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Values & The Role Of The Ego: Part One

17 March 2022

Values & The Role Of The Ego: Part One

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This post is Part One of Two, that discusses the significance of values and the role of the ego. Part One introduces the foundational concepts necessary for personal growth. It discusses the psychological components needed for change. As well as, the nature of the ego, and its influence in decision making. Part Two, delves into the physiological aspects required for change. Along with practical, actionable steps, to implement into daily life.

STRUCTURE & CONTENT 

Self-Actualisation, requires some simple, but powerful, foundational prerequisites. First, it’s crucial to implement the Triple A’s. These represent specific principles, and correspond to desirable behavioural traits. They are, having Awareness, taking Accountability, and applying the necessary Action in life. But, to execute these requires clarification of your values and beliefs. Why? Because these are responsible for what you create in your life. The good, the bad, and the ugly. If you are unaware of what is driving your behaviour, you are less adept to change. The simple truth is, transformation requires awareness. That is, the acknowledgement of what is. It also requires taking accountability for yourself. And finally, you must take favourable action. This requires understanding the mechanics of the mind.

So, change requires awareness and knowledge. There are three parts to this equation. The first is understanding your fears, needs and desires. The second, is comprehending how these function within the mind structure. And the third, is to administer change. Further, there is a psychological, and a physiological component. The psychological aspect refers to the psyche. It is the mental, abstract aspect of the self. That is to say, the contents of your mind. That is, your beliefs, attitudes, and values. You need to understand your motivations and your fears. Often, what you believe on the conscious level, conflicts with your subconscious beliefs. It’s important to clarify these so you are not working against yourself. These underpin your decision making process. The psyche is complex. As such, we can not understand its totality. Nor should we attempt it. Rather, its value is a tool to self-understanding  – to facilitate awareness. There are a few ways to effectively utilise this resource. The first is through a conscious assessment of your beliefs. And the second, is through an assessment of your unconscious beliefs.

CONSCIOUS INQUIRY 

On the conscious level, knowing your values is an asset that will guide you through life. To determine what is most important to you, gives you a compass, a map, so to speak, to navigate life’s decisions. Your values will give you a means of prioritisation. This is the starting point to practical self-awareness. First, establish your four non-negotiable values in order of importance. Mine are: 1. Freedom 2. Consciousness 3. Expansion 4. Experience. Other examples are 1. Family 2. Career 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. The crucial element in this process is brutal honesty. 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, conditioning is so extensive that many believe the hype. That is, they believe they want what is broadcast by mainstream society. When in fact, programming has conditioned their wants, and manufactured their desires. Sometimes, but rarely, mainstream ideals are the right course for some. More often than not, it comes down to a lack of honesty and courage to admit otherwise. Understand that self deception will lead you nowhere.

THE ROLE OF THE EGO

It takes time to determine your true desires, and as life changes, your values will change also. Change is to be acknowledged, accepted, and honoured. Among the most detrimental characteristics for personal growth are rigidity and stubbornness. These represent the antithesis to expansion and evolution. Change is inevitable, be flexible with awareness 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 ego. The ego will always lead you astray. Why? Because its M.O. is desperation. It’s driven by the need to sustain itself through drama and domination. Thereby proving its worth to exist. A more functional way into self-awareness is to delve into the subconscious mind.

THE SUBCONSCIOUS FORCES 

We can understand the subconscious as one force, split into two. On the one hand, it is one with consciousness. Meaning, it is the energetic life-force that permeates all existence. It represents pure potential. But, its underside is akin to Achilles’ heel. That is to say, despite its strength, it has a weakness which can lead to downfall. Thus, it is dual in nature. More importantly, it is the driving force behind the decision making process. Without conscious awareness, we are inept at recognising and directing its influence.

Because of this duality, often our beliefs and behaviour conflict. This is because our conscious and unconscious beliefs differ. Our subconscious belief will always take precedence. Why? Because it connects with the Formless Dimension, hence, is the most powerful of the two. It is not bound by the restraints of the conceptual mind. Moreover, it is the state we project from. That is to say, our subconscious beliefs inform our behaviour. This, in turn, creates our reality. This is why understanding hidden motivations, fears, and desires is crucial. Because, situations, circumstances, and actions dictate our reality.

The subconscious houses many conflicting ideas and beliefs. These are also known as shadow aspects of the self. They are manifestations of the ego. Some become our Achilles’ heel and create chaos, if they are not recognised. When left unchecked, they surface, one way or another. Why? Because they represent certain energies that seek expression. Suppressing them only makes them more intense. They surface in moments of high stress. Or, when awareness drops. In very unconscious individuals, all decisions are projections from this unconscious state. In other words, their shadow-selves run their entire life. Hints, clues, and traits will surface from the unconscious during daily life. If you are present enough to witness them as they arise, they are valuable teachers.   

ROGUE AGENTS

That is why I refer to the shadow selves as Rogue Agents. These imposters lurk in the shadows of the psyche. They answer only to the ego, because they are manifestations of the ego. Their job is to ensure the preservation of  the egoic mind state. It seeks to protect it at all times. To the egoic self, ideas, beliefs, and values are life and death situations. Flight or fight reactive responses fall under the domain of the ego. The stronger the attachment with ego, the greater the identification with form. This includes identifying with ideas and things. Thus, the greater the need to defend its position and safety.

It is important to understand that the ego is an imposter. It has many guises. As such, it represents the fractured, mind-created self. These are parts of you represented as a division of the whole. It is not you. You are not your ego – in any of its iterations. It poses as being you, it creates a facade, and herein lies the danger. The ego creates a false sense of identity. It seeks to construct a sense of self, through the identification with various types of form. These include physical forms such as things, as well as thought forms. You are not your things, or your thoughts. Who you are is the totality of consciousness, not a division within it. Hence, the most important skill to cultivate is awareness.

AWARENESS IS YOUR ALLY

Awareness is the ability to recognise when the egoic mind is at play. But, it’s important to note, that while these Rogue Agents exist, they are not your enemies. You cannot fight them off, any more than you can defeat them. Only awareness in the present moment can allow you to move beyond them. That is to say, beyond the conceptual mind pattern that creates them. Yet, words remain a theory if they are not put into practice. Part Two will focus on implementing the physiological principles. The physical acts required for change. They will complement the psychological principles discussed here.

In the meantime, below are some tools to assist in developing your awareness.