Updated: Mar 28
The ego is a mental construct we agree on to a definition of in a similar way we define nations. The essential property of it being fixed like holding on to certain sets of beliefs and principles that negatively affect us. Our genius or higher self is something that is volatile to most of us and is recognized through intuition, novelty, inspiration, imagination, and our creative nature.
The structure of 'The Ego' is fixed. As we create an individualized fixed ego during our formative years and which over the years becomes unconscious and starts sabotaging/stagnating us, the collective ego in a similar way ,if held unchecked over a period of time, sabotages/stagnates the collective growth of the species.
The job for us then as an individual or as a collective species is to become aware of this and rise above it.
The goal then becomes to make the fixed volatile and the volatile fixed to progress the evolution of consciousness. The journey from the unconscious to the superconscious.
Model of the collective ego as per the Sufis: Wisdom of The Enneagram
Shadow self - The shadow self is the mask we wear and think we need, to get what we want.
The Sufis have profiled the collective shadow structure into 9 points on a circle. Each of these points is like a train station which represents a set of behaviors of "The Ego" and the circle with these points represents the whole collective egoic structure. That's the good news :)
Points 2,3,4 -> Affect the Emotional Body: They are driven by Image (Esteem and Affirmation)
Points 5,6,7 -> Affect the Mental Body: They are driven by fear (Safety and Security)
Points 8,9,1-> Affect the Physical body: They are driven by Anger (Power and Control)
Our job is to become aware of what we are exhibiting on this circle. We will move across one of these points based on if we are stressed or relaxed but we will definitely be in one of these. It may be unconscious to us and revealed by others. But once known, the idea is to catch ourselves in the moment we are exhibiting these so that we can make better choices and not get run by these.
How to recognize where you are in the stations of this circle?
2: Helper - Helps and puts others first to the point of personal detriment. Assumes only acting like this will help them get what they want.
3: Achiever - Seek to accomplish a lot to the point of personal detriment. Assumes the more I achieve the more I will be acknowledged.
4:Romantic -Seek to fit in. Assumes there is something about them which that makes them rejected.
5: Thinker- Protect themselves by living mentally and being aloof. Assumes if they open up their boundaries will be violated.
6: Loyalist-Always tests safety. Assumes safety in the protection or absence of authority.
7: Epicure- Develops many interests. Enroll others in how great they do everything is. Trying out everything but committing to nothing. Assumes there is a way things are.
8: Boss -Tries to be in a position of power. Assumes only the dominant get what they want.
9: Peacemaker - Avoids conflict/tension. Inessential activity. Assumes expressing what you want creates conflict.
1. Perfectionist -Avoid criticism. Avoid things unless they can be perfect. Assumes they need to be perfect before they get what they want.
The antidote to overcome the shadow self: Till the time we are unconscious to these and have not integrated the shadow part, the antidote/detoxification can be achieved by the corresponding practices shown for the relevant points.
2: Helper - Practicing Self-Love.
3: Achiever - Practicing Gratitude.
4: Romantic - Practicing Oneness.
5: Thinker- Practicing Connection.
6: Loyalist- Practicing Surrender.
7: Epicure- Practicing Presence.
8: Boss - Practicing Vulnerability.
9: Peacemaker - Practicing Equanimity.
1: Perfectionist -Practicing Humility.