Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The tyranny of the idealized self

It's a repeat. But worth repeating! It's from John Welwood's really marvelous book, Toward a Psychology of Awakening:

The continual activity of grasping onto an ego identity is essentially narcissistic, for it keeps us occupied with propping up an image of ourselves. Even Freud recognized the narcissism inherent in the ego when he wrote, "The development of the ego consists in a departure from primal narcissism and results in a vigorous attempt to recover it." So if we truly want to move beyond narcissistic self-involvement, we must work on overcoming our identification with whatever we imagine ourselves to be - any image of ourselves as something solid, separate, or defined. The less involved we are with images of who we are, the more we will be able to recognize our deep bond with all sentient beings, as different expressions of the mystery that also pervades our inmost nature.
Our true, deep nature is so much richer, so much more free than our ego can ever be! But if our objective is constantly that of propping up the ego, we will never access that inmost part of our reality.

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