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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > What if our egos "died"?      Home login  
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 1
What if our egos "died"?Page 1 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
Most of us (if not all) have an ego, or sense of "self"; the "I" in "I am."
Buddhists the world over strive to obliterate or subjugate it in their paradoxical desire to extinguish desire. What would happen to us if we lost it? How would we behave? Would we suddenly become a higher life form that saw the entire universe as a single entity, or just an apathetic lump? Could we even survive without one?
As I said recently on another thread, there are plenty of questions, but answers are in short supply.
I think this might be a topic that merits discussion, but that's up to you.
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 2
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What if our egos died?
Posted: 3/31/2009 4:21:52 PM
We'd not be so up our own a**es. We wouldn't continually be trying to prove we are right, and would probably just say that maybe we are right, and maybe we are wrong. We'd be inclined to tolerate more, because we'd not feel affronted that someone else wasn't treating us like we are kings. We'd argue a lot less, and do a lot more for people. We'd probably also be a lot happier, because we'd look at nature, and just admire it, instead of wondering how we can make money out of it. We'd also find relationships a lot less taxing, because we wouldn't have an ego to always trying to get what we want.
 Mountain Geek
Joined: 2/5/2009
Msg: 3
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What if our egos died?
Posted: 3/31/2009 4:24:03 PM
Well Dukky -- the only think bigger then my Ego is -------------- My super ego, which keeps everything in check.

It's not going to change anytime soon so I'm holding out for brain augmentation so i can "Jack" into my PC and just think what I want to do -- Death to the keyboard!!

What was the subject again?
Joined: 11/23/2008
Msg: 4
What if our egos died?
Posted: 3/31/2009 5:15:13 PM
Totally agreed with scorpio.

We will also have compassion, understanding and altruism.
We will live in peace like the song "Imagine" by George Clooney - just kidding, John I meant!

Not to worry - this will never happen! lol
Joined: 6/26/2008
Msg: 5
What if our egos died?
Posted: 3/31/2009 5:17:19 PM
OP: You might be interested in reading a book by Eckart Tolle called A New Earth. I haven't read the whole thing yet but what I have read so far, he is explaining what "ego" is and how most of our thinking is "egoic" rather than being our true selves. It's very interesting reading.

I don't feel that "getting rid of" our ego will extinguish desire. I'm guessing that what we desire will change. I feel that ALL problems in our world come from the place of ego. Greed, power, control, etc. If people ceased to act from ego, there would be no fights or wars. We would have peace. Everyone would be fed and nurtured. If there were no ego, I think people would finally understand that everything and everyone is a part of a single identity called the Universe. Some people might call that God.

Maybe I'll have more of an answer for this when I finish the book.
Joined: 3/10/2007
Msg: 6
What if our egos died?
Posted: 3/31/2009 5:41:30 PM
^^Conversely , there'd be no ambition , no drive to excel , no feeling of a need to achieve. Maybe we'd all hold hands and sing some hippie song to pass the time but somehow I doubt such a thing would exist anyway. I envision a far less interesting world at the very least. At worst I imagine a humanity that never existed.

^ Exactly. Without an ego to drive us, we'd all be sitting around and and although it may sound like fun at first, none of us would be here discussing what if our ego died;)

Nah. Having come close to losing my ego (or self or pride or whatever *it* is called) and still having to struggle not to lose it/myself again, it's not even feasible to think we could survive without an ego...good or bad, it's what drives us and ultimately, it's what makes us, us.

Also, I don't buy all this zen stuff ... but that's another story (and another thread). So there you go...and here's another question for you OP, is this me talking or is it my ego?


Joined: 3/8/2009
Msg: 7
What if our egos died?
Posted: 3/31/2009 5:46:32 PM
The ego is not a culprit, it's just one of the gang. I don't think the ideal is to expunge desire, but to know it and have a choice about how you live as a person who has desires. Like, who is in charge here, this desire or me? The trick to letting your me lapse so you can escape the clutches of desire is an exercise that brings you enlightenment. It shows you how you are, and by extension, how the world is. It's a way to get to know what your mind is up to, so when your mind does its necessary stuff you can make choices that work in your favor, whatever that happens to be. You know you're on the right track when you can write cryptic paragraphs that sound good but would have had the same effect had you not bothered.
Joined: 12/7/2008
Msg: 8
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What if our egos died?
Posted: 3/31/2009 6:33:06 PM
Well since the "ego" is the part of the psyche that is responsible for organization,curbing the id, and being touch w/ reality, I'll keep mine. It's also the part needed to balance between the "id"(primative, immediate, and pleasure driven) and the "superego"(the moral compass of right and wrong) so that we can be functioning humans.

I am already mentally unbalanced enough w/ all 3 parts, I fear what I would be if one was missing!
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 9
What if our egos died?
Posted: 3/31/2009 7:02:04 PM

I think people would finally understand that everything and everyone is a part of a single identity called the Universe. Some people might call that God.

(I'll let you in on a secret...) That's what I believe too!
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 10
What if our egos died?
Posted: 3/31/2009 7:06:55 PM

is this me talking or is it my ego?

That's an easy one, but I can't answer it until you tell me truthfully: Are you your ego?
Joined: 7/11/2006
Msg: 11
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What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/1/2009 10:33:20 AM

Egos are quite the opposite of having a sense of self the 'I'
Ego is destructive pride that inhibits---------------the ability to be in touch
with the "I"......
The opposite of ego-pride is humility------------------------------------------
to be h u m b l e-----------------------------
You couldn't be more wrong. Ego is not synonymous with pride. The 'ego' is what sees the world, decifers the world, interacts with the world outside of the mind - in response to tension felt by the 'id'. The 'superego' is the part of mind that makes the judgement calls, decides whats right or wrong, or harmful- ie somewhat of a conscience.

This is more along the lines of what an ego is;

The ego is best if just used as it was intended for,survival of the body.

eg. the ID feels hunger, the EGO identifies food, the SUPEREGO decides if its okay to take that food.

Somewhere along the lines of interpretation the EGO got the rap as being someone's 'pride' or 'self righteousness' etc etc. It simply is the part of mind that can look beyond mind to the world.
Joined: 12/20/2007
Msg: 12
What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/2/2009 7:02:02 AM
I think the interpretation of ego is in conflict here........

I believe the ego is something that is created as a sheild to protect emotions and becomes the walls we put up, and when we do this we block out others and as a result we are at odds with one another an are unable to interact purely and as a result we need to feed ourselves instead of the more healthy response of feeding each other

My ego has helped me to survive situations that perhaps without it, I would have been crushed.

Ego in an imperfect world is a useful shield.......
Joined: 7/10/2008
Msg: 13
What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/2/2009 7:08:09 AM
I think if we were less egoistic we would probably see the world more objectively; after all, we are very small and unimportant creatures in the ultimate scheme of things when compared to the infinity of the universe. That is why science tends to be liberating, especially Astronomy and Cosmology, which remind you of how small you really are.

On the other hand, a lot of achievements of note by various people may not have happened if they did not have a strong ego and will to achieve what they wanted to achieve.
Joined: 12/20/2007
Msg: 14
What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/2/2009 7:09:27 AM
If Humility is the opposite of Ego, then perhaps it is a lesson we need to learn to practice humility instead of developing the shield of EGO, perhaps that is the true art of Wisdom and coming of age
Joined: 5/2/2008
Msg: 15
What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/2/2009 7:25:23 PM

Could we even survive without one?

I don't see why not. You could survive quite nicely, and you would be liberated from the ego's tyranny... it's a simple recipe for happiness. Note that I said "simple", not "easy".

Somebody mentioned Eckart Tolle, and I second the recommendation. His older book, The Power of Now, also discusses the subject. A New Earth, his last one, is probably better, but I loved both.
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 16
What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/2/2009 8:23:54 PM
Until you mentioned him, I never heard of Tolle, but I just watched a video of him on youtube and it seems he's got it right.

I never talk about my personal nirvana for two reasons; it's difficult to express in language and even if I could so express it, few would believe me. You might, so I'll tell you. It is a moment of rebirth wherein one becomes the universe and feels the absolute bliss of pure existence, of communion with the universe. It is an eternal experience where time and space lose their meaning. Nah...words still fail me; language is hopelessly inadequate to express it. Not to worry though. It is the experience you had before you were born and it is the experience you'll have after you die.

Maybe it is best expressed by analogy. If the universe is an ocean you exist in the ocean as water. As it evaporates and condenses into a drop, you are born. You look down on the ocean as you fall, learning about your shape, your velocity, your composition (Yep...I'm made of water, just like the ocean). You call yourself a drop. You look around at all the other drops and give them names. Some you like, some you don't; but it's a nice feeling just to know you aren't alone. You (and the other drops too) know that when you hit the ocean the fall will be over. Is that to be the end of it all? You are fearful. You don't want to die. Another drop told you that it doesn't end when you hit the ocean, you just get to be with "Father Ocean" and live happily ever after with all the other good drops in an underwater kingdom. The bad ones? Father Ocean will make them fall in the desert, so you'd better be a good drop!

The moment you dread finally happens as you hit the ocean. The drop is no more. It has rejoined the ocean from whence it came. It's no longer falling, no longer has a defined shape and is in fact indistinguishable from the rest of the ocean, The drop has ceased to be, but can we say it is really dead? After all the water is still there, only the drops are gone. I tell you honestly that not a single drop of water has been lost or wasted; it is all part of the ocean.

Usually if somebody asks me if I'm afraid to die, I just tell them that the first 13 billion years of my existence went pretty smoothly. It's only the last fifty or so that have caused me any trouble at all. I expect after I'm "gone" things will smooth out again.

I think it is our ego that causes us the most grief, simply because it masks our true nature with an illusion of "self."
Joined: 12/27/2007
Msg: 17
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What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/3/2009 11:19:13 AM
You might check out a film called Equilibrium. I think it would give a little insight as to what the future would be like if humanity didn't have an "ego", or rather, any emotion to drive them.

It is also a decent movie if you are into futuristic sci-fi, in case you were wondering.
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 18
What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/3/2009 11:52:44 AM
I believe ego is The Fountainhead of all human achievement- without it, all progress would crumble.

And yes, capitializing 'The Fountainhead' was intentional.
Joined: 4/24/2008
Msg: 19
What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/3/2009 6:12:53 PM
Ever hear of the guys in the orange togas with tamborines singing


Joined: 12/7/2008
Msg: 20
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What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/3/2009 10:25:30 PM
So how come the Id has been labeled as the Ego? What some posters are describing as the Eg0 some refer to is actually the Id in psychological terms.

The Ego is the sensor of reality and mediator between the Id(I want, I deserve, I need NOW) and the SuperEgo(that is right, that is wrong). Or to simplify, the Id is the devil on one shoulder, the SuperEgo is the angel on the other shoulder, and the EGO is the part in between(you).

Without the Ego, we as flawed human creatures would probably go to all primal, self satifying our needs or to ultra strict moral codists with no sense of the gray areas.
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 21
What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/4/2009 12:38:06 AM
@ EvilLolli

I guess I should clarify what I originally meant by "ego." I was looking at it in the Eastern sense as our illusion of "self", not as a third of Freud's structural model of the human psyche. In that sense we are talking about slightly different things (not that there's anything wrong with that, but slight differences in meaning do impair communication.) The "ego" I was referring to incorporates (or joins) elements of all three (if indeed they exist), though strictly speaking, both definitions refer to the "I".
Joined: 12/1/2005
Msg: 22
What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/4/2009 7:56:57 AM
I always thought that ego, superego, and id were simply contructs, and a way of thinking about how we as people, if we suppose that the ego died, would that mean that all thoughts of self go away, but others remain? If so,then we would have lots of constraints, rules, and knowledge of consequences, lots of "shoulds" and "ought to"s (super ego thoughts), and lots of "gimme!" and "wouldn't it be nice to X (drink an entire 5th of whiskey/screw everyone who looked hot/eat an entire pizza/sleep in and never work)"-or id thoughts...........but no in between ground of knowing how the consequences of the super ego's fears would impact us as individuals, no rational assessment as to the liklihood of getting caught, no drive or ambition to make our lives better, no concept of ourselves as an integrated whole.

I think with any 1 piece of the construct missing, we would essentially be paralyzed and unable to act, because of the extreme polarization of the remaining 2. Each of the 3 needs the other 2.

And all are constructs designed to better assist with thinking about thinking, and therefore, none is neccessarily all good, or to be desired, or all bad, or to be avoided. Stop demonizing my ego! LOL. (I have more issues with the super ego, personally)
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 23
What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/4/2009 9:20:55 AM
Suppose our brains were all wired together and we couldn't tell our own thoughts from anybody else's such that we could still act as indivual units, but with no sense of which one of us we are? You know...something like the Borg "hive mind." (for those who like Star Trek). Would we act like the borg, or would we have constructed a different society? Would it have been better or worse than the society we currently live in?...In what ways?...Would we be "happy"?
Joined: 6/9/2007
Msg: 24
What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/4/2009 3:10:47 PM
The Ego is not the's the emotional baggage/unresolved issues that give the poor little/big ego a BAD name...
Joined: 12/7/2008
Msg: 25
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What if our egos died?
Posted: 4/5/2009 12:37:55 AM
ok, the hive thing just flat out scares me. If i can;t seperate my thoughts, actions, or feelings from someone I am a drone. A tubula rosa to imprint upon to suit another's need. you can say an ego is a bad thing, but it is better than being an automaton.

Do you really want a world of insensent drones fufilling a master plan or do you want one individual to question that plan?

Non-individual drones are what society complains most about. Why do you thing that is the prefered state of human kind?
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