The Purgation of Ego

Ego in this context

In order to understand what I mean when I say “I want to eliminate my ego”, I need to clearly define what I mean by the term “ego”. The Merriam Webster defines ego as “the self especially as contrasted with another self or the world”. Elimination of ego in this context would mean attempting to eliminate all individuality. I don’t see that as a good thing; personally, I think that is impossible. The Merriam Webster definition of ego is not an incorrect definition; it is simply not the definition I am using in this post.

The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines ego as “your sense of your own value and importance”. This is the definition I am using in this context. In the following text, I will attempt to argue in favor of eliminating your perception of self-importance.

What I mean by eliminating ego

I want to completely eliminate any sense of self-value, self-importance, etc. Please understand that elimination of self-value does not equate to replacing positive self-value with negative self-value; I do not want a negative self-value of my consciousness, body, image, personality, or any other elements of the “self”. I simply want neutrality. I want to be devoid of all strong emotion; I still want to experience emotions naturally as they come and go, not suppressing any emotions. I simply do not want emotions connected to my perception of myself. I do not want to strongly believe my opinions; I want to be a dispassionate entity, simply accepting of whichever opinions seem to be rooted in rational argument, and letting every other opinion that is not rooted in rational argument fall away without regard to my ego or how I may be perceived.

When I encounter disagreement with someone on any issue whatsoever, I want to be able to dispassionately assess the logic behind what they are saying, either agree or disagree based on whether my opinion seems more rooted in logic than my own position, and experience no anger, contention, or strife whatsoever, regardless of what the opinion is or how sensitive the issue is. If I believe that their opinion is not well-founded in logic but rather in emotion and the other person is offended as a result, I simply apologize for the offense. If they accept my apology, there is no need for emotional concern. If they do not, I cannot do anything; therefore, there is also no need for emotional concern.

I am very, very far from attaining complete purgation of my ego, as this is a journey I have only been on for two years. Progress isn’t always linear; there have been weeks or months in which I’ve regressed into strong pessimism, strong hatred of myself and other people; however, with each passing day that I make a conscious effort to become better, I become more complete, more self-actualized. Self-actualization is a lifelong process, but to simply be more self-actualized than your former self is an achievement in and of itself. I am worlds closer to becoming a dispassionate entity than I was two years ago, and I will likely be worlds closer than my current self in two years from now.

Why eliminate ego?

You will be unable to take offense.

Your self-esteem enables you to take offense at other people’s perceptions of you. If you lack self-esteem, you lack the capacity for the emotion of offense. If you lack self-esteem, you lack the capacity to be angry as the result of a committed offense against you; you will simply assess it dispassionately.

What other people think of you will be irrelevant.

A person’s unfavorable opinion of you will simply not be relevant to you, because your perception of self will be dispassionately objective, and not contingent on others’ perceptions of your character or any other element of your “self”.

You will be able to accept any criticism, regardless how harsh, and assess it dispassionately.

Offense at criticism is the product of ego; assessment of the validity of criticism without a perception through which it can be tinted is the product of eliminating ego. I struggle a bit with this one, but I am getting better at it.

You will not experience any non-necessary concern.

Sometimes concern is healthy and necessary, but much of our concern is non-necessary. Logical concern is, well, logical. Non-necessary concern is an irrelevant indulgence. If you can do something about a circumstance, there is no need for concern. If you cannot, there is no need for concern.

Indulgence becomes irrelevant.

Earrings, nice clothes, jewelry, and bling are expressions of personal vanity and self-image; it boils down to two things: 1) wanting to look good to other people, and 2) wanting to look good in order to feel good about oneself. If one does not need either of those things, appearance-related indulgence becomes irrelevant. The decrease of need to fulfill the self through expression of the ego (materialism), the less desire you will have to possess the latest smartphone or smart TV, a luxurious vehicle, an obscene amount of wealth, etcetera. I will admit that I am guilty of some indulgences, but to a much smaller degree than I was in the past. Eventually, I will get there.

You will be incapable of being devastated.

Grief is natural, and should be experienced and expressed. Devastation is grief to its highest extreme, and is superfluous, unhealthy, and non-necessary. Grief is a natural process. Devastation is an indulgence.

You will treat people with more compassion. You will not hate.

Hatred is an indulgence. Compassion is logical. If someone hates you or is “your enemy” so to speak, and you have not wronged them, they are likely a broken person. Hurt people hurt people, broken people break people, etcetera. The response of the ego is to hate your enemy, the dispassionate response is to acknowledge their humanity and have compassion for them because of that.

You will remain calm during argument.

Arguments can get intense. People often indulge in strong emotion during disagreements; if a person cannot persuade the person they are arguing against, they choose to hate them and their position instead of accepting that the other person likely has some degree (potentially a lesser degree, but still some degree) of an argument behind their position. If you choose not to experience these strong emotions, you will simply accept the fact that they believe what they believe and be able to move on with your day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: