The transformations of the Ego

The cultural representation of the identity of our organism

The main protagonist of the various themes dealt with on this site has always been the conscious Ego, intended as a sensitive subject recipient of the various experiences that human life reserves for it, and a processor that interprets the experiences themselves and determines the actions to be performed through its own organism, which will also give rise to new experiences. However, as we have seen, the fragmentation of consciousness in a plurality of human organisms makes a sufficiently precise definition of the identity of the conscious Ego impossible, since the same mental self-perception of this subject is not only generally different from an individual to another, but over time it can undergo significant changes even in the same individual. The most immediate form of identification is that relating to an organism, quite distinct from other organisms, whose behavior and actions are clearly detectable by any other organism. Each organism also receives information and instructions on the ways in which it must solve its organic needs and must interact with other organisms: this learning and programming process takes place partly through instinctive and intuitive imitation of what the other reference organisms do, and partly through a linguistic communication of instructions on how to behave. These instructions, which often refer to the Ego as an internal control center of the organism, also partly concern the strategies through which the Ego has to deal with the psychic dynamics that involve it. In any case, the way in which each of us identifies and perceives the individuality of others refers above all to their organisms, each with its own label (name and surname) that classifies it socially, to their aesthetic appearance, to how they behave and act, and to what they say.

If on the one hand the Ego is formed, developed and consolidated as a result of this cultural process of learning and conditioning, on the other hand a parallel process takes place, internal and secret – as it cannot be perceived directly from the outside – through which the Ego performs its role as a sensitive perceptive subject of the psychic dynamics in which it is involved through the function of consciousness. This double aspect of the Ego is already contaminated by the bipolarity intrinsic to the human psyche, since also the programs of cultural conditioning and the instructions for behavior and social interaction are determined by the progressive effects that the psychic energy, reacting with the energetic form contained in the sparks emanating from the Spirit, has gradually produced over time. Anyway, in all of us, if our brain works normally, next to an Ego that exerts a significant influence on our behaviors and actions, there is an Ego that sensibly perceives all the dynamics determined by the mental activity that our consciousness registers: thoughts, sensations, feelings, emotions, fantasies, dreams, and so on: however, often these two aspects of the Ego are not in harmony with each other. First of all, it can be observed that the Ego that controls the behavior and actions of its organism does not always have the time and the ability to evaluate the decisions to be made, given that the psychic dynamics can take over causing the body to do and say things that the Ego does not fully share, or which it can later regret, or it may happen that the Ego identifies with its own psychic dynamics to the point that it defends a priori whatever its organism says or does: this happens above all when the feeling of one's own value depends on what the Ego considers to be the esteem of others towards it. Thus it may happen that the more the psychic dynamics involve and ensnare the Ego, the more it lets itself be deceived by twisted and arbitrary thoughts and reasoning that the psyche makes up in order to justify – especially in front of others, but also in front of the same Ego – the behaviour of its own organism: this mode of operation is so widespread that it is considered almost as a natural right, for example within the judicial system, where it is considered logical that people may lie in order to avoid a conviction for a crime which they know they have committed.

The very functioning of the human organism, and in particular of the brain, causes the signals, information and stimuli coming from the environment (including in it also all living organisms, humans included) to determine psychic reactions, in relation to which the conscious Ego should play the role of sensor, interpreter and processor. It is evident how this whole complex system of interactions, functions and roles was not conceived and programmed by the Ego, who simply discovers that it is taking part in a game programmed and developed by entities that remain unknown to it (about this topic see The Avatar and the Gamer page in 2020 blog). As we have seen, the Ego receives various programs from its environment which include both systems of interpretation of the human life and its needs, and instructions on the behaviors and actions required of its organism in relation to certain goals. At the same time, the Ego is also involved in the inner psychic dynamics that reach its consciousness. Obviously, even these programs and instructions coming from the cultural environment are acquired by the Ego through its mental activity, but the interactions between the psychic dynamics of autonomous inner origin and those determined by culturally acquired programs can show, depending on the case, different degrees of harmony or conflict. In the event that there is a strong contrast between an acquired and internalized program and a psychic factor of autonomous origin – perceived by the conscious Ego in the form of a more or less intense impulse or desire, a feeling or a value to be defended – the Ego is involved in a conflict in which one of the two factors at stake ends up overcoming the other: if the element that we can define external prevails, that is the acquired program, the Ego must endure the suffering that the renounce to what is required by the psychic factor of autonomous origin, i.e. interior, causes to itself, while if the latter prevails the Ego must endure the consequences of not having adhered to what his socio-cultural environment required.

Although one of the two factors that determine this conflict has been defined as external, as determined by cultural programs or by events that require a certain behavior on the part of the individual as a member of a social group, the conflict itself, when it occurs, has always an inner nature: in fact, there may be cases of people who serenely face the death of their organism, precisely because what is required of them to avoid it is completely out of their psychic dynamics. Among the many variants that the forms of coercion imposed by socio-cultural systems on individual organisms present, there are those for which previously acquired and internalized programs come into conflict with other programs of more recent origin: those who manage the propaganda of totalitarian political systems know well how much easier it is to condition younger than adult people, if these latter have already been able to experience a liberal political system. The practice of torture too is used to introduce an inner element (physical pain and psychic suffering) that conflicts with the Ego's determination to defend its decisions and sustain the values it believes in. The fact remains that in various circumstances the Ego feels compelled to experience a conflict of which it knows neither the origin nor the purpose, but which is an inevitable consequence of the very condition of organic life: the psychic energy already sedimented and to a certain extent consolidated that is transmitted to it by social programs can come into conflict with the energy that is produced, we could say, in a magmatic state, through the brain activity of its organism, often without the Ego having the resources to direct this process so as to be able to transform conflicting tensions into useful and positive activity for its own evolution. Frequently the energetic conflict arises from the interaction between psychic dynamics that are generated within different organisms, causing each of them to behave towards the other – more or less intentionally – so that the Ego of the other must experience a conflictual tension.

As long as the Ego identifies with the psychic dynamics that involve it, in the event of a conflict the dynamics determined by the conditioning and adaptation programs transmitted by the social group to which it belongs often prevail, causing the repression or removal of those instances of inner origin that are incompatible with them. But it can also happen that the Ego, identifying itself with its own autonomous dynamics, assumes an orientation and a behavior of rebellion against the requests that are presented to it, in the form of assumed obligations or duties, by the social group which it belongs to (based on the received conditioning programs), also putting at risk the well-being, tranquility and even the very survival of its own organism. In both cases the bipolar character of the human psyche exerts its influence on the Ego, even if not infrequently the risks entailed by the fidelity of the Ego to its own psychic dynamics of autonomous origin lead us to look at the rebel's condition under the light of a romantic aura, not devoid of a certain degree of heroism. This happens because to some extent a spiritual origin can be attributed to the psychic dynamics of inner origin, especially when they come into conflict with the conditioning programs of a culture mainly oriented on the material needs of the organism. However, a significant step forward in the process of freeing the conscious Ego only occurs when it begins to distance itself from the conflicting dynamics of the human psyche, wondering what its function is in this conflict and why it is involved in it, apparently without having the necessary resources to solve or avoid it. As this process of liberation goes on, the critical orientation of the Ego manifests itself in equal measure both towards the psychic dynamics determined by the way in which its psychophysical system reacts to the environmental stimuli or is conditioned by the cultural programs that its own social group transmits to it, and towards those dynamics that try to involve it, apparently springing from its most authentic interiority, often opposing themselves to the others: in both cases, in fact, the alternately coercive and seductive character of the human psyche tries to take hold of the Ego, so that it uncritically conforms to what the psyche requires or imposes on it, and gives up to deepen the knowledge of its true essence and its role in human life.

The stages of life

As life goes on, the heritage of experiences and information available to the Ego increases, helping to modify the way in which the Ego deals with the various conditions that occur and the consequent psychic dynamics that involve it: this is a process of maturation that we could define as natural, by virtue of which the Ego can also recognize that it no longer agrees with some of its past behaviors and choices, if it could hypothetically use, in the same circumstances, the resources of knowledge and experience now available to it. Obviously, these changes are partly attributable to the processes that modify the biological structure of the organism over time, also intervening on the functioning of the nervous system, and of the brain in particular, as the instrument through which the psychic dynamics involving the Ego are tuned. The Ego itself can feel quite disconcerted and perplexed when it has to acknowledge that its identity is linked to that of an organism that changes over time, a fact continually confirmed by the way others refer to its existence solely on the basis of the recognition of its organism, in the phase of life in which it currently is. Indeed, the Ego retains the memory of a part of its past experiences, the most important of which can involve it with more or less intense emotional reactions when they are recalled, thus giving a sense of continuity and identity to its existence: in some case these emotional reactions involve feelings of remorse, regret or nostalgia, so that what has been experienced in the past also influences the current psychic dynamics. It is interesting to note how the life review that occurs, in different forms, in a good number of NDEs, frequently involves a new experience of various episodes of one's life, as if such events had been recorded – we know neither how nor where – so that they can be relived by the Ego in a much more complete and precise way than is normally allowed by its memory. On the other hand, it is also true that in the course of its organic life the Ego can lose all memory of its past, and therefore any connection with the sense of continuity and identity that memory grants it, due to trauma or illness (including various forms of senile dementia) that impair the proper functioning of the brain.

When the Ego, based on the experiences of its own life, finds in itself the capacity and resources to reflect and meditate on the changes that have occurred over time, especially in relation to its emancipation from the psychic dynamics in which it is involved, and with which in the past it completely identified, in many cases it embarks on a path of research towards a way of life that fosters the knowledge and manifestation of its most authentic inner essence. In this path, which could be defined as spiritual evolution, the Ego does not want to identify itself with any model of religious asceticism, but searches for the meaning of the uniqueness of its way of being, while even considering it in the context of the countless possible manifestations that can arise from the creative process, by which itself was emanated. This spiritual evolution involves at a certain point a kind of awakening, for which the Ego no longer feels isolated in the midst of a crowd or alone, but feels that it is associated with one or more spiritual entities towards which it assumes the role first as a simple witness, and then as an explorer, of the possibilities offered by the experimentation of human life. The perception of the connection with these spiritual entities, in addition to balancing the involvement of the Ego in the dynamics of the human psyche, allows it to live in harmony with its own essence, and positively influences the state of health of its organism as well as the functioning of the mind and, consequently, the psychic dynamics that are tuned through it. This condition translates into a fairly stable form of human happiness, which is not contaminated even by the negative events in which the Ego, for one reason or another, can still be involved, but within certain limits: in fact, the feeling of connection with the spiritual entities means that the Ego feels particularly protected against those life events that could provoke psychic reactions incompatible with its sensitivity, developed and sharpened as a consequence of the evolutionary path pursued by it through the enhancement of its conscious activity. Therefore the Ego feels that even the psychic reactions caused by the negative circumstances that it may possibly have to face will not be able to overcome the limit that alters the balance determined by its connection with the spiritual dimension.

As the Ego distances itself from its own psychic dynamics, especially from those it does not feel as congenial and in harmony with its own essence, it feels a sense of separation and indifference even towards those aspects of its personality of the past that determined choices and behaviors strongly influenced by the psychic dynamics in which it was involved. In this case, the Ego does not forget that in those circumstances, and with the resources it had at the time, it would not have been able to act differently, nor does it shirk from taking responsibility for the choices it made: nevertheless, the fact of realizing that the same process of identification with the psychic dynamics that influenced its choices and actions also determines the choices and actions of other humans (each with its own Ego), regardless of whether it judges positive or negative, good or bad, such actions, induce it to leave behind its own personal history, or at least that part of it which corresponds to the condition of a human automaton. In light of its connection with the spiritual dimension, the Ego is now able to consider the events of human life, and their reflections in the conscious activity of its mind, for what they are: that is, precisely, experiences. The attribution to such experiences of a positive or negative emotional tone no longer depends on the often whimsical arbitrariness of an ambivalent psyche over which the Ego has little control, but is almost always determined in a positive way, or at least significant from an evolutionary point of view, by the very raison d'etre of the Ego as an experimenter subject of organic life, in relation to which it is now well aware of the difficulties involved in interacting with a dimension so different with respect to its spiritual essence. If a human organism were to explore a planet whose environmental conditions were not adequate for its vital needs, it should first of all equip itself with a suitable envelope which, by isolating it and protecting it from the external environment, would supply it with the substances it needs and allow it to expel those to be eliminated: similarly, once the conscious Ego has reached an adequate level of evolution, the organism that allows it to explore the dimension of human life becomes for it the equivalent of this suit.

 (to be continued)      


 

Blog 2021
Ego's transformations
Emotive experiences
Energies of Universe
The Ego as emanation
The Ego's resources
Powers controlling us
From body to spirit
Research on NDEs
Summary of topics
The Spirit and the Ego
Deities and Myths
The mystery of life
Consciousness tools
Existence after death
Life & consciousness
Psyche's creativity