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Ego is a word that is used differntly in different contexts. There is really no such thing as an ego. You can't buy $5 worth of ego. Ego is really the latin word for "I". Freud used "ego" for some reason rather than "Ich" (German for I), probably because he had better astetic sense Wagner (the one who wrote operas in German). But it doesn't really mean what we think it means. To equate self esteem with selfishness, two different uses of "ego" is not really useful but is a result of using words carelessly.

I think it’s about definitions too, MP.

If the ego is the self, I think the degree we are offended by another is related to how each of us defines the self, as well as the nature of the perceived offense against the self. It comes down to, “Who am I?” Whether one chooses walking away or waging war depends as much upon the answer to that question as it does what the offending party is up to.

I’d also suggest that both raging belligerence and extreme docility are indicative of an inauthentic sense of self.

"this comment from a Rand supporter"

That guy is not an Ayn Rand supporter, actually.

>That guy is not an Ayn Rand supporter, actually.

Huh. You're right. I just assumed he was, from the context and from the pro-Rand things he said.

We have a natural incline to embrace the philosophies that ether make us grow or keep us stuck in selfishness. One also has to look at how one values to be seen and treated by others in life.

If one comes from a purely self centred base one can expect the universe too throw in one's path situation's to enable one to grow in "love". Of course not everyone has the foresight or intelligence to often recognise these things and therefore continue's to repeat one's Ignorant ways.

The question is why do we resist growth and why do we seek certain belief's that keep us stuck and justify our behaviours or actions?

MP mentioned about "even" Jesus didn't take crap all the time. This is true but is one modelling Christ's ways? He lived his life in "love" and "truth", he had a very close relationship with God, he treated others with compassion and love, even his death was a sacrifice/symbol for all of humanity inlcuding those who hated him and plotted his death.

The thing is when he got angry he had a sincere reason and this was communicated directly, he saw the sins of others and therefore could forgive completely as well as attempt to heal and educate.

From what I know of him he didn't display "selfishness" at all, he was humble and had open arms to all, He walked in light (meaning he had no secrets or things to hide, his walk was one of transparency)

The thing is you can be like Christ and still have boundaries without being "selfish" or a "doormat"

I think using Christ as precusor to promote "ego" philosophy is ridiculous.

I count myself as blessed, life has given me a family, home and security that not all have had.

I am thankful for this fortunate path, although there are many who have not had this, like my two sponsor kids from Mercy International.

Moses was almost sold to a pedophile as a new born, his teenage mother had done it already with her other kids, lucky for him a pastor came along and paid her to stop her doing this, he is now 6yrs.

Soma, she's 9yrs and living with HIV has no living relatives other than an 11yr old sister (both parents had Aids). Luckily both girls are sponsored and able to live together in the orphanage. Today these kids have food, shelter, and life saving medications and "love" from the christian ladies looking after them there.

I don't understand why they got their lives and we got ours, it seems so unfair doesn't it?. I can't help but see myself through these childrens eyes and picture what life would have been like being orphaned or being unwanted.

Giving up 4 cappucino's a week to make a difference in someones life seemed trivial.I havent mentioned this to any of my friends or family members, its really anything they'd understand anyhows, not something they would do.

Plus I am not interested to hear excuses as they take the focus off themselves and direct it back on me or some unfounded belief (my ego/pride or it's the kids karma from past lives) I already know my motives are sincere.

I'm right behind you Sally Struthers with your children's foundation, keep it up who knows maybe some more kids will get saved and their "hope" restored.

When a natural disaster hits your home town, leave's you homeless and takes away your loved one's would you hope aid will come to your door?

Whoops I will have to take issue with Aristotle. He lists humility as a defect. Humility is probably is one of the most profound indicators of the level of one’s soul development. If indeed these are Aristotle’s words.

Have you ever noticed how most people are drawn to a humble person?

When Jesus stated that the meek shall inherit the earth that was a profound statement that very few preachers in the world understand. A synonym for meek is humble and being humble is indeed divine intelligence in action.

The more humble we are the more intelligent we are and with the human species advancing in love and divine intelligence than indeed the meek shall inherit the world. Admittedly this advancement in love and intelligence appears to us as occurring at a snails pace but appearances are usually deceiving.

Intelligence is not intellectual capability. Intellectual aptitude may have a positive correlation or a prelude to divine intelligence but as yet I have read nothing that suggests that they are. I suspect that intellectual capability has some degree of positive correlation with divine intelligence. How much I do not pretend to know.

Those that have a high IQ can often be anything but humble but that can change in an instant when a significant emotional event occurs in theirs lives.

Here's an example of different types of behaviour styles;

Personal feelings suppressed/inhibited.
Closed and dishonest.
Message vague at best.
You do not say/do what you would like (goal not accomplished).
Others choose for you.
You feel: angry at self, hurt, and/or resentful of others.
Other person feels toward you: pity, disrespect, guilt, and/or anger.
Relationship cannot improve because you have not shared.
Ineffective in positively changing the other person's behaviour.

Self-enhancing at other's expense.
Personal feelings expressed in negative/inappropriate fashion.
Open, partially honest, but inappropriate.
Message lost in expression.
You say/do what you would like at expense of others (goal accomplished at others' expense).
You choose for others.
You feel: powerful, smug, and/or guilty.
Other person feels toward you: defensive (anger, resentment, disrespect) hurt, humiliated, and/or blocked.
Relationship cannot improve because you have shared destructively.
Ineffective in positively influencing the other's behaviour.

Personal feelings expressed in positive/ appropriate fashion.
Open, honest, and appropriate.
Message clear & direct.
You say/do what you would like in appropriate fashion (goal accomplished).
You choose for you.
You feel: good, confident, and respectful of yourself.
Other person feels toward you: respectful, appreciative, pleased and/or surprised.
Relationship can improve because you have shared appropriately.
Very effective in influencing and/or modifying others' behavior

"I don't understand why they got their lives and we got ours, it seems so unfair doesn't it?".

I wrote this earlier and later the thought came to me, "the poor teach the rich and the rich teach the poor, they learn together"

Anyway it seems we have the poor to help us evolve spiritually as a consequence we teach them to grow also, its all about oneness.

We are not to stand back and see our brothers and sisters perish, we are to rise up to our calling to extend our hearts and what we have been blessed with to advance in the spirit.

Perhaps we should ask why we have an ego. If we have an ego because on higher planes we are to become creators of our own domains (as demigods), then our preferences, developed on Earth and defined against the preferences of others, will likely allow for interesting variety. It could be that this is their purpose –to help Consciousness know itself through finite perspectives. However, if our egos are evil constructs of an illusory dream-nature, then the sooner we can wake up and lose them, the better. Speaking personally, I have to say my ego (battling against the egos of others) gives me nothing but grief. I would happily dispense with it and rejoin a greater self. Reckon I’d make a poor demigod, MP, though you'd make a good one. You definitely fit into William’s “Assertive” category.

Michael H: nice link to the “Four Horsemen” –really enjoyed it. Christopher Hitchens actually makes out a good case for the numinous –if all atheists and scientists were like that, we’d have little to be concerned about. I also got the idea, from reading their views on Islam, that they see it as a kind of unstoppable force of cultural evolution, a kind of hive-mind that will gradually spread and overwhelm them – (a bit like homo sapiens has spread to overwhelm all other species). Sort of fits in with their view of 'blind and selfish Nature', really!

Sorry! I should have said Hope's "Assertive" category. Don't want to bruise any egos!!

Cheers Ross, no bruise here ;-)

I think that little behaviour chart I posted earlier is a good start to use as a guide to work towards. I would say alot of people may go inbetween a couple or even all of the styles, depending on their mood and maturity ;-).

Example would be say someone who takes on too much but then accepts more responsibilty but doesnt say no (passive), then performs poorly blames another subtlety for the added effort needed to do a quality job (aggressive). As opposed to recognising one's limits and assertively being honest and saying, "sorry can't take on more work right now".

I think honesty and assertiveness go hand in hand, its also about equality and balance, give and take and openly communicating and sharing, a healthy respect for others and oneself in all forums. Soething for everyone to aspire too.

When aggressive behaviour is being exercised we see things like, disrespecting others, dishonesty, anger, need for justification and superiority/arrogance, the need to control others. :-)

sorry I meant "no need for justification of one's aggressive actions" :-)

I just wanted to add that no one is born assertive, we all struggle in various forms and if anyone here says, they are bonafide assertive 24/7 I will reluctantly give you the Gold Aggressive Award for porky pies!! ;-)

Ross W, I really appreciate the way you share your strengths and weaknesses with us all, it's really encouraging too see this honest reflection without having to pretend to be something your not. I also like the way you handle people with different views, your a great role model :-)

Hope, you're just lovely, period.

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