The "Ego" and How To Kill It
A sensible guide and companion.
No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell. ~ Carl Jung
When referring to the "ego", most people don't consider its Latin origin which is simply "I".
Instead, the "ego" is generally associated with the "overly-inflated self". The analogy above was used in connection with the concept of "shadow work". For simplicity's sake, I won't drown you in psychological debates. Instead, I want to talk about egocentrism and why it's probably the only target you need to set your sights on.
People are like Jenga blocks. Stacked high over time; one piece at a time. Without a proper foundation, any reckless move is likely to cause a collapse. This requires careful examination of the continuously weakening base - the roots - in order to lessen unnecessary pitfalls.
For most people of this modern age, asking them to examine these weak parts of themselves is next to impossible.
In a world plagued by chaos and confusion, we have a bad habit of pointing the finger outward. Asking people to pull the stick from their eyes without noticing the log in ours. We focus too much on our own needs and forget that of others. We've been conditioned to put ourselves first - to fill our cups before we can fill others.
It's a well-intended concept, but like many other things, it has been distorted by its target audience.
Wanting better for ourselves isn't the problem.
The problem is in our twisted idea and definition of "satisfaction".
This is why I'm convinced that our uncontrolled and insatiable desires and our unwillingness to listen are the source of most of our downfalls as nations and people of the world.
This isn't taking into account the things outside our control, like medical conditions we're born with, for example. It is in our control, however, to learn as much as we can about all the nooks and crannies of our being.
By learning how deep our roots run, we eventually find our personal hells, and we can then teach people how to navigate away from them.
You Are Your Worst Enemy
As days pass, I'm further convinced the greatest war we fight is with our own demons, not that of others. It's a war that we're destined to lose if we don't take the time to introspect so that we don't poison the people around us.
Though we may be broken, it doesn't mean we have to project this unto others at every given chance.
I can tell you from experience that the main danger people face in this search for "oneself" is that they're easily deceived and fall into the snares of perversion.
With so much information floating around, it wouldn't be fair to cast the blame on others for being misled, especially if the information brings about some form of pleasure or satisfaction.
Generally speaking, people don't ask the right questions when stumbling across these new "truths" as long as these "truths" provide them with some kind of justification and gratification - all rooted in disordered desires that their ego originally produced.
In time, one comes to learn that this is the very same "hell" they're trying to escape from.
Let me illustrate this point with a challenge many willingly overlook: addiction.
For example, if someone is addicted to alcohol, they'll find any and every excuse to drink. It doesn't matter if it's someone's birthday or funeral; where there's a twisted will, there's a twisted way. Despite numerous warnings, someone addicted to alcohol drinks excessively to satisfy a disordered desire.
To further justify the act, they might even use their seemingly unimpacted health as "proof" that alcohol isn't an issue for them - a statement that sometimes might actually carry a tiny bit of weight.
Some might even point to medical articles that support their habit.
Companies will continue to market their products because they have a deep understanding of where people's desires are truly rooted. In all reality, the issue isn't with the chosen vice. The issue is with people's desire to "cope" with something that is somehow satisfied with the feeling that comes from abusing the substance.
That's why someone who claims to drink a lot just because "they like the taste" won't ever switch to non-alcoholic options. They taste virtually the same, yet lack the numbing element.
Hey, no judgment - sometimes it IS fun getting drunk. But every day? Every weekend? Hm... That might a deeper problem.
And as long as that root problem remains unresolved, it doesn't matter if it's beer, liquor, or straight-up hand sanitizer. They'll do what needs to be done to fill that uncharted void and instant gratification is found.
This is made 100x worse if you're surrounded by so-called friends or lovers who cheer on your reprehensible behavior day after day without pausing for a moment and asking if you need help.
Here's some valuable advice: leave those toxic relationships, and quickly.
What Does This Have To Do With Ego?
It's not surprising that when confronting an alcoholic their #1 comeback is something along the lines of: "I don't have a problem".
"It's my life, I do what I want with it."
"I'm not hurting anyone."
"Sorry, not sorry."
It's all centered on "me".
This gross denial is one of the main differences between them and someone who enjoys an occasional drink over a meal without abusing it.
The idea behind this and almost every other personal struggle people are faced with - anger, jealousy, greed, combativeness, etc. - is that it's never their fault. Someone or something else made them do it, and no one will ever understand what they're going through.
Not because the battle they fight is inexplicable, but because egocentrics don't owe people explanations. They're incapable of expressing their thoughts and emotions and they don't owe anyone anything. They can't see the bigger picture because it's all about instant gratification. "Just living in the moment". They enforce their own individual truths and 'freedoms' (relativism), often without compassion for others or having a deep understanding of the meaning of "truth" and "freedom".
Freedom isn't just being able to do as you please. Real freedom is being able to do what you ought to do.
In other words, the concept that "just because you can doesn't mean you should" is out of reach for the egocentric. They're perpetually trapped in a self-constructed prison, stripping themselves of their own power to justify the demons they fabricate via their terrible behavior.
The Murder Plot
So, how do you kidnap, murder and bury egocentrism? Here's the simple strategy.
Since I used the example of alcoholics, let's look at a 12-step recovery program.
Though worded differently, the first couple of steps can be condensed into some form of surrender. As in, you're totally powerless, something is greater than you, something else is in control, etc.
Easier said than done, right?
And it's not just addicts; modern people can't seem to admit this. Who taught them this?
It's actually a bit sad to see how difficult it is for people to let go of this "idea" of themselves. I say "idea" because most egocentrics don't really know themselves to begin with... Like many other people, egocentrics are conditioned by other egocentrics into being something that they're not.
That prison they live in doubles as a huge echo chamber.
To begin to kill the ego, you have to sincerely entertain the possibility that everything you've ever known and done is wrong in every aspect.
Once you do that, you can explore the next step.
No, I don't mean fleeing from your native land.
By exile, I mean you need to separate yourself from anything and anyone that isn't helpful to the core mission of finding your true self.
Again, something I've noticed a lot of modern people can't seem to do nowadays.
Even if they're not fighting an internal battle, a lot of people can't go more than 48 hours in solitude. Try wrestling a phone or tablet away from a child - it's the same idea.
It's too difficult and sometimes even unimaginably fearsome for some people to sit alone in a room with a pen, a notebook and their own thoughts.
"Noise" is an absolute requirement in the life of an egocentric, lest they go mad with the same demons they like to project unto others.
For those of you who like to go on dates, if someone tells you "they can't ever be alone", run. It's not love they crave, but companionship and it's all self-centered. Far worse, they may not even realize what they're doing, because they don't know themselves.
Do them a favor and show them kindness but try not to build strong attachments for you might end up hurting yourself in the end.
To find out who you really are, you almost always have to go away on your own; free from any kind of external opinion. Only then, can you really begin to heal your personal pains.
Humble yourself or you will be humbled. A self-serving society will never work. Life may not always be fair, but it is balanced. You get what you give sooner or later.
Surrender. Not every war is won with sword in hand - sometimes it takes a sheathed blade. Be honest about your twisted and unfruitful desires. Get help from genuine people. Participate in your own rescue.
To know yourself, you almost always must be by yourself. Don't bring other people into your broken circle. This can take days, sometimes years, but the rewards awaiting you are far greater than the breadcrumbs you're currently scratching for.
I'll continue to share what I've learned on this and other topics. This is going to be a hell of a year for the tactful observer, I can already tell.
What are your thoughts? Do you prefer I examine deep topics or focus more on pop-culture commentary?
Share your opinion, let's open the discussion.
Until next time, rogues.
About the Creator
The Rogue Scribe
Writer. Narrator. Author of 'The Art of Patience, Gratitude & Courage'.
I share fresh, fantastical, and sobering stories that either celebrate or challenge this wild world. Go rogue with me, and subscribe to support my wordsmithing.
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