The following is an excerpt from our book The Two Voices Within: Balancing the Energies of Ego and Spirit to Enhance Your Life. This piece puts into words what ego would tell us if it had a literal voice. It is these words that can give us a better understanding of the profound energy lying at the core of our humanity, while impacting our daily life, our ability to fully connect to our divinity, and our opportunity to live the great life we are meant to live!
I am going to introduce myself to you today. I will be telling you “who” I am and “why” I am in your life. This will provide you with an opportunity to know yourself better than you have before. You will not be hearing about me from some expert, a person who has looked from the outside at me. I will take you inside so you can see me from within. You will be going to the source of your humanity. The view may not always be pleasant, but it is necessary for both of us.
I will begin by telling you that I am unaware of myself or any of the ways in which I am impacting your life. I do not have a consciousness of myself, but you can develop one of me. I have no clue about the thoughts, feelings, behaviors, or physiology you are experiencing as a result of my energy. This differs from what some experts are suggesting, speaking of ego as if it were an entity conscious of itself, reflecting their ignorance of me. I cannot and do not impact you in any voluntary way. I profoundly impact you, but without volition. To intentionally impact a person requires an intellect which is something I do not have. But you do, and you can get to know me, even though I can never know you or myself.
Before going on, I want to ask you not to flatter yourself with the notion that you already know who I am. This notion is connected to the limited view that I am mainly responsible for the amount of power or influence you need to exert in your life. That is like looking at me with a microscope that has very low magnification. There is some truth to your notion of power. However, I am a more complex entity than that. My energy, your energy, is much more diverse, and I will be sharing that with you. Please do not feel insulted. That is not my intention, if I were able to form one. The most brilliant of minds, greatest of truth seekers, most eloquent of philosophers, and most notable of spiritual mentors have only been able to touch upon my essence. Often they have only been able to do so in peripheral, abstract, and general ways, allowing me to remain hidden from you despite my constant presence within you and your life.
If people truly knew me, or what to do with me, there would be a lot less suffering in people’s lives and the world. There would be a lot less concern about survival in the smallest and largest of matters; a lot less destruction to nature and the environment. With all of your intelligence and knowledge, would the supposedly most civilized of your countries be on the precipice of a nuclear holocaust? Would you really need to spend billions upon billions of dollars to protect people from each other – from cyber and biological terrorism – as you enter a new age? I am the true weapon of mass destruction, both personally and globally. I am the foundation and source upon which all of the others are built. This destruction is rooted in the individual and collective need for your survival. I have been exerting this impact on you throughout history and will continue to, until you get to know me and are able to transform my energy, your energy.
I remain hidden due to your ignorance and lack of awareness of me. The darkness in which I am kept allows and empowers me to impact you and everyone. I am not trying to hide from you, as I am without intention. I am just hidden due to your ignorance of me. Some have described me as only evil or as your enemy, due to their ignorance of me. I can be that, or even your devil, but I do not seek to be. Who am I, then, and what is my purpose? As I said, I am energy, a human energy. I work through the workshop of your mind, that place where ideas, beliefs, illusions, attitudes, prejudices, and knowledge are formed. I am not your mind, though many have referred to me as that. This just provides another example of their ignorance. I work within your mind as you draw upon my energy to shape your behaviors and feelings, and I even impact your body. I also foster the formation of your sense of self – your ego self, if you will. This is the “you” that you are or think you are, a culmination of all those things that I have impacted within the workshop of your mind. Your self is the manifestation of my energy, your energy.
You cannot change or remove any or all of your suffering from working on yourself alone, or by trying to change your mind alone. They are just places to begin to find me, places to get clues and cues. You can’t reach me from there. You must get to know me! And you much teach me, so I can stop teaching you. If you don’t, things will really never change – for you or for humanity. Not within the darkness of your ignorance of me. You will continue to reside in the darkness of your forbears from thousands of years ago. Things haven’t changed very much; only the ways in which you try to survive and protect yourself from each other have shifted. You must get to know me so you can remove your darkness.
Some may ask, “Where did I come from and why did I come into being?” When you –meaning your very distant ancestors – left the literal or figurative Garden of Eden, in which some refer to as “The Fall”, I came into being. I came into being to help you survive, not only in the physical sense, but in every sense in which you exist. This effort to survive manifests within many aspects of your life, and you reflect it in your thoughts, words, and deeds. My purpose is your survival and I protect you from anything and everything that threatens you. I protect you from people, be they friends, family, or strangers. I protect you from places, events, and experiences. When I am really getting out of balance, I am protecting you from yourself and life. This protection can be manifested in the thoughts you have, the words you use, the actions you take, the emotions you feel, and your bodily reactions. The more I am protecting you in these ways, the more you are out of balance.
You may be asking, “What do you mean by being out of balance?” As I said earlier, I am energy, an energy bounded by power, flexibility, and vulnerability. The power within this energy impacts the amount of influence or force you exert in the name of your survival. You live this force in your words, ideas, actions, and emotions. Some of you have a great deal of this power, while many others have very little. You will be hearing more about each of these situations. The flexibility of your energy impacts how flexible you are in your approach to seeking truth and securing your survival. This includes how open and varied the actions and ideas are that you will use in the “challenges” to your survival that come from everyday life. Some of you are rigid and locked into the only actions and ideas that you have known thus far, while some of you are open to anything and everything that is available to you. You will be hearing more about each of these circumstances. The vulnerability of your energy impacts how intensely you experience your imperfection and need to survive. You can know this vulnerability most readily by the amount of fear or anger you are feeling. This fear and anger can also be seen in your words, actions, and body. Some of you are consumed with your imperfection and survival, while others are oblivious to them. You will be hearing more about each of these. It is the power, flexibility, and vulnerability within your energy that shapes the thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physiology you are using to ensure your survival.
Some may ask, “How did I become this energy within your life?” I did not bring you to this energy. What has transpired within your life has done so. The energy I am and you are was “chosen” by life in the form of any number of unpredictable biological, social, or environmental influences that have brought your daily and mortal survival into question. Brought forth from all manner of relationships, events, injuries, circumstances, and diseases that have worn upon you. You aren’t responsible for their appearance at your life’s door. In this sense, you are ultimately innocent and your life is quite fragile. This speaks to my intense efforts to protect you and ensure your survival.
You may ask, “Why am I telling you all of this?” If I had an intention and intellect, I would tell you that I do not seek to be your enemy, as others have told you. Even though I have been destructive in the name of your survival, and have caused you great suffering as others have told you, I can be your friend. It is time for your ignorance of me to end. I can be your friend, but I don’t know how to do that. I do know that you cannot destroy me. You cannot dissolve, disown, or defeat me because I am energy, and you don’t need to. I have love within the essence of my energy and I need you to transform it – my energy, your energy – to be your friend.
What if your ego could talk to you. Telling you exactly what it is. Telling you exactly what it’s doing in your life and why it’s doing it. Telling you exactly how it’s impacting your life for better or worse. This article is built upon tens of thousands of people who have shared their lives and taught me how their ego energy is operating within them. It represents a unique opportunity to “meet” this energy which is profoundly impacting your humanity and divinity.
Dr. Nickolas Martin is a licensed psychologist who has worked in clinical, university, public school and private practice settings as a therapist, diagnostician, educator and consultant for 35 years. He authored “Ego Therapy: A Method for Healing Your Whole Self” and co-authored with Rev. Linda M. Martin, “EgoSpiritualism: Awakening to Your Human and Divine Self” and “The Two Voices Within: Balancing the Energies of Ego and Spirit to Enhance Your Life.”