Life connecting ego ensuing integrity of the ego
Uroboric state – ego is only a potential. primary ego self-identity
Emerging ego – create an identity with self
Partly conscious ego and self
Total separation of ego and self-complete consciousness of ego/self-identity
- Self –Total psyche – objective identity (conscious and unconscious)- subordinates Ego to it
- Ego – conscious personality, subjective identity
- First half-life– ego development – ego self-separation. More separation between the self and the ego
- The second half– surrender and ego relates to self
Identification of the ego (small ego) – arrogated ego to the self (larger) and blows up beyond its size limits. When the parent begins to reject the child’s demands, the original inflation begins to dissolve, and alienation begins, where the ego/self-axis is damaged. The child is Exiled from paradise, with permanent wounding and separation occurring. The ego grows and separates from an unconscious identity with the self. There is inflation when someone equates their personal truth to the universal truth.
The Ego’s original oneness with nature (Garden of Eden) is an unconscious state of being experienced as one’s self, where the ego is contained in the world of the self. The story of Adam and Eve depicts the separation of the feminine and masculine aspects, causing alienation from the experience of the original wholeness—the birthing of consciousness through the awareness of opposites. The serpent is the symbol of redemption from bondage to the demiurge that keeps man in ignorance. The serpent urges the self into realisation with a new consciousness emerging with the principles of individuation. The birth of the ego comes with nakedness and primitive sexuality, which have become taboo and objects of shame in modern society.
The Ego must learn to appropriate the energy (libido/life force) to become autonomous, initiating ego development at the price of suffering. The inherent wound and injury become painful through awareness and consciousness. Any acquisition of consciousness is deemed a crime against those in power, parents or authority figures. A crime against the collective challenges the individual’s identification within the collective aspect, be it the parent, religion or nation. If the ego stays too long within the self, passion and instincts become a hellfire, burning one’s energy in personal pleasure, personal craving, and desire stemming from ignorance of reality. A torturous world if the ego stays identified with it. The self and ego must be intact or in contact for the ego to grow. Symptoms of the damage are due to a lack of acceptance and feelings of not being worthy of existence.
The ego or individual goes through a sequence of rejection, alienation, repentance, restitution, and renewal. Each increment of consciousness and the growth cycle can be short-circuited, caught between rejection, inflation and alienation, creating more and more frustration and despair. The will of the self is always challenged through the seven deadly sins – pride, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, avarice and sloth, and indications of inflation via their participation. Archetypes with no containment lead to an out-of-control ego projection into personal and materialistic gains. When God is dead, the energy flows back to the individual original symptoms. Here are three examples
- Succumbs to a meaningless life
- Narcissism- libido to the Ego
- Projection onto some political/religious movement. Live out unresolved conflicts deriving energy from the external world, the collective through idealisation.
Development into consciousness -the breakthrough usually comes through an extreme alienation experience.
An immature ego is too inflated to acknowledge the authority of the self, where attachments to lesser values must be destroyed when searching for meaning. Much of the libido which maintains conscious interest and vitality has sunk into the unconscious. Satan, the bringer of light, through the suffering he inflicts upon you, drives one inward into the unconscious. The individuated ego is split between subject and object, and a sense of unitary reality replaces the dichotomy between inner and outer. By applying consciousness and attention to the task of refining and separating this composite mixture to the end, one frees the self from the contamination of the ego. Defences to ward off truth and shore up self-esteem; however, one cannot tolerate any blow to the inflated ego. Contempt for a narcissistic injury is another common strategy to evade pain and take a superiority stance. Angry indignation is another defence.
- Blames others for their own mistakes
- Detractors dealt with superiority and contempt
- Rage and indignation at the slightest challenge to self-esteem
- False attributions – I feel pain. Therefore you must be responsible for causing me to feel this way.
Narcissistic injury is felt as shame and humiliation, and one will seek to annihilate the external source of it. The Core shame of a failed attachment between child and mother creates a sense of inner ugliness. The Insecure mother and emotional equilibrium are broken when the child behaves in a counter way, trying to be self-assertive or self-activating. The child can’t build authentic self-esteem and uses success and external validation to hide the injury and wound, giving relief to the unconscious shame and anxiety. The ego thinks everything happens within its perspective, and the mind is of one’s making. Egocentric behaviour and demands on others are manifestations of our failure to give ourselves enough self-love or prestige, developing coercive tactics in the guise of virtue, love of altruism, blind without awareness. Narcissistic alienation of an ego that can’t love, can’t give interest and libido to life and is not related to itself. Frustrated state of yearning for something that does not exist. Unconscious unity submitted to dismemberment and dispersal
The shadow contains an infantile stubborn, treacherous feminine ego that has never had the chance to live. Self-reflection can drive out possession and release the putrefied emotion. If the weak ego is committed to beauty, light and lies, it is vulnerable to invasion by the dark aspects of the self with no boundaries, physically or psychologically. They lack close body bonding with their mother and don’t bond with their own bodies. The Body is sealed with an idealised mother/father, sealing other men and women out. An impenetrable goddess where women are gods having to own their own cage, with shadow aspects projected onto others. Archaic sexuality is in the unconscious body, which can’t be conquered through sex. The shadow driven by anxiety is a ridden rough shot of all moral or human wishes, where one must strengthen the ego before it can tackle the unconscious.
Three types of countertransference
- Power – the need or desire to have control with emotional splitting to create feelings of otherness. Projects shadow imago onto the therapist and attack them or tries to make them shape up. Pulling out or leaving is the ultimate power play of the client.
- Shamanism – the same is not as opposites. Identification occurs, and the relationship intensifies with the client’s identity emerging as he penetrates the ego. Pass the cure to the client after healing the illness. Creativity and revelation of the self are not cultivated by mastery (power) or healing (shamanism).
- Maieutic- A Socratic mode of inquiry which aims to bring a person’s latent ideas into clear consciousness. The false self is created via a long process of identification and introjection. The true self is the one which emerges in therapy, where the unconscious is constellated or allowed to reveal its contents for inspection and integration.
Patient neurosis manifests as an inability to tolerate a wholesome relationship without the emergence of powerful, primitive forms of relating. They ask others to join in the false union, destroying any chance of conjunction—the merging of opposites. The therapist can make a wholesome relationship available, withstand individual anxieties, and highlight the dynamics and condition of the poor union. Empathic confrontation and compassion can relieve the dread of co-union and allow for the separation to begin. The borderline does not see separate objects and is not independent of the self. They have a defect in ego functioning, fearing to love and being close to a deficient reality and orientation. They use denial and projection and are prone to acting out as defending against the weekend and fragmented unconscious impulses.
The borderline lacks integration and adaptation to reality, with an inability to tolerate impulses with a fear of guilt feelings. The feeling of Hate may be stronger than love, having an intense fear of being harmed or harming the loved object by their neediness or aggression. Mood fluctuations and identity disturbances with bouts of extreme boredom and loneliness due to a lack of available Eros with no entitlement to living due to maternal deprivation. Fear of separation, abandonment and annihilation with a compensatory sense of entitlement and grandiosity. The child fears to overwhelm by internal forces, unconscious material and loss of contact with the self. The self is experienced as a projection onto the parents, with the mother’s loss experienced as a loss of the ideal state of self. A negative experience gives the ego a negative charge. Distresses the ego with disdain and doom caught between hate and rebellion to the parents and idealising them.
The child Could not ask for help in case of rejection, creating hostile fantasies of fear of abandonment. Not allowed to own achievements and, therefore, can’t take credit for achievements and increase self-esteem. Adapts to more culturally favoured male attitudes to raising self-esteem and blind one`s ego to the natural feminine aspects.
Some typical Ego defence mechanisms
- Gaslighting – denying and invalidating another person’s reality, such as claiming things did not happen when they did or that things were said when they were not. Claiming people have feelings and motivations that they don’t have. Often related to projection.
- Stonewalling honest, authentic communications. Refusing to answer, deflect questions, waking away, silent treatment, or providing red herrings.
- Blame-shifting-refusing to take responsibility for one’s actions by blaming someone else
- Projection – attributes one’s behaviours or feelings to someone else. May accuse someone of hating them because they hate themselves.
- Deflection – changes the subject or focuses on the conversation topic onto someone or something else as they want to avoid the original subject.
- Dog whistling-making comments to a group whereby one with have a different meaning tribute to it. Innocuous comments at a party may threaten your spouse or partner.
When the client has a restored connection with the inner sources of acceptance, they have an Increased ability to love, have empathy and have more realistic perceptions, no longer claiming attention and approval. Missing the therapist and grieving for the loss is a major achievement and breakthrough. Separation can occur without aggression, retaliation or abandonment and does not lead to a total loss of control and chaos. The therapist is experienced as a whole but as an extension of the needs needed to maintain self-esteem. Boundary problems with questions of sexual identity are replications of the original symbiosis, where differentiation of affects such as rage and envy could emerge, helping mediate between the opposites and stop the patient from falling apart. Regressive behaviours and episodes of confusion, fragmenting and emotions lead to flooding and new levels of integration. Regression towards the unconscious, where the child could not maintain contact with masculine qualities, is sealed in homosexual relationships. A lack of alternating experiences leads to a lack of impulse control. A state of survival is bound up and dependent upon another person, with the threat of annihilation ever-present.
The aim is to be freed of projections of the self onto objects and from any partisan factions which might lead one to live out the conflict of opposites—no ideal, unique individual personality seeking meaning and validation from externals and objectivity. Modern psychology is motivated only by instincts and is anti-spiritual, with no meaningful inner life. To move away from painful symptoms, one must give up pleasurable pursuits and search for a symbolic life, transforming psychic energy (libido) into a higher, more meaningful and spiritualised existence. When the father Is unknown, there is no layer between the ego and archetypal father, a hole left in the psyche where the collective unconscious emerges and the development of the superego.
Inundation of the ego by the unconscious forces leads to disorientation and loss of relation to external reality. If the ego can survive, it can provide a window for insights into the depths of being, breaking up of parts and dissolving, allowing new parts for conscious assimilation, and sacrificing the self as an external image to manifest conscious energy (magnetic field of force). Ones feel the Libido of despair between the old life and the proceeding birth of another, consciousness after the crucifixion ordeal. Symbolised with Jesus as the Ego and Christ as the self, merging the human being (ego) and the cross (Mandela) becoming one.
Five elements – fire, air, water, earth and quintessence-are brought about by the unification of the first four elements. Dove – holy ghost. Aphrodite (mother of desires). The dove descends, transforming a cosmic self as the messenger to activate the deadened libido/desire. The flower baits the unconscious out of the ego to lure it into the process of individuation. They have appropriated with naked truth and the commitment to the relationship as there is the prospect of war escalating via opposition and hostility from others. The descent into the bath, dissolution, baptism and rejuvenation dissolves the soil and ordered structure of the ego and returns to an undifferentiated state.
- Immature ego– to rid of painful experiences into blissful ones
- Mature ego– human of non-being -flee from experience in terror
The seeking Individual has embraced the object of his internal desires, where the process of merging has begun developing blissful intimacy. War has been declared in the collective, where there is no window of awareness, just living with no experience covered by a dark veil. The individual needs to recognise how the opposites work and create the culmination of unity—unconscious nature where the lion swallows the sun. Intercourse in dreams represents intimacy between the ego and animus/anima. Instructive desire is given up to a new form of love with a need for discerning, evaluating, and discriminating consciousness to stimulate imagination and self-realisation of the libido and spiritual.
Edinger, E., 2017. Ego and Archetype. 2nd ed. Boston, Mass.: Shambhala.
1. Ego Death and Stages of Ego Death: https://www.conjunctio.co.uk/ego-death-and-stages-of-ego-death/
2. The Central Ego: https://www.conjunctio.co.uk/the-central-ego/