Eckhart Tolle writes an entire book on the ego. It is the basis of many teachings. Buddhism recognizes the ego as something to observe in a detached manner.
In Shamanism, according to the Medicine Wheel, the ego has its place. We see it as INNER CHILDREN. The first 13 years of our lives are spent developing and nourishing the ego so it can be strong and balanced. It is our traumas in childhood, the lack of acknowledgment, not getting our basic needs met, being abused and so on... that create problems later in life. As adults we end up acting out our woundedness and reacting emotionally and inappropriately to the the situation. That is our inner children seeking attention in a dysfunctional or imbalanced manner.
The ego or inner children like attention, they like to have their own way, they think the universe revolves around them. If they don't get their way, they use manipulation, passive aggressive behavior or throw tantrums. This changes somewhat in adults but we all exhibit the same patterns in different forms often in our lives.Pride is another ego defense that keeps us from healing and growing. No one likes to admit they have issues.
This Full Moon of Surrender is teaching us to let go of our ego reactions, admit that we have dysfunctional patterns, ego attachments, fears, jealousy, guilt, unconscious or repressed anger and many other dysfunctional programs inside of us.
The more we resist and deny that we have ego issues, the harder the lessons will be.
So why do we resist? I believe that the ego had a built in defense mechanism, it feels threatened and attacked when someone points out the behaviors that no longer serve ones growth and healing. We don't like hearing that we are "bad", we want to be seen as nice or good. Children feel helpless and powerless and do whatever they can to get their needs met. If we don't get what we need n the first 13 years, we will always be seeking these particular needs throughout our lives.
In Shamanism, we don't judge these behaviors, but we observe them in ourselves and others and work to bring them into balance. We call it doing our Moon Work.
Moons are feminine energy, they are our emotions, which includes both the inner children and the wisdom of the Grandmothers. But men have moons too. Most humans have what we call "broken moons" and this is the root of many of our problems. As one of my teachers, Gerard Peyrot, says, "Moons are 13 ways to get attention".
The great psychologist Carl Jung said to "Know your shadow". The shadow is anything that is in darkness, that which we are unconscious of. By accepting that we have darkness or shadow parts to us, parts that are unconscious, we take the first step towards consciousness and healing.
The ego occupies 13 out of 36 stones on the wheel, they take a lot of space. But they need to be contained and disciplined, loved and nourished. We all have emotional needs and if we deny that, we are cutting off a large part of ourselves. Its when we deny it, that the ego will force its way through in spite or ourselves.
Functional Moons would be okay admitting they have needs, they feel that they have a right to express themselves or be heard without being overly dramatic or demanding. Sometimes we need a hug, touch or someone to listen to us. These needs are a natural part of our human nature. If we are balanced in our Moons, we don't over-react to things, we are able to listen, be humble, use reasoning, etc.
I don't believe that we should try to repress our emotions or inner children, but they do need to be contained and sometimes they need tough love to put them back in their place. It takes a strong mature adult to do this. It takes humility and wisdom to see where the problems are, and accountability and responsibility to do the hard work on ourselves. But we can't do it ourselves, we can't always see ourselves as others see us. We can't always be objective and detached. Yet, in Shamanism, we don't hold any of this against one another, we don't use our "imperfections" as an excuse to judge or persecute someone. We recognize that we all have broken moons and we all need to work on them.
The ego permeates everything throughout our modern society, everything is based on ego these days. Fulfilling the ego needs is the basis for buying and selling products and services. But we cannot fulfill the ego through external devices or by looking outside ourselves.
Humans have put themselves in the center of the wheel instead of on the subconscious loop where they belong. Moons revolve around the center, they ebb and flow with the phases of the moon. They are changeable and unpredictable. Being led by our Moons has created a lot of havoc, unconscious behaviour and irreparable damage on all levels, in relationships, society, the world and the Earth.
If we can put the ego in its place, nourish our emotional needs, do our moon work, and come to the wisdom of our feeling bodies, then we can put the collective wheel back into balance and put God or Creator at the Center again.The Moon of Surrender is especially strong this month as we come back to where we were at the Blue Moon on December 31, 2009, so lets all try not to get swept up in emotions and lets all surrender to something bigger than ourselves.