Today’s New Age lie that we’re debunking is the idea of “killing your ego”. I’ve spoken about this in previous post, but today I wish to put this New Age jargon to rest.
The Ego is a concept that was created by Sigmund Freud to mean “a set of psychic functions such as judgement, tolerance, reality testing, control, planning, defense, synthesis of information, intellectual functioning, and memory.” Think of it as basically your individual, human self.
In the 1960’s, hippies (many of whom were cultural appropriatest who had little to no understanding of Eastern concepts) experimenting with LSD tried to explain their experience using Freudian terms and linking it to Eastern concepts of Nirvana and/or Atman/Brahman. Thus developed in Western New Age culture the idea of the “ego” being “bad” and killing it is “good” and brings you closer to “god”. The idea that you should kill your ego is not based on any sound ideology or psychology. Your ego is a major part of who you are in this life cycle. It is your avatar so to speak. The idea isn’t to kill the ego, it’s to simply keep it in check so that it causes no harm. It is your ego that allows you to exist as an individual, to have individual thoughts and judgements, to have likes and dislikes, to feel happy, sad, angry, or goofy. These are all apart of what it means to be human. To “kill your ego” means to kill off who you are. Why would you want to do that?
I’ve said before that those who suggest we should kill the ego probably have the largest ego issue. Why? Because most people who talk about the ego as a negative thing are using the rhetoric to be New Age spiritual police. “You have a big ego” really means “you’re not going along with the programming” or “you’re not doing what I think you should do”. “Kill your ego” means “get in line”. It is a form of control by people who put themselves on a pedestal to seem more “enlightened” than they really are and this tactic is often used by cult leaders to tear down the individuals in their flock, so that they have no sense of self identity.
Don’t kill your ego, you need it. Keep it in check and let it serve you.