Understanding how the Ego system works in Jungian Psychology
So what is the ego, well it is basically the centre of consciousness, it’s everything that we identify with our self concept, so when we use the word “I” to identify ourselves, what we’re actually referring to is the ego, in fact I’ve even described the ego in the past as being a huge bundle of thoughts beliefs and idea that all centre around one single thought called: Id.
Because of this, most people begin to think of the ego as the full extent of themselves and anything that falls outside of the range of ego is deemed as other and most importantly which is unconscious, but TBD feel of the matter is that the ego is a very small segment of the internal landscapes and the internal landscapes is just as vast and infinite as the external landscapes.
Now it’s important to realize that the ego is not a thing in itself, it’s more of a conglomeration of different ideas, thoughts and beliefs that are added to the self-concept over time, that are always open to change and for this reason I think it’s important to think of the ego as more of a verb than a noun. Something that’s done instead of something that is, because the ego is skate being added to and always being taken away from, now as children, we have very simple ego structure but as we become indoctrinated into our society and we start to learn our families expectations for us, we start to learn about our place in the world, what are preferences are and how we think everything works.
More and more layers get added to that ego structure and eventually what we get is a fully formed aful5 ego, now again I want to stress to you all that the ego is not real of itself, so if we took that fully formed adult ego and we start to peek back the layers of thoughts and ideas and beliefs eventually what you’ll end up with is nothing.
So the ego is Essentially an illusion and it’s an illusion that can be transcended, but the ego can be developed as well, fact Carl Jung act favored this approach and recommended spending the first halt of life, developing a healthy ego and sending the latter half of life turning inward and working towards deeper aspects of the psyche, he calls thus process individuation.
Now in a moment, I’m going to go over some common related moments but first I want to really hammer on what the ego is not. One thing that the ego is not as that it’s but the persona, the persona is another aspect of Jungian psychology and it really has to do with how we come off others, so it’s our social mask and it’s how we can essentially fit into our social worker and society.
Now often times our persona is related to our ego, in many ways, there’s a kind of consequences there, that’s why many people could mix up, the two but the ego and the persona are very different, so the person is external, it’s how we care off to others and the ego is internal, it’s hoe we identify ourselves, so the persona is usually a really edited version down of the ego and because they’re aspects of the ego that we may not feel uncomfortable with other people seeing in us.
Now another thing the ego is not full extent of the persona conscience, so in the Jungian model they’re aspects of our psyche that we’re conscious and they’re aspects of our psyche that we’re conscious of, so we have a personal consciousness that we’re conscious of, then we have a personal unconsciousness and then we have a collective unconscious.
So the Ego is essentially the centre of the personal consciousness so we might have a tendency to think that the ego is the full extent of the personal consciousness but they’re many other things going on Within the personal consciousness that don’t directly have to deal with the ego, so for example our once designer are self preferential but they aren’t necessarily an aspect of our ego because we don’t necessarily identify with them, also the things that we know, we’re our memory are part of our personal consciousness and they’re not necessarily an aspect of our ego, we kind of think about ourselves in relation to those things as opposed to being those things themselves.
So moving forward to the issues, they’re really too many main types of issues that I see with ego development, the first problem is weak ego, so this is where a person doesn’t quite develop a strong and often healthy ego to function in the adult, so for those suffering weak ego what happens is that most of the personal consciousness is unbridled, so the person hasn’t separated the wheat from the chaff, in terms of what they identify with and what they don’t identify with, some issues that stems out of this main problem of weak ego would be.
Of a person has a hard time adapting in the adult life, so being an adult us hard, you have to go through a lot of very difficult situations day by day and you have to have an ego structure that’s resistance enough to deal with those challenges and to be able to find positive emotions in positive ways, to think about yourself but a person with weak ego would have a very hard time finding positive things to think about themselves because they don’t know themselves very well and so they tend to gravitate more towards negative thoughts and negative feelings about themselves.
Now another issue would be the sense of not really knowing yourself so thus self concept sort of exist in this has where you’re not really sure what you really identify with you don’t know what your identify is, you don’t know what your preferences are, you don’t know what your values are , you just kind of exist in this place where you’re not really sure and thud muddy the water and creates a lot of indecision and a person who is dealing with weak ego also have a lot of problems with making decisions because they don’t really know what they want and they don’t rest know who they are, now seeming off this lack of clarity also comes the problem of motivation and Jack of ability to sort of build up momentum behind your sense of motivation, because most people their motivations comes directly from their ego.
So they’re thinking even if they’re bit thinking about it consciously deep down they’re think how is this serving me, hoe is this bringing me forward and that’s a very natural thing for the ego to do and so if a person doesn’t have a really clear sense if sound, then it becomes very difficult for them to forget that motivation and hope and bring this one person forward.
Also many coping mechanism has being within the ego, so the person has a week ego they’re going to have a lot harder time of coming with the challenges of life, so coming mechanism with a person allows then to have positive thoughts about themselves, even in negative situations so a person with a weak ego doesn’t have that luxury.
Now for those of you who follow my blog regularly, you might be wondering because I talk a lot about ego transmission which I’ve experienced before and it’s a very positive thing, so with that says repressing the ego or having a weak ego doesn’t bring you closer to ego transcendence, ego transcendence cones whenever you recognize the ego for the illusion that it is, it doesn’t comes from making the ego weak, you’re already having a strong ego that functions though from making the ego weak, you have a strong ego to function well and that actually helps you create positive habits. So if you happen to transcend the ego, you have a good routine built and I’m always finding people who are trying to tear away at their ego and try to start to strip it down to nothing and try to not be itself and what that is doing is that It ends up repressing, unless it comes from a really genuine place of self inquiry and looking into nature if reality, what’s going to happen is that it ends up repressing, unless it comes from a really genuine place of self inquiry and looking into the nature of reality, what’s going to happen is that the person is going to suppress Te ego because they behave in particular things about the way things work and so this would be ego repression which is a really negative thing.
so it’s actually the exact opposite of ego transcendence because ego transcendence cause an expansion of consciousness but ego repression cause a contraction of consciousness.
If someone has a problem of weak ego, I highly recommend taking some time to develop a strong ego because you’ll really notice a lot more potentials where you weren’t able to before to access and if you should want to transcend, the ego in the future it will give you more motivation to do so.
Now the second major issue with ego development would-be the individuated ego, so this is a person who has a highly developed adult ego buy they think that they’re only the ego do they haven’t really looked into the deeper aspects of themselves and try really believe the ego is the full extension.
So this type of person is going to have the coping skills to make then feel okay about themselves where they can tell themselves a particular type of narrative and they can derive a sense of meaning from that and they’ve derive a sense of being okay as they are, but the problem is that they don’t have a kind of deeper awareness about this shadow or their animal instincts or their higher self’s, and so there’s just so much that they’re unconscious about and so some major issues with this would be lacking of consciousness of ones own behaviors so a person who has unindividuated ego might believe themselves to be the good guys of life and might believe other people to be the bad guys.
And so they have certain narratives that suet of reinforce that but the problem is that it’s often the people who think they’re the good people that end up doing the worst things.
Now people with ah unindividuated ego also have a tendency towards judgement because the strong ego has the ability to cope with certain realities in life, much better than someone with a weak ego, someone with a string ego is going to notice that accordingly to the general world view, we’re just a very small does in this vastly infinite universe but the ego needs to feel like its the centre of that, it needs to feel the most significant, so essentially when a person with an individuated ego would do, is that they’ll create a lot if arbitrary standards to judge themselves and others by, so they’ll create some kind of thing that means oh I’m doing this I’m like thus, then that means I’m significant and then necessarily because the ego is competitive, there has to differentiate itself from other people so they have to be people who are less significant ago, so there’s always this tendency of the strong unindividuated, to try to create narratives around why it’s superior to other people, now this tendency might be very overt but it is also might be very subtle, like if a person has an idea that judgement is bad or that judgement is wrong, they might not catch three judgement they’re making because they would judge those judgements as wring and they would relegate it to the shadow.
So this is something that a person with any type of ego structure would really have to watch our fur, is judged other people as a basis for sort of bolstering up the self concept. Now another issue if Unindividuated ego is that it seems off the last issue is megalomania.
Now when I say megalomania it’s right drawn sine images if sine dictators to mind but megalomania is a very common emotion that are almost everyone feels, definitely everyone with an ego especially those with the string ego, so there’s the sense that you are the centre of the universe and it’s a sense that what you are is somehow more special or more important than other people, now someone with weak ego might feel the opposite they might feel like they’re the worst of the world. But again they’re still this centering of the self as the reference for all the things, so in a sense that has a touch of megalomania as well, but you can notice this in yourself, so you have a ego watch our for megalomania, it’s just not for Hitler and stalin.
Another problem with this type of ego structure is over refinement ofvegi, so when I was a teenager I wanted to be perceived in just a certain way and I wanted to think about myself in just a particular way and so anything that feels outside of the range of how I wanted to be perceived I just chopped that part if myself off and I did forget about it because I wanted to come off in a very particular way and so as I grow older my judgements is grew so much more and so I kept chopping aware at myself.
So if you imagine Luke I had a piece of clay right here and I was just reeling back the layers and what I ended up with was very small and so that was my conscience at that point, because once you start chopping away aspects of your ego and repressing them, what happens is that you become less and less conscious, now an issue that stems from over of ego is a sense of discomfort from reality refined ego structure.
I remember waking around my fresh man year if college and I was like my goodness I don’t even feel like my feet are touching the floor right now, because I didn’t even feel like I was really there and I related that to the fact that all of my focus and all of my energy was going to my head space where I was essentially being steward and complex ego structure.
So I didn’t really have the abilities to focus on anything else, so in this post I’m going to talk about all the process if individual and Turning more than how to do that, but when it comes to string ego, it’s a good idea to know exactly what constitutes the strong ego, so in my view they’re 3 main aspects to creating a strong ego now the fact is that it’s authentic, which means that it’s derived from self observation and so you’re not just creating the ego out if thin air and making whatever you like if you’re actually send absorbing and you’re seeing how you actually are and this will Help you get more clear about your identity, your values and your preferences.
Now another quality of a strong ego would be that it helped a person thrive within their society so it’s not just an adaptive mechanism, it helps you really sort out navigate the world in such a way that you can active whatever it us that you want to achieve and you’ll be able to derive the motivation needed to do so.