Friday, August 27, 2010

The Human Ego

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.




WampumBlueRaven said...

This text really spoke to me. I love the way you spoke about the moons and their place in our lives, as well as their relationship to the Mother and Grandmother Clan ( it is the clan I belong to.)

Theses two things stood out at me " ...come to the wisdom of our feeling bodies..." and Gerard Peyrot quote" Moons are 13 ways of getting attention." The fact that you quoted your own teacher was powerful it added strength and mostly importantly it like teaching is has it own natural law of somekind- which created balance, where everyone is a student and everyone is a teacher - and both benefit- but the outcome is not always what is expected. Sometimes it is complete different - but known the less the benefits seem endless.

on this note I will say good night,
keep writing
take care
Wampum Blue Raven

Wheelkeeper said...

Thanks for your feedback WampumBlueRaven. It inspires me to continue. I was thinking of shutting this blog down since no one seems to read it, or at least if they do, they don't give any feedback. But I decided that I would keep writing for ME. I seem to need to write.

I would like to know more about you. Where do you live? How did you find my blog?

And your name is also intriguing. I would like to hear the story of it some day.

Have a great day!

WampumBlueRaven said...

Hello Mary Rose,

I live in Halifax NS, but I lived in Montreal Qc while attending University for about 6 years. I found your blog actually by accident- while I was looking for Lisa's blog-it through this blog I connected with Lisa and continued to read your blog and found sometimes in a way both of your blogs complemented each other- almost work together if you will. This a different perspective and I really do enjoy reading your story. I hope you continue your blog.

Writing as well has been a big part of my life- a need- I've been doing it is I was a child. For the most part I journal and write short stories. I've published for my writing - but I intend to start.

I am also a teacher/facilitator & photographer right now I am on contract with an organization named Phoenix facilitating at risk-youth back into the workplace. I also tought film and photography in Montreal. I use my art-base learning approach in all that I do.

Well I will said good bye, for now. I need to work on some my photography portfolio for this art gallery- again a narrative piece.

take care
keep writing Wheelkeeper
PS: I did write to you about my spirit name it is in the sections of the moon of omitpotence.

Have a good day!

Wheelkeeper said...

I went and read your story. Thanks for sharing it! I'm glad you like my photos, that says a lot coming from a photographer! And a writer too! Well its a pleasure to meet you! Do you have a blog?

WampumBlueRaven said...

No I don't have a blog.

Wheelkeeper said...

Well, if you ever get one, let me know...

Wapeyit Malsom said...

Mary Rose,

I love the entries, the colors and the format of your BLOG. It's intense and brings me back to the way the pioneers like Sun Bear and Twylah used to write their articles back in the day (the 70's).

It gives a strong "impression" -- it's an experience of its own. I like stepping in this blog space because it feels strong and it feels connected to the Earth.


Wheelkeeper said...

Thanks Lisa, that is exactly the effect I wanted.. earth connected. I feel like a pioneer in some ways myself, having started on this path with Grandmother Twylah and the teachings of Sun Bear decades ago now...

Love, MaryRose

Wheelkeeper said...

The thing is that I keep changing the colors, I love to play with it.


Wapeyit Malsom said...

I love your blog entry on "the Human Ego". I found it informative and thought provoking.


Suzi Smith said...

I'm sorry I can't read this & from the comments it sounds so interesting! It's the orange on green... it's not a strong enough contrast for me to see :-(

Suzi Smith said...

Aha... i just looked at "the original post" on the comment page!!

Your blog is so interesting & you have a way of explaining things... I'm guilty of not commenting often though I read every post! Sorry for that. I often find that you answer something i've been wondering or confirm something i'm thinking... and you have again with this one!!

Suzi Smith said...

there's me opening my mouth without reading properly... i skipped over from Rose's site to this post & didn't realise it was an older one... of course you kept blogging!!


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