With transformed egos, we could all step off the self-development roller coaster, relax, trust, experience fulfillment, enjoy life, and be prosperous. For an ego to transform inner shift must occur.
The ego is a part of our physical-mental-emotional functioning that helps us get along in the world of form and matter. Its primary domains are body (identification with physical form), thoughts (identification with mental form), and emotional pleasure and pain (identification with emotional form).
Because humans are physical, thinking, and experiencing beings, the ego is a natural part of us. But there’s more to humans than our physical-mental-emotional aspects. We’re social, part of a collective, and part of a larger universe that has many complexities. The ego cannot comprehend our connectedness to this “whole” because it is individual.
Since the ego is limited in its domains and comprehension, it is out of its element with concepts like social skills, agape love, spiritual purpose, generosity, and selflessness.
For various reasons such as stressful experiences from growing up in a dysfunctional family, suppressive social conditioning, high parental expectations, too much emotional pain -- the ego can over-function. It’s similar to how a thyroid gland can become over-active.
An over-active thyroid can cause a multitude of health problems in one’s body. Similarly, the over-active ego, by constantly being concerned with itself, can cause a multitude of problems.
It is consumed with trying to look good but if that fails, it will seek a low point where it feels safe from competition.
Because the ego is very attached to its body, its thoughts, and its feelings, it goes to great lengths to increase pleasure and avoid pain (physical, mental, and/or emotional).
However, a damaged ego can drive an individual in the other direction, making itself look distorted or ugly; neglecting its body; not expressing its thoughts or conversely, being extremely dogmatic; and thriving on pain.
If not transformed to its natural state, the over-functioning ego can become so focused on itself that it creates, causes, or perpetuates physical, mental, and emotional illness; self-enhancement or self-deprecation; self-deception; separation from others; closed-mindedness; rigid thinking; self-righteousness or self-beating; and numbness or indifference to pain (its own pain and that of others).
Unconscious and sometimes conscious behaviors of the over-functioning ego include trying to convince others that it needs special treatment (and it does because it is sick). It also demands attention by not functioning well, flaring up, and swelling up, causing pain (similar to an unhealthy gland in the body).
Ego Transformation Work
Ego transformation is about reaching your highest potential by transforming your ego from an ineffective state to a happily functioning state. Been on a roller coaster of self-improvement, self-indulgence, self-awareness, self-denial, self-centeredness? Spend a few minutes looking over the following list and see if you can identify with any of these conditions.
Symptoms of an Ego Requiring Transformation
Being caught up in consumerism, materialism, and greed
Copy-cating in order to fit in
Being the odd-ball in order to stand out
Needing to be first or at the top of the list (vs. being who you are)
Playing roles excessively: mother, father, wife, husband, child, etc.
Dominating others, bullying or avoiding being dominated
Associating with objects (I’m important because I drive a $80K car – or on the dark side, I’m nobody as I drive a hunk of junk)
Incessantly wanting, longing, wishing, or clinging
Resenting and not forgiving
Putting others down, name calling
Isolating, avoiding intimate relationships, building barriers
Being too stingy or too loose with money
Repeatedly engaging in conflicts and arguments, creating enemies
Taking irrational, radical, or fanatical actions
Having on-going health issues or attachment to illness
Over-indulging in food, sex, spending, alcohol, drugs, or work
Being victim to addictions, compulsions, and repeated patterns