What is Ego Anyway? Part 1 Projection and Identification

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(See Comic) What is Ego Anyway? Part 1 Projection and Identification People use the word ego all the time. And different people define it in very different ways. Some define it in a Freudian sense. Some define it in a Buddhist sense. Some people define it in their own sense…loosely and vaguely. Some people think of ego as a good thing because to them it means strength. Some people think of ego as a bad thing because to them it means selfishness. And some people think of it as a neutral thing that you should just be friends with. For the sake of this comic we are going to define ego as a kind of inner belief upon which a person makes decisions. This inner belief can be summed up as a belief in guilt (fear) and separation (duality). Thus, all decisions made with the ego ultimately involve guilt and separation in some way. Guilt and separation go hand in hand because guilt sustains separation. Psychological Projection In psychology, there is something known as psychological projection. Psychological projection is a defense mechanism whereby a person attributes his or her own unwanted thoughts and emotions to somebody or something else. In other words, people use psychological projection to seemingly “separate” themselves from things they feel “guilty” about. Psychological Identification The opposite of psychological projection could be described as psychological identification. Psychological identification is a kind of selective blindness whereby a person identifies her or his self with certain desirable people, groups, and things. In other words, people use psychological identification to seemingly “join” themselves with things they feel represent “guiltlessness.” I love babies, puppies, and flowers. But I hate most people. Psychological projection and identification are two sides of the same dualistic coin. Both are tools for dealing with guilt through separation. Thus, both are tools of the ego. A truly guiltless person is egoless. The whole appeal of having an ego and making decisions with it is that ego claims to have solutions for dealing with guilt. However, it is ego itself that says you are guilty in the first place. So, basically, the ego tells you that you are guilty and then it offers you a solution to seemingly get rid of your guilt. But all the ego really is is a shyster. Coming Next: Part 2, Where Does Guilt Come From?