25 march 2022

Values & The Role Of The Ego: Part Two

Jean Arp

In Part One we discussed how our choices create our circumstances in life. We looked into the process of decision making by understanding the structure and content of the mind, and how this influences our beliefs and decision making. We explored the relationship between how the mind functions in relation to self-understanding, and how this impacts our values. Finally, we explored the role of the ego and its impact on the mind and decision making. Now we will go deeper into the process of clarifying our values, while highlighting the significance of the mind-body connection, as it relates to our ideas and actions.

VALUES

Values must be determined from a place of self-knowledge; knowing what is important to you and what you stand for is primary. If you don’t have absolute clarity pertaining to every area of life, that’s fine, work with what you know with certainty now. You may not know what you want to do for a living, but you know that you want to work in a particular area, such as, Wellness, or Design. Experiment and try different things. You will only know by experience, so as much as possible surround yourself with the people, and environment to see if it genuinely is how you want to spend your time. Remember, these are likely to change over time as you evolve along with your circumstances. 

Narrow down your top four values. Prioritise them in order of what is most important to you now. Work with your current circumstances and look at your core, most fundamental, non-negotiable needs and requirements. This requires being brutally honest with yourself. Try to be aware if you are listing things due to your programming, societal conditioning, or due to the ego’s need for recognition or approval. These are all based in the egoic mind and decisions made from this state will always lead you astray, and prolong your evolution. 

For instance, does every medical surgeon have a genuine passion to heal people by cutting into their bodies, or is money and status the true reason for pursuing that profession? Let go of what you think you should do or be, or the fear that you need to pursue a particular profession or course of action to earn a high income that will give you prominent social standing. Follow your sincere passions and interests, as these will be what you are naturally good at, which means you will excel with purpose. 

For example, at this stage, money might be important for your freedom. Freedom is important because you need time and space to focus on your art (creativity). Creativity is paramount because creating art is your highest priority/purpose and your contribution to the world. So, your values are as follows: 1. Contribution. 2. Creativity. 3. Freedom. 4. Money. Once you are clear on your values, you must take action that is congruent with your values.

THE MIND & BODY ASPECT

The mind and body need to be in harmony with one another in order for there to be balance in our life. Balance is when the mind and body work in unison with one another. They serve different functions, and operate in different ways, but they are two parts of the one whole. The mind aspect deals with the psychological—mental aspect, which governs our beliefs and values. The body aspect deals with the physiological—physical aspect—the doing part of the equation that requires action. Transformative change requires that both modes of operation from mind and body work in unison with one another. They must function from the same premise. In other words, they must want the same thing, otherwise they will be in conflict with one another, and this conflict is what causes chaos, both internally and externally. If we are not consciously clear on our principles, priorities, and values then our actions are subjugated and misguided by the egoic self. 

Without this clarity, our actions which are governed by the mind, are subject to being motivated by fear and insecurity. This is an imbalanced state, and decisions made from this mindset cause psychological and physical turmoil. Our actions must be guided by self-knowledge and facts that reflect our values—guided by honesty and integrity. One way or another, the psychological will express itself physically, and vice versa. All actions are guided by the mind, therefore, understanding our psychological processes is paramount. 

The abstract must take form, and if our ideas are not acknowledged consciously they manifest as neuroses or compulsions. In other words, our ideas (mental content and activity) must find not only their practice (physical outlet), but also the process (structure and how), in which they operate. Otherwise they will continue to circle within the unconscious mind as rogue hypotheses, until they are brought to light by some compulsion, followed by drastic action. All the ideas in the world can do nothing for the world, unless they are guided by wisdom, which can only come from awareness, and self-knowledge. 

This highlights the significance of the mind-body connection in relation to our ideas and values. Again, clarity of our priorities and values can only be derived from a deep understanding of the Self—Self-knowledge. The most simple and direct route to this understanding is practising Awareness—which is Presence, and being honest with yourself and others. If you can establish your values from this place, you will expand your evolutionary consciousness exponentially.