Psychic interactions between different Egos
Given that our knowledge of how the functioning of the nervous system (and in particular the brain) determines the psychic dynamics which involve the conscious Ego is still limited and unsatisfactory, we are in the position of having to rely on the empirical perception of what our Ego experiences, to evaluate the correlation between the events that concern us – as living human organisms – and the psychic experiences deriving from them. When the Ego is able to observe its psychic experiences with a certain critical detachment, it realizes how the latter are influenced by relationships with others, relationships that in some cases the Ego desires and seeks, in other cases are accepted for custom or necessity, and in still other cases it is forced to suffer in spite of itself. If the Ego is able to evaluate with sufficient attention its reactions to the psychic dynamics that involve the Ego of the person with whom it interacts, it will be particularly cautious in choosing those with whom to establish a relationship, avoiding, as far as possible, to be ensnared in a naive spontaneity which, starting from the premises of sympathy, can later produce uncontrollable conflicting reactions.
In the event that, in a relationship between two people, both Egos fully identify themselves with the psychic dynamics in which they are involved, the psychic reactions of both are automatically determined by what we could define – in an imprecise but sufficiently evocative way – as the chemistry of the psyche, for which the psychic attunements of one exert a certain influence on those of the other, in a game of reciprocal stimuli of which each of the two Egos experiences the effects, be they positive, neutral or negative. The cultural programs that are transmitted to the members of a certain human social group often impose – or attempt to impose – some rules on the behavior to be adopted, and on the ways in which the psychic dynamics can be expressed, during the interactions between two or more individuals in different circumstances: obviously, if the Ego identifies with its own psyche, its adherence to certain rules of behavior will depend on the reactions that the psyche imposes on it. In this time, in our culture we often see forms of aggressive and violent behavior that prevail not only over what in other times would have been considered normal rules of good manners, but also over those rules that should be considered as an inalienable heritage of civilization, ethics and human intelligence, such as reasonableness, mutual respect and kindness in the interactions with others. The prevalence and defense of aggressive and uncivil self-affirmation of psychic dynamics is symptomatic – as well as of the uncritical identification of the Ego with its own psyche – of a state of crisis, magmatic and conflictual, which characterizes the psyche itself in the periods of transition from a consolidated cultural phase, now come to an end, to a new phase still in the process of being formed.
If the Ego of one of the two people involved in the interaction or relationship has already undertaken the path of differentiation from its own psychic dynamics, while that of the other still identifies with them, further difficulties may arise, deriving both from the incomprehension, on the part of that Ego who identifies itself with the psyche, of the position of the other Ego – often perceived as distant, cold or even inhuman – and from the overload of psychic reactions, the management of which becomes problematic, with which the other Ego has to deal. In fact, the psyche produces its effects with particular efficacy by induction, that is, by means of that operating modality whereby the psychic dynamics that are produced in a person can arouse immediate, intense and often uncontrolled reactions in another person involved in the relationship with the former. For this reason, it may be appropriate for who wants to engage in an activity of liberation of the Ego from its subjection to the psyche to limit the interactions with others to the minimum necessary, based on what is required by human needs, and establish relationships only with people she/he knows well, who can understand and respect her/his needs even if they do not share them. It should be remembered that this liberating activity is not motivated by a rejection in toto of the human psyche, towards which the Ego continues to maintain a strong interest, but by the Ego's need not to be subdued by those aspects of the psyche that it feels out of harmony with its own true essence.
The relationships between two Egos already sufficiently advanced in the path of critical detachment from their own psychic dynamics and the resulting emotional involvements are based on mutual respect and natural kindness, and are generally motivated by needs of common interest that go beyond personal purposes: each of the Egos involved in the relationship knows from experience, in fact, that spontaneous psychic dynamics can prevail over the Ego's ability to control and evaluate in the event that the timing of the interaction imposes reactive automatisms that can take it by surprise. However, in the case of an Ego that has already progressed in this path of liberation, even the automatic psychic reactions are much more in harmony with the needs of balance, serenity and well-being of the Ego, compared to what usually happens when the Ego identifies with the psychic attunements that involve it. Not infrequently the same spontaneous and automatic psychic reactions undergo a natural process of slowing down that allows their qualitative improvement, without the Ego having to intervene directly: two people who have already reached a good evolutionary level can certainly benefit from an interaction in which the psyche can manifest itself in natural harmony.
The psychic phenomena that intervene in the interactions among a plurality of people can be observed and described in their complexity, which grows as the number of individuals involved increases, until they are transformed into what are defined as mass cultural phenomena, to which an enormous economic and political importance is attributed in our current societies. However, beyond their interest as a field of observation of the collective psychic dynamics, these phenomena are of little significance for the process of evolution of the conscious Ego, who does not have the necessary resources to deal with the psychic energy that accumulates in the interactions between many individuals whose Egos are still subject to the psychic dynamics in which they are involved. In our sociocultural systems – founded on the psychic interaction of millions of people – the Ego, by the mere fact of wanting to carry on its experience of organic life, must find a way to conform, in one form or another, to the demands that the programs determined by collective psychic phenomena impose on it. In this process of adaptation the Ego often has to experience the complexity of the psychic phenomena, especially when it is involved in the conflict between psychic reactions of inner origin and the rules or demands – also of psychic origin – that the cultural system of which it is a part tries to impose on it.
The love for others in the light of NDEs
In many NDEs, the Spirit is experienced as a source of infinite and unconditional love, which welcomes and comforts all creatures returning from their human experience, deeming each of them worthy of the same attention, the same importance and the same solicitous comprehension, regardless of how they reacted to the events in which they were involved during their earthly adventure. The condition experienced in the Spirit dimension is that of a substantial unity of consciousness, beyond its division into a multiplicity of individual experiences. These experiences are most likely at the origin of the ethical and religious norms that invite us to love our neighbor (that is, the other) as our own Ego. But the same NDEs demonstrate how the changes in the orientation of the Ego towards human life and the psychic dynamics that govern it are determined by the direct experimentation of a reality of a different order, and by the consequent assimilation of a form of energy which the Ego did not previously have, or had in very limited quantities. However, in the reality of organic life in which the Ego is immersed, even if for a limited period of time, the functioning of the brain itself determines the onset of those psychic dynamics that involve the Ego to the point that the latter ends often by identifying with them, and it is very difficult for it to find the resources to free itself from this condition of subjugation. The importance that each Ego attaches to their own psychic experiences, including the effects of the NDEs, is evident.
The Ego can undertake a path of separation and liberation from the psychic dynamics that tend to involve it, but it cannot subject the psyche to its own will – however good its intentions may be – if it does not have adequate energy resources. There are people who show a natural disposition to love others, and strive to alleviate the sufferings that fate reserves for many humans, because the psyche's positive polarity manifests itself in them in this way. Similarly, the negative polarity of the psyche causes other people to abuse or exploit their fellowmen, taking advantage of their misfortunes. It can also be assumed, as some do, that these orientations of the functioning of the individual psyche are related to a greater or lesser influence of the Spirit on the Ego, and actually many NDEs involve a sometimes radical reorganization of the psychic dynamics that the Ego experiences when it returns to organic life. However, it remains to be understood why the Spirit allows the psyche to maintain its bipolar character, and does not intervene in the same way towards all human beings, or at least towards all those who pass through a condition of temporary suspension of vital activities and consciousness, but prefers to assign only to some of them the task of spreading – in the dimension of the organic life, dominated by the human psyche – the effects of what they have experienced in the Spirit dimension.
The love that is radiated in the Spirit dimension, and that is experienced by the Ego during many NDEs, is a form of energy which, by pouring on the Ego, makes the latter feel the substantial unity of everything and everyone, and frees it from many of the conditioning determined by the human psyche, on the basis of which the Ego orientated itself in its life. But if the Ego has not directly experienced the Spirit dimension, by assimilating a little of that energy that there permeates everything, it runs the risk of believing that it could transfer into the sphere of organic life the experiences we read about in the NDE reports, using its will as energy source. However, human life still takes place through an organism whose complex functioning requires particular resources, and whose vulnerability to trauma, infectious diseases, congenital defects and aging is evident. Furthermore, every organism shows features that make it different from the others, and that influence in a particular way the conscious experience of the Ego that lives through that organism. Therefore, our love for others also often manifests itself as love for the other's organism, as we believe, not without reason, that the living conditions of organisms have a substantial effect on the life experiences to which the Ego of others is subject. As we can see, it is a rather complicated process, the management of which largely depends on the dynamics of the human psyche, in which each Ego is involved and often ensnared.
But if we recognize the presence of negative elements in the lives of others, and if our love for others is manifested in the desire to make their life experience more positive, or at least to alleviate their sufferings, shouldn't we come to the conclusion – in the light of the experiences reported by many NDEs – that the best thing for those who suffer be that their human life could end, so that their Ego could return to the Spirit dimension? Ultimately, in the dimension of organic life, in order to give one must have, and it is evident that in the overall dynamics of the human psyche there is a deficit of love, concord and mutual understanding: this deficit cannot simply be compensated for by a naive use of goodwill, which may work in a certain reduced context, but does not seem capable of solving humanity's problems on a global scale, as it has not been able in the past. It is no coincidence that the Ego of those who have experienced the Spirit dimension, once returned to organic life and to the influence of the human psyche, often perceives this re-entry into the body as a command, nay, even as an imposition or a duress, on the meaning of which they continue to question themselves, given that, if at times they seem to have received clear and illuminating information and knowledge in this regard in the Spirit dimension, such knowledge is forgotten when the Ego goes back into its own organism.
The fact that the Ego is forced to go back to organic life even against its will is often interpreted by the same Ego as a task or mission that has been assigned to it and that it must carry out. Therefore some are led to believe that this mission consists in contributing to bring about – over time – a transformation of the human psyche from an energy characterized by a marked bipolarity to an essentially unipolar one, the manifestations of which should be oriented according to what is currently considered as its positive polarity. Others, on the other hand, believe that organic life is a sort of test bench for the Ego, a gym in which to train and engage in testing, improving and strengthening its spiritual resources. Therefore the Ego would be forced to experience organic life – at least according to the interpretation given by those who have been reluctantly forced to leave the Spirit dimension – to improve in the practice of love for others or to better understand the meaning of human life, through a full immersion in psychic energy. The difficulties of life would fulfill precisely this function, and eliminating them would mean removing from the gym the tools needed to train: the variety and quality of these tools is dosed so that each Ego can train in relation to its own resources and the needs of its achieved spiritual level, on the basis of its own potential. This training program, if so we want to call it, would not be imposed on the Ego, but would be agreed and accepted by the same Ego in its spiritual state beyond time, and would involve the temporal experience of a life lived as an organism.
Whatever the interpretation that each of us likes better regarding the meaning of human life, it is still a psychic interpretation that can be of some help in dealing with the problems, risks, difficulties and pains of this life: in fact, the Spirit dimension – according to what many NDEs testify to us – has completely different features compared to that of organic life, and therefore, once the spiritual Ego has managed to access that dimension (or return to it), it will no longer ask itself questions about the meaning of human life in the same form in which it does while living it. The conscious Ego, in living as an organism, could possibly be interested in understanding how its choices, behaviors and orientations – substantially influenced by the human psyche – can have consequences on its ability to access the Spirit dimension, or on the ways in which it will be able to dwell in that dimension. But this too seems to be a problem of psychic origin linked to the human condition, as NDEs do not provide univocal, coherent and convincing information regarding an evaluation system based, for example, on merit: it seems that the Ego can in every case be welcomed with love in the Spirit dimension, for the mere fact of having lived and suffered – for better or for worse – the contamination determined by the human psyche. The weakness or strength shown by the Ego towards this contamination depend on its starting spiritual resources, and therefore on its original condition: ultimately, on the same Spirit by which it was emanated.
The limits of emotional feelings
In human relationships often prevail those psychic automatisms, determined by the brain functioning, which we call feelings, and to which we attribute a particular value as we are led to believe that they are our feelings, even when they represent nothing other than the ways in which the nervous system of our organism reacts to the environmental circumstances and human interactions that fate reserves for it: the emotional feelings represent a good demonstration of how the psychic dynamics rarely are at the service of the evolutionary process of the Ego, who is often ensnared, flattered, deceived, and in any case controlled by them. The manifestations of emotional feelings are already evident in the behavior of many higher animals, to which at least one form (even if not evolved) of a sentient Ego can be attributed, and represent the way in which the natural psyche determines and controls the functioning of each individual organism. The further cultural elaboration by the human psyche attains a general classification of the feelings, which are considered positive or negative not so much on the basis of their evaluation by the Ego that directly experiences them, but according to the effects that the cultural conditioning programs can have on social interactions and their consequent dynamics. It may therefore happen that feelings such as hatred, resentment or anger, which should be considered negative based on the direct effect they have on the conscious Ego, are culturally valued if directed towards an enemy (be it real or presumed), towards an opponent (political, economic or sports), or towards someone who we believe has wronged us. Similarly, we can experience a feeling of fulfillment, joy or even happiness when an event occurs that the dominant cultural programs lead us to consider positive, even if it has no direct connection with our conscious Ego: this is the case, for example, of the joy brought about by the victory of a team in a sports competition.
The complexity of emotional feelings makes them all the more effective and convincing for the Ego, the more it uncritically identifies with its own psychic dynamics, naively entrusting its destiny to the spontaneous power of the human psyche rather than training itself in the use of reason and critical intelligence, also – and above all – in human interactions. Obviously, this happens because the human condition itself usually implies the submission of the Ego to the psyche, and consequently the Ego's spiritual evolution, and the intellectual and emotional resources that can favor that evolution, represent the exception rather than the rule. However, the consequences of this state of affairs are there for all to see: the human world, and the world shaped by humankind, cannot be different from what they are, in their transformations over time, as they reflect, in their positive and negative aspects, the bipolar character of the psychic energy that predominates on this planet. The resulting general picture is rather confused: as far as the past is concerned, what has happened can no longer be changed, and each conscious Ego has lived the positive or negative experiences that fate has reserved for it; as far as the future is concerned, the positive polarity of the psyche always induces an element of hope aimed at enhancing the value of this life, and the commitment of a large part of humankind is aimed at trying to improve, in one way or another, the conditions in which the human organism must live, so that the psyche can express its potential, amplifying its often controversial effects.
This state of affairs is at the basis of the strong increase in simultaneously living human organisms that has occurred in the last century: not surprisingly, the need to reproduce is all the stronger precisely where environmental conditions do not offer sufficient prospects for a healthy and balanced organic life. The natural psyche, in fact, tends to produce a greater number of new organisms when environmental conditions eliminate a large part of them in the formation and growth stage: but the increase in knowledge in the medical field, and the technical resources that have allowed the production and large-scale diffusion of food, pharmaceutical substances and medical equipment, after having developed in the most scientifically and technologically advanced areas, have extended the their effects in many other regions of the planet, reducing mortality – especially in children – caused by disease and malnutrition, and causing an increase in the population. Obviously, these masses of young or adult population, not finding sufficient resources to live in their areas of origin, or under the psychic drive of the desire for a more rewarding life, go in search (often deluding themselves) of better prospects of life in the economically (but not forever) more advanced areas. Certainly our planet is going into crisis also due to the excessive human demand for resources, which is unprecedented in its history.
The emotional feelings determined by the psychic dynamics in relation (and as a reaction) to events of this gravity show, with their ambivalence, the naivety of the hope that human problems can be solved by relying on the spontaneity of the human psyche. In fact, be it in the case of a feeling – which we can define as positive – of love for our fellowmen and human solidarity, which pushes towards an unconditional acceptance of masses of poor people in search of better living conditions (for whose needs someone will then have to provide), as well as in the case of a feeling – perhaps negative, but understandable – which leads to setting limits on indiscriminate reception, due to the too high number of potential migrants, the problems generated by the growth of the human population of the planet cannot be solved, except by placing a limit on that growth. Obviously, those who believe that the value of life consists in manifesting love and solidarity towards the poor and the needy, are induced to behave accordingly not to solve the problems of this world on the basis of more or less intelligent and reasonable evaluations, but with the aim of a possible reward that they believes they can obtain in the Spirit dimension, or, more simply, because their conscious Ego identifies with the attunements determined by the psyche's polarity perceived as positive. However, always remaining in the context of this life, it would be appropriate to remember that, precisely because of the bipolar character of the human psyche, sometimes the intentions felt as positive, and the consequent behaviors, determine effects that, over time, show negative aspects that had not been evaluated carefully enough.
The splitting of consciousness into a multitude of individual human organisms – each with its particular endowment of positive and negative experiences, which increases over time – who try to interact in different ways, sometimes helping each other, other times confronting even violently, continues to be an enigmatic phenomenon also in light of the information on the Spirit dimension that we can deduce from many NDEs. That dimension, in fact, presents aspects so different from those of human life, that inevitably the conscious Ego that has experienced it ends up considering the latter – if not just as a dream – at least as a temporary and evanescent form of reality, and therefore of a lower quality than the permanent reality of the spiritual dimension, which however can be experienced as such only once the Ego has definitively concluded the experience of organic life. But as long as the Ego remains bound to the life of its organism, the Spirit dimension can only be thought, imagined or, at best, experienced through a gap in the temporal dimension that opens up and then closes again, as is well known by all those who have been forced against their will to return to their bodies, or those who resort to psychedelics to experience alternative and impermanent forms of reality. It is evident that the conscious Ego yearns to feed on an energy of which in this world it finds traces and surrogates in some forms of experience that have a temporary effect: yet a full immersion in the inexhaustible source of that energy is precluded to it, at least as long as it must remain bound to its own psychophysical system.
Psychic tension in human relationships
It is surely possible to imagine a life of relationship in which the encounter with the other represents the approach of two essences by their nature similar which, as a result of the mutual contact, feel both pervaded by a form of positive energy. This is what usually happens in the Spirit dimension, at least according to what we are told by many NDErs. In the dimension of organic life, however, interpersonal relationships almost always involve two or more Egos, each of which is subjected to the tensions that the psyche determines in terms of desires, worries, or positive or negative dynamics of various kinds, with all the sentimental and emotional reactions that may result from them. Each Ego inevitably brings with it its own psychic attunements, which – as a result of the relationship – are subject to a series of reactive interactions (which we could define as chemical) with those of the other. These psychic tensions – which, in the various forms in which they occur, have been extensively described and empirically studied – not infrequently involve the Ego with that particular intensity that distinguishes the so-called sentimental life, to the point that the Ego can be completely absorbed by them, whether it is a matter of tensions perceived as positive, to which the Ego can be irresistibly attracted, or in the case of negative tensions, from which the Ego is unable to escape despite the suffering it has to endure, or which it is induced to arouse in the other for retaliation.
The study of human relationships makes us well understand how the energetic tensions that are produced due to the bipolar character of the psychic energy and the dynamics resulting from the various interactions between people – through which these energetic tensions accumulate and discharge – determine for the conscious Ego all that range of emotional feelings that goes from the positive extreme of an intense happiness to the negative extreme of a distressing despair, even in the case in which the organism does not present evident signs of trauma and injuries, or symptoms of diseases and malfunction. Only in some cases, for example when the fact of maintaining or losing the means of subsistence depends on the outcome of a certain relationship, it can be thought that the organism reacts negatively to the prospect of having to face a situation of risk for its wellbeing or its own survival, but often things are not like that: in the case, for example, of an unrequited falling in love, or of an intense desire whose satisfaction depends on the decisions of another person, the suffering that the Ego may have to endure depends on a psychic tension from which the Ego cannot escape, even if all the vital needs of its organism are satisfied. Anyway, we can recognize an interconnection between the complex dynamics determined by the way in which the psyche's energetic tension manifests itself in human interactions and relationships, and the emotional and sentimental reactions - both positive and negative - that the Ego experiences and to which it reacts, often automatically, aware of what it is experiencing, but lacking any knowledge about the functioning of the psychic dynamics by which it is involved and with which it unconsciously identifies. In this respect, it makes sense to speak of a subjugation of the Ego (and its resources) by the psychic energy.
In matters relating to the increasing of the knowledge that we humans can have at our disposal, we come every now and then to a point in which we understand that it no longer makes sense to ask ourselves the question of why something exists (as is the case, for example in physics, of the force of gravity or electromagnetic energy), but we can just recognize the evident existence of that phenomenon, renouncing to ascertain and verify its cause. Also with regard to psychic energy and the influence it exerts on the feelings and emotions that involve the Ego, as a conscious subject and experimenter of the effects of the psyche, we are in the same condition: we have to recognize the existence of energies and dynamics whose cause is beyond our human capacity for understanding. However, we can ask ourselves whether the resources available to the Ego can in turn exert an influence on the dynamics of the psyche: in order to answer this question, it is first of all necessary to bear in mind how the fragmentation of consciousness into a plurality of organisms, each with an Ego whose resources greatly vary from one person to another, makes it difficult, or even impossible, to define a standard model of the Ego. Even when, as in the pages of this blog, we limit ourselves to attributing to the Ego the essential function of conscious subject of psychic experiences, we must always recognize the individual differences in the way in which the Ego reacts to the involvement in its own psychic attunements, with which it very often uncritically identifies itself.
In order to meet the needs of survival and well-being of its own organism, the Ego normally subordinates its freedom to the rules of a collective system whose functioning is determined by the ways in which the human psyche manifests itself in the political interactions between the members of that system, and the sociocultural programs deriving from them. There are cases, however, in which the Ego feels the need to defend its freedom even running the risk of its organism being damaged or eliminated due to its choices. However, even in these cases, the Ego should be able to understand if its determination still depends on being subject to psychic dynamics that fascinate and ensnare it with their numinous character of endogenous origin, showing a vitality that clearly prevails on the conventional rigidity of often obsolete and sclerotic social norms, or if it feels the need to undertake a true path of liberation from the seductive or depressing dynamics with which the psyche fascinates and deludes it. For this reason the Ego should first of all dedicate its resources to reflect on itself in order to find its true and reliable foundations, without letting itself be too much charmed by the psychic dynamics – be they of exogenous or endogenous origin – which determine those feelings and emotions that represent, as we use to say, the very essence of life, but giving them the right value, on condition that they do not deprive it of the energy needed to successfully complete the evolutionary process undertaken.
Having said this, we must necessarily recognize that – as long as we remain in the dimension of organic life – the very plurality of the Egos means that each of them must seek in itself the mysterious meaning of their own individual existence and the way to interpret this life to the best of their abilities, based on the resources at their disposal. It could be observed that, even if the paths to be followed may be various and very different from each other, the final goal is unique for everyone: but the differences remain, and consist precisely in the ways in which the various paths are followed, also taking into account the fact that, according to what is reported in many NDEs, in a lifetime the Ego can only walk a stretch of the road, and therefore, even at the end of it, the goal may still be far away. Always in the light of what many NDErs tell us, the ways in which this path of spiritual evolution can be followed are essentially two: the path of love and that of knowledge. The way of love, which is often summarized in the golden rule «love the other as you love yourself», is anything but easy to interpret and implement in the reality of human life, since the other's Ego can be entangled in its psychic dynamics as much and even more than our Ego: in principle, it is reasonably assumed that the love for others should be understood as an activity aimed at relieving their suffering and, if possible, giving them a little bit of joy. It is clear, however, that in order to give one must have, and in the general balance of the natural and psychic energies that determine the dynamics of human life there is a deficit of love that cannot simply be compensated by our good will.
In any case, the way of love implies a life of relationship, since it is based on the interactions with others and on the management of the psychic dynamics that these interactions determine. The path of knowledge, on the other hand, can also be undertaken and walked alone: in fact, its purpose is to awaken and experience the spiritual energies to which our Ego can possibly access already during this life, once it has managed to differentiate itself from the psychic dynamics in which it is normally involved. Knowledge is directed first of all towards the various psychic attunements that the Ego directly experiences in the various circumstances of its life, and then – indirectly – towards the psychic attunements experienced by other people, on the basis of the information that the Ego is able to acquire in this regard. However, it should be remembered that the Ego cannot arbitrarily take the path of knowledge as a consequence of a free choice, but can do it only if and when a thorough examination of the experiences of its own life, and of the ways in which it has let itself being involved in its own psychic dynamics, induces it to turn its attention and interest towards the mystery of its individual existence, leaving it no choice but to explore its own true essence. However, the way of love remains more normal, and in a certain sense more human, even if the results it obtains are not always the ones hoped for: on the other hand, the way of knowledge does not preclude a benevolent attitude towards others, however it anyway implies a certain suspicious precaution towards the psychic dynamics in which the other's Ego can be involved, and with which it often identifies.
(to be continued)