>your ego is your idea of yourself.
>and while you want to leave your idea of yourself
>subject to doubt and revision,
>you still need to be as true to yourself--your actual self--
>as you know how to be.
>and your ego is your own judgement--so far--about that.
>so the idea is not to fight or oppose or ignore or belittle the ego,
>but to realize that it is an idea, a judgement, and that it's necessary.
>you don't want to be ego-centric--enslaved to one of your own ideas,
>but you do want to be self-centered--speaking and acting from your
>own center as best you know how--and that know-how is your ego.
>it is possible to be more true to yourself than you *know* how to
>be, just because it's possible to have resources or luck that you
>didn't know you had. in fact it's possible to know *that*, to count
>on it, make provision for it, choose it as a way of life--that is, to
>incorporate knowlege of your ego's incompleteness into your ego.
>but maybe what some people mean by ego is your self-image's tendency
>to distort to serve *itself*.
>I follow Fritz Perls' line in most things, and he noted that your "self" is
>just yourself. You are your body, there is no "self" inside you. But the
>ego, in Perls' terms, is the aspect of you that is trying to determine
>what's you and what's not-you. Perls thought that most neuroses were
>problems of incorrect identification, treating self as nonself or vice-
>versa. And he seemed both fascinated by "satori" (awakening) experiences,
>and scornful of the idea of "oneness with everything." I still worship the
>guy but I think he was difficult sometimes. I mean difficult to worship.
>Maybe he was saying what I was saying (or vice-versa): that are you and
>have to be you.
>I hope I made clear the three levels I was talking about above:
>actual self, idea/image of self, and the tendency of the idea to distort
>so as to become entrenched. Only the last one of the three is something to
>>>Some religions claim that this [letting go of ego] is letting in "god".
>Another way to look at it is to define "God" as all the stuff one's
>ideas and habits of perception don't account for. So to let go [of
>preconceptions] is to "let [in] God." I think a lot of what religions say
>is useful--even vital--when you interpret it in that way. Ideas and
>habits have a tendency to close in on themselves tighter and tighter, and
>it's important to have a compass that keeps pointing you in the opposite
Great post Steve! Only looking at it cursorily, but I think I
understand and agree with just about everything you've said here.