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Ego and what it does to and for us
June 16, 2000
7:44 pm
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Guest-guest.

Talking about the girl you conversed with on the net, you said, "i felt pain in me because of the large gap in her self-esteem and mine, between the large gap in her ability to anjoy life and my own ability. There were two options, either i pulled myself close to her level or i illusioned myself that she was the one who was going to lose. i did the latter one, i though she was the one who was going to lose."

I see a ‘turd’ option. (Irish pronunciation of the word ‘third’) 🙂 What about stopping the making of comparisons altogether? Comparisons almost always result in a loser. If it’s you, you feel bad; if it’s another, you feel superior in some way to the other in your mind. The whole process of self-evaluation of personal worth by comparison to others isn’t really beneficial to you in the long run, I think.

You said, "For a moment i imagined that later in life her husband would cheat on her and she would breal up with him and then she might try to contact ME, in whom maybe she would find someone better." - How do you foresee that this would this change your life for the better?

About humor:
There is a saying that that goes like this: "For those that think, life is a tragedy; for those that feel, life is a comedy."

I reflected upon this statement, on and off, for years. I suspect that it is not saying quite what it seems to say. I think that it is actually saying that when we can get a 'feel' for life from a cosmic level and from a perspective beyond time then the tragedies in our life takes on a far less serious hue. The seriousness with which we normally view these tragedies is truly comical. If we constrain ourselves to 'thinking' obout ourselves within the constraints of our short life span and our vulnerable physical body, then life is 'tragic'. We are born, struggle to achieve our maximum potential, then degrade and decay to inevitably die within a very short time. It is the 'ego' that rebels against the thought of our own non-existence as a separate entity. For the 'ego', even from a spiritual perspective, the thought of our merging back into the 'Ocean of the Life Force' and losing our identity, is repugnant.

June 16, 2000
8:28 pm
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Tylos.
You said, "This subject is very complicated and has many many facets.To begin dealing with it means to go to concepts and issues,...." True; this is why "science is DIVIDING things", as you put it.

And you continued with, "(these concepts) I think, are beyond the goals of this website." I'm not sure that this is so. Over the last two years that I have been here, some very 'meaty' issues and concepts have been discussed. Often they are relegated to the social issues BB. though. The concept of the 'ego' itself is a deep and demanding concept to truly grasp. But I do agree with you that this is not an academic discussion forum; if that is what you implied.

June 18, 2000
11:09 am
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When we look inward we may find difficulty touching those areas of ourselves that have not been looked at. We seem to armor ourselves with this unwillingness to explore our resistance.Yes, we all have ego.....How we present it is quite another matter. My view is don't get around it ,get into it, get off it, get on with it........sometimes, more often than not, ego seems to be a case of mistaken identity.

June 19, 2000
10:40 am
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I think too often people mistake the term ego with self-identity. I mean, as the Freudian definition goes, you can't relaly have a "big ego" as the saying goes.

It's the ruthless self-analysis that really gets me when it comes to western countries. Everyone starts out explaining why they are troubled, when after a while you should begin to realize that the past is just that. Past. And each individual has the responsibilty to face life on their own terms. Good old Adler always says that each individual is responsible for his own state of mind, especially neurotics.

I was recently reading some of Allport and Cattell's research. Different theorists, similar ideas about how the conglomeration of traits we have and enviornmental influences produce personality and that since there are millions of permutations of those personality trait/environment combinations, that explains differences in personality.

Anyways, they basically stated that the neurotic is one who seeks aid from others for perceived psychological problems. Huh. I have began to wonder whtehr all those seeking therapy are simply crying out of an ear to listen to their woes, like the older female relative who likes to detail her ailments to you when you call her.

Mmmm. Love to hear those bodily ailment stories. yum yum yum.

June 19, 2000
5:44 pm
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Cici.
You said "...while you should begin to realize that the past is just that. Past." Oh, if only that were true. The problem, Cici, is that the past is ever present as emotional memories that, when triggered by certain external events, set the state of our body arousal BEFORE our cognitive assessment of the event is completed. Thus, in these instances, this cognitive assessment of the 'perceived threat' is grossly colored by our feelings, not the reverse. The past constantly - and mostly unconsciously - intrudes into the present. Understanding the past, and its effect on our presently experienced emotions, can free us of many painful misinterpretations of the 'cause' of our feelings.

My 90 year old dementia ridden dad is a classic example of what I am talking about. He was a clerk in charge of a small government department. Yesterday in hospital some orderly was filling out a form for him. This triggered of an emotional memory of anxiety from the past. This emotional memory had a fragment of contextual memory still intact and associated with it. My dad thought that he was still at work as he was thirty years ago. He had insufficient cognitive abilities left to realise that this was not so. As his 'surrogate' cognitive processor trying to pacify my dad's emotions, I had an extremely difficult job.

I see this same process happening within me. If I realise that I have no direct threat in the present and the fear that I feel is nothing more than an unconsciously triggered emotional memory, for which I have no conscious contextual memory to associate it with in the past, then I am able to talk to my emotional self and pacify my fear arousal.

In my father's case, when fearful emotional memories are triggered, the past has almost absolute control. Anti-depressant drugs are his only hope. This is not so in cases where people have a reasonable level of cognitive development and there is a reasonable understanding of the emotional processes.

Oh, I do wish that my painful past emotional experiences were indeed past and it was simply a case of saying 'past is past'. Then perhaps I could agree with R.D.Laing and walk through the open prison door into the beautiful sunlight a completely 'free' man. Then Vietnam Vets might no longer cringe at the sound of choppers or a car backfire. But, as least most of the time, Vietnam Vets know where there recalled fears originated in this regard and can recognise that they are no longer in 'country'. Cognitive self pacification of the emotional arousal is then possible.

But what of those terrible dissociated fears that are not connected to contextual memories. Without understanding, their 'cause' is naturally associated with the present only. In such cases people 'joust with phantoms' without knowing it. I see heaps of this type of 'jousting' as evidenced by the heat that often emanates during certain discussions on these BB's. Often therapy is required to facilitate dealing with the 'past' in order to expose the tyranny that fearful emotional memories exert over the 'present'.

Thanks for all your postings, Cici. They are highly informed and interesting.

June 24, 2000
2:10 pm
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Tez, what should that therapy accomplish? Discovering the contextual memories? Reprogramming? Cognitive therapy?

I have been in therapy for months and still don't really understand the process, or even the purpose. I have tried reading books but that just clouds the issue.

Can you help me understand better? Also some clarification of the Therapist/client relationship. I am very confused.

Cici? What do you think? What tangent of psychotherapy would you most like to practice? What has helped you most? WHY? I so want to understand...

June 26, 2000
1:02 pm
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I realy like humanistic and existential psychology. The idea behind both is that each individual must find a meaning and purpose for their own lives. By doing so, you feel more happy about your life and it's directions. Existential psychology also finds meaning in suffering itself. All too often, in America especially, we see suffering as negative and bad and something that should be avoided. Well, obviously you can't avoid it. I see it as God asking me if I am strong enough. I see suffering as an opportunity to grow and become wiser and see the reality of things, rather than the rose-colored glasses.

My friend went on Paxil for three months. He said it was good in one way because it helped him out of depression. but it was bad ebcause he had a hard time having normal emotional reactions. It's like none of us have learned teh adequate coping mechanisms to deal with pain and suffering and now we wan to be medicated out of it.

My psychiatrist recommended that I go on either a drug for bipolar mood disorder or an anti-depressant. I said no. I'd rather deal with my feelings and work through them and each time I conquer my feelings of low self-esteem and inadequacy, each time I stop myself from following through when something triggers an emotional response, I am stronger and I triumph.

The goal of therapy. Hmm.

The psychologist is there is assess your current position and how you got there. Then he or she must find out where YOU want to be. Then he or she must help to guide you to that place. If you're confused about your therapy, you're seeing the wrong therpaist. And that's very common, since each terapist espouses a different view of psychopathology and treats it in different ways.

What helped me most? Reading Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. It puts you in the proper perspective. Frankl was a psychologist himself. He often only saw his patients once or twice! One day I hope to travel to vienna to study at his school of logotherapy.

July 2, 2000
12:17 am
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When a person lets his/her ego cloud better sense and judgement, and it almost causes another to loose his/her life, that is a BIG problem. Case in point: My mother had to undergo surgery for breast cancer. She has a blood disorder which prevents her from clotting. My Uncle, her husband, who is relatively well versed in this disorder, having gone through 15 years of dealing with, tried to steer the doctors in the wrong direction because he just knew he knew more than they did on the subject. After several, and I mean several infusions of three different blood products and DDAVP to help with the clotting, the doctors were able to get mom's clotting time to within normal range. My uncle was all over the place with his "medical" advice, which, had the doctors continued to listen to him, mom would have a) never had the life saving surgery, or b) had bled to near death during the surgery.

Why am I telling this story? Because the fall out from my Uncle's over blown ego is still continuing. Even when he was shown, by the medical professionals that his way of wanting things done would cause great harm, he still insisted he was right. If he had of stepped outside of the ego control, would he not have been a more rational individual? Or, is there a more sinister plot afoot?

July 5, 2000
12:24 am
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tez!

sorry wrong thread i just wanted to ask what kind of meditation have u done?
i noticed today i was in bed, i was relaxed and i felt for maybe 2 seconds that i was very solid, very sure. i wonder if meditation can do that to me so i can stay in that state forever. it was nice, peaceful, i felt 'in' myself, my concentration was on me instead of other things.

July 5, 2000
8:00 am
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I'm not Tez, but yes, meditation is a wonderful method for regaining control of our innerself. Suggested material would be "Guided Meditations, Explorations and Healings" by Stephen Levine. Some apply at one time, some apply at others, but they all bring one back to center. Meditiation takes some practice, but the benefits are wonderful. Be at peace, Guest_guest.

July 5, 2000
4:27 pm
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Guest-guest.
I was heavily into Bramha Kumaris Raja Yoga for several years. I went over to India to attend their 'spiritual university' as they called it. I still meditate in the same way. It works! But it is not a short cut to instant happiness. Like anything else, it takes lots of practice.

Yes meditation is a very powerful way of stilling the mind, finding inner peace, serenity and calm. It is about finding a direct link with 'That which is'. Some call that, God; others Jehovah, Allah, Om, Atman. The BK Raj Yogis call Him, Baba or Father. I rather like the expression Great Spirit or Supreme Essence or Self (spelt with a capital 'S')

PS I haven't spat the dummy and dissappeared. I have my ring hanging out with all the work I have to do.:-)

July 6, 2000
8:10 am
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Tez: Good to see you in words.

July 7, 2000
8:17 pm
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Spirit.
Seeing me in words might just be preferable to seeing me in the flesh. I getting a bit 'rough around the edges' these days. My 'use by' date isn't far away. 🙂

July 7, 2000
10:49 pm
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Happens to the best of us. I can't even find my freshness dating stamp. Far better to loose that than one's sense of humor. Actually, I am looking forward to the age when I can say and do just about anything and people just shake their heads and say poor thing...

July 8, 2000
5:00 am
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thnx spirit and tez ..
meditation looks like hard work..
*sigh* ..

July 8, 2000
5:01 am
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i know u'll say now, "no pain without gain." *sigh* !

but in my life, all pains and no gains!!

July 8, 2000
4:51 pm
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guest guest.....what keeps you chained up within yourself? At the risk of you getting angry , there comes a time to shit or get off the pot......not the most pleasent way to say it takes a certain amount of commitment and consistency, even when you don't feel like working at a better you. Speaking of risk, looking into what holds you back is a risk in itself. But, you need to hear that taking this risk to become who you say you want to be is well worth all the effort you can gather.

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