Although the narcissistic ego is often the loudest voice speaking within us, vociferously arguing for its own viewpoint, and vehemently demanding limitless, immediate, sometimes inappropriate, recklessly impulsive, potentially addictive, gratification of its insatiable desires and cravings, it is not our most essential, inherent, trustworthy, true inner voice, not our real self, not the source of our genuine happiness, security, psychological maturity, spiritual evolution, self-understanding, and overall wellbeing.
The individual selfish ego is strongly influenced by a collective negativity nature, which can sometimes function in a rather subliminal/subconscious, insidious, delusional, abusive, predatory, addictive, self-defeating, self-conflicted, self-contradictory, problematic, self-disturbing, narcissistically self-absorbed, even autistic, manner. The narcissistic ego continuously urges us to become addicted to various kinds of false cravings, often for unhealthy, unwholesome, toxic, substances, attitudes, and habits, as a way of escaping from a deeper, but unreal, sense of basic deficiency, inner emptiness, and fearful insecurity, which the ego tries to cover over by superimposing a distracting false façade of artificial pleasurable sensations and self-definitions, which can become rather grandiose and unrealistic, sometimes accompanied by destructively demonic energies and rather insane urges in the most extreme forms of selfish egoism. These various forms of ego-gratification are basically designed to provide quasi substitutes for the natural, genuine euphoria, excitement, vitality, security, wellbeing, and divine grandeur, that are intrinsic to our real being, and only imitated by the various intense, often addictive, compulsive, unhealthy, unwholesome, conditionally acquired, readily lost, sensations, substances, habits, and attitudes that the narcissistic ego or separate sense of self-awareness urges us to pursue.
It is important to distinguish between “healthy appetites”, that are truly natural, life-given, urges, and that can actually enhance our overall enjoyment of life, in contradistinction to unhealthy, addictive, unnatural or distorted, appetites, or false cravings, that can be detrimental to our overall wellbeing and functioning, including potentially having serious negative, degenerative, toxic, effects upon our physical health, psychological stability, moral character, personal social relationships, professional career, etc. With addictive false cravings, we become “possessed by our possessions”, so to speak, so that our heart, mind, and body, become burdened with heavy “psychological baggage”, and related blocked energy clogging, which can greatly diminish our ability to satisfy our real, natural, life-given, needs. Seeking to gratify unreasonably demanding, even insatiable and addictive, egocentric cravings can also impair our overall level of wellbeing, security, happiness, genuine freedom of choice, psychological constructiveness, as well as our overall health, vitality, and productive functioning of heart, mind, and body.
Furthermore, extreme forms of narcissistic, selfish, self-absorption can produce psychological disturbances, contrary to optimal sanity, involving diminished investment in contact with objective reality situations in the world, as the mind, heart, and body become increasingly narcissistically self-absorbed and self-deluded by pursuing unrealistic egocentric assumptions and insatiable cravings, as a continuous inner monologue, incessant mind-chatter, or fantasy pseudo-life, which can impede our ability to tune into the actual experiential truth of ourselves, other people, and situations around ourselves, in the objective world. The only reliable way to distinguish between healthy real appetites, or constructive natural urges, and addictive, toxic, false cravings is to, at least at times, tune out the loudly demanding, argumentative, insecure and deficient-feeling, voice of the selfish ego, so that we can intuitively “hear” the “still small voice” of our soul, our true self, our inherent, original, unmodified, nature, as a life energy presence, easefully communicating to our conscious awareness from the much deeper, softer, serene, energy-heart core, source integrity, level of our being, like a clear, tranquil “inner beacon.”
The genuine inner voice of our intuitively discerned core integrity or soul gently guides us away from dangerous pitfalls and hidden traps, and leads us toward what is truly most beneficial to ourselves, and, truly, compassionately, unselfishly, helpful to other people in our life. Goals and aspirations that come from the soul, our real individual self, are consistent with our own natural, unmodified goodness of being, in contrast to the ego’s continuous, futile attempts to improve itself in some way, or to achieve a conditionally acquired, conditionally lost, sense of worth, security, grandeur, and euphoria. Those genuine, natural, needs and potentials that are inherent to our being as an individual life energy field, are distorted, overlaid, covered over, and obscured by the superimposition of false presumptive ideas and beliefs about ourselves, such as, the ego’s idealized, unrealistic, unattainable, positively value judged self-images. The psychologist Sigmund Freud referred to these unrealistic idealized self-images as the superego.
Many of the superego’s goals, desires, and values, are basically attempting to validate a competitive sense of superiority in comparison with other people, in order to enhance the ego’s tenuous, conditionally acquired, readily lost, sense of worth and self-esteem, and deny deeper feelings of presumed worthlessness, inferiority, and other negative feelings, whereas the soul, our real self, is an unconditional self-acceptance and intrinsic wellbeing, beyond all divisive positive and negative value judgments, or conditionally acquired “good” and “bad” self-evaluations. Therefore, the soul has nothing to prove about oneself, so it has no need to put itself on trial, or belittle other people, as a way of feeling better about itself, as well as defensively try to control and influence what other individuals say and do, in order to protect a fearful, fragile, sense of self, like a tenuous, collapsible, house of cards, or engage in various other kinds of insincere, manipulative, exploitative, ego mind games, as a way of denying and compensating for the ego’s basic sense of deficiency and insecurity.
Our intrinsic real self is primarily a relational self, a relational center, which can experience its inherent true nature as love and happiness only by unselfishly sharing that pure nature with other individuals. We cumulatively awaken and further develop our relational true nature as love-goodness and inherent unconditional wellbeing by expressing unconditional love, or sincere caring, to other people, unselfishly serving them to the best of our ability. Paradoxically, our greatest real hunger is to give deeply of our caring energies to other individuals, rather than seeking to gratify basically selfish, hedonistic, egocentric, cravings, because the spiritual presence of real life energy, love, happiness, beauty, and goodness, grows more consciously awakened and substantially developed in us only when we unselfishly share it with others, because it is a relational nature, not a narcissistically self-absorbed nature. In fact, excessive narcissistic self-absorption blocks and clogs our real life energies, recoiling and trapping them within the selfish ego, when our energies do not naturally flow outward to other people by expressing unselfish caring to them.
That unnatural blockage of love and life energy, trapped within the selfish, self-contained, narcissistic ego, rather than naturally flowing outward to other people, perverts, distorts, or twists, our naturally pure, wholesome, regenerative, life energy into its opposite nature, so that our energy becomes increasingly toxic, foul, unclean, degenerative, and ultimately self-destructive. In addition, that blocked life energy, trapped within the selfish ego, produces feelings of tension, fear, anger, self-confinement, self-imprisonment, as well as various other forms of inner and outer negativity. It is only by unselfishly, deeply, caring about others that our energies can be released from narcissistic self-confinement, which makes us feel, and be, much freer, more alive, joyful, secure, regenerative, creative, and productive, than what we could otherwise experience.
That relationally developed or responsively shared experience of real love-life energy produces a greater, more genuine, overall level of wellbeing, or greater inner and outer experiential positivity, in contrast to the spurious sense of euphoria that the narcissistic ego manufactures for itself through artificially induced, conditionally acquired, rapidly fading, vulgar sensations and unrealistically, exaggeratedly positive, presumptive, positive self-definitions that merely mimic the grandeur qualities that are inherent to real love-life energy.
In its most extreme forms, the selfish ego functions like an “energy vampire”, so to speak, pulling or “sucking” ever more of our conscious attention, energy, and passion, into itself, like quicksand, or like the strong inward pulling suction of a Black Hole in outer space, as an escalating, addictive, self-perpetuating, momentum of inner and outer negativity that can be very difficult to undo, whereas the maturely developed and consciously awakened, unselfishly giving, loving, nature of the soul is like an ever shining sun or star, which can never be depleted by endlessly giving of its inexhaustible warmth, light, and energy through the process of perpetual shining. That is why we naturally feel much better, in a genuine, experiential rather than artificially contrived, presumptive way, as we unselfishly express our caring-energy to others, and, thereby, experience its limitless abundance, inner substantiality, joyfulness, and overflowing fullness of being.
However, the more that we identify with the selfish ego, and therefore try to fill an experienced sense of inner emptiness, chronic lack of wellbeing, or presumptive deficiency of being, by functioning like an energy vampire, narcissistically, excessively, feeding off of the energy of others, like a voracious parasite or consuming predator, or feeding off of the energy of addictive substances and sensations, the more inwardly empty, deficient, and insubstantial, we feel, because trying to incorporate energy, vitality, or any other desired experiential state from outside of our own being reflects a presumptive conviction of limited scarcity, inner deficiency, lack of wholeness, lack of wellbeing, inertia, or lack of energy, etc. The unselfish spiritual nature of the soul, our real being, is a principle of “united we stand”, sharing a cohesive, self-consistent (coherent), relational energy that cannot be easily divided and thereby disintegrated, whereas the selfish ego is a principle of “divide and conquer”, or “divided we fall” ever deeper and deeper into self-disintegrating negativity.
Whichever nature and motivational intention we express to others becomes increasingly more strongly reinforced in our own inner and outer experience, because we can express to others, and, thereby, objectify, only whatever nature we hold ourselves to be, most essentially. Ego-related thoughts, desires, feelings, and sensations, are fleeting and vacuous, like temporary shadows, or passing clouds in the sky, whereas the spiritual nature of the soul is everlasting, self-sufficient, and deeply satisfying, like the perpetual radiance of the sun, or stars. Whatever psychological or physical possessions that the selfish ego seeks to acquire in time can be lost in time, whereas whatever true love, caring, and goodness, we unselfishly share with others remains with us forever, because it is an objectified expression of our intrinsic permanent being, and we can never lose what we inherently be, and we can truly give or express only energy that we hold ourselves to be, or that flows from our actual being. Perhaps this is what is meant by passages in the Bible such as, “For how does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, but loses his own soul?”(Mark 8:36), and, “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst again” (John 4:14), because the fountain of true love, goodness, and pure life energy is fully satisfying and inexhaustible. Contrary to how many religious people interpret biblical passages like these, the pure water of life that awakens our soul, our real being, and quenches our deepest yearnings, or satisfies our greatest hungers and thirsts, comes from unselfishly sharing the caring energy of our own being with others, and does not come from a God, savior, or prophet outside of ourselves.
We are each particular individualized forms of God’s pure, immortal, Spirit, unfolding as our individual fruitage of actualized potentials of real intelligence, which includes our real relationship potentials, as well as our real individual talents and natural abilities. Spiritual intelligence is the one, all, only, ever present reality nature. Spirit has no opposite nature, in reality, but it needs an illusory opposite shadowy ego nature to challenge, exercise, and, thereby, strengthen and further develop, our real nature. When we fully maturely develop and consciously awaken our individual spirit of love-life energy by unselfishly sharing it with others, or expressing it to others, it becomes like an inexhaustible furnace or fountain that is never depleted through its endless giving, as a veritable “immortal flame”, symbolically represented by the “Eternal Flame”, or Torch of the Olympic Games, the Statue of Liberty, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the lights on a Christmas tree or Hanukah Menorah, etc., whereas the selfish ego is only illusory, dark, shadowy, cloudlike, empty, vacuous, presumptive, self-talk, like daydreams, hallucinations, or unconscious hypnotic suggestions. The individual and collective unreal ego nature tries to influence us by fusing with our real energy-being nature and our natural real experiential states, and by pretending to speak as our own inner voice, our own heart, mind, and body. But the unreal will naturally fall away from the real if we do not react to it, identify with, or express, the unreal, and, instead, keep expressing only our own real nature, as a natural goodness, unselfish caring, and flawless purity of being nature.
Anyone who wishes to read more of our inspirational/transformational insights should see our two published books, 1) Psychological Healing Through Creative Self-Understanding and Self-Transformation. (ISBN: 978-1-62857-075-5) and 2) Deepening Your Personal Relationships: Developing Emotional Intimacy and Good Communication. (ISBN: 978-1-61897-590-4). The primary author is, Dr. Max Hammer, with contributions from secondary authors Dr. Barry J. Hammer and Dr. Alan C. Butler. These books can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or our author/publisher website, http://sbprabooks.com/MaxHammer. The latter website also posts our other blogs, and describes our books and us as authors.