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#383920 - 06/07/09 11:51 PM The Nature of Ego
Thrax Orion Offline


Registered: 06/05/09
Posts: 47
Loc: San Diego, CA
I was wondering how others here approach the concept of the ego.

I personally view my ego as but one facet of a much vaster whole. I don't treat it as something to be destroyed or put aside, but I am also careful to be clear on who is the master, and who is the servant. I like to indulge my ego, but only up to a certain point. I don't like to bother myself with defending it, for instance. Insults typically just make me laugh unless I'm in a bitchy mood already.

Does anyone here have a similar approach? Or better yet, perhaps a totally opposite outlook? I'd love to hear of it.

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#383921 - 06/08/09 12:39 AM Re: The Nature of Ego [Re: Thrax Orion]
Apollo Theory Offline

CoS Member

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 197
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Personally, the ego is an important aspect of the human psyche because it establishes a level of self-respect and confidence one would need to live and master a fulfilling life.

Unlike some other religions, Satanism does not suppress such a healthy ego.

You will notice in The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey mentions the ego multiple times, emphasising the importance of it to us as animals and debunking any negativity others may associate with it.
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"For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life."

-Albert Camus

"To passion, to paradise, to pain, to night."


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#383945 - 06/08/09 10:25 AM Re: The Nature of Ego [Re: Apollo Theory]
Thrax Orion Offline


Registered: 06/05/09
Posts: 47
Loc: San Diego, CA
Yes and I concur with Anton LaVey on that point wholeheartedly. Anyone who doesn't view the ego as beautiful and natural and thus justified by virtue of its own existence is poisoning themselves with unrealistic expectations of their own nature. But I'm sure not everyone here deals with themselves in the same way since nothing is likely to be as intensely personal as one's very own ego. Some favor it more than others I'm sure.

Thank you for your response.

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#383965 - 06/08/09 06:42 PM Re: The Nature of Ego [Re: Thrax Orion]
Branwyn Offline


Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 92
Loc: Montana, USA
I think the key is to have a healthy ego. A healthy ego is part of a healthy person, and neither submitting to abuse nor fighting back at insignificant or imagined provocation is indicative of a healthy ego.

I think of the ego like a set of scales; it's job is to measure my position in the world and tell me whether I'm behaving correctly according to that position. When functioning properly, it tells me to stand up for myself, or keep my head down, or attack, or apologize, all according to what is in my best interests and what is just. I value it greatly.

~Branwyn
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The trouble with being a god is that you've got no one to pray to.

-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)

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#383977 - 06/08/09 09:56 PM Re: The Nature of Ego [Re: Thrax Orion]
Rodim Offline


Registered: 03/18/07
Posts: 239
I don't need to give any explanation about any personal views about the "ego" since there is a few amount of great responses already. but i will add though, a man with no ego is a man with no "real" character.
_________________________
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.

-Horace Walpole

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#383979 - 06/08/09 10:41 PM Re: The Nature of Ego [Re: Thrax Orion]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10774
Loc: England
It isn't as simple as people might think.

In actual fact there are three parts to the ego. ID-Ego, Ego, and super-ego.

Without going into detail - the ID ego is the most primitive function and drives our basic survival instincts and immediate desires.

The Ego deals with our cognitive and intellectual functions.

The Super-Ego deals with our emotional requirements and individual perceptions.


This is the only Holy Trinity you will ever need. grin

You need it because if the ego dissolves you will be what they call a scizophrenic.

Or, even worse, a fucking Buddhist. grin

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Human beings are as significant as a cigarette burn in the sun.

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#383984 - 06/09/09 01:13 AM Re: The Nature of Ego [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
Thrax Orion Offline


Registered: 06/05/09
Posts: 47
Loc: San Diego, CA
These are all very illuminating responses. I find I am essentially in agreement though, so it's hard to drag the topic any further on my end. Oh except one point:

Quote:
This is the only Holy Trinity you will ever need.


Lies! I also need coffee, booze, and women! Though I suppose that trinity exists in service to the aforementioned one, so you win on a technicality. wink


Edited by Thrax Orion (06/09/09 01:14 AM)

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#384013 - 06/09/09 08:05 AM Re: The Nature of Ego [Re: Thrax Orion]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10774
Loc: England
Of course, from a Satanic perspective, it presents a number of interesting avenues of study, wouldn't you say?

For instance how does the ID, Ego and Super-Ego equate to Dr. LaVey's theory of the apparent, demonic and core self?

To mention just one.
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Human beings are as significant as a cigarette burn in the sun.

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#384019 - 06/09/09 09:35 AM Re: The Nature of Ego [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
Rodim Offline


Registered: 03/18/07
Posts: 239
Interesting response Reverend, cant argue with that.
_________________________
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.

-Horace Walpole

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#384020 - 06/09/09 09:36 AM Re: The Nature of Ego [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
Iscariot Offline


Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 145
Loc: United States
Personally I view the Id, Ego, and Super Ego kind of how one sees the "shoulder Devil" and "Shoulder Angel" from cartoons. I see the Super Ego (little angel) as the personification of Societal norms and values which we accept to be integrated within society. The ID (the little devil) is the personification of our desires and wants and cares little for what the Super Ego has to say. The Ego I simply view as "us," the guy in the middle that has to decide and regulate what his Id and Super Ego are telling him to do.

I see many "right hand path" religions as focusing more on the Super Ego aspect, laying down rules, restricting behaviors, etc. The left hand religions focus more on the ID and a responsible indulgence into the IDs desires without the cognitive dissidence and guilt which is a result of the Super Egos influences.

I'm a Psychology student, so yeah... my views are heavily influenced by Freud. haha.
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#384022 - 06/09/09 09:46 AM Re: The Nature of Ego [Re: Iscariot]
Spelled Moon
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: Iscariot
I see the Super Ego (little angel) as the personification of Societal norms and values which we accept to be integrated within society. The ID (the little devil) is the personification of our desires and wants and cares little for what the Super Ego has to say. The Ego I simply view as "us," the guy in the middle that has to decide and regulate what his Id and Super Ego are telling him to do.


What a wonderful example! smile

p.s. - I am also Freudian... or Frommian. smile Though not a student of psychology, at least not official.

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#384025 - 06/09/09 10:04 AM Re: The Nature of Ego [Re: Iscariot]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10774
Loc: England
I would agree with the cartoon devil simile. Although it is something of a simplification.

>> cognitive dissidence <<

I presume you meant to say cognitive dissonance. As in:

"Only a stupid person would make the wrong decision in this matter. And I don't think I'm a stupid person so therefore I must have made the right decision."

Cognitive dissonance is the realm of the hysteric. Hysterical personality disorder can present quite serious implications for those afflicted with it. It undermines their cognitive faculties. But of course, they're completely unaware of their inability to accurately judge people, situations and themselves.

Unless one has a personal attachment to such a person, they are absolutely hilarious.
grin
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Human beings are as significant as a cigarette burn in the sun.

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#384027 - 06/09/09 10:34 AM Re: The Nature of Ego [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
Thrax Orion Offline


Registered: 06/05/09
Posts: 47
Loc: San Diego, CA
Quote:
Of course, from a Satanic perspective, it presents a number of interesting avenues of study, wouldn't you say?

For instance how does the ID, Ego and Super-Ego equate to Dr. LaVey's theory of the apparent, demonic and core self?


Now that, good sir, is just the sort of talk that will keep me here for a long, long time. Whole papers could be written on the subject, of course, but I will attempt to keep things on a conversational scale for practical purposes. Also notice that although initially I wasn't stipulating any specific definition for "ego" intentionally to keep the topic open, I refer here and now to the western medicine definition because the conversation leads us in that direction. It is also worth noting that I am a relative newcomer to Satanism as a structured philosophy, and as such will be drawing from a more limited understanding of it as a unified body of work. Patience will be met with gratitude.

For the most part it would appear the core self is an expression of the Id and Ego in alliance, and the demonic self is an expression of their ambivalence. This duality creates the necessity of a unifying force, almost like a policeman, who can use the outside world as an excuse to favor one or the other. This force is of course the apparent self, or Super-Ego, which I see as essentially the same thing.
One example of this would be a vegetarian reacting favorably at a base level to the smell of roasting meat. This person's outward identity as a vegetarian could admonish the core self for violating their inner expectations as manifest in the demonic self, and as such the demonic self would produce sensations of guilt or revoltion to reign in the whole.

Now we come to a chicken or the egg problem here, because in that example we see an outward identity reinforcing the inner resistance of the demonic self when the opposite is what is usually outlined. I see the relationship between the two to be wholly symbiotic, in that they almost certainly develop gradually together, with one reinforcing the other. So there is neither a chicken or egg primus. They simply develop together gradually.

I personally have made the value judgment that the demonic self is to be discouraged, because I find inward resistance distasteful on the whole, and a hindrance to balanced indulgence and overall enjoyment of my life. I do this by consolidating my outward self with my core self. That is to say, I try to identify the core drives, and have the outward identity reflect it as best it can. There is a certain level of nuance to this, of course. One example is how I refuse to agree to sexual monogamy with anyone. Doing so allows my outward identity of a more or less honest, up front and loving person to consolidate itself with my natural lusts which are generally considered a betrayal by society at large. I think a willingness to depart from the predominant culture is also a good and powerful counterbalance to exorcise such "inner demons".

Edit: Okay, I lied about the conversational scale part. wink


Edited by Thrax Orion (06/09/09 11:13 AM)

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