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Mystical Musings

Pondering all the big questions without ignoring the little ones. No religion, no agenda, nothing for sale. Talk about everything from string theory to sacred geometry and from meditation to summoning spirits. There is no specific category for the musings here just that there's a bit of the mystical rubbed on it. Dream interpretation? Definitely. Astral trips? Absolutely. Tarot? Terrific. OK, enough alliteration. This zone builds itself.
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ego vs. Ego

    ego vs. Ego
    In a recent conversation I was having regarding community living the discussion took a turn for the interesting when the person I was speaking with, one living in a small community setting of about 15 people, made the following comment; “Out of 15 of us, not even 2 have the same goals.” He then expounded on his own goals which were, “…to live life, be successful and contribute to helping make the world a better place.” As I pondered his words I couldn’t help but think something was a little off, then I thought about Ego vs. ego. This isn’t a take on Freud and it is no more based on neuroscience than Freud’s theory regarding id, ego and superego. It’s quite simple really. The Ego, with a capital letter “E” represents what we do that is driven by our desire to impress others while what is driven by ego, with a lower case “e” are things we do to connect with others. Intent comes into play and of course there are fine lines as there are with many things. For the sake of keeping this piece moving however, I will go back to the conversation about community living and use these bits of it as an example to illustrate my point.


    With regard to the above comments my friend made, I’ll begin with the one about no two people having the same goals. I have rarely seen any community where everyone has the same goals and I have lived in and contributed to in one way or another, no small amount of them. His statement made me think of goals in general. It could be said that most goals are personal goals, which means people are invested in them. Whether it is their time, their money or even their former sense of physical, mental and/or spiritual security in some cases, there are likely sacrifices they have already made to achieve their goals or to be in a position to obtain them. In other words, there is attachment to the goals one has invested in, they feel strongly about them. Here is where Ego vs. ego comes into play since the attachment I am referring to comes from either one or the other with regard to each one of a person’s goals. While the complete explanation is a bit complicated, for right now, let's just say that big “E” is the unhealthy place of Ego and little “e” is not, more on that later, suffice to say, not all things that come from a place of ego are damaging while almost all things coming from a place of Ego are.

    So there is the aspect of ego goals are rooted in to take into account and then there is method. How does one go about obtaining their goals? Here again are the goals my friend listed, remember, he prefaced this list with a comment about no two people in his community having the same goals. To reiterate, he said he wanted, “…to live life, be successful and contribute to helping make the world a better place.” First, to live life, a thing I would guess others in any community, or in none, want. Secondly, to be successful, with regard to this one I just can't imagine many people in any community (or not) running around saying, "Hey! I want to fail and fail miserably." And finally, to make the world a better place. That last is a loftier goal since we, each of us, create our own world based on our own experiences in it. However, as we create our world it stands to reason that we would want to improve it, at least a vast majority would want to. Of course, how each one of us defines improvement may vary.

    So in reality, it would seem as though the goals are actually the same while it is the approach to achieving them that may be different and thus become a point of contention. Unfortunately, if ego decides that we “don't share the same goals,” not as much can be accomplished since that is a decision made that impedes movement forward. It can get even worse if Ego steps in with a superiority complex regarding its own approach, believing that its method for attainment of the goal is the best way over all others. Worse still with regard to community is that there may be people in that setting whose only goal is to live in the community rather than within it. To be clear, think of the human body. In the example, if one lives in a community they are more equated to a parasite, sucking the life out of the community and its members. Living within the community are the white blood cells, helping in symbiosis with other cells to remove such parasitic growths. The cells living within the community may each have different functions, or approaches, but their goal is one and the same, keep the dis-ease at bay.

    What I'm getting at here is that often, what we think are differing goals are actually just different approaches to the same goal. If we look at it with ego, we might see that, if we look with Ego, we may not. Also, just because a person has a different approach to obtaining a goal doesn't make their approach any more or less valid than another person’s. So let’s consider method. Even if two people have the same goal, unless it's something easy, like, "My goal is to make toast" it is likely that their method to obtain that goal will be different than another person’s. That can end up being another point (or many points) of contention. Within the context of our conversation I came to the conclusion that first and foremost a community has to be able to communicate. Also, people who live in community should have not only their own personal goals, but also have goals that are for the betterment of the entire community. A person whose goals all come from Ego does not belong in a community setting in the first place, they simply aren't ready.

    Each day we wake up and we are immediately immersed in a whirlwind of goals, some big and some small. Take a shower, get to work, perform well on the job to take pride in it, etc. A goal itself comes from a place of either ego or Ego as does the approach to obtaining it and fine lines abound. People who are givers tend to say things like, “I didn’t do it for you, I did it for me. It makes me feel good to help out.” I understand that sentiment, the good feeling one gets from helping out. That feeling is fodder for the beast (aka: Ego) or the buddy (aka: ego) it’s up to us to decide which to feed. Both aspects of ego are present in all of us, both serve their purpose, but as with so many other things, balance is important in maintaining a healthy relationship with ones goals and methods for obtaining them. A healthy balance between Ego and ego helps with the methods we use to implement our goals.