“Whenever I climb, I am followed by a dog named ego.”
What is ego? Can we ask who, exactly, is ego? Is it possible for us to form a coherent idea of where ego might be? And what about why it exists? Can we even begin to say why we all are afflicted with this unasked for interior companion?
In contemporary parlance, it is axiomatic that ego is some form of self-absorption- a puffed up and false self. However, within the religious and philosophical imaginations, ego is also the source of our greatest anxiety and pain. The language we use to describe ego, when examined closely, reveals that there are at least two “selves” existing within the same person. We say, “I have an ego,” which implies there is an “I” separate from the egoic self. We say, “that is just her ego talking,” which implies another her, larger than the ego.
We do not talk about the ego as the cause of much of our personal pain, anxiety, and depression. We do not talk about egos as being the cause of war or as a primary cause of ecological catastrophe.
In this Olio we explore these questions and examine the possible solutions to the problems associated with ego as well as various strategies to accept, dissolve and integrate the ego, as presented by world wisdom traditions, mythologies and religious practice.
Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.