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On the trail of eternity

The Ego - the Identity of Separation and Negativity

By on 19 October 2020

The ego - the identity of separation 

The little I, born out of fear and separation

The ego is the "little I", the identity of fear and separation. It is existence in the minus, in "non-life", namely in a life of negativity, full of negative feelings such as mistrust and lack. Compulsively phobic, it has no trust, but sees only dangers and "enemy territory" outside itself.

The birth of the ego and the fall from wholeness

In the womb, the unborn life experiences "paradisiacal" conditions, because it has everything it needs: Warmth, security, closeness, constant nourishment ...

At birth, however, it is forcibly thrust out into a harsh world. Pressed through a dark, narrow channel, it loses its breath. This is followed by an unstoppable fall into an empty room and a hard landing on a cold cot. It may even be lifted upside down and given a slap on the buttocks until the first panic-stricken breath.

Protective and adaptive layers

After that, it continues: this is how the newborn child experiences existential feelings of fear and lack for the first time: hunger, abandonment and the fear of falling short.

The little I grows up and learns: not all circumstances are favourable. The more negative experiences it has, the stronger its feeling becomes: "I am all alone here and nobody helps me ...". Soon protective strategies emerge such as "don't show fear!" and in general: "hide everything that is problematic, fight for yourself ...". 

Fear as the root of egoism

Just when the person still feels small and afraid inside, it wants to appear as big, strong and dangerous as possible. It is also not afraid to take what it can from others. After all, it has to look after itself if and because it lacks the confidence that it will be given what it needs.

The Ego - the Identity of Power in the Unconscious

Negativity: fear, drives, power and lies

But it goes even further: the ego derives its raison d'être from negativity. It even feeds on it and thus creates more and more negativity for the human being himself and also for his environment. In order to be able to rule unhindered, however, it hides in the shadows, namely in the unconscious, and manipulates the human being from there. through the urgesvia negative persuasions or fear.

Access to consciousness

Because it lacks the confidence that it will get what it needs, it wants power in order to be able to rule and take what it wants. In order to be able to expand its power, it also instrumentalises consciousness. After it is permeated by lies and fear, it serves the ego with the strategic ("cunning") planning of egoistic deeds. Subsequently, the mind is also abused to justify these ("The world is so unfair, that's why I have to ..."; see The Rise of the Serpent and the Ego).

The former animal instinct of self-preservation

With the help of consciousness, the ego has long since gone beyond that which serves pure self-preservation. It never gets enough, but always wants more: more resources, more money, more power... And so its greed knows no bounds.

Domination through devaluation and condemnation

The ego is a merciless shadow ruler who is immediately on the spot with judgement and accusation. Its judgement is harsh and merciless. That is precisely why it cannot and must not see the problem in itself. Because it is ashamed and fears punishment, it projects its hated weaknesses and characteristics outwards and blames others for the problems (see The Projection of the Shadow).

Toilets in the London Dungeon (2010)

The Ego and Negativity: Denial and Lies

Denial of the greater, materialism and death

No trust

Because the ego itself has no love and no trust, it denies a greater whole. This includes the refusal to believe in a superior, good and all-embracing consciousness ("Father") or in a life that outlasts death ("Mother"). [S. Father and Mother, Spirit and Matter.]

Death as a sting

As a separate identity that has split off and lost touch with larger contexts, the ego lives only in material reality. It believes only what it sees and rules over facts. Its greatest power is the fact of death, from which, it brazenly proclaims, there shall be no escape.

Negative and destructive objections


In this way, the ego works insidiously through covert persuasions, even whispers, which the human being does not perceive if he does not listen attentively within himself. 

Hilma af Klint, Pigeon no. 8 (detail)

They are lies that lead to devaluation, self-pity, defiance, anger and revenge.

Examples of destructive pleas:

  • The world is dangerous, I HAVE to fight back and see that I don't come up short. No one helps me... I am alone here... no one loves me... I always do everything wrong! The others are mean and I am the victim. 
  • You deserved better... failed again... are worth nothing. You can't be loved. You are nothing and can do nothing. Yes, feel the pain, feel the despair...! That's it. This is your life!

"Reprogramming" through constructive content and statements

It is important to perceive these objections in the first place and to expose them as lies. The next step is to practise replacing them persistently and consistently with positive content and statements (see How do I steer my life in a positive direction?).

Violent rebellion against any knowledge of the truth

Negativity as the ego's basis of existence

It is not easy to step out of negativity and get rid of the ego, because negativity is a strong source of energy. To make matters worse, the ego resists with all its might any realisation of the truth, because it lives on negativity, separation and lies. It knows that trust and love mean its end, and therefore rebels with all its might against positive messages, such as: "You are loved", or: "Trust that you will always receive what you need".

Negativity as a source of energy

As mentioned, negativity can give energy and meaning. Also, anger, rage and indignation can drive the person and cause them to rise from their lethargy and feel alive again. If this is the case, the person may even be "addicted"tonegativity.
Behind this is the ego, which will never voluntarily leave the field, on the contrary:

Resistance of the ego through more drama and unhappiness

If the ego encounters resistance, it will try to stage even more negativity to underline and consolidate its importance. It will now more than ever circumstances in such a way that negativity and pain become prevalent again (by activating unconscious behavioural patterns that stimulate the downward spiral anew).

The dramas and chaos are meant to make his message unmistakably clear, which is: "No! None of this is true! There is nothing good! ONLY I - am your only identity! I ALONE am your life!"

Dragon Snake (Cave in China)

The ego: perpetrator and victim

Two different manifestations of the ego: male and female

Preliminary remark: Both have both!

The ego has two different sides, a "male" and a "female" side. It is important to note that both men and women have both masculine and feminine parts of their personality. The distinction between "masculine" and "feminine" is not about gender stereotypes, but rather about creative primordial energies. These include active-initiating forces on the one hand, and passive-receiving and realising ("birthing") forces on the other. [S. Male and female, the two primordial forces of creation.]

The perpetrator ego (male-active): lust for power and consumption

The perpetrator's ego includes those characteristics that are commonly attributed to the "ego": It ruthlessly and violently takes what it can. It takes life and strength from others and ruthlessly overrides everything that stands in its way with one goal: to exercise power.
However,the (male-active) perpetrator ego in turn has a male anda female side:

  • Male: Power through oppression and violence ("Black magic").
  • Female: Power through seduction and delusion ("White magic").

The victim ego (female-passive): pleasure in suffering

Hidden pride and satisfaction in suffering

The victim-ego corresponds more to the "female", namely the passive-tolerating side. The victim-identity gains secret vitality and meaning from suffering(see also The Pain Body). It feels a certain pride, satisfaction or even pleasure in suffering, because it feels"more exalted" than the perpetrator. In fact, the victim-ego can hide itself better and looks "nobler" at first sight.

Desire for negativity and outrage

But the victim ego, like the perpetrator ego, takes life and power from others. It manipulates by "sacrificing" itself. It also drags others down into its negativity and builds itself up at their expense. It also feasts on the suffering of others.
The victim identity also has a feminine and a masculine side:

  • Feminine: passive-tolerant suffering such as powerlessness, depression and illness.
  • Male: passive-aggressive behaviour such as underlying anger, aggression and blaming.

Perpetrator and victim are not always clearly separated.
Often the victim later becomes
becomes the perpetrator.

Ways out of negativity

The ego - one's own death

Dark ruler in the shadows

To look the ego in the face as one's own shadow ruler requires the courage of death. For as the identity of separation, it brings death. Moreover, the ego hides the hated weaknesses and existential fears that are coupled with the fear of death, the fear of losing everything and dying alone.

Deathly courage out of grace

But those who have experienced compassion and warm-heartedness can muster this courage. Whoever knows that he is loved and that he is forgiven, the ego no longer has power over him. Whoever knows unconditional fatherly love can love himself and others in this power and let them live.

George and the Dragon by Hilma af Klint

The dying of the ego - an inner dying

There is only one way to overcome the ego: It must "die". But with it, a part of one's own life and old existence must die, an experience that goes to the substance.

Hilma af Klint, Parcifal Series, Group 1, No. 3

Starving the ego

The ego must not get any more nourishment, which means: no more negativity!
Therefore, negative thoughts and feelings must be persistently replaced by positive ones. Instead of complaining, gratitude can be practised, and even negative memories can be transformed into positive ones. This also happens by directing one's gaze to the good that one has experienced.

Practice and consistency

This doesn't always work straight away, but rather has to be practised again and again and consistently followed through. In this context, it is important and helpful to find new positive sources of energy (see How do I concretely steer my life in a positive direction?).

The integration of the shadows


By taking responsibility for themselves, i.e. for their urges, feelings and thoughts, and by loving themselves in their distress, the Shadows integrated. Through warm-hearted compassion, the person can reconcile himself with everything difficult and painful, forgive himself and others.

Loving, comforting and re-educating the inner child

In the process, the inner child is perceived in its distress, loved and comforted: "Yes, some things were difficult, things went wrong ... But from today on things will be different! In this way, the person can take responsibility for himself and his feelings and ensure that he is well.

New constructive tasks for the little I

The loving consciousness that holds on to a better truth can give the little I new tasks, for example as a guardian of the good and also of personal boundaries, or also as an admonishing voice for justice.

Overcoming the ego: the path to freedom

From bondage to the promised land

The goal is for man to overcome his ego. This struggle is symbolised in traditions by the hero's fight against the dragon.
Pharaoh, who enslaved the people of Israel in Egypt and forced them into servitude, is also an image of the ego. The path out of bondage first leads through the desert (see The Hero's Path). On this path, the drive is "starved out" and thus the tyranny of the ego is put to an end by breaking its power over man.

Through dying to life

Only with the dying of the identity of separation can the human being find the connection to the greater identity of love. This is the self. In it dwells love, trust, security, responsibility, reconciliation, peace and abundance.

Thus man attains freedom and can enter his promised land: dominion in his own life. With access to the greater, he has gained eternal life and wholeness and is thus holy or "sacred".

Hilma af Klint (detail of dove no. 8): Killing the dragon

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