Some wise men say that to start living you have to die first.
You have to leave the character assigned to you behind.
You have to detach yourself from your corporate name and connect to the real you.
You have to become egoless.
The question is how?
I understand that nobody wants to die because this goes against our inbuilt self-preserving mechanism.
But this kind of death is different.
It is an end that leads to a new beginning, not to an unknown black hole.
For that to happen, you have to separate into two.
The first ”you” is your character in this world. This is the role you play in the ultimate movie called life. It’s a combination of many elements, but ultimately, the ego holds the largest amount of market share in this version of you.
The next ”you” is what you are left with after the other part is isolated. This is the essential element.
But reaching that part is not easy.
To get there you have to unlock a hidden level that’s not included in the commercial blueprints. It is a mysterious level that no one talks about but it’s there.
The ego is an image that we are taught to protect since our early years, but in most cases, we are talking about an artificial idea of the ego based on sinking sand and lack of meaningful logic.
Here’s the deal – many hits coming your way are not real because they are attacks against your character in this world, your artificial ego, your name.
They only hurt because we let them hurt us. We imagine that they are painful even though they are not.
Let me give you an example.
The room that I am currently in is right next to the hall of my neighbors. Their sofa is one wall away from my computer monitor. They hear my speakers pumping. I hear them talking. The baby is crying too.
They are a young couple that looks perfect on the outside – cash, love, kids, car, career – it’s all theirs. Naturally, or not, they consider me a loser. They think that I am not on their level for some reason. I see them whispering all the time. I know what they are saying.
But guess what?
Whispering can’t hurt you. They can say whatever they want against my character in this world.
It doesn’t matter because I know a secret.
I know one of the most powerful questions in the world.
It is the almighty king question – “So, what?”
What difference does it make whether those people see me as a baller or a loser?
There’s no difference unless I want there to be and invest unneeded energy and effort in protecting a hologram. How others see you is often irrelevant. What matters the most is who you truly are. That’s the real judge. Others take things out of context all the time. Truth doesn’t do that.
But overcoming this obstacle is not as easy as it may look from the outside. It’s actually very hard.
Let me share a story with you.
One lovely afternoon, my sick brain started talking to me while I was working on the computer.
“Look, bro. Here’s how I see things. You are constantly thinking about killing the ego but are you really doing something? Are you actively battling the problem or are you simply sweet-talking? When are you going to step up your game,’’ said the voice.
“Step up? What do you mean? What do you want me to do?’’
“It’s simple. Play Pause 4 Porno by Dr. Dre with the speakers pumping at a decent volume. Your room is right next to their hall. They will appreciate the gesture,’’ replied my voice.
“Are you crazy? I can’t do that.”
“They will think that I am a perverted son of a bitch who watches porn all the time and buys plastic vaginas from eBay.’’
“I don’t want them to see me this way.’’
“Bro, you are obviously not ready to kill your ego. Play Pause 4 Porno or go to sleep.”
“I am ready.”
“No, you are not.”
“You are still protecting it. You are still protecting the made-up character. Like it matters what those guys think of you. Like their whispering can hurt you. Like their mean looks can turn you into another man. Like their gossip can reduce your salary. Like their pretentious behavior can make you inferior.’’
“It’s not about that.”
“It’s precisely about that.’’
“Look, bro, here’s how I see things. You either launch Pause 4 Porno by Dr. Dre or you admit that you are nothing but one big mouth.”
This is when I found Pause 4 Porno by Dre on YouTube, started it and went to the other room. The first few seconds were painful. I wanted to stop the track, but I didn’t. It played all the way. My ego was hurt, but surprisingly I felt proud.
The crazy voice didn’t stop talking.
“Good. You did it…”
“But… there’s another level.”
“What is it?”
“It’s playing Pause 4 Porno by Dr. Dre at max level, letting it on repeat and going to the supermarket to buy some food.”
“Get out of here…”
Then, the OCD voice in my brain stopped talking but came back a few days later.
“Are you man enough to drink Coca-Cola like drinks in the motherfucking gym?’’
“I said – are you man enough to drink Coca-Cola like drinks in the motherfucking gym?’’
“Why are you asking me this?”
“If you want to be egoless, bring some sugary drinks for your next workout,’’ finished the crazy voice in my head.
I decided to listen and bought a cold can of coke, sat on the leg press (yet another sin) and opened the cola while battling my guilty conscience. The sound of the opening turned a few heads around. The smoke coming from the can made the experience even more magical.
“What is he doing? Why is he drinking shit infested alien urine from Saturn in the gym? This is supposed to be the Kingdom of Health and Fitness,’’ lifters were asking each other with their eyes.
It was somewhat painful to be considered a cheater and a loser, but I knew that once everything is over I will feel better because damaging your fake ego liberates you. You are allowed to leave the human cage and let the insult dry out. You no longer care about the things that don’t matter. You are not irresponsible. You simply do not overinvest in nonsense as much as before. To get there, you have to exercise. Drinking alien urine in the gym is one of the many exercises you can do.
The process is very similar to a workout. You hurt yourself, but you get over it and come back stronger than before. And while the approach is fairly straightforward it takes great strength to commit. You cannot easily transform from a people pleaser into someone who simply doesn’t care how strangers see him. You don’t get from weak to strong in a day. It takes a lifetime. The process never ends. There’s always more weight to be added to the bar. There is always another progression waiting for you. The battle is perpetual.
One of the principles that help a lot during ego-crushing exercises is asking yourself the question – are the dilemmas in my head stopping me from doing something physically? If the answer is no, then more often than not we are talking about ego based fear that could be overcome.
Does it matter what people think of you when their thoughts and discussions don’t have the power to stop you in the physical realm? Not really.
Let me give you a simple example.
You are in the mall. There’s a lonely piano at one of the corners. You want to test it, but there’s a problem. You are terrible at playing the piano. You can play a little but the sound produced by the instrument when you are controlling it is bad, very bad. You often hit the wrong keys, and your timing is terrible. Simply put, you are an awful piano player, and every fiber of your body is aware of this fact.
But you also know that you would definitely test the piano if you were alone in the mall.
What’s the problem?
The people around you, of course.
Luckily, that problem is artificial.
Just look around. Do you recognize anybody? Do you know them? Do you know their names? Have you seen them? Do they know you? Do they know your name? Are they the people deciding your destiny? Is your life going to be one bit different if those strangers have better or worse opinion of you?
You know the answers to those questions, and yet you still don’t want to test the piano. You don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of strangers. You don’t want others to see you as a loser who can’t play the piano like an octopus on NZT.
What will happen if you ask yourself the question – are those guys stopping me from playing physically?
If the answer is no, you have an opportunity to crush your ego. You have an opportunity to be free for a second.
What will happen when you play the piano and the sound is terrible?
Nothing. Truth be told, nobody will care. People are too consumed by the system to notice your efforts anyway.
But, I don’t want to be a loser…
When I am talking about damaging the ego, I am not talking about becoming a hunchbacked dude who doesn’t want anything from life. When you enter the real egoless mode, you become stronger than before. You don’t feel like a loser. In fact, you are more confident because you are learning how to destroy the artificially created pressure crushing your spine.
Of course, like most things in this life, even this particular strategy is subject to combative dualism – the more you fight your enemy with his weapons, the more you become like him.
Thus, you have to be careful.
In an attempt to destroy your ego, you may develop it even more. When you start to act as though you have no ego, you are still feeding your ego because your lack of ego becomes your ego. Your thrift becomes your greed. Balance is the key, I guess.
Some people are afraid to explore the egoless realm.
I am one of them.
Sometimes being egoless is scary because you feel so powerful and free that you start to question whether that freedom is real or a dream that will transform into a nightmare once you wake up. Man, it’s real, but like everything else it gets old too and needs maintenance – the eternal drama of this world. You can’t keep on going in the same direction and remain content forever.
When you reduce the ego frequency, you allow other parts of the song to be heard. Parts that were so well masked before that you didn’t even know they were there.
However, you can never lose your ego completely nor should you. It’s there for a reason. The goal is to become a master of your ego – kill it when you don’t need it, resurrect it when you do.
This makes the blurriness a little clearer.
The very fact that you had to prove to the people you live with that you don’t care what they think about you is proof that not only have you not rid yourself of ego, you failed to comprehend the point. Nobody wants to hear a shitty song blasting at max volume from an adjacent room, especially if the song has explicit lyrics and kids are around. If you really “didn’t care” (wannabe-nihilism runs deep in your workout philosophy as well as your life, it seems), you’d simply internalize the lack of need for external approval and continue on with your day as usual. But no, you had to put on a show for yourself (in truth, it was a show for others but you will never admit this) to “prove” something. You failed at your own goddamn philosophy.
So when the family finally gives your autistic ass the boot you’ll be thinking they’re just stuck in “lower consciousness” or some other new-agey bullshit, completely missing the point once again.
P.S. Holding comments for moderation is the first sign of being a bullshit peddler. Many creationists and feminists do this too.
Obviously, you didn’t read the whole thing. I actually address this issue in the post.
You do say later on (I admit to not reading the entire thing before) to be aware of becoming your ego, but the problem is that it’s all about you. You never stop to consider the experiences of people around you and how your “egoless mode” may affect them. Blasting loud music, needlessly occupying the leg press, walking down the street naked are all things a person with no ego would do, true, but they’re also things a sociopath would do.
I have great respect for people who have liberated themselves from a false sense of modesty. But that is not the same as having no regard for others.
I would also like to say that I appreciate your measured response. I regret not phrasing my previous comment in a less inflammatory way.
It appears only the first comment from a new email is held up for a while. I rescind my previous remark.
As George Michael once said: “It’s all about living your life, not giving a fuck what other people think”.
But I think that in the process you also must respect others, as John says: “Nobody wants to hear a shitty song blasting at max volume ..”
Balance might be key!!
(First post here, like the stuff!!)
Was this accomplished naturally?
Bum Bum bummmm
If not just don’t allow my comment to go through I’ll get the hint *winks*
Very interesting article. I’ve thought about it myself too for a long time, but I think everybody experiences their ego in a different way and also on a different level.
So these strategies to enhance ego will not work for everyone. I have also done something like this, but instead of gaining strength I conditioned, like you mentioned, a very unpleasant emotional memory. Some new situations can also remind me of the feelings I had during the ‘ego strengthening’.
With psychology as my background, my advice would be to make a list of things that scare your ego on a hierarchical way, and begin executing the behavior from least scary to most scary.
Evaluate how you react and if it’s positive go up the ladder, if not just stop.
Thanks for the comment.
I think that the strategy you propose is pretty cool.
Just be yourself, fuck everyone else they’re all a bunch of cunts. That’s how I get through the day. Brilliant post.
This is a fascinating article.
I actually think you’ve found a great way to chip into your ego. The issue I have found is that ego just keeps coming back in myriad ways.
I’ve actually tried going the opposite way at times – becoming an absolute ego-maniac – not in the spiritualist usage of he word, but the general narcissistic, self-loving kind of way. That actually does have a positive impact a lot of the time too. Wierd.
Guy Richie’s Revolver?