Updated: Dec 6, 2018
1. To exist as thought.
2. To create separateness, where separateness is not possible.
3. To judge perfection as lacking, and convince self and others it is true.
4. To associate feelings with the judgements so that they feel real.
5. Replay past events over and over again to increase attachment to feelings.
6. Replay judgements over and over again until they appear as truths.
7. Create the illusion of control by developing strategies to avoid the imagined lack
8. Create stories about the past and future.
9. Keep the mind perpetually unaware of what is real.
10. Keep the mind perpetually unaware of the present moment.
11. Make the mind believe what it thinks is real.
1. An imagination
2. Ability to make a thought appear real.
3. Ability to attach a feeling to a thought.
4. Ability to attach a thought or feeling to another thought or feeling.
5. Ability to create something out of nothing
Term of employment
The EGO has a job. It is neither good or bad, but serves a purpose. It helps me remember to look both ways before crossing the street, to wear warm clothes in winter or to tie my shoes after I put them on. It allows me to do lots of things without having to be consciously aware of each step along the way. I get to live life on auto pilot. This is a blessing because I can go through the day feeding myself, dressing myself, and being able to drive and walk without having to be aware of every action in every moment. The EGO registers the data automatically and carries out the necessary behaviours on autopilot. This really is an amazing gift.
I had a taste of what it’s like to think about every step. I used a walker about 5 years ago because I had weak muscles in my legs and torso. Back then, I had to concentrate on every step, carefully inspecting my environment for the unexpected, like loose gravel, an icy sidewalk, or a crack where I’d catch my foot. My mind was consumed with every move leaving me exhausted and not present with the people in my life. I truly recognized the gift of the EGO.
How the EGO can lead to suffering.
If the EGO is left alone without us being conscious aware as to what it is believing, it can take on beliefs and behaviours that begin to no longer serve us. Instead of carrying out the basic behaviours of necessity to navigate the world, it begins to attach thoughts to feelings and creates a make-believe world of past and future.
“Tie your shoes after they are on your feet,” the ego might say, and in turn, the body may reach down, put on shoes and tie the laces without much fanfare. If allowed however, that simple, neutral, helpful thought can quickly become a raging lunatic on auto pilot.
“Those are ugly shoes. I need new shoes. My feet are too big. It’s hard to find shoes to fit.”
It is this form of auto pilot that can swiftly turn any situation into an emotional one. The EGO is doing what it was designed to do, but even though it’s doing its job, it still needs a supervisor. That supervisor is your awareness. It needs your steady, firm conscious awareness of what thoughts your EGO is attaching to. Once you recognize it is attaching to a thought or stream of thoughts, you can gently, bring your awareness back to the present moment, placing your attention on what is in front of you rather than on the thoughts the EGO is trying to attach to.
Everyone has a job. The EGO’s job is listed above. Your job is to supervise.
Lori Brant is an Author, Teacher, ACC Life Coach, and Life Coach Trainer for ICF Life Coach Certification approved programs. She provides one on one coaching in person or by teleconference. Learn more by going to www.LoriBrant.com