The last issue of a very good mag called What is Enlightenment? was devoted to Ego (or is it ego?). I thought of it via Jean's talking about why having regular Writes can be difficult--one feels s-he already knows the thoughts and so is bored and irritated by them and then judges them as being shallow.
I mention all this because one way I've thought about ego, via PW, is this, and it reveals my assumltion that my mind is my great ally. Why would the miind, do you think, bring to consciousness certain thoughts if I already knew them? Is it that inefficient? I assume there is something for me to understand, some information I still need to get--and what I call ego are those voices which say I know that already or this is boring, etcetera. In other words, what can make it hard to have a PW practice is the activit y of ego. In a Write I feel I'm in touch with knowing, the verb, as it undoes knowledge the noun.
I think of Ego as my teenaged persona, the part of me who is half bored and half fearful of what others/I think about myself. Around the edges are some anger, and unrealized (frustrated) potential. When I write, I tap into the soothing, spiritual part of me who quiets the ego with reassurance that the key is already in our hand. We have everything we need to reach a level of healing and true life mission.
What makes Writes difficult is the naysayer who would rather wallow in resentment and fear of being ordinary. But oh the glory when we see what we have written! We are each unique and fabulous. I want to be reminded of that every day!
To cease our writing is to silence the best part of ourselves and to rob the world of our vision.
Drawing on faded impressions of Freudian theory, I associate the Ego with self (self as ego)-preservation, self-containment, (an illusion of) mastery, and individuality attained by objectification (knowledge rather than the verb). Ego is the basis of identity as something to be defended, kept completed. My image association for "Ego" is a globe of hard plastic.
(Still using faded impressions...) It's also subject to the superego, the "critic," which is what I initially would have thought was the source of the judgments (shallow, boring), but that's an easier insight than Toby's, that it's the ego itself that makes regular Writes difficult.
It's as though Something is trying to convince me it's/I'm boring, perhaps out of that something's fear of being challenged by an alliance that occurs during PW (?). For me a Write often bears the marks of that whole struggle, I think. I'm rarely "tapped in" from the beginning of a Write. The notion of my mind as an ally could be a powerful counterforce.
<It's as though Something is trying to convince me it's/I'm boring, perhaps out of that something's fear of being challenged by an alliance that occurs during PW (?). For me a Write often bears the marks of that whole struggle, I think. I'm rarely "tapped in" from the beginning of a Write. The notion of my mind as an ally could be a powerful counterforce.<
This is from Jean's message, and it has, to coin a phrase, grabbed my attention. That "Something" that tries essentially to maintain itself out of fear sounds like a good take on ego. Jean, can you say more? I can see how, if that something were strong, one's Write could "bear the marks" of the struggle. Of course, to transcend this ego character, you need to have one. Or, a la some spiritual liberation systems, we have to see the illusory nature of the ego and the castle of self it thinks it is defending. That must be the enlightenment moment or an enlightenment moment. I think this is the way Trungpa Rimpoche talked about such matters in Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism.