"As separate individuals, we live in separate cultures haunted by the vague memory of an intimacy that we all share. Let us, all together, chase the very horizon of existence, the edge of understanding, the point at which new sensations, emotions, thoughts and ideas begin to emerge… and let us bring this intimacy alive." ~Alex Mero
Wanting to know more about our person and the situations from the past that have contributed to making us what we are now, is not an unhealthy curiosity in itself. However, it is important to keep in mind that the information we obtain from such sessions, permits us to know more about our person, the ego-based content, and not our true selves. Psychoanalysis is but a first step. If we want to know who we truly are, we have to undergo a further step, and that is to leave behind this ego content once we recognize it for what it is…
What is the final destination on our path to self-discovery?
Let me define what I mean by “self-discovery”: it is the process of an introspective inquiry, followed by a challenge of all our beliefs. Therefore, part of the quest itself is an individual analysis of our personality, an exercise that enables us to realize the different facades of our personalities, and how they came to be. Another part of the quest is to remove these facades, setting us free from all that imprisoned us. This ultimately leads us to a dimension where there is no self, no ego, but a void; a dimension where silence and clarity reign, and we’re able to reach the perfect state in which to contemplate reality.
Is it at all possible to deconstruct the “ego” in today’s society? And how would it be like not to have an illusion of an identity?
The process of deconstructing the ego is indeed an opposition to what is thought and encouraged in our competitive society. I emphasize that it is a deconstruction as opposed to a destruction of the ego. Clearly, our ego needs to remain in a separate element in order to allow us to differentiate ourselves and ascertain our actions. The deconstruction of the ego is certainly possible, and in fact, it happens more frequently then we realize. It happens each time we become aware of what we are not, and defines our true essence. What remains when the separation between “me” and “other” fades is a new sense of collective consciousness, freer of self-interest. The more the separation lifts, the more we acquire an intimate, peaceful and altruistic attitude towards others.
What is your opinion on the relationship between ego and self-image? How can we diminish our ego without affecting our self-image?
Our self-esteem comes from who we believe ourselves to be. We become what our thoughts tell us we should be. When we understand how this works, we perceive better what we are not, and that we are in reality, other than what we have made ourselves to be. We discover a greater beauty in us, one which is not from the ego, but emanating from deep within us. This beauty is none other than Love. The more in harmony we are with this beauty from within, the more we perceive the sensory world, as well as ourselves, as beautiful.
How do you see the relationship between negative emotions and ego?
Negative emotions are related to greed, attachment, hatred, pride, envy, and other factors that make up our ego. Our ego is what we use to identify ourselves, and so we seek to protect it at all costs. The ego itself does not exist and is in no way an entity, but our attachment to ego prevents us from recognizing the reality of things. This ignorance is the source of our negative emotions, as it creates a barrier between “ourselves” and “others”. It is this alternation between attraction and repulsion that sets off a stream of thoughts and emotions, which are in turn reflected through words and actions, and which are the cause of our suffering. For this reason, when we discover that the ego is nothing more than a figment of our imagination we begin to feel tremendously liberated.
How can we rid ourselves of “conditioning” if it is indeed in our memories?
Our thoughts react to what’s stored in our memories, starting with the conditioned part of our conscience. This means that each thought is formed as a result of the past therefore no thought can ever be new. A thought can be the result of a combination of different thoughts, which no one conceived before, but it is still based on the past, and therefore, on conditioning. Something brand new can only emerge if we manage to clear contents of the past, which doesn’t imply their disappearance from our consciousness, but simply not allowing their dominance in our thoughts. The potential for insight or foresight is called intuition; most of us underestimate the value of this potential because we’re so attached to the old ways of thinking that we remain closed off to other methods of observation and perception, thus preserving the past, and conditioning. In essence, to rid yourselves of conditioning, listen to your intuition or inner self, since that comes from a place of truth, and is the only way to generate brand new thoughts.
We have the habit of viewing a person’s personality as something permanent. Admittedly, human beings are believed to have recognizable behaviors and personalities which seldom change, but this can’t be totally correct since if this was true, than spiritual evolution would be impossible. On the contrary, the possibilities of transforming our personalities are endless! Our personality, like all other things, is dependent on the circumstances it’s exposed to, and we know that all things change when the conditions they’re dependent upon are altered. The very essence of our Being is a perpetual ever-changing and ever-evolving essentiality. Each time we act in a conscientious way, a very precise intention is reinforced, and each time we resist the temptation of an act, the tendency for this temptation is weakened; and this is how our character is molded at every moment.