that there is most likely a lot of disagreement among psychology
professionals on it. I find myself very drawn to eastern philosophies
but the idea of effacing the ego goes against what I believe about what it means to be whole. I imagine that to a psychologist a healthy ego would be a good thing whereas to a Buddhist it would be something to try to let go of.

I saw on pbs recently that the scientists that are using brain scans a lot in research now, noticed that Buddhists brains showed, in general,
to be a happier lot than most of the rest of us.

I’ve been reading a lot of Eckhardt Tolle recently and find myself drawn to mindfulness, being in the present, stepping back and realizing that I am the Conscious Awareness part of myself watching the sometimes
very reactive other parts of myself.

On the other hand, how can we be whole, which seems to me to be the main thing we should be shooting for, if we cut off, sublimate, efface “any” part of ourselves.

I have a tendency to pull things from here and there to create my own little religion or spiritual path and to me if something is spiritually sound it also must be psychologically sound and vice versa.

What are some of your ideas on “ego,” and “wholeness” from both a spiritual and psychological viewpoint?
To me, when a baby cries for milk or a change of diapers, that baby is expressing “desire.” S/he may not be able yet to say the words,”I want..” but that is exactly what the crying “is” saying.

A few years ago I attempted to give up all but basic “desires.” At the end of the year my life had become so lifeless that I went back on a journey to regain that ability.

I do remember fondly reading The Tao of Pooh it seems decades ago now and enjoying the philosophy. I also recently got W. Dyer’s book on Tao.

I thank everyone for your answers. Both pro and con gave me just the info I needed to decide my direction when it comes to ‘ego.’

I have decided to attempt to have a “healthy ego” even tho I realize that means a kind of constant monitoring as I try to remain in a moderate position with it. I really don’t like the idea of chopping of parts of myself. 🙂

I “am” going to read more about Taoism.
Thank you all, once again for your time and energy in answering. Blessings

3 Comments

  • The ego is an intangible phenomena.We are not born with an ego yet from the first time we say as a child..’I want’. there it is…it serves the self that has been trained,conditioned and socially prepared to assume that to serve it is normal..This is the false self…the unawakened self.
    When the ego is not acknowledged there cannot be suffering because the ego is the sole cause of mental suffering.It is what keeps us attached to illusion and delusion.
    All you have to do is not identify with it and with practice it dissapears..and there is light.
    In the absence of ego lies the truth..when nothing has relevance in relation to the ego everything is experienced as reality.
    Beyond egoic thoughts will you find the true nature of your mind that exists interdependently within the infinite and whole universe,aware and awake and free
    To lose the ego does not mean we cannot live without it.In fact we are alive without it as we are liberated from it’s chains.

  • ego in western psychology does not mean the same thing as ego in Eastern and Buddhist philophies.

    it is just that ego is the closest single word to the word that IS used ( in other languages) in Eastern philosophies.
    IN Buddhism, ego includes selfishness, desire, arrogance – a whole host of things that are not implied in the strict use of the word ego in the psychological sense.

    so , they aren’t in conflict to me.

  • My main problem with Buddhism is that it’s so attached to the idea of unattachment. What sense does that make, possibly? To define yourself by a lack of definition is still to define yourself. Even if our experience is simply mental processes, communication is about a connection with another person based on mutual experience, something impossible unless I agree to allow certain words to define my experience, to let them be my ego. So to reject all identification personally is to be completely pessimistic about one’s ability to positively affect another person via the gift of my experience.

    Furthermore, all thought is based on distinctions, so maybe instead of obliterating defintion we should be embracing it and thereby valuing pieces of our experience without the arrogance of saying that if we can’t be perfect in our understanding, our understanding shouldn’t be. Look into taoism, it’s based upon opposing universal forces and not necessarily nihilistic.

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