Over the past few months, I have made many references to the ego, as well as the heart. I have pretty much cast the ego as an antagonist in a novel, but it really is not. The heart and ego both have their functions, and we should understand what those functions are and embrace them. It’s just that the ego by nature takes the lead if we let it. We shouldn’t.
The ego serves in a survival capacity in a very broad sense and helps us to conform to society. It filters opinions of others, opinions of ourselves, perceptions of the world and all the information with which we are deluged and seeks to make sense of it all. Good things.
However, it is not meant to be the motivator, the guide of life because it will always rationalize and choose safety, security, comfort zones, and even strike out when anything threatens those, such as those of different ethnicities, careers, teams, whatever — or run from perceived threats. These things are detrimental to personal growth, to realizing our full purpose and potential here — something even more important than basic survival-type mechanisms.
The heart, however, is that part of us which tells us what we need to hear. It evaluates our unique personalities, abilities, talents, and desires and guides us into personal truth and purpose. Our heart knows who we really are; that is life-changing. Deep down, we all want to know our self-identity and purpose.
I think of this duality in an analogy of some basic aspects of the ancient Celts and Native Americans. In both societies, warriors/hunters were crucial to survival, necessary for defending the tribe and finding food — basic needs. They knew, though, that a spiritual counterpart was just as necessary, and those were the bards/seers and medicine men/women. They enjoyed the same social status as warriors; both are necessary and valued. Warriors/braves are like egos. Bards/seers are like hearts.
When it came to big decisions, though, like reasoning about relationships to other tribes, personal crises of leaders, judgments between tribe members, the heart-type people were consulted. The physical defenders usually were rash, only thinking of survival. The heart, spiritual-type ones thought of reasons and ways to be successful, useful, fulfilled, and maybe most importantly, significant.
Both functions were necessary, and sometimes the warriors became bullies and really destructive — like our egos can. And that is why we have to be aware of ego. Embrace it for its purpose, but not for motivation, inspiration, and growth.
Choose the heart for those things. The difficult part of human spiritual growth occurs in part because egos act rashly and make actions sound reasonable — they rationalize and they do it quickly for survival purposes.
To sum it up, egos deal with things necessary for survival in a very broad sense. Hearts, though, deal with reasons why we should want to survive: fulfillment and significance in life purpose and living to our highest good.
If you read an earlier post (My Writing Life 6 — Mike DePung Post 13), I recorded in poem form — as close as word for word as I could remember on the night it occurred — my heart conversation that has set me on my present course of writing and activities associated with that. It is the most conscious course I have ever engaged in.
Last night, I shared part of Buckminster Fuller’s heart conversation that changed his life. As a teacher, I know examples help, so you have my poem and this, a very similar experience, although our messages and dialogue may vary greatly. Note personal truth and highest good concepts here:
“From now on you need never await temporal attestation to your thought. You think the truth. You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others.”
Seek to know yourself and live your purpose and truth through your heart. The ego is not intended for that. The heart is. I hope you see why, now, I am all about discovering heart truth.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!