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Self vs ego  

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(@iactm)
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Joined:3 years  ago
Posts: 1
09/06/2017 10:25 pm  

Anybody care to suggest what the criteria are that distinguish an expanded sense of self from an inflated ego?


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(@jessica-dreamtime)
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06/04/2018 6:35 am  

So I don't know about criteria but for me I would say that the inflated ego is all about control, from a base of fear, which is limiting and in some ways quite rigid . Whereas the expanded self doesn't need to control.

I think ego reacts (it can judge and has motives) and the expanded self offers more self awareness (it is not attached to outcomes). When confronted by change or transition we can feel a conflict of ego which tends to cling to old beliefs,  routines etc and the expanded self embracing change, the unknown and new ways of being/experiences etc. Ultimately I think there is more freedom, power and choice in the expanded self. 

 

 

 

 


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(@jevon)
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Joined:1 year  ago
Posts: 15
06/04/2018 3:10 pm  

Hi Jessica,

I think you're right about the ego being all about control, fear based, limiting and rigid. I also agree with how you describe an expanded sense of self. I'm wondering if the ego might ever camouflage itself as an expanded sense of self, something like a 'spiritual ego'? How might we discern between a spiritual ego and an expanded sense of self that is beyond ego, or at least not controlled by ego?


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(@mika-button)
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18/04/2018 12:25 pm  

I would say an expanded sense of self would include everything within and without including the ego. Shame poor ego always gets rejected. Almost like a shadow self that needs love too...


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(@hennie)
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Joined:1 year  ago
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18/04/2018 6:44 pm  

Oh Mika, what an interesting turn of phrase. 

Perhaps you're right in that the ego gets a raw deal. When we Westernize the Buddhist concept of ego it comes out as the villian in the story of our existence. Ironically, it's probably the ego's story anyway, because one of the signs of ego may be labelling things as either good or bad.

But what is the ego anyway? It's part of us, as you note, if all of self is all of Self then that must be true. Is it one of our renegade sub personalities, plotting to undermine our pure nature? Again, that sounds like an ego narrative, doesn't it? Or is it simply what it is, not a distinct part within us, but certain aspects of our many internal sub personalities that run certain programs of conditioning and that we reflexively lump together under the ego label?

In my long winded way  I may be trying to say that I wonder if a distinction between an inflated ego and an expanded sense of self, may be in the very way we view the ego. The ego is an issue for the inflated ego, but it simply is what it is to the expanded self.

Which is what Mika said in 3 sentences.

 


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(@mika-button)
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19/04/2018 8:06 am  

Nicely put Hennie! Thank you. 🙂


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(@jevon)
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Joined:1 year  ago
Posts: 15
21/04/2018 9:39 am  

Interesting conversation here!

Poor ego! All 'it' wants is to exist! Maybe, in its inflated form, it wants to exist with importance! But, if it is not a thing or even a singular aspect of the self, but rather a composite of sub-personalities governed by their programming, then the ego is more a process than a thing - a verb, rather than a noun. That's good news! It means that we don't need to identify with ego, because there isn't anything there besides a process comprised of unfolding states and perspectives. Following this reasoning, an inflated ego is then simply a strong identification with a particular state and perspective. Since states and perspectives are forever changing, the inflated ego sooner or later becomes deflated again, which of course it fears, thus its sub-personalities do what they can within their range of programming to maintain their collective existence, perpetuating the ego.

An expanded sense of self recognizes the whole process without being caught up in it, and in so doing empowers the person to have greater freedom to choose how they 'wish' to think, feel and behave without being driven by ego. Of course 'wishing' for anything is characteristic of the ego, thus an expanded sense of self is not without ego, but less caught up in the ego's need for self gratification and it's limited range of thinking, feeling and behaving.

What do you think?


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(@mika-button)
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21/04/2018 10:40 am  

I think if you can include the verb ego in your expanded sense of self along with all the other aspects of self then you are in for a more holistic experience; rather than trying to deny any aspect of one's self. This does not mean that we allow ego to drive the whole experience but rather using the tools ego might have to offer along with all the other tools in other aspects of self, to be more resourceful in any given situation by being aware of aspects of self including ego as that is an aspect of self whether we try to suppress it or supersede it etc it's not going away. Use it in a way that is beneficial (and seeing as we are all so clever I'm sure we can think of situations where it would be useful, and other situations where it should take a back seat). And allow it to stay on the Part's party bus, along with all other aspects of self. 

But maybe this is just my 'ego' trying to stay alive 😉

Anyway, whether I like it or not ego is a part of me, so I'm going to find ways that it can help rather than hinder my experience of self.


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(@mika-button)
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21/04/2018 10:42 am  

My definition of ego: My thinking mind.


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(@mika-button)
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21/04/2018 10:56 am  

Even if it hinders my sense of self that in itself is a sense of self (being hindered)... Just to be aware of being aware and notice what is aware of being aware in any state would be an expanded sense of self. Ego or no (no being impossible I think).


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