t see through your thoughts (your ego) – then you run the risk of the ego taking over. Thank you for adding your thoughts 🙏

  6. Firstly, I there are 2 types of ego. One that is essential for us to live in and by the means of reality. This is Ego that Sigmund Freud described. The other is the ego that, in my opinion, is often used to protect our self-esteem,, opinions, beliefs etc ; more like a defense mechanism. If this defense mechanism is wrongly used then in that case, ego can be pointed out to be the enemy. ( open to discussion)

    1. I think of ego as ones self-esteem. It’s important to develop a secure one however too much or too little of it can become dangerous. Often the bigger problem is our relationship to ego, rather than ego itself. Thank you for adding your thoughts 🙏

  7. In some instances, yes! If an overinflated ego takes over your personality it can destroy yourself and those around you. You need a certain amount of ego to keep yourself seeking fulfillment of your dreams.

    1. Too much ego hurts others. Too little hurts yourself. I think for those struggling at either end of the spectrum the ability to see through it is very important. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙏

  8. Everyone has an ego. If it takes control, overpowering common sense and compassion then it definitely becomes an enemy. You have to be balanced and appreciate other people’a feelings and their egos too.

    1. Indeed we all have an ego. It is self esteem. I believe the ability to see through it is very important. It’s a tool that’s meant to be used and sharpened. When we fail to see that the danger is the tool ends up using us. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙏

  9. This is a really interesting question. As a Buddhist we are always trying to subdue the ego, but in the bigger scheme of things I guess the ego is only a problem if we don’t know how to control it.
    In reality, I would say we all have ego that’s what makes us human and inperfect. The main thing I believe about ego that makes it dangerous, is it becomes a really good liar.
    For example, especially in the west, people believe that having loads of plastic surgery, veneers and all the things to make us look beautiful will somehow contribute to us being immortal. We spend hours going to the gym, staring in the mirror at how beautiful we look but the truth is as we age, all the muscle will turn to fat, our beautiful veneered teeth will start to become loose because our gums recede – and that beautifully tightened face will wrinkle.
    So in terms of ego, we must learn about impermanence. That nothing is permanent whether living, phenomena or material and all that we drive ourselves into the ground to acquire is very temporary. If we can grasp this, we somehow shed ego

    1. Understanding impermanence is critical for learning to transcend ones ego. I believe that ego is driven by survival. An inability to see this can lead to problems. I do believe our relationship to ego is a bigger problem than ego itself. Thank you for adding such a thoughtful response. Wishing you well 🙏

  10. I think it all comes down to how you define ego. I understand ego as thinking of oneself more highly than one should. In this case, it is bad. Sometimes confidence and ego are confused. Confidence is a balanced assessment of one’s strengths and weaknesses. Anyway, I personally try to live in a way that does more serving than “selfing”! LOL

    1. I define ego as self esteem. It can be too high or too low. Both are bad. The bigger issue though is an inability to see through it. A secure self esteem is important. I believe that’s what you’re referring to as confidence (as opposed to arrogance). Thank you for adding your thoughts 🙏

  11. I asked the kid about ego one day.
    She said, without it you’d be dead, you need ego to drive the soul.
    Guess it depends which direction you drive.

    1. Smart kid. I think too much or too little is a problem. It’s important to realise though it is driven by survival. That knowledge is what we need to transcend it when it isn’t serving that purpose.

  12. A deeper and higher vibration in the spiritual path is to recognize that there are no enemies, the ego included. Besides, to demonize it is just more ego. The ego is meant to be our servant rather than our master, not the other way around. The idea is to make amigos with our egos. thank you AP2 for asking this provocative question. It’s a good one to entertain in the theater of life.

    1. You speak a lot of sense. To hate our ego. To hate our demons only gives them strength. It only adds to ego. I completely agree the ego is a tool to be used and sharpened. The danger comes when we fail to see through it and tool ends up using us. Thank you for adding such a thoughtful comment. Wishing you well 🙏

  13. The ego is not the problem. Its practical purpose is self-awareness. It’s a universal component of the human experience and how we sense ourselves in time and space. It can be thought of as a teacher, that ever-present reminder of our mortality and of our limitations, and how they work with our current environments. The ego is a part of our DNA. Homo Sapien (wise man). Self-aware = ego.

    The ego will guide you well, as long as you supplement it with humility and empathy.

  14. First: Ego is a psychological construct. It doesn not exist at all. But it is a model that is useful to deal with us.

    Second: Paraphrasing the famous Epictetus quote “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters”. So is up to us if we react to our ego as our enemy. So there is not an enemy at all. Its all about how we “see” the world.

    Third: Suposedly, we should have the command of our life. Heroes and enemies, thoughts and feelings, live inside us. So instead of seeing enemies, why not seeing challenges. That is, ego is not an enemy, is a challenge to deal with.

    1. I think of ego as self-esteem. That of course is something that fluctuates. But I think you’re right to say it doesn’t really exist. If you have low self esteem it’s a problem. Similarly I think too high a self esteem can be a problem. In both cases the “ego” takes over. I think of ego not as an enemy, but a tool to be used. I think it’s important to build ones self esteem but equally important is the ability to transcend it. Thank you for adding your thoughts. I like the Epictetus quote. 🙏

  15. I think like many people have already commented here or have alluded to, it is about balance. In a few if you’re comments you’ve mentioned if we let our ego take over and start using us, that can be where problems lie.

    Being self aware, and having confidence in oneself is important in knowing we are worthy of time, both giving it to ourselves and accepting it from others.

    I’m finding this out as I try to lean more heavily into finding out about publishing my books and sharing my music: if I don’t trust in what I have made, and value it enough, how can I share it and promote myself and my creations to encourage others people to engage with them?

    Definitely a huge learning curve as I am someone who finds self worth and self promotion a struggle to engage with, let alone assertively use usefully!

    1. “if I don’t trust in what I have made, and value it enough, how can I share it and promote myself and my creations to encourage others people to engage with them?” That’s a great point Hamish. Self worth is very important. It’s also important to recognise that the ego is mainly interested in survival rather than any kind of lasting happiness. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I hope you’re well Hamish 🙏

      1. I’m doing very well thank you. Away from town for the weekend with our Life Group from church. Sun is shining, water is warm (enough), and we’re just about to settle in for a relaxed 7.30pm dinner.

        I hope you and family are well too my friend. 🙏

  16. I actually do believe that our egos will cause us more suffering from grasping at the sense of being unique. I know I’ll probably get some flack, but when we focus on self, on what this perceived self likes, dislikes, chases and runs from, we’re looking in the totally opposite direction. Life will never stay happy, sad, satisfied, dissatisfied, etc. It’s simply not the nature of our existence. Letting go of all the physical, emotional tethers to anything can be freeing and take us one step closer to liberation.

    1. I think the ego is a tool. But one we need to understand. That it is a construct of who we think we are, not who we really are. If we are unable to unidentify/transcend it we will never find peace. That said, I do believe the ego serves an important function for survival. We just need to know when it’s not needed (which is most of the time). Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it 🙂🙏

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