17 March 2022

Values & The Role Of The Ego: Part One

Blonde Hair Tucked Into Blazer.

For the most part, our circumstances are a reflection of the choices we have made in life. It is therefore necessary to understand why we make certain choices, and the context in which they are made. Further, we must understand the decision making process itself. As decision making is a psychological process, it is important to understand that the mind has two distinct components; structure and content. The structure governs the mechanics of the mind, or how the mind functions. While content covers ideas, beliefs, and attitudes—the information—the mind uses to form opinions and make decisions. For our purposes we will look at the structure and content of the mind, specifically in relation to understanding the Self, our values, and decision making. We will also look at the significance of clarifying our values from a place of unadulterated honesty, in conjunction with exploring the role of the ego and its impact on ideas and decisions. 

STRUCTURE & CONTENT 

To make effective, conscious decisions based on personal truth, independent of external influence, we must understand the structure and content of our mind. Structure and content overlap; they are intimately related because the mind functions by taking its direction from content. In other words, attitudes and beliefs form the content that the mind uses to make decisions. It is thus vital that we understand the contents of our mind; our beliefs and values as these form the foundation from which our life is built. So we must clarify our beliefs and values. When we are clear and understand what we believe and why, then we are capable of making more informed decisions. We can then use our values as a compass to navigate life successfully. We will design and build this compass that will house the substructure (a system within the overall structure) to direct our contents (ideas) to use as a method for streamlining the decision making process. 

There are several qualities that are essential for effective decision making. These include self-knowledge, clarity of the situation, and understanding the facts. As such, the formula of the Triple A’s; Awareness, Accountability, and Action is an effective method to use for making intelligible decisions and taking decisive action. Firstly we must have Awareness, of ourselves, our situation, the broader situation, the context, and the potential risks or benefits involved. Secondly, we need to take Accountability for our circumstances, behaviour, decisions, and our actions. We are solely responsible for the choices we make in life, and once we accept this truth we become more aware of the impact of our choices. This, in turn, teaches us to make more conscious choices. Thirdly, we must take the necessary conscious, informed Action, required to implement change. Without action there is no motion; therefore there is no progression in life. 

The Triple A’s represent the practical component of decision making and thus relate to the substructure of the mind. The structure is the housing itself, while the substructure is the foundation that supports the overall structure. It is the framework of the mind. The purpose of this process is to consciously design the architecture of our mind to create a solid and reliable structure that we can depend on to make intelligible decisions.

CONSCIOUS INQUIRY 

In order for our values to be beneficial, they must have personal significance, and so they need to be informed by self-understanding and self-knowledge. Self-understanding is knowing what drives our behaviour; our needs, desires, and motivations. Self-knowledge is understanding, fundamentally, the essence of our True Self. Consciously investigate these questions and answer with absolute honesty. If we are unaware of what is driving our behaviour, we are less adept to change. Because without clarity of why we behave in a certain way we will unconsciously continue to make the same choices. We must acknowledge that our circumstances are a reflection of our state of mind; they reflect back to us our own truth, and level of consciousness. The purpose is to become more aware and conscious. The simple truth is that our evolution depends on our awareness, on a personal and social level. This requires honesty, and taking accountability for our circumstances, behaviour, and taking appropriate action.

VALUES

Understanding our values is an asset that will guide us well through life. By knowing what is most important to us we can create a personal map to navigate life’s decisions. Furthermore, knowing our values gives us a means of prioritisation. This is the starting point to practical self-awareness and developing consciousness. Firstly, determine your four non-negotiable values in order of importance. 

For example: 1. Freedom 2. Consciousness 3. Expansion 4. Experience. Other examples are 1. Family 2. Creativity 3. Travel 4. Friendships. Break down what each of these mean to you. Try to ascertain the core quality behind each. This book will assist you in that task. Brutal honesty is crucial. It requires a ruthless assessment of why you believe, what you believe, and why these particular values are important to you now.

Question everything. Is this need, desire, or want, coming from a genuine place within? Or is it driven by ego, due to personal, parental, social, and societal programming? Often, our conditioning is so extensive and deeply ingrained that our brain is literally hardwired to these beliefs. Is it a coincidence that the majority of people share the conventional viewpoints of mainstream society? That what is broadcasted is accepted at face value as truth. In fact, societal programming has conditioned our wants, and manufactured our needs. Mainstream ideals are rarely congruent with our own. This is especially true regarding our priorities and values, because how is it possible for an abstract entity such as society to ascertain such knowledge? Sometimes we may genuinely share similar worldviews, but more often than not it comes down to a lack of awareness,  honesty, and courage to admit otherwise.

THE ROLE OF THE EGO

The ego is one part of our conscious personality. We can refer to it as the egoic self. It is not entirely negative, although in highly unaware and unconscious people (which is basically everyone) it is responsible for creating destructive behaviour due to such unconsciousness. Essentially, the egoic self (our ideas and beliefs) seeks to protect and sustain itself through this identification with ideas, using fear and domination. Its primary concern is to maintain its identification with ideas and things by threatening the True Self (consciousness) from emerging, and it does so under the guise of protecting us for our own security and survival.

This is how society functions because society is run by people who are quite literally ‘out of their mind’ and so power and domination reign. It is the approach of governments, educational systems, media institutions, and charities—etc., to use fear as a means to control and manipulate in service of their respective agendas. This sounds devious and conniving, and it is, but mostly this mindset is highly unconscious and oblivious to its own destruction. Fear is used to threaten the security and freedom of others, and this creates desperation which leads to confusion and deplorable decisions. We must understand this epidemic so that we have the knowledge, confidence, and clarity to determine our own priorities, not what has been dictated to us by the perverted.    

Discerning our true aspirations can take time, and as life changes, our values will change also. We must accept and honour change as it comes, rather than ruthlessly holding onto an idea out of a need to identify with something (ego). This identification, or belief, is a false sense of clarity and direction, hence security. Rigidity and stubbornness are two of the most detrimental traits, and represent the antithesis to expansion and evolution. 

Change is inevitable, be flexible, aware, and flow with the current of life, not against it. In fact, change is evolution. If you find yourself trying to convince yourself of something, this is the ego. The ego will always lead you astray. Why? Because its M.O. is desperation. It’s driven by a compulsion to sustain itself through identification, drama, and domination, thereby proving its own necessity. Understand that the ego is a function of the mind; it is a fictitious entity. Therefore, if you can use your awareness to witness when the egoic self is present, then you will have the benefit of that awareness to make conscious, enlightened decisions.

In closing, it is important to understand how the mind functions on a personal level, and within the broader society. Be aware of the influence of the dominant ideology, and its impact on your values and beliefs. It is necessary also to understand this relationship in the context of our attitudes, behaviours, fears, desires, and priorities. Through Awareness, Accountability, and Action we are able to develop our self-knowledge and create a framework for clarity with confidence to make intelligible life decisions.