Monday, February 29, 2016
The Tasks of Ageing No. 4: Letting Go of the Ego
“The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.” Jung
What is Ego, while it is the “I” or self of any person (ego is Latin for “I”) or in psychological terms, the ego is the part of the psyche that experiences the outside world and reacts to it
So when you are letting go of your Ego, you are becoming part of the collective universe. Jung's work on himself and his patients convinced him that life has a spiritual purpose beyond material goals Our main task, he believed, is to discover and fulfill our deep innate potential. Based on his study of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, Taoism, and other traditions, Jung believed that this journey of transformation, which he called individuation, is at the mystical heart of all religions
So in this task, Jung is saying that the part of you that defines itself as a personality, which separates itself from the outside world, and considers itself (read: you) a separate entity from the rest of nature and the cosmos, should start on a journey to meet the Divine. Jung's pantheism may have led him to believe that spiritual experience was essential to our well-being, as he specifically identifies individual human life with the universe as a whole.
Throughout our life we have seen and participated in constant personality clashes. Confronting individual interests and domination attempts against each other were commonplace. Of course, this kind of conflicts made it impossible to achieve any kind of harmony, hindering team work, causing stress among people and a myriad of other problems, including illnesses.
As we age, it is fundamental for our well-being to learn how to listen, accept our differences and build together a more peaceful way of living.
Following are some recommendations to help you transcend the ego.
1. Don’t be offended
By letting go, you will open yourself to many more opportunities, and enjoying a richer life.
Being offended creates destructive energy, leading to a never ending series of attacks and counterattacks. Of course, you should still be offended by the many horrific things that happen in this World.
2. Get rid of the need to win and to be right
The need to win is a never ending rat race that will never allow you to step aside and reflect on your actions. Recognize that we cannot win all the time.
In fact, living in a state of permanent competition against others is very detrimental for yourself. I have seen many relationships get screwed by the need of certain people to be always right. “We must go beyond the constant clamor of ego, beyond the tools of logic and reason, to the still, calm place within us: the realm of the soul.” – Deepak Chopra
3. Overcome the need to feel superior
The ego tends to judge everyone and everything based on the appearance, achievements, possessions, value and other metrics that make sense only from the ego point of view. It loves to divide people between winners and losers. These feelings will pull you apart from others, and apart from the true enjoyment of life.
4. Overcome the need for more
The ego is never satiated. It doesn’t matter how much you have, your ego will keep on asking for more. When you overcome the ego, it feels as if you have more than you want. You will realize how little you really need, and will be at peace. You will be pleased with yourself by simply living.
5. Choose Love
Yeah, I know how that sounds, but give it a chance. Even if you can’t quite get on board the love train, don’t worry about it.
6. Never Complain
Complaining keeps us locked in negativity, right? I mean, think about it. Who wants to hang out with someone who complains all the time? No one. So why complain even to yourself?
Feel like complaining find something beautiful and focus, and instead of complaining focus on the positive.
7. If All Else Fails, Just Be Grateful
It’s hard to be down and out while also feeling grateful. This whole practice of dissolving ego is like one big detox.
Stop and meditate. Reconnect with the World. Follow what you truly believe is your goal in this World, beyond what others think you should do at all. If you worry about how others perceive your actions, you will end up losing touch with your true self.
Working on yourself in this way can be exhausting, I know. But don’t think you have to do it all at once; don’t feel like you’ve failed if you have a fearful or anxious thought. The work you’re doing here is a journey and it’s a journey taken in very small, manageable steps. Let each step be a destination of its own, if that’s what drives you. Each breath, each moment, each movement you make is your destination. Even as you begin, know you have already arrived