Ego Is Only a Supervisor in the Psyche

The source of personal wisdom and effective guidance in the psyche is the self, which comprises the emotionally important ideas that form our authentic character and worldview. However, human beings are a social species and must work together in various kinds of complex groups in order to survive. This means we need consciousness and the communication tool we call language. In turn, this means ego, the source of consciousness and language, must supervise the psyche. However, like a construction-site supervisor, the ego is not responsible for deciding what to build; it is not in charge of overall governing and course setting. Those more general functions are the purview of the self. Ego’s proper role is to be aware of the self and the genuine will that emerges from there. The old aphorism, “know thyself” is very apropos.

Odysseus and the Sirens

Odysseus resisting the song of the sirens symbolizes ego’s struggle with unconscious contents. (Image Wikimedia)

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Do We Ever Really Change?

The authentic self is constant. This means that, at the more fundamental level of our being, we never change. There is much truth in the old English adage that “a leopard does not change its spots.” Yet there appear to be many cases of people who went through enormous transformations. I want to look at two notable examples and show that the shifts these famous men experienced are not what they seem.

Snowman with Children

C. S. Lewis described his sudden religious conversion as “melting like a snowman,” but he was merely returning to his childhood roots. (Image: public domain)

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