Why letting go of your ego is fundamental to your Being.
Sigmund Freud believes that the id is the irrational, even Dionysian, component of our nature which contains our inner-most unconscious desires. The super-ego is the part that controls and heeds these desires so that we are able to conform to societies structures and ensures that we do not behave in a ‘digressional’ or ‘primitive’ manner. The ego is equated with the self, the ‘I’ or the ‘ich’ which is the rational, organised part of our psyche and Being.
So why, if the ego is the rational part of our psyche, has the term ego gained a new meaning; one that corresponds to one’s self importance, self esteem and superiority over others? Understanding the term ego in psychoanalytic terms means that it purely creates equality between humans where we all conform to societal structures whereas the sociological definition of the term ego creates superiority, an egotistical arrogant nature and consequently conflict.
The famous quotation ‘an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’ portrays why it is necessary to let go of the sociological ego. If somebody speaks badly of you, it is not your Being that they have insulted, for an other can never define or affect your Being because it is only you who can define your Being, but rather they have bruised your ego; a part of you that has decided you have superior qualities that exempt you from criticism, or any thing bad to be said about you.
The ego is merely a construct formed over time. It is not part of our Being. To give an example, imagine you have grown up in the jungle and have never encountered human Beings. Surely you would have no sociologically formed ego because you would not have encountered humans. But you would still have your fundamental Being, your I, which is your true Being which shows how the ego is merely a construct.
Even the greatest Beings such as Nelson Mandela endured torture, rudeness and unkindness but it did not alter his Being. He remained true to his self and did not retaliate because he understood that there is something greater than egotistical pride which could have easily devoured his mind, caused resentment, created hatred and thus he would not have been capable of leading black South Africans to equality.
Pride is the downfall of many. People argue with their families, friends and decide that they no longer want to speak to somebody who was rude to them. It is true that nobody likes to be treated badly but that is more of a protective shield that covers our Being. A shield that stops us from making the first steps to reconciliation because the shield has been slightly scarred. Take a moment to review the situation, realise that it is only your pride and ego that may have been affected by a comment and feel happy that you have attained a higher self-knowledge that has enabled you to realise that your Being is still in tact. Be mindful that the other in question is fulfilling his actions to which you have a choice in how you respond.
Let your Being and your Ich preside over this sociological ego.