Helping Reduce Conflict by Becoming "EGO Free"
By Susan Humphreys, Contributing Editor
If the Cross of Christ can't heal the wounds of this nation, as discussed in another essay on this web site, what can?
One thing that will help is to become "Ego Free." Please note: I said ONE thing not the ONLY thing!
Most or all the world's religions and secular philosophies have realized that it is our Ego that gets in our way and keeps us from reaching our highest potential as human beings. The religions and philosophies simply disagree over what we are to do about it!
I first addressed this subject in an essay in 2013 "About hubris: extreme pride or arrogance -- particularly as it applies to religious belief." The topic is just as timely today. In that essay I said:
"Do we subjugate our Ego? If so to whom or what? to the WILL of a God, the Gods, or the Goddess? Who tells us what the God/s/ess wants us to do or expects us to do? Do we rely on words in a book, if so which one? How do we decide which book is the right one, the one that contains the TRUTH? Do we rely on the word of the Pope, Priest, Minister, Mullah, televangelist, your local pastor, or that voice inside our own head to tell us what God/s/ess wants us to do? How do we know if that voice is the voice of God/s/ess and not something evil, the devil or demons --- or the voice of our own Ego speaking)?
Do we just try to subdue our Ego? Try to keep it under wraps, so to speak. Try to keep it quiet, pretend we don't hear it? When we do that, it can quickly become a thorn in our side. Its persistence can literally drive one crazy. It can make us uncomfortable, bring on acid indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea, high blood pressure, etc.
Do we annihilate our Ego? Try to do away with it completely. To do that is to deny the reality and role our Ego plays in our very survival. It is our Ego that steps in when we face a frightening -- or dangerous -- situation and tells us that we can do it, that we have the strength, the courage, the chutzpah, whatever it takes to get through this, and get the job done.
I realize that it isn't the Ego that is the problem it is an out-of control-Ego that is the problem. An out-of-control-Ego also goes by the name of Hubris. It's voice is the voice of self-righteousness and conceit, pride and envy, fear and hate."
Becoming Ego Free is to become free from the control of an out of control Ego.
The out of control Ego uses words such as ONLY, as in:
- There is ONLY one God,
- There is ONLY one holy book: the Bible,
- There is ONLY one way to salvation
- There is ONLY one true Religion/Denomination/Church/Faith group.
The out-of-control Ego uses words such as Me, My and Mine instead of We, Us, and Ours. It doesn't understand "The Power of We."
An out-of-control Ego insists on absolutes. Moral absolutes seem to be the most common: For example "Thou shalt not kill" --except we allow police officers and military personnel to kill in the line of duty and others to kill in self-defense. A moral absolute would have no ifs, ands, or buts.
There is, however, one absolute we can count on, and that is Change. Nothing ever stays the same. All other absolutes are subject to change based upon popular sentiment, new scientific or historical discoveries, differences in beliefs, differences in world views (Nomos, 2 I wrote an essay about this concept in 2013 "Who & What is killing religion? Is it outside forces or an inside job?"
The out of control Ego creates false dichotomies. A false dichotomy offers at least two choices:
- A--the right, good, moral choice, or
- B--the wrong, evil, immoral choice.
There might be, and often is, a third choice, or many more choices.
An example is: Either you believe the Bible is the word of God or it is a lie.
A third choice is that it is simply a book written by men, full of great wisdom for those that read it thoughtfully and critically, neither holier than nor less holy than the sacred texts of the other world religions.
Another example is whether you are with me or against me. Again a third choice is neither of the above. For example: I may not support your beliefs because I have chosen to follow a different path, but I support your right to hold beliefs different from mine AND I don't think your beliefs make you EVIL even though you might think my beliefs make me evil.
Becoming Ego Free is to become free from the voice of self-righteousness and conceit, pride and envy, fear and hate. It is worth the effort to achieve.
You will realize that you are Ego Free when you recognize the divinity in the "other" -- the one who is different, the one who doesn't believe what you believe. Divinity is that which is most admirable in a human being: our humanity, our ability to empathize, our ability to recognize the other as our brother, as one of US.
Related essays on this web site that you might find interesting:
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks may not be still active today.
- © Mariaphotography10 | Dreamstime.com - The definition of the word ego
- In sociology, "nomos" refers to provisional codes (habits or customs) of social and political behavior, socially constructed and historically or even geographically" From Wikipedia.
How you may have arrived here:
Originally posted on: 2017-FEB-28
Author: Susan Humphreys