Much is made of how we must get the ego out of the way, as if it were possible to do that. The ego is a mental construct that allows people to have a sense of who they are and to navigate the social world of others. If an ego were not necessary for survival, we wouldn’t develop one.
Socialization takes us from the “I am the world” view that a baby has, to a differentiated view that may range from a Zen “I am one with the world” to a cartoon villain’s “I Rule The World.” People who risk or even give their own lives to save the lives of others are seen to be of the highest moral character, and rightly so.
But I suggest that ego is what makes that sacrifice possible. Unless we have enough sense of ourselves, our own power, our own place in the world, we have little to offer anyone else. This is why the desire of all cartoon villains–be they animated or in the flesh–is to rule the world. They need to demonstrate the sense of power that they lack–their ego is not strong enough to manage their own lives unless they can physically force others to do things that are against sense and goodness.
A healthy ego understands how it mediates between the inner world and the outer world. A centered person has a healthy sense of self, a centered ego that is not afraid of the thoughts of others.
A self-absorbed person–the so-called egomaniac–does not see the rest of the world at all, much less his or her part in it. A self-absorbed person is isolated and alone, unable to be part of the universal network.
A self-centered person knows he or she is a synapse in the universe, a pathway for the law of attraction to work.
This is why it is moral and admirable to manifest the things that we want for ourselves, our family, our neighborhood. Even if the amounts we desire seem greedy to another, who does not want to have abundance and prosperity, security and comfort? No Inner Being wishes its physical host to starve, chill or suffer pain. A centered ego can listen to the Inner Being and respond.
As a rule, once people find that their immediate wants are satisfied, they desire something with more depth, something more spiritual, and they receive that by giving back. Is it any less moral to give back because it makes us feel good? What is it in us that feels the goodness? Our egos.
Feeling good–and especially feeling the goodness of life–is the path to finding both our hearts’ desires and our Inner Being. It’s the difference between being a greedy “ego” and a truly “Self”-centered person.
In this crazy season of consumerism and fear about the economy, take a moment to find a better-feeling thought. Use your ego, your sense of self, to realize the goodness within you, the goodness that you can offer to your family, coworkers and neighbors.
If you can find no good within you, how can you be any good for anyone else? Center yourself, and reach out to the next synapse in the network.