A Dog Named Ego

Laurie Anderson

“Whenever I climb, I am followed by a dog named ego.”

Frederich Nietzsche


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.




Location: Strand Bookstore

828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

The Rare Book Room at Strand Bookstore boasts an elegant venue for our Friday night residency.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


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.


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Other upcoming Olios


Jan 24

Living Room Salon | Tough Poetry in Dark Times

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jan 31

The Dangerous Pleasure of Art

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

Feb 1

Feb 2

OlioHouse | Our Stories, Our Bodies: Rape Culture in American History

Taught by Jamie Warren
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 6

Olio Seminar | Space, Time, & Work: Understanding Labor

Taught by Lauren Hudson
7:30 p.m. at Berg'n

Sign Up - $75

Feb 9

OlioHouse | The Love Symposium

Taught by Skye Cleary
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 15

A Good Friend is Hard to Find: Philosophy and Friendship

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Feb 21

Living Room Salon | Music and Environmentalism

Taught by Kristy Barbacane
7 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Feb 22

The Circular Road: Art and the Religious Imagination

Taught by Michael Prettyman
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Feb 25

What Would Buffy Do? Radical Feminism and the Slayer

Taught by Jamie Warren
7:30 p.m. at Neuehouse Madison Sq.

Sign Up - $20

Feb 28

Into the Mystic: Music & the Moving Image

Taught by Whitney George
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

May 17

Rethinking Refugee Trauma and Mental Health

Taught by Kim Nguyen
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

May 29

Composing Beauty: Mapplethorpe’s Quest for Perfection

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at BAM Fisher

Sign Up - $20


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