Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lesson Number Two

Philosophy, and therefore psychology, has two theories. We have all heard the nature vs. nurture argument. From a philosophers point of view some would say we are born Tabula Rasa and then learn our traits as products of our environment. Tabula Rasa means clean slate for those of you that have not read Aristotle or Aquinas. Go read it if you haven’t!

If someone told you right now that you could have Tabula Rasa and wipe your entire slate clean and then create the life of your choosing – what would you choose?

Now really think about this one. Most of us are programmed to choose based upon what we “should” want or what we “think we can get.”

The ego is a tricky thing. I like to call the ego a well-meaning but idiotic child. It is always there, in and each and every one of us designed to make life a learning experience.

If we had no ego we would all be in a state of Nirvana – everlasting joy and peace. However, we have this ego and it is designed to give us a purpose.

Imagine playing a baseball game in which someone told you before each game that you were going to win. You would start to lose the joy for the game right? Isn’t the triumph in winning, knowing that it is a risk and you might lose?

Triumph over ego and you win everything.

So here we have this idea that if you can get to nothing, Tabula Rasa, then you can have everything. But your ego wants to stop you.

The ego is what makes us never change and grow because where we are, even if painful, is comfortable. It is safe. Safety is the ego’s friend where risk makes the ego nervous because it can lose.

The ego makes us settle for less. It is easier.

The ego makes us give up on what we want.

The ego makes us hurt others.

The ego makes us lose hope.

The ego makes us insecure.

The ego makes us arrogant.

The ego makes us stay in a state of denial, lying to others and ourselves.

In short – the ego protects us from pain..but keeps us from true happiness.

But what if someone came to you and told you that there is a way to get to “nothing,” triumph over your ego, create the life you want to live and have a freaking fantabulous time while you are here…

If someone told you that – then how would you choose your life? Picture it in your head. Picture exactly what you want. Don’t hold back because you think you can’t have it, or can see no plausible way to get it.

So…the only question you need to ask yourselves is this:

If you take away your ego and knew for sure you could get it – what do you really really realty want?

I am curious to know but in an effort to make us all as honest as possible, please comment anonymously.


-J said...

I think you give the ego too much credit, and yourself not enough.

Rachel said...

If I had no ego I would be blissfully happy at all times so I guess that I would do nothing. At all.

Rachel Heather said...

J - Most actually think they have no ego unless they are confident or arrogant. I am trying to point out what the ego really is.

Rachel - noooooo LOL. Think about this. When you are experiencing something you really love you don't say "OH I love that - now take it away I already had it." Without the ego one is blissfully happy to create the life they choose from their real self. The real you still wants things - just has different motivations. The ego wants things for other motivations. Make sense?

Thomas said...

So what about those elections last week?

Scott said...

Without the ego... i think i would be more of a wanderer. Someone that people might call a lost soul, but to me that would be bliss. Ego controls that part of me which makes me care about the norms of the world and things like that.


JimmyJames said...

Without the ego, the illusion would vanish, and you would be in this moment being one with all, and in that moment, you would know that you and everything else just "is" and you would need nothing that you do not already have.

deepsat said...

one shud tame his/her ego so that it can be controlled. if u let ego rule u, then u will be in trouble!!

Mike Stickel said...

Until I read this I had not really thought of the ego controlling those aspects of my life. If someone told me there is a way to get to "nothing" my first reaction would be "how? show me."

If I could have Tabula Rasa the first place I'd start is my insecurities. I would choose a life of following my dreams and desires to the fullest extent possible. The trouble being which of those desires do I follow first?

Jenna said...

You love asking these hard questions...
Ok so if I had no ego:
*I would live in Bosnia, becouse money would not be an issue.
*I would travel arround the world
*I would have a loving "somebody" and have tons of kids with them
*I would not work:)or not in the sence that I do now...
Was this close to the answers you were looking for rach?

Anonymous said...

I would live a wild bohemian life. Travelling around like a gypsy, swathed in richly coloured and textured clothing. Making love to beautiful, creative men. Greeting each day with joy and excitement. Painting, writing and creating beautiful things. Offering my help to anyone who needed it by giving whatever I could.

minijonb said...

I'd ask to be something non-human... becasue if I was just another human again, my new ego couldn't handle the disappointment. In other words, I want to be something completely different in the Monty Python sense of the phrase.