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Ego: The False Center

From Beyond the Frontiers of the Mindby Osho

The first thing to be understood is what ego is. A child is born. A child is born without any knowledge, any consciousness of his own self. And when a child is born the first thing he becomes aware of is not himself; the first thing he becomes aware of is the other. It is natural, because the eyes open outwards, the hands touch others, the ears listen to others, the tongue tastes food and the nose smells the outside. All these senses open outwards.

That is what birth means. Birth means coming into this world, the world of the outside. So when a child is born, he is born into this world. He opens his eyes, sees others. ‘Other’ means the thou. He becomes aware of the mother first. Then, by and by, he becomes aware of his own body. That too is the other, that too belongs to the world. He is hungry and he feels the body; his need is satisfied, he forgets the body.

This is how a child grows. First he becomes aware of you, thou, other, and then by and by, in contrast to you, thou, he becomes aware of himself.

This awareness is a reflected awareness. He is not aware of who he is. He is simply aware of the mother and what she thinks about him. If she smiles, if she appreciates the child, if she says, “You are beautiful,” if she hugs and kisses him, the child feels good about himself. Now an ego is born.

Through appreciation, love, care, he feels he is good, he feels he is valuable, he feels he has some significance.

A center is born.

But this center is a reflected center. It is not his real being. He does not know who he is; he simply knows what others think about him. And this is the ego: the reflection, what others think. If nobody thinks that he is of any use, nobody appreciates him, nobody smiles, then too an ego is born: an ill ego; sad, rejected, like a wound; feeling inferior, worthless. This too is the ego. This too is a reflection.

First the mother – and mother means the world in the beginning. Then others will join the mother, and the world goes on growing. And the more the world grows, the more complex the ego becomes, because many others’ opinions are reflected.

The ego is an accumulated phenomenon, a by-product of living with others. If a child lives totally alone, he will never come to grow an ego. But that is not going to help. He will remain like an animal. That doesn’t mean that he will come to know the real self, no.

The real can be known only through the false, so the ego is a must. One has to pass through it. It is a discipline. The real can be known only through the illusion. You cannot know the truth directly. First you have to know that which is not true. First you have to encounter the untrue. Through that encounter you become capable of knowing the truth. If you know the false as the false, truth will dawn upon you.

Ego is a need; it is a social need, it is a social by-product. The society means all that is around you – not you, but all that is around you. All, minus you, is the society. And everybody reflects. You will go to school and the teacher will reflect who you are. You will be in friendship with other children and they will reflect who you are. By and by, everybody is adding to your ego, and everybody is trying to modify it in such a way that you don’t become a problem to the society.

They are not concerned with you.
They are concerned with the society.
Society is concerned with itself, and that’s how it should be.

They are not concerned that you should become a self-knower. They are concerned that you should become an efficient part in the mechanism of the society. You should fit into the pattern. So they are trying to give you an ego that fits with the society. They teach you morality. Morality means giving you an ego which will fit with the society. If you are immoral, you will always be a misfit somewhere or other. That’s why we put criminals in the prisons – not that they have done something wrong, not that by putting them in the prisons we are going to improve them, no. They simply don’t fit. They are troublemakers. They have certain types of egos of which the society doesn’t approve. If the society approves, everything is good.

One man kills somebody – he is a murderer. And the same man in wartime kills thousands – he becomes a great hero. The society is not bothered by a murder, but the murder should be committed for the society – then it is okay. The society doesn’t bother about morality.

Morality means only that you should fit with the society.
If the society is at war, then the morality changes.
If the society is at peace, then there is a different morality.

Morality is a social politics. It is diplomacy. And each child has to be brought up in such a way that he fits into the society, that’s all. Because society is interested in efficient members. Society is not interested that you should attain to self-knowledge.

The society creates an ego because the ego can be controlled and manipulated. The self can never be controlled or manipulated. Nobody has ever heard of the society controlling a self – not possible.

And the child needs a center; the child is completely unaware of his own center. The society gives him a center and the child is by and by convinced that this is his center, the ego that society gives.

A child comes back to his home – if he has come first in his class, the whole family is happy. You hug and kiss him, and you take the child on your shoulders and dance and you say, “What a beautiful child! You are a pride to us.” You are giving him an ego, a subtle ego. And if the child comes home dejected, unsuccessful, a failure – he couldn’t pass, or he has just been on the back bench – then nobody appreciates him and the child feels rejected. He will try harder next time, because the center feels shaken.

Ego is always shaken, always in search of food, that somebody should appreciate it. That’s why you continuously ask for attention.

You get the idea of who you are from others. It is not a direct experience. It is from others that you get the idea of who you are. They shape your center. This center is false, because you carry your real center. That is nobody’s business. Nobody shapes it.

You come with it.
You are born with it.

So you have two centers. One center you come with, which is given by existence itself. That is the self. And the other center, which is created by the society, is the ego. It is a false thing – and it is a very great trick. Through the ego the society is controlling you. You have to behave in a certain way, because only then does the society appreciate you. You have to walk in a certain way; you have to laugh in a certain way; you have to follow certain manners, a morality, a code. Only then will the society appreciate you, and if it doesn’t, you ego will be shaken. And when the ego is shaken, you don’t know where you are, who you are.

The others have given you the idea.
That idea is the ego.

Try to understand it as deeply as possible, because this has to be thrown. And unless you throw it you will never be able to attain to the self. Because you are addicted to the center, you cannot move, and you cannot look at the self.

And remember, there is going to be an interim period, an interval, when the ego will be shattered, when you will not know who you are, when you will not know where you are going, when all boundaries will melt.

You will simply be confused, a chaos.

Because of this chaos, you are afraid to lose the ego. But it has to be so. One has to pass through the chaos before one attains to the real center.

And if you are daring, the period will be small. If you are afraid, and you again fall back to the ego, and you again start arranging it, then it can be very, very long; many lives can be wasted.

I have heard: One small child was visiting his grandparents. He was just four years old. In the night when the grandmother was putting him to sleep, he suddenly started crying and weeping and said, “I want to go home. I am afraid of darkness.” But the grandmother said, “I know well that at home also you sleep in the dark; I have never seen a light on. So why are you afraid here?” The boy said, “Yes, that’s right – but that is MY darkness.” This darkness is completely unknown.

Even with darkness you feel, “This is MINE.”
Outside – an unknown darkness.
With the ego you feel, “This is MY darkness.”

It may be troublesome, maybe it creates many miseries, but still mine. Something to hold to, something to cling to, something underneath the feet; you are not in a vacuum, not in an emptiness. You may be miserable, but at least you ARE. Even being miserable gives you a feeling of ‘I am’. Moving from it, fear takes over; you start feeling afraid of the unknown darkness and chaos – because society has managed to clear a small part of your being.

It is just like going to a forest. You make a little clearing, you clear a little ground; you make fencing, you make a small hut; you make a small garden, a lawn, and you are okay. Beyond your fence – the forest, the wild. Here everything is okay; you have planned everything. This is how it has happened.

Society has made a little clearing in your consciousness. It has cleaned just a little part completely, fenced it. Everything is okay there. That’s what all your universities are doing. The whole culture and conditioning is just to clear a part so that you can feel at home there.

And then you become afraid. Beyond the fence there is danger. Beyond the fence you are, as within the fence you are – and your conscious mind is just one part, one-tenth of your whole being. Nine-tenths is waiting in the darkness. And in that nine-tenths, somewhere your real center is hidden.

One has to be daring, courageous.
One has to take a step into the unknown.
For a while all boundaries will be lost.
For a while you will feel dizzy.

For a while, you will feel very afraid and shaken, as if an earthquake has happened. But if you are courageous and you don’t go backwards, if you don’t fall back to the ego and you go on and on, there is a hidden center within you that you have been carrying for many lives.

That is your soul, the self.

Once you come near it, everything changes, everything settles again. But now this settling is not done by the society. Now everything becomes a cosmos, not a chaos; a new order arises. But this is no longer the order of the society – it is the very order of existence itself.

It is what Buddha calls Dhamma, Lao Tzu calls Tao, Heraclitus calls Logos. It is not man-made. It is the VERY order of existence itself. Then everything is suddenly beautiful again, and for the first time really beautiful, because man-made things cannot be beautiful. At the most you can hide the ugliness of them, that’s all. You can decorate them, but they can never be beautiful.

The difference is just like the difference between a real flower and a plastic or paper flower. The ego is a plastic flower – dead. It just looks like a flower, it is not a flower. You cannot really call it a flower. Even linguistically to call it a flower is wrong, because a flower is something which flowers. And this plastic thing is just a thing, not a flowering. It is dead. There is no life in it.

You have a flowering center within. That’s why Hindus call it a lotus – it is a flowering. They call it the one-thousand-petaled-lotus. One thousand means infinite petals. And it goes on flowering, it never stops, it never dies. But you are satisfied with a plastic ego.

There are some reasons why you are satisfied. With a dead thing, there are many conveniences. One is that a dead thing never dies. It cannot – it was never alive. So you can have plastic flowers, they are good in a way. They are permanent; they are not eternal, but they are permanent.

The real flower outside in the garden is eternal, but not permanent. And the eternal has its own way of being eternal. The way of the eternal is to be born again and again and to die. Through death it refreshes itself, rejuvenates itself.

To us it appears that the flower has died – it never dies.
It simply changes bodies, so it is ever fresh.
It leaves the old body, it enters a new body. It flowers somewhere else; it goes on flowering.

But we cannot see the continuity because the continuity is invisible.
We see only one flower, another flower; we never see the continuity.

It is the same flower which flowered yesterday.
It is the same sun, but in a different garb.

The ego has a certain quality – it is dead. It is a plastic thing. And it is very easy to get it, because others give it. You need not seek it, there is no search involved. That’s why unless you become a seeker after the unknown, you have not yet become an individual. You are just a part of the crowd. You are just a mob.

When you don’t have a real center, how can you be an individual?

The ego is not individual. Ego is a social phenomenon – it is society, its not you. But it gives you a function in the society, a hierarchy in the society. And if you remain satisfied with it, you will miss the whole opportunity of finding the self.

And that’s why you are so miserable.

With a plastic life, how can you be happy?

With a false life, how can you be ecstatic and blissful? And then this ego creates many miseries, millions of them.

You cannot see, because it is your own darkness. You are attuned to it.
Have you ever noticed that all types of miseries enter through the ego? It cannot make you blissful; it can only make you miserable.

Ego is hell.

Whenever you suffer, just try to watch and analyze, and you will find, somewhere the ego is the cause of it. And the ego goes on finding causes to suffer.

You are an egoist, as everyone is. Some are very gross, just on the surface, and they are not so difficult. Some are very subtle, deep down, and they are the real problems.

This ego comes continuously in conflict with others because every ego is so unconfident about itself. Is has to be – it is a false thing. When you don’t have anything in your hand and you just think that something is there, then there will be a problem.

If somebody says, “There is nothing,” immediately the fight will start, because you also feel that there is nothing. The other makes you aware of the fact.

Ego is false, it is nothing.

That you also know.

How can you miss knowing it? It is impossible! A conscious being – how can he miss knowing that this ego is just false? And then others say that there is nothing – and whenever the others say that there is nothing they hit a wound, they say a truth – and nothing hits like the truth.

You have to defend, because if you don’t defend, if you don’t become defensive, then where will you be?

You will be lost.
The identity will be broken.
So you have to defend and fight – that is the clash.

A man who attains to the self is never in any clash. Others may come and clash with him, but he is never in clash with anybody.

It happened that one Zen master was passing through a street. A man came running and hit him hard. The master fell down. Then he got up and started to walk in the same direction in which he was going before, not even looking back.

A disciple was with the master. He was simply shocked. He said, “Who is this man? What is this? If one lives in such a way, then anybody can come and kill you. And you have not even looked at that person, who he is, and why he did it.”

The master said, “That is his problem, not mine.”

You can clash with an enlightened man, but that is your problem, not his. And if you are hurt in that clash, that too is your own problem. He cannot hurt you. And it is like knocking against a wall – you will be hurt, but the wall has not hurt you.

The ego is always looking for some trouble. Why? Because if nobody pays attention to you, the ego feels hungry.

It lives on attention.

So even if somebody is fighting and angry with you, that too is good because at least the attention is paid. If somebody loves, it is okay. If somebody is not loving you, then even anger will be good. At least the attention will come to you. But if nobody is paying any attention to you, nobody thinks that you are somebody important, significant, then how will you feed your ego?

Other’s attention is needed.

In millions of ways you attract the attention of others; you dress in a certain way, you try to look beautiful, you behave, you become very polite, you change. When you feel what type of situation is there, you immediately change so that people pay attention to you.

This is a deep begging.

A real beggar is one who asks for and demands attention.

And a real emperor is one who lives in himself.

He has a center of his own, he doesn’t depend on anybody else.

Buddha sitting under his bodhi tree…if the whole world suddenly disappears, will it make any difference to Buddha? -none. It will not make any difference at all. If the whole world disappears, it will not make any difference because he has attained to the center.

But you, if the wife escapes, divorces you, goes to somebody else, you are completely shattered – because she had been paying attention to you, caring, loving, moving around you, helping you to feel that you were somebody. Your whole empire is lost, you are simply shattered. You start thinking about suicide. Why? Why, if a wife leaves you, should you commit suicide? Why, if a husband leaves you, should you commit suicide? Because you don’t have any center of your own. The wife was giving you the center; the husband was giving you the center.

This is how people exist. This is how people become dependent on others. It is a deep slavery. Ego HAS to be a slave. It depends on others. And only a person who has no ego is for the first time a master; he is no longer a slave. Try to understand this.

And start looking for the ego – not in others, that is not your business, but in yourself. Whenever you feel miserable, immediately close you eyes and try to find out from where the misery is coming and you will always find it is the false center which has clashed with someone.

You expected something, and it didn’t happen.

You expected something, and just the contrary happened – your ego is shaken, you are in misery. Just look, whenever you are miserable, try to find out why.

Causes are not outside you. The basic cause is within you – but you always look outside, you always ask:

Who is making me miserable?

Who is the cause of my anger?

Who is the cause of my anguish?

And if you look outside you will miss.
Just close the eyes and always look within.
The source of all misery, anger, anguish, is hidden in you, your ego.

And if you find the source, it will be easy to move beyond it. If you can see that it is your own ego that gives you trouble, you will prefer to drop it – because nobody can carry the source of misery if he understands it.

And remember, there is no need to drop the ego.

You cannot drop it.

If you try to drop it, you will attain to a certain subtle ego again which says, “I have become humble.”

Don’t try to be humble. That’s again ego in hiding – but it’s not dead.

Don’t try to be humble.

Nobody can try humility, and nobody can create humility through any effort of his own – no. When the ego is no more, a humbleness comes to you. It is not a creation. It is a shadow of the real center.

And a really humble man is neither humble nor egoistic.

He is simply simple.

He’s not even aware that he is humble.

If you are aware that you are humble, the ego is there.

Look at humble persons…. There are millions who think that they are very humble. They bow down very low, but watch them – they are the subtlest egoists. Now humility is their source of food. They say, “I am humble,” and then they look at you and they wait for you to appreciate them.

“You are really humble,” they would like you to say. “In fact, you are the most humble man in the world; nobody is as humble as you are.” Then see the smile that comes on their faces.

What is ego? Ego is a hierarchy that says, “No one is like me.” It can feed on humbleness – “Nobody is like me, I am the most humble man.”

It happened once: A fakir, a beggar, was praying in a mosque, just early in the morning when it was still dark. It was a certain religious day for Mohammedians, and he was praying, and he was saying, “I am nobody. I am the poorest of the poor, the greatest sinner of sinners.”

Suddenly there was one more person who was praying. He was the emperor of that country, and he was not aware that there was somebody else there who was praying – it was dark, and the emperor was also saying:

“I am nobody. I am nothing. I am just empty, a beggar at our door.” When he heard that somebody else was saying the same thing, he said, “Stop! Who is trying to overtake me? Who are you? How dare you say before the emperor that you are nobody when he is saying that he is nobody?”

This is how the ego goes. It is so subtle. Its ways are so subtle and cunning; you have to be very, very alert, only then will you see it. Don’t try to be humble. Just try to see that all misery, all anguish comes through it.

Just watch! No need to drop it.

You cannot drop it. Who will drop it? Then the DROPPER will become the ego. It always comes back.

Whatsoever you do, stand out of it, and look and watch.

Whatsoever you do – humbleness, humility, simplicity – nothing will help. Only one thing is possible, and that is just to watch and see that it is the source of all misery. Don’t say it. Don’t repeat it – WATCH. Because if I say it is the source of all misery and you repeat it, then it is useless. YOU have to come to that understanding. Whenever you are miserable, just close the eyes and don’t try to find some cause outside. Try to see from where this misery is coming.

It is your own ego.

If you continuously feel and understand, and the understanding that the ego is the cause becomes so deep-rooted, one day you will suddenly see that it has disappeared. Nobody drops it – nobody can drop it. You simply see; it has simply disappeared, because the very understanding that ego causes all misery becomes the dropping. THE VERY UNDERSTANDING IS THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE EGO.

And you are so clever in seeing the ego in others. Anybody can see someone else’s ego. When it comes to your own, then the problem arises – because you don’t know the territory, you have never traveled on it.

The whole path towards the divine, the ultimate, has to pass through this territory of the ego. The false has to be understood as false. The source of misery has to be understood as the source of misery – then it simply drops.

When you know it is poison, it drops. When you know it is fire, it drops. When you know this is the hell, it drops.

And then you never say, “I have dropped the ego.” Then you simply laugh at the whole thing, the joke that you were the creator of all misery.

I was just looking at a few cartoons of Charlie Brown. In one cartoon he is playing with blocks, making a house out of children’s blocks. He is sitting in the middle of the blocks building the walls. Then a moment comes when he is enclosed; all around he has made a wall. Then he cries, “Help, help!”

He has done the whole thing! Now he is enclosed, imprisoned. This is childish, but this is all that you have done also. You have made a house all around yourself, and now you are crying, “Help, help!” And the misery becomes a millionfold – because there are helpers who are also in the same boat.

It happened that one very beautiful woman went to see her psychiatrist for the first time. The psychiatrist said, “Come closer please.” When she came closer, he simply jumped and hugged and kissed the woman. She was shocked. Then he said, “Now sit down. This takes care of my problem, now what is your problem?”

The problem becomes multifold, because there are helpers who are in the same boat. And they would like to help, because when you help somebody the ego feels very good, very, very good – because you are a great helper, a great guru, a master; you are helping so many people. The greater the crowd of your followers, the better you feel.

But you are in the same boat – you cannot help.

Rather, you will harm.

People who still have their own problems cannot be of much help. Only someone who has no problems of his own can help you. Only then is there the clarity to see, to see through you. A mind that has no problems of its own can see you, you become transparent.

A mind that has no problems of its own can see through itself;
that’s why it becomes capable of seeing through others.

In the West, there are many schools of psychoanalysis, many schools, and no help is reaching people, but rather, harm. Because the people who are helping others, or trying to help, or posing as helpers, are in the same boat.

…It is difficult to see one’s own ego.

It is very easy to see other’s egos. But that is not the point, you cannot help them.

Try to see your own ego.

Just watch it.

Don’t be in a hurry to drop it, just watch it. The more you watch, the more capable you will become. Suddenly one day, you simply see that it has dropped. And when it drops by itself, only then does it drop. There is no other way. Prematurely you cannot drop it.

It drops just like a dead leaf.

The tree is not doing anything – just a breeze, a situation, and the dead leaf simply drops. The tree is not even aware that the dead leaf has dropped. It makes no noise, it makes no claim – nothing.

The dead leaf simply drops and shatters on the ground, just like that.

When you are mature through understanding, awareness, and you have felt totally that ego is the cause of all your misery, simply one day you see the dead leaf dropping.

It settles into the ground, dies of its own accord. You have not done anything so you cannot claim that you have dropped it. You see that it has simply disappeared, and then the real center arises.

And that real center is the soul, the self, the god, the truth, or whatsoever you want to call it.

It is nameless, so all names are good.

You can give it any name of your own liking.

Beyond the Frontiers of the Mind

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  • D. Bell says:

    Holy wow… that was fantastic.

  • Babich says:

    Let me satisfied authors ego; Great Article! :P

  • Babich says:

    but seriously, some great stuff here

  • Babich says:

    And Imo one should not divide your real “ego” and ego that you got from society. Both are the same thing and needs to be satisfied, the main difference is if we choose to satisfy it how society wants it or how we want it.

    If one sit under the tree like Buddha and doesn’t give a **** about anything then life is really meaningless. Buddha btw lived life to it fullest before he got tired of it and started with spiritual self-realization. I mean he was a very rich man, and had all the women he wanted. But he lived somebody else’s dream (his fathers maybe) because all the riches were not important for him. So finding ones self is important, and that what i liked about the article but ego is important it what makes as do stuff, one just have to learn to control it.

    PS: My english sucks today.. need more sleep :)

  • Buddha says:

    It made me feel so content. After reading this article I feel centered. Hard to describe but do as this article says and it’ll make you happy.

  • Maskless Beast says:

    wow.. this pretty much explains it all. this article has made a big impact on my life and i just finished reading it.lol thanks for the insight. very easy read that i will share with my friends.. good job thanks again

  • FEA says:

    Another excellent article!!
    This website is simply amazing. I love the entire philosophy of a site dedicated to making life your bitch. :)
    Please continue on posting these great articles. There is no fluff in them. They are articles for the real world.
    On behalf of all the other fellow MISCers, THANK YOU!

  • Beautiful! Everything is within us. The root of every problem and misery is the problem with our own self! Only when you accept who you are, you will never need the affirmation and approval of other…only then you could really feel the freedom and keep going, without tripping over your ego,doubts,fears and dissatisfaction! Thank you for that GREAT GREAT GREAT post!

  • Exenith says:

    The ego is there because humans need to interdepend. We’re group creatures, creatures of the tribe. And if we do whatever we want, be our real selves, then we will do many things that others won’t like. If too many people don’t like you, everyone abandons you, and you die. We need to help one another.

    Are you suggesting to get rid of the ego forever? That would be incredibly harmful. I believe the real solution is:

    1. Don’t get rid of your ego forever (impossible), but learn what your ego is and when it is happening, to know everything about it. This is done with meditation, or just seriously spotting your thoughts and how you modify behaviour. Psychedelic drugs certainly helped me kick this off, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

    2. Heal the ego’s dysfunctions. The biggest thing is what you detailed. We do something that others think is bad, we think we are bad people. We do something that others think is good, we think we are good people. This leads to so many problems like addiction (food, alcohol, whatever), social avoidance, overachieving, underachieving, superiority complexes (see PUAs), inferiority complexes (see nice guys), borderline personality, narcissism and so on.

    To heal the dysfunction of #2, I think we need to constantly remember that all people are good people, no one is better or worse than anyone else. There are only good or bad actions, good or bad assets. You are not your khakis, you are not your job. And you are not your skills, you are not your body. You are just you. You are no better or worse than anyone else, and no actions will change that. Some will like us and some won’t.

    But as you said, only the cured can heal. This is only my opinion, putting it out there for criticism. I wouldn’t recommend anyone follow it, because there are a lot of gaps missing.

    • Anon says:

      I, for one, like the way you look at it.

      A question that comes to mind about the original article is does ALL misery really originate from the ego? What if you are miserable as you watch a close relative suffer from an incurable disease or watch helplessly an innocent person suffers?

      After removing your social ego as you put it, will you be able to carelessly watch on as events like this occur and observe them with the patience of monk? And is that really the best way to go about it?

      Maybe i am misinterpreting something, but curing the negatives of an ego as Exenith puts it makes a lot of sense to me rather then letting go of all moralities society bestows on us.

      • Rachel says:

        “Innocents” suffering is misery happening because of another ego, or it is part of the natural cycle of life. In being here life is valuable and thrilling because of incompleteness, the unexpected. When you accept life for what it is sickness and death are not so terrifying or painful, and if we all were liberated from ego when misfortune due to nature struck another individual there would be an outpouring of compassion and love. So yes, it’s always SOMEONE’s ego, though it’s all so interwoven that direct causes are often indistinguishable. We’re all entangled with one another and our predecessors live on through us — also through ego.

  • Rego M says:

    What do you think about Ego dropping and Psilocybin? Take enough and the experience felt is what I’d call “temporary ego death.”

  • Chicara says:

    I have a dilemma: if I have a poor self image because of a number of things, childhood experiences, verbal abuse, too much time spent with narcissists, my ego developed into a ‘rejected’ ego with inferiority complex, right?

    Having gone through the natural process of trying to be a people’s pleaser in order to be liked, and seeing that it doesn’t work, I have now abandoned that. I certainly don’t feed my ego on compliments from others, because throughout my life there were hardly any, but I do feel constantly miserable because of the criticisms I had to put up with in the past. I still find them deeply disturbing. I had to abandon everyone because I was always giving too much in order to be liked and accepted, now I am alone – no friends or family around. So, I literally don’t have anyone to feed my ego for better or worse.

    Now here is the question: I understand when you say that ego is created by other peoples apreciation, so you need more apreciation in order to feed it; if you take a moment and just realise that you do stuff so people can applaud you, you can gradually stop being a slave to compliments, right? 

    but what about when the ego is a rejected ego? how to stop it from making you miserable?I tried to step outside my own emotions many times, but even when I try to distance myself from these things, I still feel bad about them. Also, how do you heal self image without falling into the trap of doing stuff just to please others or to be loved? Has anyone got any ideas? Much appreciated. 

    • Rachel says:

      I’m in a similar position; high-pressure childhood, narcissist parents, rebellion, then attracting dominant narcissist types in my adult life.

      Now I’m 25 and just waking up. Same as you, left everything behind to try and have a shot at real life. You can understand on an intellectual level, you can admit to making yourself miserable, but it still never clicks all the way…

      One of the reasons I loved this article was that in explaining the construction of the false center he emphasized that it is the parents’ creation…to me that clicked, thinking…I don’t hate me, I hate them. The real me is underneath that. There is nothing wrong with me, that is them. And in realizing that, suddenly I did not hate them or myself anymore!

      It’s so difficult…you can have realizations but they slip away and we live in such a confusing funhouse existence, mirrors and light and shadows of other things.

    • tfwnogf says:

      I know that feel bro.

      Quit playing the victim, yeah the past sucks, but take a bit of responsibility because at the end of the day its your feels that are fucked, not your circumstances’.

      Meditate man (Mindfulness, science based), it will make everything concerning your ego a lot clearer whilst at the same time, helping you understand your mind.

      Read books on topics of psychology (The science and self help), philosophy, biology and spirituality (Its hard to avoid the bullshit though, focus on more reason driven education along the lines of this article rather than talks of “chi” or other non-fact based hypothesizing) to gain an UNDERSTANDING of how the universe, society and humans work which will make understanding yourself easier.

      In order to not please others, you have to figure out how to please yourself by establishing your own virtues, values and principles. A personal code that dictates your behavior and actions, that nobody can change or take from you.

      Change takes time, but it can and WILL happen with persistence and work. Especially since at the end of the day, we are all constantly changing with every moment that passes anyway.

      Were all gonna make it bro!

  • Findinnerpeace says:

    I’ve read this article : [1] http://www.kratosguide.com/ego-the-false-center/

    And I have to say that it’s actually very confusing because I can’t get exactly what the ego and the self is. According to the article the ego is the reflection, what others think. (is this right?) So actually what you think about yourself is the reflection of what other think of you. This means the bad charachteristics as well as the good charachteristics. So if I understand this right, I can say that if many people tell me that Im a shy guy, this means that I’m gonna act shy because of my ego? But it doesnt mean that I, the self, without the ego, am a shy guy, right? So actualy the shyness is just something that others have labeled on me? So my inner self isn’t necessarily shy?

    Is that the purpose? To find your inner self, the characteristics of you without the others/ego? I am so confused about this… If what i wrote above is true, I can tell you that I’m restless because I dont know who I am deep inside. I’m made by the thoughts of others (the ego). I am reading a book of Herman Hesse “Siddhartha”. And there was one paragraph which really expressed my feelings :

    Truly, no thing in this world has kept my thoughts thus busy, as this my very own self, this mystery of me being alive, of me being one and being separated and isolated from all others, of me being Siddhartha! And there is no thing in this world I know less about than about me, about Siddhartha!”

    And there is no thing in this world I know less about than about me. The only thing you know is what others think about you…

    How can you get rid of this “ego”? And how do you find your inner self? But do I have to see it larger? Is it not only the search for your inner charachteristics but also for something else? (what?)

    Please help me understanding this! Thx

  • The first thing to be understood is what ego is. A child is born. A child is born without any knowledge, any consciousness of his own self. And when a child is born the first thing he becomes aware of is not himself; the first thing he becomes aware of is the other. It is natural, because the eyes open outwards, the hands touch others, the ears listen to others, the tongue tastes food and the nose smells the outside. All these senses open outwards.

  • Kunoichi says:

    My brother is currently incarcerated and I’d like to summarize this and send it to him to share during treatment. I’d accredit the website unless you want to send more detailed information to present with it. Thank you for the post, very well written.

  • Redhead says:

    Alright, that’s all well and good, but what is the real center? The volume of words devoted to the self, and what the self is, is so small. The self is posed only as the non-ego. The self is a negative, the absence of something. How can we all strive to experience the existence of something that depends on the absence of something else? The article does not negate the assertion that one must experience the ego to experience the self. The article fails to relate what the self can mean, what it can do, where it can go, in the absence of the ego. Once you lose the ability to draw, or experience, the self-ego comparison, can the self continue to exist as its own entity?

  • hottyicecat says:

    Can some1 plz help to find a forum for ego problem help?
    I have a problem with friendship, im not sure if its just the ego, but after i lost a friend i just cant get back up, it hurts like hell. If its the ego, is there anything to do to make it hurt less.

  • Jaedus says:

    Sounds pretty much like a summary of The Power of Now

  • Elijah Knight Cothern says:

    Say you are an uninformed person who likes themselves and who you are, 99% of people in uninformed society will say “you have such a big ego” with a negative connotation and with ignorance. But in all reality what these people are doing is messing up the society around them with no ego problems. By getting them to be self concious of this so called “ego” (that they dont know about). Making them feel like liking ones self is a bad thing. I feel that this is an issue in todays societies. And If we see this happening we need to inform them that their thought of what this “ego” is false, and that they need to read this article before using that word again. Because they are falsely informing others.

  • Elijah Knight Cothern says:

    Say lets say you are an uninformed person who likes themselves and who you are, 99% of people in uninformed society will say “you have such a big ego” with a negative connotation and with ignorance. But in all reality what these people are doing is messing up the society around them with no ego problems. By getting them to be self concious of this so called “ego” (that they dont know about). Making them feel like liking ones self is a bad thing. I feel that this is an issue in todays societies. And If we see this happening we need to inform them that their thought of what this “ego” is false, and that they need to read this article before using that word again. Because they are falsely informing others.

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