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Would world become better if there were no Ego??? How to overcome "ego" ???

Often I observe how EGO doesn’t allow people to do a social good …
And often think that world might become better if people were less Egocentric.

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    May 6 2011: I've been practicing karate for ten years now and I want to share an ESSENTIAL thought of this martial art here, and it is about ego. Like some martial arts, a beginner starts with a white belt. Usually, they are very excited and want to learn a lot to become a good martial artist as soon as possible. They're the ones who pay most attention to the classes and are very dedicated. Then, he passes an examination and gets a yellow belt, then a red belt, then an orange belt, after sometime a green belt, followed by a purple and a brown belt. Pay attention to the color's order - it gets darker as the karateka goes through the examinations.
    Then he takes a special examination, and, if he passes, he gets the black belt, and that's when most people give up (weird, but believe me, it is). It's pretty awesome when you get a black belt, you feel important, full of knowledge and etc. We usually don't change our black belt for a new one as the years go by, so after some time (about 10 years) your belt starts to get lighter, it looses its colours, and gets white.
    Ok, so why do we start with a white belt, work out a lot for many years, get a black belt, train a lot more, and end up with a white belt???
    The white colour, for some japaneses traditions, refers to knowledge. However, for us, traditional karatekas, knowlodge does not mean "to know many things" or "to have knowledge". It means "the desire to know", basically.
    When a karateka starts practicing, he wants to know everything,he knows he doesn't know and that he needs to learn. As he practices, he acquires knowledge, and his ego starts to appear, and by the time he gets a black belt, he thinks he knows everything. As the years go by, he realizes that he still has a lot to learn, and starts to pay more attention and his "desire of knowledge" appears. That's when his black belt starts to get white.
    So, if we want to overcome ego, we need do admit that we have NO knowledge , we need to feel like white belts - open your mind!
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      May 6 2011: I don't recall who said this but it fits nicely with your point "The epitome of knowledge is knowing what we do not know."
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        May 6 2011: Could it all start with knowing that we don't know? I have been in many classes or groups and it is not a common skill to be able to notce that gap in understanding when two parts of a puzzle do not meet. We have a tendency to assume that it was one thread or that there was no gap.
        (Not sure I communicated that well).
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          May 6 2011: Hi Debra, I think so, it does start with knowing that we don't know.
          Karate means "empty hands", but it can also mean empty mind:
          "Just as an empty valley can carry a resounding voice, so must the person who follows the Way of Karate make himself void or empty by ridding himself of all self-centredness and greed. Make yourself empty within, but upright without. This is the real meaning of the "empty" in karate." Funakoshi Sensei
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      May 7 2011: Lucas There is a story from a friend that I always tell to my clients, I want to shate it here. Charlie Badenhop shared it with us:

      When new students showed up in class, Charlie's sensei’s favorite questions was, “Why are you here today?” One common scenario would take place with a student answering, “I’m here to study Aikido.”
      “Oh” “And what is Aikido?”
      “Aikido is a martial art.”
      “Ah, and what is a martial art?” sensei would ask.
      “A martial art teaches self defense.” The student would reply.
      “Well, if you’re wanting to learn self defense you could spend your time more effectively by studying something else.” Sensei would respond.
      Charlie rarely raised his hand when sensei asked questions, but once when he asked why they were sitting there in his dojo, he replied in a clear voice, “I don’t know.”
      “Ah” sensei said. “Finally someone with an honest answer!”
      “If you don’t know why you’re here, why waste your time?”
      “Everyone comes to class wanting something, Few people come with the idea of first giving. If you’re filled with wanting, there’s no room inside you for giving. A hungry man hoards his food, he doesn’t share it with others. On the other hand, if you’re filled with knowledge, there’s no room inside you for learning.”
      “If you focus on wanting to perfect your technique you’ll lose sight of why you’re here. If you focus on why you’re here, your technique will suffer. Without good technique, your reason for being here will have little value.”
      “You need to pay attention, understanding you won’t know what you missing until after you’ve found it. When you stop fighting with yourself, you’ll realize you already have everything you need. Already having everything you need, you’ll be much more willing to give to others. The more you give, the less there is to defend. If you get to the point where you have nothing to defend, you’ll discover there’s nothing to attack. Having learned this, you’ll be ready to take your learning to a new depth of self discovery.”
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      May 18 2011: Great story! This makes me wonder; why in Europe we do not have a long tradition in martial arts.. Why we only play monkey games in primary/secondary school gymclass. Why don't we teach 'silence' to children.
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  • Jun 3 2011: Our ego is our “angel” and “demon” as well. It can’t have both roles in the same time, but it depends on us how we train it and what we let it do more often, behave like an angel or like a demon? You cannot chose not to have an ego because this means not having the opportunity to behave like an “angel”, without an ego you can’t show love, compassion, care, etc. So to answer your question, in my opinion the world would be a better place if we have a positive ego, if we grow and develop our positive ego, if we manage wiser our negative ego. How to overcome ego and I imagine here you mean the negative side of our ego? Embrace, study, understand, accept and love yourself deeply.
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      Jun 3 2011: Well said Cornelia,
      As another person insightfully says..."know thyself".
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      Jun 3 2011: Thanks Cornelia!!!
      .....
      Cornelia Coricovac: You cannot chose not to have an ego because this means not having the opportunity to behave like an “angel”, without an ego you can’t show love, compassion, care, etc. So the world would be a better place if we have a positive ego, if we grow and develop our positive ego, if we manage wiser our negative ego. How to overcome negative ego ? Embrace, study, understand, accept and love yourself deeply....
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    Jun 3 2011: "Know thyself" is ancient advice.

    What am "I"?

    I am "spirit." By this I mean I have cares and concerns. I can suffer. I can enjoy.

    If no one existed who had cares and concerns, If no one existed to suffer or experience enjoyment, nothing would matter. The only reason anything matters is that "spirit" matters. In other words, the only reason anything matters is that beings who have cares and concerns matter. Thus spirit hasintrinsic, original, unconditional value. All other value derives from their cares and concerns.

    When a spirit like us has a purpose, that purpose becomes valuable. Everything that serves that purpose acquires some positive value as a means. Everything that obstructs the purpose takes on negative value as an obstacle.

    The point is that every moment of spirit has intrinsic, non-derivative, unconditional value. that is true whether that moment of spirit resides within the boundaries of yourself, or within the boundaries of myself.

    But what is that boundary that divides spirit into different selves? It is ignorance! We are separated from each other by the fact that we do not experience each other's cares and concerns as directly and concretely as we experience our own. Thus, it is by way of a defect in knowledge that my self exists as a separate thing from your self. When our love for spirit is mixed with our ignorance of spirit beyond ourselves, the consequence is that we are moved much more strongly to serve the spirit we know than the spirit we do not know. In this way, ignorance twists us away from the true aim of love of spirit which would be to serve spirit.

    My untwisted self is this spirit I am that loves and serves spirit. My twisted self is the spirit I am that loves and prefers to serve the only the spirit that is singled out by my ignorance.

    The problem is not the EGO, but rather, the ignorance that imprisons it. The proper treatment is not devaluation of my spirit, but an aspiriation for empathy.
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      Jun 3 2011: Inthegarden !!! Thank you so much for the great new insight :))Absolutely!!!! the problem is not the EGO, but rather, the ignorance that imprisons it...we are truly separated from each other by the fact that we do not experience each others cares and concerns as directly and concretely as we experience our own...The reason I started this conversation was a case of witnessing a public ignorance … toward a human being who needed support, I was shocked witnessing totally “Why should I care ” attitude …from people leaving next to the victim of the case ....
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        Jun 3 2011: Would you care to elaborate upon the assumption that ignorance is not caused by ego, but is in fact what holds the ego within the threshold of ignorance?

        How can you say that a lack of ego will result in less care.
        A person without ego would think completely logically, if something is not fair the one who has less ego will likely be the one to refuse to accept the situation until it is fair.

        One who says "why should I care" is in fact thinking with not less ego but more ego.
        Ego can best be described as a smudging of reality, or a filter that alters how we perceive reality.
        Without this filter we see the cold hard truth and this can enable us to accomplish more.

        Ego can come in negative or positive connotation, but without ego all together you have total balance.
        Think about how balanced uni cellular organisms are.
        Uni cellular organism aren't worried about anything.
        They don;t have ego, they are the result of pure logic. Instinct is logic.
        Our instinct is far more superior to that of a uni cellular organism, but it is the same concept
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          Jun 3 2011: I will leave it to my able and enligtened freind to try and respond

          ..I only want to say to you Cole & Beyond the Cave that you are spekaing to each other from distant points on a circle where you could meet up..but I am not sure the last few day s of this wonderful discussion will accomplish that

          ..I am a contemplative and immersed , I think, in many of the same wisdom traditions from which my friend speaks. The challenge to us..me & my friend..is to speak in a manner that is accessible and comrpehensible and useful in a more universal way.

          There is much wisom in what my friend has said.I understand perfectly what you are saying, Cole, .I think..for right now..this will not get resolved..but I ask you to hold what beyond the cave has said and your comments somewhere where later you can look at them again. The same for my friend., Beyond the Cave.

          gWhat is the point of wisdom which cannot serve all immediately in perfect clarity? If wisdom is offered and even one person doesn;t understand..the gift needs honing or maybe we ourselves are not quite there yet??

          Cole..keep these questions.

          In time they will be answered.
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          Jun 4 2011: Hi Cole,

          You said:

          "One who says "why should I care" is in fact thinking with not less ego but more ego. Ego can best be described as a smudging of reality, or a filter that alters how we perceive reality. Without this filter we see the cold hard truth and this can enable us to accomplish more. "

          I quite agree with Lindsay that your questions are insightful and to the point.

          It seems to me that your difference with me is partly semantic. I mentioned two selves: the self twisted by ignorance, and the self that is not twisted by ignorance. What you are talking about as the EGO as a filter is what I called the twisted self. What you call the absence of EGO is what I call the untwisted self. I do not think that we can completely become an untwisted self or, in your words, completely eliminate the filter of the EGO. We do not have enough neurons to see the world from every other persons (or spirits) perspective and one simply cannot fully love that which one does not know since one's love has no real target to shoot at. What we can aspire to do is to remove bits and pieces of our ignorance by actively attempting to e empathetic. In your way of speaking, we can aspire towards being less blinded by our EGO.

          The main reason I choose to speak differently than you have ( to use "twisted self" and "untwisted self") is that the contrast between EGO and no EGO leaves confusion about what getting rid of the EGO is. I think it is overcoming ignorance. There would still be a "self" there if we could completely get rid of ignorance. Its boundary would just be all incompassing (like we imagine God's self to be). One would be a self that knows completely all phenomena.

          You ask me to explain my assumption that ignorance is not caused by the EGO. We are born infinitely ignorant, or if we have some inate or instinctual "knowledge", it is not far reaching. An infant has a lot to learn to catch up with the rest of us. So the EGO is not responsible for our original condition.
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          Jun 4 2011: Hi again Cole,

          One more thing I could not fit in the last post:

          I quite agree that EGO (the twisted self) generates more ignorance. Ignorance begets ignorance. It leads us down the wrong path(s).

          It is my suggestion that the right path is empathy and the second and third person perspectives that empathy generates. It is only with those perspectives that we are able to generate and maintain the methods of investigation that characterize the academic disciplines: the natural and social sciences, interpretation of texts, history, etc.
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      Jun 3 2011: Thank you,freind..nice to see your wisdom here.
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      Jun 3 2011: garden, are you suggesting that all humans have "spirits" which are not bound by the laws of this universe, and that it is possible to combine all of these spirits? DO these spirits that contain the emotions you described actually exist? They must if they carry emotion.

      They must be consisted of matter, if they contain emotion.

      My point being we will never see through another human being's perspective.
      Perspective is an illusion, it causes humans to perceive reality for what it is in perspective to our aspirations.
      Everyone has different aspiration, therefore perspective is unique in every individual.

      Without this "spirit" you described, without ego, then we will truly be able to unite as one and share the same perspective.
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        Jun 4 2011: Hi Cole,

        I appreciate your questions.

        I have very strong scientific leanings. I do not believe that we can overcome the laws of nature. I use the word "spirit" rather than "consciousness" or "mind" because I think it conveys something more than either of those words. When we speak of a person's "spirit", we are speaking of something more than intellect or mind or consciousness. We are speaking of something that includes those things, but also includes emotions and desires. That is my only purpose in using the word "spirit".

        My primary interest has always been in Philosophy, and within Philosophy, my primary interest is Ethics. In my reflections upon Ethics, I have come to believe that this category of beings I call "spirits" is the most important category.

        I do not believe that spirits float out of their bodies. I am deeply commited to believing in the power and value of the natural sciences.

        What I do believe is that there are two different languages we use to talk about ourselves. One is the language in which we describe ourselves as physical bodies. The other language is one in which we describe ourselves as beings with thoughts and emotions. Whereas the talk about bodies always takes place from a third person perspective, the first, second, and third person perspectives are all very important to our talk about thoughts and emotions. It is within this second kind of language that values appear. Ethics simply disappears as a subject matter if we refuse to listen to the first and second person perspectives.

        I do not claim that any of us could acheive perfect understanding of any other person. We are human. We only have so many neurons to work with. The ignorance I speak of is not something that can be completely overcome, at least not in this life in this body. If it happens that there is an after life (or after lives) in modified bodies or in radically different kinds of realities, we must wait to see what the situation is then.
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        Jun 4 2011: Cole + in the garden

        I am so enjoying thi sexchnage between the two of you..and just so moved that you arewilling to work with each other in thi way..

        This is what Ted Converstions is all bout

        You both have my deepest respect
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    May 11 2011: Philosophy aside, my simple mind tells me that ego is about giving yourself, your ideas, you belongings, etc., more importance over others. Logically, if ego is about me, than the opposite must be about others. What makes us do things for other is love. Start loving other and you will soon start giving less importance to self.
    Yes; you can take this concept as far as you like but you will not be able to take love out if it.
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    May 10 2011: I have found that fighting my ego is like trying to think about nothing. The harder you try to think about nothing, the more your thoughts turn to "things".
    Likewise, in thinking of overcoming one's ego, the harder one tries, the more one starts thinking about oneself. Essentially, this causes one to feed even more into ego.
    A small tip I have heard and attempt to do: Every day, do a favor for someone WITHOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE- and with the intention that the person you are helping will never know.
    Actions that are solely for the sake of goodness are really the essence of social good and anti-ego, and one small step at a time, you become a better, less egotistical person.
  • May 10 2011: I've come to think of the ego as a dog. It must be domesticated and taught how to behave. It is a useful companion, watchful and aware - but it isn't me. Taming and quieting that dog has led to a huge paradigm shift.
    This shift has enabled me to see all of us as one. It has allowed me to see the commonalities among us and the beauty of our differences.
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      May 10 2011: That sounds like a very helpful metaphor. I'm not sure that ego is alive though. One could make a good case that it is an aberration in human evolution and not part of our authentic nature.
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        May 12 2011: yes..not part of our authentic nature..not part of our authentic self..a distorting and limiting force that develops over the course of our lives
    • May 10 2011: Thanks Lance. I think as you look over responses you'll see many of us have come to the same sort of shift. The answer is not destrying the ego, but transforming vision of self to an "us" centered focus.
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      May 11 2011: When EGO will be domesticated to serve us then will be able to serve others around us and enjoy it ....
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    May 9 2011: About 6-7 Years back I discovered the philosophy of Ubuntu and should say that this was a true mindset shift for me…Archbishop Desmond Tutu was one of the very first to use this concept in his public speeches. He would say "One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu - the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality - Ubuntu - you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity."This is the definition that is suggested in Wikipedia: A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed. Nelson Mandel also used this concept ….In a word, I admired this philosophy so much that started to experiment some basic principles streaming from this philosophy…It opened up my mind to see things not as episodes and isolated self focused cases but rather more systemic and interconnected, impacting many more then myself and those who I care for…. Ubuntu become for me ego balancing tool in some way in relation to social/civic activism... I am sure many of us used Ubuntu in some way or other and would appreciate your comments and reflections on Ubuntu /Ego relations if any….????
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      May 9 2011: "Without attention we do not feel human." I totally forgot who said this on a conference I once was, but it was about when 'the world' stops giving a group of people or country attention, weird things start to happen inside that community. Hunger for connectedness, mental hunger. Like hunger for food, for physical survival makes to do everything. mental survival has the same survival instinct.
    • May 9 2011: You mentioned on my post that Ubuntu rocks. Yes it does. It isn't that North Americans for example can't be altruistic, but many times the altruism is a expression of their own ego! Altruism is another "me" concept. What I would love to see goes way beyond that. It is community space in our cultures that is significant, changes culture and demands that "we" is examined in major decisions. Self does not have to get lost in that, but there has to be a new center or focal point.
    • May 9 2011: Kristine, please can you direct towards more info regarding Ubuntu and its philosophy? - where? how?
      my ego would be grateful.....
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      May 10 2011: Thank you for bringing up Ubuntu, Kristine. I believe it is a wonderful concept that needs to be better known. I think Ubuntu and ego are mutually exclusive - one blocks the other. My understanding of the meaning of the term ego (viewing ourselves as larger or more important than we are) interferes with and blocks Ubuntu. Ego connects us with an illusion of our self. Ubuntu connects us with other people.
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        May 10 2011: Bob, I am in love with Ubuntu, I spread it with every possible opportunity just like spreading the word about TED:))) In this last two years telling about TED to my friends has been the best present I ever did for them :))
        Bob I made Ubuntu the cornerstone principle in our TEDx event organization process and it turned to be a very nice event, Many people joined in the process and invested their best into what we do, my job was just to open space for all who wanted to get engaged...One of the things that I kept saying that every single persons contribution is equal important for us all and those who do more should not compare them with those who do relatively less.... the important part here is the event as a whole and that wouldn't happen if we wouldn't have these many divers inputs... and every person should decide for himself/ herself if they work for our event or for their own show up....
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      May 12 2011: ubuntu sounds very similar as you describe it to the ancient Flower Garland School of Buddhism.in which what you describe is called infinite inter penetration..each of us singular, unique, needed for the whole..radiating out into all others, being penetrated by what is radiated out from all others... I love that way of thinking about how we as individuals are located in the whole.There is an implied stewardship for one another..the idea that our anger, cruelty, despair,angst, fear actually contaminate others, But I also love that idea that the individual is unique and crtically needed for the sustenance of the whole. It implies a stewardship for self as well.
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      May 13 2011: Kristine thanks! i will use Ubuntu for a group performence i am working on.
      my personal goal is to creat as much Ubuntu as possible through music and interactive performence.
      i would even go as far as saing that in my opinion the resone our civilzation is so full of ego
      is exactly becaus that our cultural perception of reality is mostly to do with the individual, the hero,
      the king, or the chosen one. and that westren society is a thret to Ubuntu and makes us divided and in
      competition with each other.
      long live Ubuntu!!!
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    Jun 5 2011: This conversation will close down in 3 hours, but before it will close down I want to thank all who participated and shared their experience, knowledge, insights, stories and resources… This has been a great experience… TED is a great place for wisdom sharing and this conversation has been a fantastic space with its energy and spirit…I think, I personally found many answers I have been looking for ages ….I also collected gimps of wisdom from all of you, most importantly I made new friends :)…

    And… I also experienced this great feeling of Ubuntu here, because same great people helped me with facilitation and with the idea of making something out of the wisdom we collected her… in the middle of our conversation “I” become “we” and hope “we”’ll continue working on passing to the next stage of our conversation ….:)

    Ubuntu forever and inner balance and harmony to all of us :)
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    May 19 2011: And finally the last part. We decide to do something with all this Insights and Inspiration.

    Here are the suggestion that we made. Let’s have a look and add on and discuss furthered as a step toward passing to action:
    1. Make a team to research and raise awareness.
    2. Choose our own comment with most thumbs and turn it into a little video. Post the video on YouTube/ let's see what a great thought in text becomes 'told' through a video. …
    3. Trains our mind to consistently let go of (not get rid of) distraction by regular meditation
    4. Develop some ways that meditation become really cool catchy and fun for youth and kids
    5. Do yoga to balance our life and become a better person without judging others, or us.
    6. Making your own little video, being confronted with your own voice, face, message
    7. To make progress on overcoming cultural EGO we can create a whole forum with mission to find a great bonding tool for those who wish to spread Ubuntu
    8. We could create a training module “ New habits to balance our EGO” or “Things we should know to be able to balance our Ego” or this could have been a book even ..
    9. The http://www.OPENIdeo.com method make idea's really happen collaboratively, we could mixing TED Conversations with this, would be a world changing thing!
    10. Suggest a project incubator to allow TED Conversations to evolve into action or at least a plan of action...
    11. Start actual practice of transcending ego…
    12. Think of how to bring this inspiration into action through art and media by raising awareness and changing perception
    13. Writing a menifto/book/idea and market it, create a powerful and useful meme and set it free on the world, and most importantly make it fun and cool..
    14. For primary school children start meditation, martial arts, dance, music classes
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    May 19 2011: Thanks for all these great INSIGHTS from all of you. I am sure they are very useful and that is why I want to highlight them again…

    1. EGO is something we all have and there is no need to fight withit. It is better to try to understand our true essence (Ego is part of it) and transform it so it stop dominating and truly becomes part of our essence.
    2. Passing to “us” thinking from “I” centered thinking can balance EGO. UBUNTU can create ground for letting go ego individually and for a whole culture
    3. Sometimes being "attuned," can help to cultivating a place for silence in all our relationships, we could try to be silent before we speak which would help to build understanding
    4. Adoring those who give instead of receive could really change the way society perceives self-importance, our egos could become assets towards doing social good.
    5. Self discovery is key for balancing EGO. Knowledge sharing is a path to self discovery. The more we give, the less there is to defend. If we get to the point where we have nothing to defend, we’ll discover there’s nothing to attack. Having learned this, we’ll be ready to take our learning to a new depth of self discovery
    6. Be aware of loss aversion, which means that whenever we interpreted/perceived a situation as a loss, our emotional selves overreact to our subjective reality, so we tend to make a riskier choice even more so than necessary. We all took things for granted at a number of points of our individual lifetime. This is due to two well known human cognitive limitations within the context of human cognitive science, called loss aversion (and false positive/superstition)
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    May 19 2011: 7.If we want to overcome ego, we need do admit that we have NO knowledge and open our mind to new knowledge, be ready to learn from all 8. Realizing that superstition is a simple mechanism of us believing that there's a meaningful pattern, among what's actually just meaningless noises. Thus resulting us having false beliefs, and we ended up forming our subjective reality based on those said beliefs.
    9. Not loving oneself in a materialistic sense nor being overconfident to the point of arrogance
    10. Negative self-judgment and low self-esteem are places where people get stuck partly because they pay too much attention to their own self. When people recover from "troubled lives" they become more naturally themselves and don't waste a lot of time worrying about how they are doing.
    11. A frame based on “us” is larger and more flexible. We have access to more information and a broader understanding of our surroundings. “Us” frames allows us to see our connectedness and interdependency. They provide space for exploration and reflection. Problems become easier to solve because we are able to more fully understand where they came from and how they can be addressed to bring about lasting solutions.
    12. Self-judgment fades into the background. Being free from the effort of promoting and protecting a self-image allows us to make mistakes and learn from them. It becomes easier to ask forgiveness and to forgive. We recognize limitations, resources, and opportunities. We can learn to choose our frames. We can choose compassion instead of defensiveness, hope instead of fear, personal responsibility instead of blame, “us” instead of “me.” I believe this works better for us and for me.
    13. Fighting pain may dominate in our entire existence. Some become angry and self-centered. Others are able to use pain to let go of a sense of self and recognize a much larger picture. When people learn that fighting pain tends to make it much worse they become open to learning how to regain b
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    May 19 2011: 20. More recent research shows little relationship between self esteem and a satisfying and fulfilling life. When we see ourselves clearly (an ongoing, evolving task that we never full accomplish), we see limitations, gifts, opportunities, risks, needs, abilities etc. Compassion is the art of seeing others clearly.
    21. Ego has to do with the way we do something, in Vedanta tradition the word for ego is 'ahankara' and contains the roots for the words 'I' and 'action'. Rarely do we rely on our true self, that essence of which has been discussed, instead of that we prefer to stick to our habits and act in a way that –if we're lucky– we know is wrong.
    22. It helps to be awake and be aware of our reactions, then we can do something about them and start to correct them. The issue is not only overcoming ego, but uncover our own essence and start doing fresh and clear actions.
    23. Knowledge is good as long as it doesn't blind us to the people around us. Ego blinds us to what is REALLY happening around us. We can admit that we don't know everything and its okay to look stupid in front of other people.
    24. We are afraid of revealing our real personality, our inner self, or we have fear about reaching our goals, fear of failure, fear of loving, and so many others. Recognizing these branches will help us to organize our thoughts, so that we can see a more clear reality and, do not become easily dissatisfied with ourselves.
    25. Controlling the way we think, and bringing clarity to our minds, and thoughts, will help us to understand our weaknesses and strengths. In this meditation we can find peace of mind, acting toward our thoughts, to become more positive and happier people.
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    May 9 2011: How to get rid of ego? Understand the place and role in history and teach children the balance between self-esteem and compassion. As those two resonate. As adults we can take the same primary school course!

    I guess we needed the 'western type' of Ego until the '90s to create a material system in the world which (in theory) could feed and house everybody in the world. The knowledge is there and the ways to do so also, though now Ego is in the way to voluntary share for the good off all. Interesting topic!
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      May 9 2011: ....teach children the balance between self-esteem and compassion......... as adults we can take the same primary school course.... !!!! Thanks Paul !!!!
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        May 9 2011: Thanks! Though where is this educational package to download ;)
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        May 10 2011: I like to define the goal of self esteem as "seeing ourselves clearly." Having positive self-esteem can be destructive. Research that looked at groups of people and self-esteem found that gang members and prisoners were two groups who scored among the highest in self-esteem. More recent research shows little relationship between self esteem and a satisfying and fulfilling life. When we see ourselves clearly (an ongoing, evolving task that we never full accomplish), we see limitations, gifts, opportunities, risks, needs, abilities etc. Compassion is the art of seeing others clearly.
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          May 10 2011: Yes, in order to stick your head really out, we need to see ourselves clearly. In material gain, we always have the proof of measurable succes, so this is backing you up when you have little self esteem.
          When it comes to immaterial gain in a society, as you can't proof the path you feel you need to take, we need to have a clear view on what your work is in society, withstand critics to keep on going for the bigger picture.
          I guess this is why the material world is so far developed. I guess currently due to internet we find globally like minded in immaterial progress, to speed up thoughts and actions and so as a global community we can catch up with the global material interdependence, compassion.
  • Jun 5 2011: We need to understand the composition of an individual. An individual is composed of mainly two basic items. If we observe the composition of water then we came to know that water is composed of two elements, one is hydrogen and other is oxygen. Now water has the properties of both the elements that is hydrogen and oxygen.
    In the same way, take this analogy on human beings. They are also composed of two main things, Animal + Soul = Human being. Human beings are not merely the animals, neither they are souls So the human beings have the qualities of both. So both the power should remain in their own limits. If one element gets more stronger that our ego will destroy the world. Hence balancing the two elements would bring positive results in the world. It will don wonders
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    Jun 2 2011: Ego isn't bad; Too much ego is bad. The Greeks taught us, the original sin is hubris.
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    May 29 2011: Ego is a motivator. It’s probably the greatest motivator in our world today. I believe motivation is over-rated. It’s only needed when we lack energy and/or vision to see and connect with needs and opportunities.

    The problem is that ego-centric thinking limits our vision. It creates a frame of self-interest. The interests of others are outside the frame and don’t become part of our reality. Ego creates a filter that only perceives what makes “me” feel good, it ignores information on the potential long term effects of my actions. “Helping people” becomes an abstraction that prevents me from understanding and connecting with them. Using an ego-centered frame and filter to limit our perception (and therefore definition) of reality makes it possible for us to harm others and destroy the environment in the quest for our own comfort and convenience.

    Ego creates a blindness that allows us to harm others without realizing it. It creates a separateness that cuts us off from our essential nature. It feeds a distortion, that if I only do more for me, I will be safe and esteemed. Focusing on personal safety and esteem feeds fear and leads to suspicion, exclusion, prejudice and persecution. Ego leads to the desire to control. Conflicts over who is in control are the basis for most war and violence.

    When ego separates me from others, I feel empty. I need motivation to be productive. I produce things that make me feel good for a little while but they do not connect me with others. I feel empty again. I need more motivation. Ego becomes an addiction that dries up the capacity for empathy and compassion.

    Our nature is to connect with others. Ego limits and obstructs that. Developing potential requires openness, risk, and most often, suffering. Ego focuses on safety and security at the expense of others. It keeps us from seeing the security in being connected with others while developing our natural abilities.

    Ego is bad for our world because it keeps us from becoming ourselves.
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      May 29 2011: Hi Bob,
      I agree that ego CAN have all the ramifications you mention. I also believe in your statement: "We are able to see that every person has potential (just as we do). We can focus on things that make it possible (or at least don't obstruck) the ability for each person in our world to develop their potential".

      When we are mindfull and aware of how ego-centric thinking limits us, we can make the choice to focus our attention in a more productive way. It feels like you have given ego a life of its own that will rule us in your comment above. We make choices:>)
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        May 29 2011: .... When we are mindful and aware of how ego-centric thinking limits us, we can make the choice to focus our attention in a more productive way.....

        Thanks for mentioning about "MINDFULNESS" … There is a great website that I love to read… about mindfulness , mediation, AI and so on… I think this is a right place to share it with you all :)

        http://westallen.typepad.com/idealawg/mindfulnessmeditation/ (by Stephanie West Allen )
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        May 29 2011: Colleen wrote "When we are mindfull and aware of how ego-centric thinking limits us, we can make the choice to focus our attention in a more productive way."

        Mindfulness can be a trap that centers focus on ourselves. It has become a technique and people have copyrighted training materials on how to do it.

        I tried to overcome ego by being mindful of it back in the 70's when I was in my 20's and came out of that decade being just as self-centered but with an illusion of self-development. We don't get rid of something by focusing on it. The very act of focusing on something brings our attention to the place in our brain where that concept is located (try to not think about something...) Probably the most ego-centric thought is to believe one has overcome the ego.

        Ego permeates modern culture and does, in many respects, rule us. The key is to develop an "us" mentality that replaces the "me" centered ego. This is an ongoing challenge rarely supported by modern culture.
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          May 29 2011: Thanks for the link Kristine...will check that out later:>)

          Anything can be a trap Bob, if we allow it to be. I'm suggesting being mindful in the moment, which is inclusive of everyone and everything around us. As I said in a previous comment, I don't think it's wise to try to "overcome" ego. I think it is more beneficial to recognize how we use it in ourselves. You are right...we don't get rid of something by focusing on it, which is why I suggested focusing on more productive behaviors while being aware of our ego. Again, I believe anything can only "rule us" if we allow it. My experience with mindfulness in the moment embraces the feeling of "us", and that is a choice I make. I think this challenge is becoming more supported by modern culture, because more of us are recognizing the connectivity of "us":>)
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      Jun 1 2011: How to sustain yourself and do 100% good.... Ego is to motivate and when motivation is there... to let go and connect with others. Though for most people this is tough because the mortgage is looming every month and all those bills who need to be paid. So very fast people need to do a job, giving that EGO a boost, making lot's of money at the costs of others and the planet.

      Where is the gas-station to fuel, take a deep breath and go for the selfless, compassionate society we all want to live in? Why does this system nail us down from highschool, we need EGO to survive?

      Jump in the deep and suffer? Have hope it will all work out? It's easy to say afterwarts, when you have income from the good thing you do, but before? The 70's/80's have been good for the common good, there was (financial) space to experiment, though today?

      You can't even visit your grandparents to collect food for the week from their garden. You can't even have a one person income for a home, so the partner can focus on children and/or a common good...

      Build a house in the mountains is the only option?
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      Jun 3 2011: Love this quote from your beuatifully written comment, Bob
      Ego creates a blindness that allows us to harm others without realizing it. It creates a separateness that cuts us off from our essential nature. It feeds a distortion, that if I only do more for me, I will be safe and esteemed. Focusing on personal safety and esteem feeds fear and leads to suspicion, exclusion, prejudice and persecution. Ego leads to the desire to control. Conflicts over who is in control are the basis for most war and violence. "


      "
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    May 29 2011: with pleasure!

    The Lights
    http://123.writeboard.com/o72r6vphjdc4mnzu/login
    Password: the lights

    please feel free to click the edit page botton and edit/change/remove/add text to your liking!
    we want to experiment with colaborative thought design over digital interfaces.. any edit you make will creat a new version.. and ppl can compare easily between versions and vote on the ones they like!!
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    May 24 2011: I believe that our ego is an important part of our psyche and a necessary tool for motivation. I think problems occur when people let their ego become the master and not simply a part of themselves to be used to create more in their lives.
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      May 22 2011: Jaime, in one of your posts you mentioned that one should find his/her true self.. "Be yourself"…be self-aware...
      Do you think that mediation doesn’t help in this? If yes, could you explain why? Also if you have suggestions could you please share them with us…
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        May 24 2011: I am very sorry to see that our beloved Jaime has removed the many formative and inspirational comments he made . We allow that in Ted unlike in real life where once a word is spoken it cannot be taken back

        .It struck me this morning reading over this entire conversation now absent the actual words Jaime spoke that its a little like reported accounts for all time of a visitation from an angel..it is remembered, it.is reefrred to, the impact of it is still present and carried forward but we have only our own reflections of it in us now..not the printed words, to carry these powerful ideas Jaime gave us into our lives and into the next level of this conversation.Jaime's wisdom is still here among us..in us. Only the words are gone

        ..ubuntu at work

        whether intentionally or not it reminds me what our process here at Ted is all about. It's not about the fixed words. It's about what we carry forward into our lives, into the wolrld from these "community conversations" What matters is what is in us when we leave..what more we have to bring into our lives as a result of this exchange.
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      May 22 2011: Hi Jaime, I understand your POV meditation has nothing to do with ego the way you see define ego, though I am am with the school of thought 'ego' = me, and grows all the time if it can. In this SoT the other is 'Us'. What you describe as woodwork, pray and work, you get into 'flow' what MC talks about. http://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow.html it is in the same realm as meditation, contemplation, relief etc. You are a period less selfcentred, selfaware, into something outside your 'me', so the 'me' can relax. Praying if you do also has the same effect on the mind, to relief 'me', and if you wish to believe, to connect with God/Us.
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    May 21 2011: Some of us have been in a skype talk session, bit tricky with the timezones, but we made it!

    We realized we want to do something with 'meditation', as this is the start of balancing selfesteem and compassion.

    To do something together 'intercontinental', we have to start really small.

    Conclusion 1 : We are focussing on children and youth, there are enough courses, video's and books out there for grownups to understand taking care of ones mind (and body)

    Conclusion 2 : 'Meditation' is not 'cool' and 'fun' for youth.

    Conclusion 3 : Meditation is interesting, but not for small kids to confront them with.

    So we came to "grounding" as a first little collaboration.

    It is about letting 'selfawareness' go a bit. This helps you in your work, to concentrate, to create, to connect and be more compassionate and have a 'better' self-esteem.

    Very simple to learn and do, but no school and little parents tell their children.

    We want to collect knowledge on 'grounding' together, maybe here, maybe a different tool is better for it.

    a. This can become a small video for parents and teachers to watch how easy it is to 'ground' and why it is important for youth 14-20.
    b. This can become part of a small book for 4-6 years old; a fairytale introducing in an implicit way grounding.

    Just comment with experiences in 'grounding techniques' and if you have any idea on how to pass this knowledge on to kids and youth, please join the conversation!
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    May 20 2011: To get also back on the subject, we still have 16 days ;)

    I read 'The War of Art' by Stephen Pressfield. In this book becomes (painfully) clear original creation comes from beyond ego. Everything I say is free to use by anyone for any good.

    We will have great idea's here, and we have to realize we are only passing them on, making them accessible for others.

    Ofcourse pride and glory is ok; John Lennon had a lot of pride and glory but he never claimed his music is his invention.

    It is only the industrial age which put ducktape on people mouths and copyright on material as they needed to earn back investments in machines. This world no longer exists.

    So our ego's and self are free, alchemists can stand up again.
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    May 19 2011: people, first i want to thank Kristine for sharing, posting, moderating, and keeping such a pleasant vibe in this conversation.
    i suggest, that we create an online community, dedicated to finding solutions and projects to help shift our civilizations world view from "me" to "us". that goes for all age groups.
    we can use these quotes as a reference to keep us on track.
    who wants in? and what online interface should we use?
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      May 19 2011: Can we do this on Facebook Group ?

      Also 2 more ideas for upper list:
      1. We could create fairytales for kids to develop some habits to balance their ego.
      2. Develop new ubuntu building (just like team building) techniques
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      May 19 2011: there are many groups starting it already, all over the world, it's the biggest non financial movement ever (I quote somebody here, but don't remember who).

      What we have to ask our 'Ego'; how much time do we want to spend together and which common and personal goal is in there.

      My experience is, if we gather that, the common goal will be pushed higher and we do not mind spending more time on it than we first personally intended.

      Stephen Covey calls it "Begin with the End in Mind". And be transparent on time and place and energy to reach that goal. So time : where do we put our collective end?

      Maybe to do an experiment; We can start a Facebook Cause, with an endgoal (more endgoals if I see Kristine's summary) in mind. Facebook is indeed the place to reach non-Ted addicts.
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        May 20 2011: Paul wrote: Stephen Covey calls it "Begin with the End in Mind".

        Beginning with "the end in mind" could limit the focus and breadth of possibilities that can open as we coalesce around this endeavor. Another approach might be to focus on building a supportive community of people to deepen our understanding of this issue and how it can be applied in a wide range of situations. I believe it is important to practice what we hope to promote. We need to consistently develop compassion and understanding in our own lives and interactions before we can have a lasting influence on others. We also need to understand the values and frames of people we may hope to influence.
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          May 20 2011: .
          Vision and Mission go hand in hand
          Otherwise a tribe will strand
          Vision is to grow a collective wisdom
          Mission needs an end goal to grow a collective kingdom
          Wisdom is immatter, kingdom is matter
          They are innertwined as music is with water
          A promise for transparency, openness and truth-seeking ensures compassion
          To promise a book, film or game is a natural need as we live in a time-constrained fashion.

          (By accident it started to rhyme, I guess because of sesamestreet I have seen yesterday evening on rhymes.)
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          May 20 2011: Bob, building a supportive community of people to deepen our understanding of this issue and how it can be applied is really important and for that reason I think we could try to engage all who have been engaged in this conversation to see if they are interested in further steps.
          I think we should try to keep this space as open space for all to feel comfortable to share their ideas.... we follow the flow so far, anyway at some point we have to choose the idea we want to work for....
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          May 20 2011: lets have the end in mind but remember that we must be flexible and open for change.. can you both agree on that? we can also work in a few different directions simultaneously,,, lets be intuitive and attentive about it. free but with a common light.
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        May 20 2011: I understand your concern Paul. Now it is time to decide what we want to do. I summarized and posted all we had here, because didn’t want to lose any part of it but in general a few main ides are here, the rest is about how to… If I missed something, please suggest…
        May be we could choose one or two for these to work on and then pass to “How part”
        Those are the main ideas:
        • Make a team to research and raise awareness.
        • Make meditation fun and easy for youth to engage them
        • Develop something (games, educational materials , so on) for kids and youth to teach them balancing EGO from earlier ages
        • Write a book about small personal/ or karate like stories we shared here, which show people found their way and show the insight…
        • Develop Ububntu building techniques like team building exercises... maybe also translate the concept into local languages and spread

        If we cannot gather groups, at the end each of us can choose one and work on it… Anyway I think it would be fun to work with our group…
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          May 20 2011: I agree, and because you want me to be proactive ;) I started on your point 2 and 3. Like?

          Like a seed in the wind landing somewhere, which might grow or not, I started a facebook page to spread the message and to keep informed on this little part. http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-right-to-know-your-mind-and-body/211983628833534

          Maturing the vision can be on TED conversations, having a touchable milestone (free book ) in mind can be on facebook related to this conversation.
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    May 19 2011: 14. Choice between fear and love is key. The eyes of fear wants you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead see all of us as one.
    15. Would be good to know that ego is all tied up with the sub conscious..the parts of us that are broken, our ineffectual operating systems collected over a life time.. but the preconscious is our magic synthesizer that can integrate and create.
    16. When we are isolated from a supporting community we grow feeling weaker than our true potential, that is when we try to empower ourselves through egoistic mind patterns, such as greed violence and further disconnection.
    17. Another way to let go of the ego, is to understand and love the bigger organism that we want to be part of, our community. When we find a group with common interests goals or ideologies, it’s much easier to drop the burden of egoistic wants from our shoulders.
    18. Focusing on the prestige we might gain from "doing good" would seem to block our ability to clearly assess what might be truly helpful I have seen many situations where someone has done great harm by trying to look good by doing what they thought was helpful.
    19. Tension is another obstacle to let go ego. Tension is built up when we resist or try too hard. Letting go of tension allows us to be more in the moment. Tension creates an imbalance in our autonomic nervous system which leads to more tension. There is a simple process to restore that balance, and another called grounding which helps us keep our body in neutral so we are aware of when we are building tension.
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    May 13 2011: I think if there were no unhealthy egoism we would be able to see another's point of view more easily and cooperation would be more common. We would also be far more concerned with the well being of others.
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    May 13 2011: There was a post (that I am unable to find) that summarized this discussion in terms of striving for an “us” versus a “me” point of view” Point of view determines what we believe is our reality, in the same way that a frame determines how much of a picture we are able to view. We don’t see what is outside the frame.

    A frame based on “me” (ego) puts self-interest at the center of the universe. Everything else is temporarily or peripherally important. Our brain learns to filter incoming information according to what fits our frame. We develop our own interests with little consideration of the effect on others. Our thoughts become like the chatter of a football commentator providing play-by-play analysis of how we are doing.

    “Me” frames tend to be fragile and are easily filled with fear and uncertainty. Life is viewed as a competitive struggle. We push and drive to survive and succeed. Fear, limited vision, and competing self-interests provide fertile ground for conflicts to arise and a fixed frame diminishes our ability to see solutions. Our focus becomes more narrow as we become more rigid and afraid, further shrinking the frame. The world looks more and more like an ugly, threatening place.

    (continued in next post)
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      May 14 2011: Bob, I was trying to answer you on a upper post of you but there was no space , so I'll answere hereYou wrote :...If we are open to connecting with people within a group, we are more likely to understand how they see things and they are more likely to pick up some of what we see. Telling people they are wrong tends to reinforce our own self-righteousness and seldom helps them change course. We can be understanding without being condescending. We can touch people by opening our hearts to them, one person at a time. Recently I sow Ric Elias talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/ric_elias.html , where he was telling about 3 things he learned while his plane was crashing and one of the lessons he shared was this, he said " I thought about, I really feel one real regret. I've lived a good life. In my own humanity and mistakes, I've tried to get better at everything I tried. But in my humanity, I also allow my ego to get in. And I regretted the time I wasted on things that did not matter with people that matter. And I thought about my relationship with my wife, with my friends, with people. And after, as I reflected on that, I decided to eliminate negative energy from my life. It's not perfect, but it's a lot better. I've not had a fight with my wife in two years. It feels great. I no longer try to be right; I choose to be happy. "He says " I no longer try to be right; I choose to be happy. " and his happiness as he describes further in his talk is expressed by just being present at his kids life, being able to see more than his frame, being able to listen and be connected.You also mentioned that "The egocentric culture will fall on its own because it does not contribute to long term fulfillment and satisfaction”Today we all witness things that are happening all over the world.. which are examples of clashes of egocentric culture. But do we take lessons??? Do we ask WHY????Bob what do you think how do we make these lessons more adoptable or concerning or useful..
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        May 14 2011: If I may.. I am convinced we have a personal life and global citizen/work life we need to look differently at. The second order of Yin and Yang. Basically each man on the planet should have this wisdom to have a good marriage; (1) Do I want to be right or happy, you can't have both (2) Than as a man you always have the last word; "Yes Love" ;)... In the end you are 'right' by doing so.

        In work it is the way around; you should want to be right, a quest for a clear/clean conscious. happiness follows.

        In 'the West' we do not have this balance between Yin and Yang embedded in society, in gov, in corp. In Asia it is also disappearing as money risks in winning and losing grows, so there is more fear and not going for a clear conscious anymore.

        Basically it has all to do with egocentric culture; it is important what others think of me, narcissistic, so I will compete and use all means to get my status high ranked. And a lot of people have to they think to keep their jobs, get high profits for a boss, as they signed contracts with banks to pay for mortgage for 30 years, so not being selfish in work would suffer personal life… a vicious circle.
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        May 14 2011: Kristine wrote "what do you think how do we make these lessons more adoptable or concerning or useful.."

        I recall attending lecture by the Dalai Lama in the late 1970's and people were asking a wide range of variations on this question. His response to all of them was to meditate regularly. Many were disappointed that he didn't say something more profound but, in hindsight, his advice was both simple and profound. It is something each one of us can do each day for 20 minutes or so to discipline our mind and help us be more connected with our world. I have been meditating daily for 39 years and believe that it is the single best decision I have made in my life. I do not want to imagine where I would be without it.
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          May 14 2011: BOB the day you shared your website link, the first video I have chosen to watched was about meditation. Honestly telling I never meditated before, always planned to allocate time for that, but never did. One of the reasons was that I had perception on meditation that it is kind of hard thing to do, that I had to prepare myself, I have to read, understand a lot before starting, attend some classes, have a great muster and so on. Also I was afraid that I can never concentrate on one single thought or sound all the time. When I saw the video, I was surprised. In about 5 minutes you explained how to do meditation, why to do it and most importantly, you mentioned about the common errors people do while meditating and that we shouldn’t be afraid of it as it happens to all. This encouraged me to feel confident to experiment, I tried I have chosen just a word and started to experiment the breathing mechanism you explained in this video: http://exp.lcc.edu/users/bobv/weblog/2a3da/Meditation.html So, here I want to share my reflections about knowledge sharing. I guess it is not by chance that we all discussed sharing and especially knowledge sharing in the beginning of the conversation through Karate stories. I think knowledge and experience sharing are one of the best expressions of letting go ego.We never share it when we want to be the first, we start sharing it while we get more experienced. When we are less experienced we share our experience in a way to sound the best in our field, but few people understand much out of what we said, but while we get more experienced and self-actualized and have “balanced EGO” we enjoy sharing, and we share all the magic and key parts of our experience, all underline lessens making us successful. We “show the doors and also give the keys“ and also empower and encourage people to open the doors to see things differently, mind gets open and mind shift happens. I hope I made my point clear. we learn lessons when they are clear and easy.
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        May 14 2011: this is the question of how to bring this inspiration into action.. and i think there can be many solutions!
        how do you raise awareness and change perception?
        through art and media.
        writing a menifto/book/idea and market it, create a powerful and useful meme and set it free on the world, and most importantly make it fun and cool, not pertinacious and distant.

        around this meme or new subculture that we can cultivate we can invent anything we want...
        and the cool thing is that ppl from all disciplines can join and contribute...

        my intuition tells me that mathematics, brain science, music, anthropology,
        design, and any format for thought and action can be expressed through this meme
        that i imagine, sort of like a redesigning of Ubuntu and other stuff to make it fit our western civilization.
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    May 13 2011: Let's assume that smallest piece of matter is 'dot' and that universe had nothing but these same dots in it once upon a time. These dots had a certain code imprinted on them like any matter of any complexity, these codes were their idetities it was what they are(literally, if there was a universal scientific language we can even say it was their real name). Then these dots fused, merged or should i say socialized, and formed a network and became more complex matters with more complex codes and this went on and on... Then here we are having a periodic table with lotsa different stuff useful in many ways, and ofcourse when those stuff came together they gave birth to even more complex codes and eventually life. Now we try to fuse together and create a more complex being(society perhaps?). Lets assume that our 'conciousness' is a code like above, so how do we get to fuse it with others'? Our code is different from each other due to different amounts and types of data we acquired through our life span, our lives, beliefs, cultures even our genomes are different though it wouldn't give birth to anything new when fused if we were same now, would it? Still we are so different that we can not synchronize with each other thus we can't fuse, as if one is virus the other is antibody, we fight on and on so that every other existence gets imprinted with our code alone. Cause is excessive ego, ego is a necessity in order to further evolve yet it is also a hindrance for evolution. All we can do is to minimize it to a point where we can synchronize, where we can get along...Though even if we fail do it by force it will happen naturally, since evolution is inevitable as long as different codes exist. I'm hoping that we won't wait naure to accomplish that for us this time though. Also a last note when people are less egocentric it would certainly be better for the society, but i believe it's benefit to individuals is open for debate.
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      May 13 2011: ...cause is excessive ego, ego is a necessity in order to further evolve yet it is also a hindrance for evolution. All we can do is to minimize it to a point where we can synchronize, where we can get along...
      You mentioned that we are different from each other due to different amounts and types of data we acquired through our life span, our lives, beliefs, cultures even our genomes are different .......l we are so different that we cannot synchronize with each other thus we can't fuse ... we fight on and on so that every other existence gets imprinted with our code alone.....

      I think understanding of our differences or being tolerant to understand our differences and not refusing them, because we are so different is the first step to minimize our ego.... the second step is to try to understand how we are similar, what is our commonalities since we are all humans and we want or not we are similar in many ways....and understanding our similarities and not overestimation ourselves over others will help to get along ... this is the point where we'll be able to listen to each other have constructive conversations and debars ....

      Thanks for participation!
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      May 13 2011: Utku!!! i feel the same way exactly and agree with your theory of everything,
      we are all clusters of clusters of clusters of complexity.
      and i think it very possible to fuse our selfs in to this more complex structure,
      a good place to start is by having all the ppl who want to make this group find common language
      to talk about the matter, this was the 5th D in the suggestion in one of the threads.
      a second importent thing to do would be to research first hand how tribal societies
      create this social bond and shared conciseness in rituals and art, my intuition tells me
      that all the tools are already there for us to re-use, im sure there is a basic human society structure that works great and has been working for more then 10,000 years... we can look back at ancient cultures and
      redesign them for our times.
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    May 12 2011: I was editing the TED Talk of Caroline Casey: Looking past limits http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/caroline_casey_looking_past_limits.html . Her story is a great example of a unique path of finding her true essence....
    and way to true self.... many of us already talked about leaving ambitions and following out true self as a way to balance our EGO, she was a world management consultant and then turned to be a social activist.... and she was blind...This is a great talk, I highly recommend...
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    May 12 2011: in some circles ego is called "the small self" or the "false self"..it is all our broken and ineffectual opearting systems collected over a life time and it is the biggest barrier to self actualization..to realiization of our full potential it is what keeps us from alining mind, heart and will.
  • May 10 2011: I like your observation., and it is a real issue for leadership.

    What i have learned- over time- is the following.

    We , people, have a consicous and unconscious mind. Our ego resides in our conscious mind. Our (higher) Self in the Unconscious mind.

    By allowing ourselves to become less MIND, but more Be-ing- we have a chance to integrate the conscious with the unconscious- and our ego may become less self-centric. As a person we transcend fear, and will more and more reside in love and desires to do good. to be in harmony. to do well.

    Our ego, still existing, is more productive, creative and collaborative. Wiser. Happier. More beautiful.

    less greed, control, power or take - more giving, letting others grow, inspiring.

    Our intuition, or our higher self, has reached our ego.

    Thanks to meditations, inner self reflections, trial and error, and a wish for inner growth is this path available to all.

    We all have the abilities to grow our SQ and EQ- and transform (or elevate) our (animalistic) ego,

    My wish is that more and more leaders find ways to do this.
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      May 10 2011: Adriaan, I agree with your point that when a person transcends fear he is more balanced and in harmony and capable of doing well and doing good and enjoying it and in fact our ego is still existing, but it is more productive, creative and collaborative and much kinder :) I would say and satisfied and less greedy, controlling or only taking, it is becoming more giving, letting others grow, inspiring, sharing end once again enjoying all this...
      And I agree that more leaders should find this path ...., moreover they should be trained to balance their ego to live and work in harmony…. And show this paths to others Thanks!
      • May 10 2011: Yes Kristine- weve found our path!

        no let us enjoy and be a source of inspiration for others!
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      May 10 2011: To build on fear and love :

      Each leader starts with Love, else wise she wouldn't get there. Climbing up she creates promises for/with followers out of Love. Though keeping promises means protecting a plan, protecting interest, meaning building fear into not succeeding. The bigger the leader the more love is turned into fear.

      There are great leaders who have found a balance, not to let fear overrule, 'always' see the bigger picture and able to find answers The ones I know, you see a pattern, have an expressionist 'composing' (for example musician, painter, writer) background. They have learned to deal with Love and Fear, with the Ego and the Self. Able to transcend into infinity and to excess in mortality on free will. Mastering of 'Flow'. Than fear of not succeeding becomes a power to enhance love and not to overrule it.

      Bill Hicks made a great sentence; ... A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear wants you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead see all of us as one. ( for interested the full context: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMUiwTubYu0 from 1m13s )
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      May 12 2011: I was lucky enough in my college days to read Lawrence Kubie's "Neurotic Distortion of the Creative Process" ) horrible title,great book)..it is very much along the lines you suggest, Adriaan, but laid out with guidance that makes it very practical as a practice.It was my "bible" all through my career, readily and simply shareable with others. The idea is that ego is all tied up with the sub conscious..the parts of us that are broken, our ineffectual operating systems collected over a life time.. but the preconscious is our magic synthesizer that can integrate and create. The idea he said is to ask a very clear question.. a question that does not contain our idea of an answer, let our conscious mind collect and filter all in our experience now that points to that question and entrust it all to the pre-conscious..in sleep in possible. An le voila..the answer. just comes.
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    May 10 2011: Egoism is a big motivator for some people. And because of them, big, good things do happen in the world. Like, to a certain extent, Bill Gates' ego must be somewhere in the huge-ish range, but the incredible causes he's funded make that a moot point. He's also named his foundation after himself--but who cares?

    Also people like the Ted founder, Chris Anderson, have set up something incredible for the good of many. If Ted is his choices, his format, reflecting his biases on the world etc, does it really matter? Enjoy it if you can, if not, find something else. Ted itself is a vanity platform for narcissists to lay gold bricks, isn't it? Not half as satisfying if it were all anonymous, and no Ted-creds, would it be?

    No individual is obliged to help one another in our society, for better or for worse, I think. It ends after having paid your income tax. The real genius is to make altruism / egoless-ness profitable and fashionable. But fighting for your name to be heard, standing up to be counted etc., is perhaps a natural, competition gene that keeps us around natural-selection-wise and shouldn't surprise us that it exists. Obviously, due to our minds evolving light speed ahead, blatant egoism is decades behind in social-skills. Smart egoists are better disguised these days as altruists. Though, you can always tell their true colours by your gag reflex when having a conversation with them involving name dropping; self-accolades real or imagined etc.
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      May 10 2011: Well, if we forget about Bill Gates and others for whom to do a social good may be just a small effort or act for satisfaction for their EGO, as you say, what about those who have much less but do a lot more social good facing a lot of dangers ???? Is this still smart egoism disguised as altruism ??? Don't think so....
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        May 28 2011: This is still assuming that "ego" is a bad word, and I don't think that it necessarily is. Regarding your question, if the world would be a better place without it, I think the world would be unpopulated without it! We will never know what motivates people will we? Even the people who seem to put everything on the line to help others. People help others because it feels good to them. It is a pleasure, it adds meaning to THEIR lives--public recognition is not the only ego stroke. A good feeling is too.

        And then, there are the very few who donate tons of time, effort or money anonymously; who don't need a tax receipt; a plaque; people to say their name; or a legacy. They don't even give it a second thought themselves. Those people are unicorns.
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          May 28 2011: I agree Genevieve, and do not see ego as a bad thing. Ego is part of all of us for some reason, so let's use it appropriately! We never really know what motivates each individual, and if it is ego that motivates someone to do good works in our world...so what? Perhaps that is the reason we have egos? To try to "overcome" something that is so much a part of all of us seems unrealistic. How about if we try to understand it in ourselves and use it for the benefit of the whole?:>)
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          May 28 2011: Dear Genevieve and Colleen This conversation took all us far too away and while summering the conversation insights one thing that was clear at the end was that Yes we have EGO, it is part of us, there is no need to love it or to hate it, but rather to learn to live with it by building inner harmony, discovering our true essence, balancing our thoughts and behavior and energy, training our mind and body... and so on...in fact there were so many great insights and suggestions that we decided to do something with all that.... and we are trying to develop fairytales for kids explaining UBUNTU concept or benefit of mind training and mind and body balance ....
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        May 29 2011: Hi Kristine, I think we're not too far away from your initial question at all :)

        Anyway, I think your idea of teaching children a sense of community and helping others, outside of their circles is a fantastic idea. Though, since they've only been alive a little while, children are heavily into getting to know themselves and that makes them more selfish or dependent on praise for their deeds than their older selves. I think it would be great to show them stories of synergy and how fun / useful it is when whole groups concentrate on a cause together. Selfishness can be overcome!

        HOWEVER, egocentricity might be a different thing altogether. It is difficult to convince someone that the world does NOT revolve around them (what other reality can an average person really know?). In fact, Piaget figured that children under 7 were flat out incapable of realizing that others felt differently than themselves. So, developmentally, I think children just need time to get over themselves.

        Stories and TV documentaries show others' lives and that helps promote empathy and compassion, but volunteering and travelling to meet others and hearing their stories; befriending the Other--that's what we should encourage. And back to Bill Gates: his foundation has offered to pay for any high school student in the US to travel / live in a third world country upon graduation for 6 months. (I'm a hard core Mac user btw :) Or, if not travelling, then middle and upper class parents should invite some poverty stricken families over for play dates! There's reality for ya!
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          May 29 2011: Genevieve, a group of people now are working on a story/fairytales for kids which focus on stories of synergy and how useful they can be when a whole groups concentrate on a cause together :) hope we can post the first tail here soon:) Gab is the author of the first tail :), he never thought he would do one, but .... :)
          I think your suggestion of volunteering and travelling to meet others and hearing their stories; is really key for developing serving attitude and finding our true self , understanding us and others ... you mentioned " listening to others stories".... I agree being able to listen to others stories and being truly engaged is already a sign of a inner balance and ability the world other then "ME", Thanks for giving a new and great insight for the conversation!
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          May 29 2011: Yes, I also see that the switch is at age 7-8, so what should we let children discover before and after when it comes to understanding the balance between selfesteem and compassion.

          Ego is empowering, we need it, survival is depending on it. Though when we reach the comfortzone (daily survival) we should focus on the bigger picture not on ourselves anymore.

          Looking at the bigger picture, to quote once more Gunter Pauli; "If we only teach our children what we know, then they can only do as bad as we do."

          So we need to teach them some mind/body basics most people do not know and give them space to explore the world the way most can't.

          The world does evolve around me, every decision I make should be good for me and others.
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        May 29 2011: Hi Kristine, I wrote a short story today that was inspired by reading about how people need to go to the favelas in Rio de Janeiro to have a cross-class experience in that city. I think it is a great city initiative.

        http://wp.me/p1rYhK-1r
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      May 29 2011: Genevieve, that is the big paradox of many leaders, intelligent ppl with big ego's go through suffering because
      of ego, self image, and through logic, realize that doing social good will calm their souls. however, giving money or saving kids in africa WILL NOT solve the problems of the world, what would do it for example is to change the way industry works, and he has influence in that region but he would rather make more mony and calm his consiens by giving a big chunk of it away.. there are ways to give more to the comunity and to change the culture for the better whil doing so, and creating a chain reaction that will restore balance to our planet.. and the only way to find it, is to think together, and not let any one guy dictate a set of human rules.... kisses
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        May 29 2011: Hi Gad,
        I agree that we need to work together and not let any individual dictate a set of rules. That being said, it is unrealistic to say a certain practice WILL NOT work...another practice is better. Working together means allowing everyone to do what he/she is capable of, and willing to do. The change has to come from many different sources, and that's when a "chain reaction" may happen. How about if we are open to ALL the possibilities?
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          May 29 2011: My grandpa used to tell me, "since I was little I remember there have been people starving of hunger in Africa, people collecting money from door to door, they still die".

          Though things are changing and the silver bullet can not be found, it's all the attention together that solves the issues. It is what every person realizes he/she can do, and should pursue than.
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          May 29 2011: Colleen! this is what i feel as well maybe didnt put it in to clear words... i would never dream there would be 1 structure that works for everyone.. thanks!!!

          check out my collab experiment:
          http://123.writeboard.com/9adf0xy32t76bpch/login
          Password: the simple answer
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    May 10 2011: Only ego wants to overcome ego. Ego is a part of humanity. Transform it by understanding it. Once transformed, ego is a connector rather than separator. Good luck.
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    May 9 2011: I have often been engaged in debates and discussions where one side makes a better case and should be convincing to the other side. but the other side would not admit they were wrong and would even convince themselves that they were right out of pure ego. i think ego can cloud our judgement more than we expect.
    i personally try to recognize this problem in myself by putting myself in an observer position. we make the best judgement when we are not part of the discussion but are only observing. how many times have you watched a debate and said: it is so obvious that this guy is wrong! how is he still not convinced. but the truth is that when you are in a debate you are more interested in portraying your idea showing that you are right then actually trying to get to a result. so i try to take an observer position and that would help to make an objective position and overcome my ego!
    on the other hand when i feel that the person im talking to's ego is clouding his judgement which often happens if you are challenging his views, I try not to just blame his ego but i try to present my point in a different that wouldn't steer up his ego.
  • May 7 2011: I think ego is not something we have to overcome, but something we have to work with. Without ego, we would be shy, timid, unsure. A couple days ago, there was a talk that discussed how we are sure what we know is true. This could be one of the places ego stems from, and without that, there would be no variety. The talk was by
    Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong

    The goal should not be to get rid of ego, but to bring up children in more western, individualistic societies such as America differently. Teach them the importance of community and the love for others. Research has been done which has shown that Westerners think in relation to the self ie how does this help me, while in many other cultures like in some asian cultures, people think in terms of WE. WE should think more like that
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    May 7 2011: Ego generated from skills and achievement compels us to perform better, generate more productivity and keeps us moving forward. But in social context, of course ego removes decency from interactions. To overcome ego we should examine significance of our existence in context to whole universe and fragility of our life.
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    May 7 2011: Thanks for great comments and conversation...... I do learn a lot, really enjoy reading mind opening and divers viewpoints. It was scary to start a conversation on this topic... Thanks a lot for sharing your viewpoints
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    May 6 2011: I would like to offer a definition of ego as viewing ourselves as larger or more important than we are. This definition implies that we recognize our personal needs, potential and gifts without over-emphasizing their value.

    There was an earlier discussion that referred to Ayn Rand's term "enlightened self interest." Self-interest turns dark when it ignores the effects of our actions and decision on the well-being of others. Self-interest that balances one’s own needs and desires with those of 6 billion other people would be considered "enlightened." Unfortunately we do not have economic, political or cultural systems that reinforce this value. Sadly, much of Western culture feeds and glorifies people with large egos.

    Viewing oneself as more important than others leads to the creation of a frame where the well-being of others isn’t seen. Think of any human conflict or action that has lead to widespread pain and suffering. Ego likely played an important role.

    Jacques Maritain offers an idea that is relevant to this discussion in “The Person and the Common Good.” He argues that the best way to insure to good of the whole is to provide each person with the resources and support to reach their full potential. (He offers this as the “golden mean” between what he considers the extremes of Capitalism and Communism which focus on the “individual” whereas the common good focuses on each “person.”)

    I believe that committing to the best interests and development of another person is a very good definition of love. Ego or excessive self-interest is the opposite of love. We make more room for love in our hearts and our world as we let go of ego.
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    May 6 2011: No Ego?!?!

    What, do you want us all merging into the cosmic consciousness?

    Sounds kind of boring.
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    May 6 2011: Hi Kristine,

    is it really necessary to think about what the world would look like without ego? I am not sure if these kind of hypothetical questions are really helpful? Maybe I am too much a realist...

    Fact is, that there is something like an ego in all of us and the question would be: how do we have to deal with it to make the world a better place? Can we influence how the ego of a child will develop? Is it a question of education or character? How much ego is good and when would it become unhealthy to give up your ego?

    These are the questions that I would ask.
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      May 6 2011: This is exactly what bothers me, we all have ego, but most majority of us don’t know how to deal with that, and that is why we are where we are.... So I guess we do really need something in our education system that would help us to deal with our EGOs. This may be Yoga, meditation, karate or something else.... I think knowing and recognizing how our brain works and how our emotions influence us from childhood might have helped as well …
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      May 6 2011: a world without ego would simply be a world of chaos. is chaos bad? thats for you to decide, possibly its chaos is what we have lost touch with, and is what we seek when working pass the ego.
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    May 6 2011: I am not sure we can completely overcome ego, but we can gradually let it go. Recognizing that a growing ego diminishes our capacity to reach our potential and to connect with others provides motivation to work on it. When I look at times I have been least helpful and effective in my life, ego was growing. When I look at times when I connected with work, play, or other people, ego was shrinking.

    I have found meditation very helpful in helping to move beyond ego, especially in my work which requires me to be able to change perspectives and understand how others think and feel about issues.

    I also use a rhythm phrase, that I repeat to myself whenever my mind is free - while walking, driving, cleaning, getting dressed etc. I change this each month to cover what I believe to be twelve principles that are necessary for love to flourish. My phrase for this month is “Help us be humble, so we may love.” It also matches the natural rhythm for relaxed breathing if one says the first part when breathing in and the second while exhaling. I have noticed that I am better able to catch myself when ego sneaks into my thinking after only six days of using this phrase.
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      May 6 2011: I love this suggestion and I will use it. Thanks Bob
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      May 6 2011: Oh! Thanks Bob :) “Help us be humble, so we may love.”
      We learn balancing our ego through ageing....I wonder if this could apply to states as well :)
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        May 7 2011: The ego of a state would be nationalism, which has the same effect as on a person. Nations build a frame that is dominated by their own self-interest, crowding out the interests of others. The clash of self-interests is a major cause of war.
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    May 6 2011: I totally believe in the power of yoga. It really brings balance into your life and it really helps you to become a better person without judging others, or yourself. The conflict begins when you try to make others feel bad or think that others' opinion do not matter. Of course, the problems can be more complicated than that but, that is just the beginning. It all starts in your mind. In our minds!

    In yoga they invite you to reflect about the four branches that all of us have experienced in different aspects in our lives: For example they are called, ego, which is the first one, attachment, refusal, and fear. The ego is defined as those thoughts that involve the perceptions that you have about yourself. For example, when you think: "I am better than others" or "I am always right" your focus is only about you and, your own reality.

    Attachment, is the second one. It means that you want something just because is pleasant. This refers to the fact of wanting something just because I think that I don't have enough. Therefore, I need to have two houses, two cars, and much more. The next one is about refusal. Sometimes, we don't give opportunities to people or others because we think that they will bring pain into our lives. Even though, we don't have any history about them. The last branch is about fear. We are afraid of revealing our real personality, our inner self, or we have fear about reaching our goals, fear of failure, fear of loving, and so many others. Recognizing these branches will help us to organize our thoughts, so that we can see a more clear reality and, do not become easily dissatisfied with ourselves.

    Controling the way we think, and bringing clearity to our minds, and thoughts, will help us to understand our weaknesses and strenghts. In this meditation we can find peace of mind, acting toward our thoughts, to become more positive and happier people.
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    May 5 2011: The more time we have time to sit around and contemplate our navels, the bigger the ego balloons. Throw in a dose of crisis and it will pop.

    How to overcome ego in our leisure . . . that might take a dose of spirituality.
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      May 6 2011: Work is good for the soul. The spirit is restless for innocence. Ego is the baggage we carry. Travel light !
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    May 5 2011: Kristine, that is probably very true. I am not sure how we could achieve it though.In a recent posting on the thread about 10 things you know to be true Sanj Singh said " Whoever says "trust me my word is my bond"; I don't trust!" In the same vein, I find that people who profess to be egoless are often the most filled with ego.
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      May 6 2011: I find that people who profess to be egoless are often the most filled with ego. Debra Smith
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        May 6 2011: Haha, that is true in most cases! Perhaps saying that you are egoless is already a form of showing that you are filled with ego. Good point!
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          May 6 2011: it would have to be determined by not just what they say but how they act.
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        May 7 2011: Kristine, my essential point is that we should not do battle with the ego or pretend it is not there. We should be observing its reactions and seeking some sort of inner peace and humilty. Declaring we do not have one or that our ego is smallr than someone else's is hardly evidence of its absence.
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      May 7 2011: Debra, I think it also depends on how we perceive the word "EGO". If it is used out of professional context it is often has a more negative meaning rather than our authentic self or part of consciousness or recognition of our personal needs and potential....

      Anyway the insight you suggested about people who profess to be egoless are often the most filled with ego is amaizing, Thanks for sharing ...
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    Jun 4 2011: Balance is the key, as in one of the TEDxDanubia talk is told by István Joós, who described his career from a selfish bussiness to a adding something great to a social cause:

    "Selfishness and altruism are things that I can present you with an image of a symbolic tree, where the root of the tree sucks everything but everything from the soil, that feeds him, in order to share this in his canopy."

    http://dotsub.com/view/c67935cf-081b-42d4-b9a8-86b00fa170aa
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    Jun 4 2011: One sure way to overcome ego is to be humbled to the point of breaking. Think Job in the bible.

    However, on the topic of doing social good, perhaps ego contributes to social good, or at the least, the funding of good works to be done by others.

    Go to the society page of the Sunday paper and look at all the money raised for worthy social causes. People will write big checks to be included in that group. What can be a bigger ego pump than to be acknowledged as a philanthropist, community leader, and overall good and caring citizen.
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    Jun 4 2011: I try not to get too in my head about it, i accept and love my Ego and continue to try and do good for others. because for me it is hard to separate myself from myself if that makes sense. As i feel sensation on my body i automatically identify myself with that sensation and when that sensation is but a memory is that still who i am, is that my ego and how fast do i become my ego, i decided a while ago to love and accept my past and present as a whole and embrace my entire ego and current observer, and stop worrying about it
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    Jun 3 2011: I'm afraid without ego we would be imprisoned by the mediocrity to which society constrains us. It is ego which shuts out "too hard", "not good enough", and "can't be done". To achieve a great society we must divorce hunger from plenty; we must divorce hatred from difference; we must divorce ego from apathy.
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      Jun 3 2011: Steve that's not ego..that's will, determination, purposefulness..

      just semantics

      :>)
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    Jun 3 2011: HII Kristine Sargsyan

    thats a good Question from you ........the world would become much more beter where dere would be no problem of thinking about god also if there were no ego.....

    every thing in the life would change the...if there s no ego in mans heart nd brain

    nd u asked how to overcome the ego
    just feeling the person as our family member such as like father or mother or sister or brother etc........were u can overcome the ego

    i feel like that so i said.........
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    Jun 3 2011: "Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant" - Some words from Robert Louis Stevenson the writer and poet that help me. Apologies if paraphrasing!
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    Jun 3 2011: Better for whom?
    I think we wandt a better world, because we are egoistic.
    We do not wish others to suffer, because it makes us suffer too. We wandt others to feel joy, because it makes us happy too.

    I am not shure how we would judge a world to be better or worse if we had no ego or why we would act in it.
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    Jun 3 2011: there is no doubt that with less ego world would become a better place .we just need to know how much ego we should let go and how much we should retain with us , because we can`t let go all of it.Self respect is the perfect amount of ego one should have and nothing more is required.No one should be allowed to hurt your self respect but most of the times it is very difficult to differentiate between the two-Ego and Self-respect .Just know that there are always some thing more important than what we think important.We love to socialize when people give us love respect and affection and above all importance....but when after a while people get used to we feel ignored..the thing is people get used to and we do too...so yes less ego will always help our world to improve nut absence of self-respect will not help us improve at all.
  • Jun 3 2011: Everyone is the center of their own universe, but that doesn't mean we don't have compassion for others who come into our orbit. I think without egos the world would be a boring place. I doubt ants have egos and they are all about the community--but I wouldn't want to be one. No offense to the Mother Theresas out there, but I would be suspect of anyone who is totally self-less, as it could just be their way of displaying a perverse sort of egotism.
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      Jun 3 2011: Sherri , this conversation went too long :) we came to a point where we started to repeat all what we have already discussed, so , I'll just post some of the insights related to what you say, that was shared here before :) And thanks for commenting, if you role down there are many great insights to look through :))

      Bob Van Oosterhout: Thinking about the "self" is a distraction from taking "real" action. I believe our most effective action occurs when we let go of the sense of self and become totally engrossed in what we are engaged in. Thinking about self is always in the past or future. When we are fully present in the moment, we don't think of self.

      Lindsay Newland Bowker: In some circles ego is called "the small self" or the "false self"..it is all our broken and ineffectual operating systems collected over a life time and it is the biggest barrier to self actualization..to realization of our full potential it is what keeps us from aliening mind, heart and will.
      11. A frame based on “us” is larger and more flexible. We have access to more information and a broader understanding of our surroundings. “Us” frames allows us to see our connectedness and interdependency. They provide space for exploration and reflection. Problems become easier to solve because we are able to more fully understand where they came from and how they can be addressed to bring about lasting solutions.

      12. Self-judgment fades into the background. Being free from the effort of promoting and protecting a self-image allows us to make mistakes and learn from them. It becomes easier to ask forgiveness and to forgive. We recognize limitations, resources, and opportunities. We can learn to choose our frames. We can choose compassion instead of defensiveness, hope instead of fear, personal responsibility instead of blame, “us” instead of “me.” I believe this works better for us and for me.
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    Jun 2 2011: Well you can start off by defining "world". Wouldn't make a damn difference the to entire universe if humans had ego or not.

    Earth?
    Absolutely. No ego = completely logical state of mind,
    -This would eliminate roughly all emotional attachment to religion. +1 for no ego. (still some who would logically believe in god, but essentially without ego theism would become obsolete.)

    -This would eliminate the argument that we do not need to do anything about global climate change. Humans would probably see that it is in fact occurring, but even if they were not sure they would see that it is better safe than sorry. (consequences of no action in the case that it happens > consequences of action in the case that it does not happen)

    Humans?
    Well you can expect to see little if not zero humans who are theistic purely out of faith and emotional attachment.
    According to almost all religions, faith > logic.
    Logic says otherwise.

    Probably a completely balanced society.

    Little to no personal motivation.
    Less happiness, but also less depression/sadness.
    Neutrality.
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    Jun 2 2011: Ego can be good or bad the way you see it. Ego is productive and was the major incentive behind civilizations and revolutions. Its your ego and complex that your neighbor should not excel above yourself that drives creativity and innovation. The reverse happens when your mind works in a way that tries to push down your neighbor rather than helping yourself...
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      Jun 2 2011: interesting point to see 'ego' and 'complex' together like this! I think though it is already passing the tippingpoint of ego when you start thinking about your neighbor if you are above or below.. I'd rather look at my neighbor as is he doing the best he/she is able to concerning lifepath and circumstances. If he wouldn't I still don't feel above him, more besides him to see where I can inspire him to do better, reach his potential without guiding him.

      The ego will drive civilizations AGAIN, though now on a planetary level rather than a national or religious level. Though how can we ring alarms if EGO goes to far again?
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      Jun 3 2011: Aasems, exactly, the dark side of EGO is when it starts underestimation all around itself ...
      Here are a few great quotes about this .... that I separated from our decision on EGO…

      Mick Hickey: Ego, in the absolute, I don't believe is an issue. A sense of self and focusing on that I feel does not contain a negative consequence. The focus on superiority or, conversely, the inferiority of others, is where the danger lies for the world. By seeing others a "lesser" in some way provides the basics for prejudice, exclusion and violence.

      B.V.Oosterhout: Ego is viewing ourselves larger or more important than we are. This implies that we recognize our personal needs, potential and gifts without overemphasizing their value. Viewing us as more important than others leads to creation of a frame where wellbeing of others isn't seen. Think of any human conflict/action that has lead to widespread pain/suffering. Ego likely had an important role.
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    Jun 2 2011: Hi Kristine, thanks for a really interesting question, and indeed the responses below are interesting.
    I wonder if I might throw in what might be a way of addressing, if not answering, your subsidiary question, "Often I observe how EGO doesn’t allow people to do a social good, and I think that world might become better if people were less Egocentric."
    Ok, how about if we created a value system that encouraged people to do Social Good, but such a system that appealed to their egos. We all like fame, sex, money and power... so why fight it, let's embrace it. Let's accept we're ego-centric, self-driven folks, but harness that to do good.
    Just like Money has being a fantastic Reward for innovation in the Post industrial Revolution West, let's think of something that can appeal to the ego as a new currency?
    (Btw, I don't like the words Social [implies an acceptance of the concept of Society being thrust on you] or Good [implies that someone/some people arbitrate what is Good or Bad] but I get this gist of what you mean).
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      Jun 2 2011: James, we all have our perception of EGO and we all talk from our understanding of EGO...
      You suggest to created a value system that encouraged people to do Social Good, a system that appealed to their egos... well, To me, ego is not something very positive, I realize that we all have one, but I believe we need to learn to balance it , I would rather put an effort of developed a value system that encouraged people to do Social Good and feed their compassion....Anyway I also believe that EGO can generate a lot of energy which can become a source of great deals in our life....It seems to me that you are talking about this, we just need to learn to balance and manage our energy ... and also if we could invest it in something "good" that might have add a step toward becoming a "better world" :)
      Thanks for commenting, did you have a chance to look at sum up section below and UBUNTU related part ??? What do you think???
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    May 30 2011: guys i posted a new question..... hope u like it... for me it is what got me into this discussion,,,
    http://www.ted.com/conversations/3208/what_is_the_most_basic_law_of.html
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    May 29 2011: Letting go of ego allows us to create a larger, more flexible “us” frame to replace the rigid, limited, “me” frame. We are able to see that every person has potential, (just as we do). We can focus on doing things that make it possible (or, at least don’t obstruct) the ability for each person in our world to develop their potential. (This makes the world a better place for me too.)
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    May 29 2011: i have taken the freedom to start a collaborative hypothesis that wants to examine some basic questions on why the world works the way it does on the level of how structures work in nature, this may sound arrogant, but i only start the discussion and would like to see ppl reedit the text or disprove it in order for it to be changed in time into a collective manifest of existence.... sound like fun ?? IT IS!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    tare it up, its not to long.

    http://123.writeboard.com/9adf0xy32t76bpch/login
    Password: the simple answer


    cant wait to see it form into something out of my control!!!!
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      May 29 2011: Why don't you start a conversation? there are many tedvids looking at the subject you mention.

      For me it boils down to this simplicity;

      there are 5 everlasting material elements having relations/bindings : earth, fire, wind, water, aether
      there are 5 everlasting immaterial elements having relations/bindings: thought, rhythm, me, we, tribe
      Me = personal choice
      We = global story
      Tribe = contrast
      Rhythm = patterns
      Aether=thought

      Than we have the individual and the planet/nature

      These are 11 continents

      Next to that we have 9 oceans/senses
      See, Hear, Opt, Taste, Smell, Touch, Sense Time (Personal Aura), Sense Place (Place Aura), Sense Relations (Common Aura)

      These are the so called '20' of the matrix, or icosahedron, The20... Is a book in progress by Kijp dy Ebi. I talked to this man, and he told me these 20. I am planning to help him to write a manifest and book about them.

      Further I personally think there are 5 types of collaborations and communications: hyperactive-interactive-active-passive-static. Though most usual used are the middle 3 you refer to as facilitators, instigators and supporters.

      Regards,

      Paul
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        May 30 2011: dear brother Paul!! thank you for sharing that!!!
        i am not so much interested in defining the elements but rather how they form structures of interaction..
        and to find the most basic law that is common to all elements/sets/groups in existence.

        would you help me by testing my ideas and i will test yours???
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    May 25 2011: Well, it is time to pass to our fairytale.... I encourage all who wants to support this initiation of creating fairytales for kids, just go ahead choose an insight or a quote that I have summarized from our comments (just role down to that part of the conversation)... this can be your own insight or something you believe to be true from your experience ... remember your own story or think of a story you know or create a new one, a story that carries a message and insight about Ubuntu… balancing ego…. Finding yourself… patience… compassion…. other important things that we have discussed here…. Transform the story into a fairytale if you can, if no, just share it as it is … You can post stories/ fairytales just here at our conversation or can send them to me …
    We can discuss this topic endlessly … but if we want to do something with the great content we builder here, it’s time for Fairytales….
    I support all other initiations… and Ideas we posted here and will be happy if any of them will get done, but to be realistic I am starting with something small… something I believe will be useful for my son and other kids … now… today…in this reality…
    I choose fairytale … we have already contacted number of people from our conversation who agreed to help us with fairytale… and we hope a few great mind changing stories/ fairytale/metaphors will come out of these great space …
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    May 25 2011: OH BABY THIS GEEZER IS SELFCENTERED but i have a good feeling him...
    http://worldshift2012.org/
    he has some credentials and looks like a good resource..
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      May 26 2011: yes! as a musician you should watch this than; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYq7LdHSeNY
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        May 29 2011: concert pianist seem like a lonely anal bunch of ppl...
        he is exploring it all on his own with his 10 fingers and presenting it to the world... ego.. europe
        i have been working with ppl all along, most of the time not playing anything, but just influencing the vibe and conectivity, putting ideas together or pushing in directions... whenever i make some music for my own plesure it comes out meaningless, allways!!! unless i am aiming at someone as comunication it is just nonsence,,
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          May 29 2011: Why do you think Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Bratislava have been so powerful in developing Europe in the past? The music was flowing! And ofcourse they went over the tippongpoint where greed and ego take center stage.

          You need to read War of Art from Stephen Pressfield, you will realize this is not the ego you think it is.

          PS watch your words a bit in giving opinions on other people.

          PS2 : the role of music is to set thought and collective thought free. It is not for nothing people with Parkinson disease are able to function when they hear (poly) rhythmic music.
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        May 29 2011: besides music influencing the culture... music is a by product of a cultural mind set..
        look at punk.. blues..
        i would love to sit down with you in a classical symphony and show you how when you listen with your animal instinct, you hear this repeating complexety of pathos and power.. of coars this is not the only thing there, and yes i am uncarfull due to my exited and unstructured nature... that is also why i use generalizations, and take for granted that i am never right... merely pointing in a general diraction of intrest :)
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        May 30 2011: oh read it again and understood that u agree with me.. :)
        "people with Parkinson disease are able to function when they hear (poly) rhythmic music."
        WHAT WHAT WHAT???? awesome!!!! will look out for that
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          May 30 2011: Basic funtioning, getting out of the stress loop by offering rhythm to flow on, google for Oliver Sacks - Musicophilia
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    May 22 2011: Meditation is the step before contemplation, we think we contemplate, and concentrate and meditate... but.... we don't. Never. We aren't able to really concentrate for 2 seconds. Try yourselves, fix your attention to one thing, a picture, for example, and try to concentrate just on that object for more than 2 sec. You'll find that your mind after the first second is already telling you that you have to get the milk, you have to scratch your nose, you find that the picture have a spot that needs to be clean.... etc. Suddenly you lost the picture.

    This is a common example of how attached we are to our ego, or to our mind (the ego is a part of the mind according to Vedanta philosophy), so even if we say that we try to meditate we are far faaaaaaar away to made it. Also, meditation is something very private, the one who really meditates doesn't talk about it.

    We must try first to concentrate, from this comes 'ora et labora', concentrate in one task being helped by the divinity trough praying.
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      May 22 2011: ...The hand work brings me peace and serenity, concentration and a very deep sense of being me here and know....
      Janie, I think this is a great point to consider for kids as well....Gab was also suggesting different things related to art ....There is a story about a king who tries to find the happiness.... he tries everything in the world ... then ends up being a farmer who grows potatoes ... and so on... and when his sons call him back... he says with great excitement "If you would see my potatoes and cabbages .. you would never call me back..." :)
      We were thinking about a small book for 4-6 years old; a fairytale / stories introducing in an implicit way grounding and insights.....(see Paul's post)... I wonder if you have stories that you would tell to kids ...
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      May 22 2011: tInteresting way of expessing it Jaime..Ore et Labore in the fullest sense..meaning in community leaves no room for ego to grow in the first place..it doesn't seem to emerge in the cultures of indigenous peoples..this whole idea of ego..this whole emergence of cutures where "me first" and idenity linked to personal achievement, to standing out from others, to artcificial symbols of place in society..is kndeed a very very very new "invention" of humanity..it is really a eurpoean invention.

      My views expressed throughout here are from communities of comtemplative practice and the teachings we refer to and study in community and practices we engage including ore et labore , alexander technique, centering prayer, and other practuces..all very congnizant of "ego" and the need to move from a non-egoic operating system to ao an opearting system that recognizes our inter beoinging with one another.

      So I think am disagreeing with your premise that mediation and spirutual practice have nothing to do with ego.( ie can't cure it) but hopefully understanding your point that "ego" is not auniversal phenomenon or an instrusic part of being human or BEing.

      For me what your comment added to my understanding of ego is that it is not a natural state..not a universal human condition. Puttting it that way turns this whole discussion inside out and if we had begun with that premise ( that it is not a natural or univerasl "condition") we might have covered very different ground.

      Nonetheless I am very grateful for the workr we have done here and the ground we did cover and looking forward to what we build tigether as our next step on this here at Ted .
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        May 22 2011: """"meaning in community leaves no room for ego to grow in the first place""" thank you lindsy!!! thats exactly it!!!!!! couldnt put it better!
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          May 22 2011: Hey Gad..a revelation to me too ..thanks to Jaime who brings a very ancient cultural perspective to all our conversations here at Ted. I learn so much in jaime's "wisdom school" every day. So perhaps in our follow up project we should think about how we can give people this expeeience on line on being in community so they can expereience that community has a very different moderating effect than a conversation.....and/or practical accessible excercises that we can all do together and discuss together that are simple and just leap you out of the realm of ego.
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          May 24 2011: A conversation here is like a Jam session in music. Just people, an instrument and timely eyecontact. To record the album and make it available so other (social/media) tools are available. To compose a music piece, we need to ensure we have more time to put in something and commit to it.

          One spreads a good thought worth spreading because there is a big chance you get a good/interesting thought back. Instigated by the hoeres on TED and TEDx video's.

          The question is; how not to start repeating yourself and find the best comments in a 400 items long conversation. Kristine made a list, though than what to do :)

          Maybe it is time to say; I want to achieve 'this' and I am able to spend xxx hours on it this month and xxx hours that month?
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        May 22 2011: Dear Lindsay and Jamie, thanks for your opinions, despite a lot of diverse opinions, we all follow the main flow of this discussion ... :)) I guess we all want to see what will come out of this :)) This is an open space for all of us to express our opinions, concerns and suggestions... and I want to say that every comment enrich our conversation and keep us responsible :)
        And we'll not let you alone until we have some outputs... so please if you all have any stories that you would like to share with us, which could become fairytales for our kids please send them to me … THANK a lot!!!
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          May 25 2011: lindsay wrote: community doesn't homogenize us it elevates us to our highest living potential on earth by allowing us to fully live "self".through community""

          thats the way aha aha..
          medetation, art, fine work, gardening, these are all side effects of heathy community life,
          take a bunch of ppl, give them rituals to bind them, and a fair ubuntu structure, and all will fall into place.. mind body and soul.. we are evolved for that...
          now.. if we want to make a digital online tribe.. we need some rituals, interfaces, and a shared motivation...
          as far as things that bind us online.. i can only think of this platform as a place where we can build something together: http://writeboard.com/
          we need a place where we can turn in to one thing, form our consiosness..
          a team for thoght development, a mind tribe, with our own structure, terminology, and methods, i think this can develop with time, and wont take too long till we find a work flow..
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          May 23 2011: right on..
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          May 23 2011: Jaime & Gad love this eureka union we are having here in the closing days of this challenging and wonderful exploration..but just wanted to back track one tiny little bit for the sake of clarity.In community there is no ego..but there is a fully actualized, vibrant, growing, glowing unique and uniquely needed "self".

          .community doesn't homogenize us it elevates us to our highest living potential on earth by allowing us to fully live "self".through community.
        • May 23 2011: Lindsay and Jaime...may I agree with both of you? We all live in different spaces simultaneously, from public to intimate, but it is the community space that is most lacking in our society sometimes. It is great to cheer for a team, or to share intimate moments, but unlocking the power of community is a key I think to the western "I am" thinking. We dont exist because we think, we exist because we relate. The creation of something with our hands, (I like photography for example) extends self, but it needs to be appreciated in community. Creating real cultural communities is more than building some houses close together. Conversations like this one, which require us to think about ego in relation to others is a good place to start.
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          May 23 2011: Beatifull! Funny it makes me happy to see like mined who worry about this. To end up globally with like minded. I didn't read Jung his red book, I know just he talks a lot about Ego and Self in there. It seems this wisdom is luring in everyone of us and (only) now it found the time and place to sprout. Thank you all. This gives me confidence I have 'chosen' battles worth fighting for and not that 'crazy'.
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        May 24 2011: Michael... Thanks for bringing up the community space ....it is crustal for any collective initiation...
        AI is a great method for creating health community... and inspiration for any type of initiation..
        So may i suggest all to pass to our next step using AI to see how people want to get engaged in this collective initiation ????
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      May 21 2011: When man realized gunpowder gives him power beyond arms reach.... And when we found oil can do our hard work... We started to feel like gods, masters of the planet.

      We have to push 'Me' back a bit, in balance with 'Us'. that's all ! Any suggestions how?
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          May 23 2011: I believe it is a natural flow from left brain hemisphere to right brain hemisphere. I can see it at primary schools I work with and teachers in 'special' education. While they grow up and walk the great path of life, we as adults just have to broom the pavement so they don't get stuck somewhere.

          My worry is not enough people are 'brooming'.

          I have faith though when I hear stories like your activities and faith in general, for this I join Ervin Laszlo, as he said it would be a terrible waste of development of the human species, our conscious, creation, would stop while we are alive.
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      May 22 2011: ego is the voice that tells you that you are separate from your larger frame (community,family)
      and has been around since the beginning of the universe... literally. but in our human kind it has been a strong cultural force ever since we started living in big cities.. we merely want to bring the force of connectivity back in to power...
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    May 21 2011: Kristine, and all here who are actively exploring "next steps" from this amazing discussion Anil hasprovided one already along the lines some here have suggested. He has just opened a conversation on the alinement of mind heart and will..the balance so often referred to here. http://www.ted.com/conversations/3017/there_are_three_minds_in_a_bod.html?c=249603

    It is possible, I believe, to attain this alinement with practi es that are not faith baed and can be redaily accomodaed in daily life practices. Perhaps it is even a chance to have a sort of "work shop" together.
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    May 20 2011: cool au-some banging... so i will gladly take on the wiki thing and get it rolling. thanks paul!
    i think u were the one suggesting openideo? so maybe you should roll that ball?
    can i have all your email addressees so that we can keep each other posted on our developments...
    i think its a great idea that each one will research and start acting in the area of his inspiration.. and then we can all mix it up from there :D
    btw, i found 3 more interesting ppl that i think share our path more on that soooooon
    peace!

    gadbaruchh@gmail.com
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    May 20 2011: I am in
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    May 20 2011: please everyone who is into forming this thought tribe (thribe?) and learning about how to work together better
    please add me as your buddy.. http://www.facebook.com/gadbaruch
    gadbaruchh@gmail.com
    http://www.youtube.com/user/gadbaruch
    http://soundcloud.com/nubuntu
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    May 20 2011: i suggest we use a couple of different online interfaces to enhance and focus the discussion..

    1. TED - i think we should keep on asking and debating practical issues here on the forum,
    i think its a great place to meet and invite new players to join forces.

    2. open ideo -let mix our inspiration with the ideo community and see where it takes us
    and if that technique creates results.

    3. Wikipedia - it would be very cool if we open a Wiki page that explains our own terminology,
    to create new language to deal with these issues i find is a part of the solution,
    just like Ubuntu has no translation in english, we can create new meanings
    to use in our discussion. this could also work as a editable manifest, where we can try to create a single text
    that clears our shared experience.
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      May 20 2011: 1. I agree
      2. Open Ideo is a method to have concrete impact with a sponsor who covers costs to have final concepts materialized. When I posted this, I meant using the method. How would you see that in front of you?
      3. wikipedia; the self and ego are measured out well. Wikipedia is 'resource' related content, everything said there is based on trusted writing. I lot we talk about here is 'intuition' and personal (professional) experience. . How would you see that combined?
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        May 20 2011: I am for open Ideo too, sounds to be practical and impact oriented ...
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        May 20 2011: 1. sweet
        2. open ideo i think all of us want to roll with, and i dont know what will come of it but it looks like an important tool, altho i wouldn't be satisfied with that alone,
        seems that ideo is an experiment that involves a big number of ppl,,, by the hundreds..
        i would like to have besides that, a smaller team, maybe 10 - 30 ppl that will
        develop parallely and could draw from and into the ideo process..
        3. what i find fascinating about wikipedia method is that we can form a document thats not 350 comments long and that can be editable for the group... also it powerful cause we can create our own words and have it linked to actual academic research. think of it like a collaborative thought sculpture, that is linked to the rest of human thought and ideas, for it is not just a database of summarized old concepts, but an open encyclopedia.. wich means that we can create new concepts and make them real! i think its a powerful tool.. also it can let us practice being egoless in conversation,
        for example here on the forum, its very easy to read something someone wrote and reply with: "yes i see your point, BUT! i think that bla bla bla..." instead of an endless thread where everyone is trying to push their opinions in the mix, we can be more constructive and form defenitions and explenations together.. for example, lets say we name our team NU-BUNTU, i go and create that word and provide a definition, i open the text for the rest of the group to edit, and every now and then we go there and add/change/edit/refrase in an intuitive and free way untill it becomes a static thing that we can all identify with, we add important links and try to keep it as short and percise as possible, if it works well it would be easier later on to make collaborative writing. another example is.. how to formulat the qwestion for open ideo, each one of us might have a difrent idea for how to put down the qwestion, and each way would probably make diferent results.
        does it sound logical?
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          May 20 2011: Gad! Good drive you have! On wikipedia, I thought you wanted to go straight onto the official one.

          If you see a nice thought cloud in front of you, feel free to have a headstart! Just try stuff.

          http://35km.eu/egoandso/wiki

          I just put a wikipedia system there, it can always be moved to somewhere else if needed, even as an entry to the official wikipedia.org.
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    May 20 2011: On maturing thoughts; Vision and Mission

    Ofcourse we will expand and focus our visions on TED without a 'deadline' as Bob points out well. And it is a good place to be as Gad points out.

    At the same time I need to put a carrot in front off me and run on a treadmill :) An inbetween milestone with something concrete to passover to have time again for new endeavors. Like a book, or video/film or game. As Seth Godin puts forward; a Tribe needs a reference point to build upon.

    Here is a little mission with which I can allow myself to put more time on as I believe it is important. A manifesto which can become a book for children or a website for parents.

    Why?

    It would be a crime if we keep this knowledge away from children and parents.

    Here a start for manifesto 1 for 'kids/youth' target group :

    Manifesto for Kids/Youth:

    Mind and Body are innertwined. If there is hunger, our minds/Ego/Self work different, survival instinct. If there is lousy quality food also, we hardly notice as we will not die.

    So a 'whole' manifest on Ego/Self needs both Mind and Body in it.

    6 topics;

    To stay mentally healthy :
    - Develop some ways that meditation and martial arts, dance, music
    become really cool catchy and fun for youth and kids.
    - teach children about 'self-esteem' and 'compassion' for balanced thinking.
    - introduce tribal/social learning around children and parents as schools are failing to connect.

    To stay physically healthy :
    - teach about why the body needs 'wild' food to avoid many health problems, with daphne miller - the jungle effect.
    - teach about the challenges grownups face in food production and consumption
    - experience growing/raising your own food.

    These are 6 projects to mature.
    Coming together in one book, free as a text file online, and if 100 people want a hardcopy this can be through print on demand. It can be a website for parents and schools to learn about these important facts which should be available in a low barrier encouraging fashion.
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    May 20 2011: maybe it would be better not to get swallowed by facebook.. lets keep discussing and recruiting thinkers here on TED, if it would get big enough maybe we could get TEDaction's attention..
    i also think it would be a good idea to make a wiki page that would be a editable evolving menifest/meme
    that we can project into all the conclusions that we come up with, and in the same time do the open ideo thing and see how that works for us.. it could be exhausting if we put too much hopes on this thing so i suggest that we consider this as a game
    or experiment and just play around :)

    so we will have:
    1. TED conversaion - where we will invite more ppl and examin other sides of what we want to do.. new threads new ppl.
    2. open ideo - where we test our intuitions on a diffrent format,
    3. wiki page - where we coin our terms and creat new word and meanings that reflact our ideas.

    i started talking with this guy: http://www.ted.com/profiles/139239
    owner of this organization: www.organicxpression.com
    he is also motivated in our direction and i invited him to join forces..
    i think we should keep our eyes open for series collaborators
    that we can trust that they get the internal point.. this is a complex thing we are trying to think of but with a very clear center and humanity.. UBUNTU FOREVER...
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      May 19 2011: Only the posts on religion really exceed; as two camps compete there on 'proof' and 'intuition' related to something we can not scientifically measure.

      This topic is, if I may speak frankly, a comming together of personal experiences related to 'Ego' and the 'Self'.

      Other topics on things beyond 'matter' thrive well as well.

      Why?

      The world where we live in is not functioning materially well and in order to achieve a transition one day, first we need to (step 1) function mentally personally well and than step 2 to create brave idea's together for step 3. to make the world run materially well again for step 4. to start building Star Trek Enterprise ;) (thanks Zoe Weil for this last part)

      Some look in understanding evolution to make the next steps, some in the position of classic religions, some in meditation, some in arts, some in social economic statistics.
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    May 19 2011: Some Great Quotes came out of this conversation that I decided to post here. I am sure they can serve as “Map” for many who are on different “Boarders” and need to find their way.

    Bob Van Oosterhout: I don't believe the goal of life is to feel good about ourselves. We are more likely to feel good when we can "be ourselves" without thinking about it and when we connect with nature and each other. Feeling good about ourselves is not a means to that end, it is a side effect.

    Debra Smith: I think if there were no unhealthy egoism we would be able to see another's point of view more easily and cooperation would be more common. We would also be far more concerned with the well being of others.

    Bob Van Oosterhout: If we are open to connecting with people within a group, we are more likely to understand how they see things and they are more likely to pick up some of what we see. Telling people they are wrong tends to reinforce our own self-righteousness and seldom helps them change course. We can be understanding without being condescending. We can touch people by opening our hearts to them, one person at a time. The egocentric culture will fall on its own because it does not contribute to long term fulfillment and satisfaction.

    Johnson Tao: Superstition is a simple mechanism of us believing that there's a meaningful pattern, among what's actually just meaningless noises. Thus resulting us having false beliefs, and we ended up forming our subjective reality based on those said beliefs....

    Lindsay Newland Bowker: Collaboration is one of the highest forms of human engagement..the entire brain, the entire body literally comes alive.
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    May 19 2011: Lindsay Newland Bowker: In some circles ego is called "the small self" or the "false self"..it is all our broken and ineffectual operating systems collected over a life time and it is the biggest barrier to self actualization..to realization of our full potential it is what keeps us from aliening mind, heart and will.

    Alex Sanzo: I believe finding our true essence may really help to balance ego, or find inner balance. I guess ego often take over because we don’t recognize ourselves or are afraid of it, so sometimes self defense even toward our true self can destroy our inner balance ....

    Bob Van Oosterhout: I am not sure we can completely overcome ego, but we can gradually let it go. Recognizing that a growing ego diminishes our capacity to reach our potential and to connect with others provides motivation to work on it. When I look at times I have been least helpful and effective in my life, ego was growing. When I look at times when I connected with work, play, or other people, ego was shrinking.

    Jawed AHMED: My observation is that insecure the person or nation more of ego is found. That leads to understanding Insecurity. Insecurity could be even losing POWER that one already has due to whatever reason. So ego is not confined to any geography or sections of society.

    Paul van Zoggel: How to get rid of ego? Understand the place and role in history and teach children the balance between self-esteem and compassion. As those two resonate. As adults we can take the same primary school course!

    Bob Van Oosterhout: I would think that compassion is one of the best ways to balance the ego. Understanding that we have a shared, connected life and making choices that take the needs of others into account would be one way to put that into practice.
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    May 19 2011: Gad Baruch Hinkis: I love Bill Hicks's sentence “Everything that exists has the choice to fear or love... to connect or separate itself from the higher form it may be part of” I like to think of it like a brick wall... all the bricks together can be used for safety and shelter and one brick at a time can only be used as a weapon or destructive tool

    Paul van Zoggel: We have a choice right now between fear and love. Fear put's locks on our doors, property protection (mine!) and love we share in compassion (ours!)

    Gerry O'Connor: We often unfortunately get lost in the ugliness rather than the beauty of the ego ......and whilst there is a beauty in having the ego in place there is also the opportunity to step beyond it into an experience that is part of the collective …

    Jaime Lubin: In our deep interior all we have that leader, his name is Intuition (in-tuitere) the internal tutor who knows everything and tell us the truth, but in a very soft voice.....maybe we hear his advice, or maybe not. The intuition is the real power for transforming ourselves.

    Bob Van Oosterhout: I would like to offer a definition of ego as viewing ourselves as larger as or more important than we are. This definition implies that we recognize our personal needs, potential and gifts without over-emphasizing their value.Viewing oneself as more important than others leads to the creation of a frame where the well-being of others isn’t seen. Think of any human conflict or action that has lead to widespread pain and suffering. Ego likely played an important role.

    Stephen Wisniew: I think there is no competition. We are competing against ourselves. The mind creates the concept of competition. We are ultimately comparing ourselves, our accepted standards, and the accepted frame of reference or viewpoint to that of others-or those we call competitors.
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    May 19 2011: Bob Van Oosterhout: I believe Ubuntu is a wonderful concept that needs to be better known. I think Ubuntu and ego are mutually exclusive - one blocks the other. My understanding of the meaning of the term ego (viewing ourselves as larger as or more important than we are) interferes with and blocks Ubuntu. Ego connects us with an illusion of our self. Ubuntu connects us with other people.

    Lindsay Newland Bowker: I love that way of thinking about how we as individuals are located in the whole.... But I also love that idea that the individual is unique and cortically needed for the sustenance of the whole. It implies a stewardship for self as well.

    Utku Mun: Ego is a necessity in order to further evolve yet it is also a hindrance for evolution. All we can do is to minimize it to a point where we can synchronize, where we can get along...Though even if we fail do it by force it will happen naturally, since evolution is inevitable as long as different codes exist. I'm hoping that we won't wait nature to accomplish that for us this time though.

    Bob Van Oosterhout: Trying to "overcome" ego would be dominating it, which would take a lot of ego... If we become aware of how our own ego limits us and others, then we can discern situations where we share what we are learning. If we recognize how our culture feeds ego-centric living and choose not to participate in that but rather get involved in something more meaningful, then others may notice and realize there is a more effective way to live. If we do this in our day-to-day relationships, then others might be influenced to do the same. If this continues, then there will someday be a tipping point where most people realize that life is much more meaningful and fulfilling when we let go of self-centered thinking.
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    May 19 2011: Bob Van Oosterhout: "to connect or separate..." Ego requires that we focus on a "separate" self. Being separate leads to fear - we are on our own, alone in what looks like a hostile world. The more we separate and seek our own advantage, the more we have to lose (or so we believe) and fear and separation increase. To connect dispels fear. It does not eliminate pain or loss, but allows us the see them as part of life. All of the striving of separate egos can be seen as a misguided attempt to connect but without the risk of pain or loss. When we realize that connection is our nature and our destiny, we are able to accept pain and loss and risk and fear fade away.

    Paul van Zoggel: For me my ego is my drive to be better than others to generate novel ideas and to advance and shape the ideas of others. I propose that with out ego there would be no drive no incentive to be and think differently leaving the world high and dry of ideas that could potentially alter humanity or the environment. However egos do posses a dark side the stinging pain of someone being a jerk due to their ego and so on. But I suggest we cultivate an intellectual ego that starts and ends there. Not enough to damage a relationship but just enough to provide the extra drive to be different and to pursue new avenues. Maybe one advantage of having ego is that we get the opportunity to transcend it and appreciate more fully the beauty of our collective humanity

    Michael McAleer: I loved the Ubuntu post!....a worldview shift like this would be so drastic. It isn't that North Americans for example can't be altruistic, but many times the altruism is a expression of their own ego! Altruism is another "me" concept. What I would love to see goes way beyond that. It is a community space in our cultures that is significant, changes culture and demands that "we" is examined in major decisions. Self does not have to get lost in that, but there has to be a new center or focal point.
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    May 19 2011: Debra Smith: I find that people who profess to be egoless are often the most filled with ego.

    Mick Hickey: Ego, in the absolute, I don't believe is an issue. A sense of self and focusing on that I feel does not contain a negative consequence. The focus on superiority or, conversely, the inferiority of others, is where the danger lies for the world. By seeing others a "lesser" in some way provides the basics for prejudice, exclusion and violence.

    Bob Van Oosterhout: Thinking about the "self" is a distraction from taking "real" action. I believe our most effective action occurs when we let go of the sense of self and become totally engrossed in what we are engaged in. Thinking about self is always in the past or future. When we are fully present in the moment, we don't think of self.

    Vijay P: World has neither been good nor bad. It is. It is my experience that is changing my view or belief about the world. Experience is the guru. We can discuss till cows come home about different techniques, system of beliefs etc, but without the "self" engaging in real life situations where "real" actions need to be performed, it becomes a matter of theory… if I cannot regard myself well, how can I ever regard others well. I think, If we accept our own ego, we can accept the way the world is, including others ego and then there would be no conflict, but a natural form of ego - like water, air.

    Bob Van Oosterhout: I believe the world is clearer, larger and more connected as we let go of the concept of self. Many people who regard themselves "well" have caused a lot of pain and those who cause the most pain likely regard themselves as most important. Tyrants tend to have the largest egos and the least concern for the well-being of others. Better that we see ourselves and others clearly and be careful not to over-emphasize our importance.
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    May 19 2011: FIRST PART - I didn’t have enough courage to post this topic much earlier. I was waiting for somebody to do it. I didn’t want to look Egoist who needs an advice :))). My father who is not with me any more killed my EGO long back, when I was a kid, he taught us never consider us better from people who were in miserable conditions or in need. He taught us to give our last covering to those in need and serve to people and never take anything. He taught us living a dignified life respecting and loving all as equal human beings. He was a simple men with a very much serving and humble attitude. He would often say “Do a good and throw it to water, if humans will not appreciate it, God will”…If I would see “Egoistic Behavior”, this would make me really mad, at times I would even get angry with my father thinking that if he wouldn’t nurture me like this, I would have more easy life and more achievements and wouldn’t step back or yield…I really had hard times to balance my EGO, but I guess I was working backwards, not trying to decreasing EGO to “Balanced Mode” but increase it to “Balanced Mode” so I could express my opinion, not feel shy, believe to my capacity to do something and also take things that life gives my ...
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    May 19 2011: SECOND PART - Anyway, experience is the Guru, as it was mentioned in our conversation and I somehow fixed myself more or less. I realized a lot. I understood that treating all as equal human beings doesn’t mean to feel sorry for those who are in need and try to treat them equal so they feel good, (This is also an Ego) treating all as equal means with open heart and mind appreciate the persons capacity for its good or bad, see people as they are, be open to accept the diversity. Most importantly recognize your true essence and see your own limitations. Until I didn’t get I am not perfect it was hard to understood my true self. After this it becomes much easier to see and accept others as they are. After this we all become equal… and especially in a setting as Ubuntu …This conversation really helped me to accept that I have my own EGO anyway  but also it helped me to understand that I live in peace with my EGO. I taught my EGO to serve me so I sever others and we both enjoy it. Now I do things not because my father thought me to do that way, but because I choose to do it and I enjoy it…and it doesn’t differentiate from what my father taught me to do, I misunderstood his words in many ways I guess. He taught me to sever others so my EGO learns to sever me and my consciousness. He totally lived in peace with his EGO and it took a while for me to find my peace as well, though I still have a long way to go :))Now my challenge is HOW to pass my lessons to my son so he doesn’t misunderstand me. So he develops his own open mind to sees things as they are, be able to accept diversity, listen, keep silence, recognize his emotions and thinking patterns, respect people as equals but still express his opinion, believe in his capacity, choose love over hating to live a dignified life and make peace with his EGO…
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    May 18 2011: We have collected a great deal of insights on Ego and Self, Fear and Love, Self Esteem and Compassion, Meditation and Martial Arts.

    I know for adults there are a great amount of possibilities to learn more about your brain and body / develop them.

    For young people however it is more difficult.

    Group 1 : For primary school children to get into meditation, martial arts, dance, music is a lot harder, especially to motivate them on 'why'
    Group 2 : for 13-20 years, puberty, there is needed a whole different approach to get them interested in what they mentally and physically need. For girls it is mostly easier, to stay look 'young and healthy in their twenties' is in them, for boys in puberty not really...

    What about figuring out answers for these two groups, so not to write a Jungian-Steiner-Koestler-Laszlo summary on the Ego?

    Just thinking out loud..
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      May 19 2011: Paul, I have some question whether it would be appropriate to teach meditation to a young child or even an adolescent. Children are exposed to a wide range of media that promote ego-centric thinking. Having clear discussion of the effects of this way of thinking could be very valuable even at young ages.

      Also, you made an earlier comment about difficulty meditating when a 2 year old is running around. I continued to meditate daily, even when my children were young. (The space must be childproof of course) My daughter would climb on my lap while I was meditating, I would play with her for a couple minutes, then she would run off and I would return to the meditation. All distractions are not unpleasant.
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        May 19 2011: I am a novice in this. I do not think we can ask them to sit down and meditate probably. Or maybe they are young enough so they won't protest like teenagers do... Though it would be a crime if we don't introduce them somehow.

        Teach children "thank you lord for... etc to do that every day before eating and sleeping" isn't the way in multicultural classes.

        Though playfully breathing deep and calm down techniques should be possible. But don't know how yet. Maybe to ask Deepak Chopra his Wild Divine biofeedback team. As well some basics in martial arts, capoeira or aikido should be possible.

        On media ego-centric; this is currently in overload, I see already at my son how much youtube and games he is doing. I can limit it, but through the ipad games he learns a lot. The gap between the living world and educational world of children is widening every day. So this 'media ego centricity energy should be counter balanced extremely by some 'Self' centricity.

        Solutionist learning to deal with your world, compassion, Anthroposophy are ingredients for this I guess.

        PS Thank you for the tip on meditation, if I keep my eyes close for 2 seconds he already goes bananas..
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          May 19 2011: Paul wrote: Though playfully breathing deep and calm down techniques should be possible. But don't know how yet.

          I have found grounding and diaphragmatic breathing to be very helpful in working with children of all ages. You mentioned working with kids diagnosed with ADD or AADHD in an earlier post. My experience is that built-up tension creates the same symptoms. Regular grounding and diaphragmatic breathing get rid of the tension and restores balance. This slows the mind and expands the child's frames enough so they can anticipate consequences and choose appropriate behavior. I have never actually seen anyone who has true ADHD since restoring balance has resolved the SX in all of the kids and adults I have worked with who have that DX and used these techniques over the years.

          There are lots of fun ways to introduce these techniques. Playing "gorilla" is a great way to teach young children grounding.

          You can view video podcasts I have made for my students on grounding, diaphragmatic breathing, Understanding and resolving problems with impulse control, Identifying common patterns of tension and how to clear your mind at http://bobvanoosterhout.com/id113.html
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      May 19 2011: Paul wrote: For young people however it is more difficult.

      Discussing the effects of different ways of looking at people and situations helps create frames where they see the negative effects of being self-centered. Compassion works to build good relationships, defensiveness does not. Taking personal responsibility for our actions and decision works, blaming and judging others does not. Looking for reasons for hope by recognizing potential in people and opportunities in situations works, mentally recycling reasons for fear does not. Recognizing that each person has value and potential works, over-emphasizing our own importance at the expense of others does not.
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    May 16 2011: Well I guess it is time to sum up as Paule mentioned below :))) This is a great conversation. I appreciate all comments....So give me time to sum up and then lets decide what we are doing with all this, though Paule already suggested a bunch of great ideas …I encourage all if you still have comments add them, if not let’s just start to discuss how each of us would use this information discussed here, and we’ll sum up that part as wellHere are Ideas from Paul :
    • after a passionate conversation month; At Openideo.com after a conversation they have a month or so for 'applauding' the best idea's/thoughts. This helps bringing above the most interesting thoughts. We can do that here with the tumb 'this is helpful'.
    • could be to choose your own comment with most thumbs and turn it into a little video, most people have a webcam or phone with video within reach of a friend. Just reading your own comment that is praised by others, outloud into the camera.
    • we post them on one Youtube/Vimeo TEDy ego channel :) We have an INDIE Democratic TED conference with our greatest ideas in one Conversation!
    • If we believe in 'The Self, Empathy, Compassion, Unconscious. And believe with the internet we imitate this 'common good field', let's see what a great thought in text becomes 'told' through a video. TED is big because of video, let's democratize it even further :)
    • Making your own little video, being confronted with your own voice, face, message is
    • May 16 2011: Kristine Please summarize for us and then yes, let's dialogue on how to put something more into a concrete form. Maybe we could call it "It's not about me after all."
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    May 16 2011: what if we would be living/operating in small communities which operate in semi communist/ way
    maybe some could be anarchist and some hierchial, each community could decide their own social structure
    and united goals, weather its a farming society, artists, designers, or anything.
    this community way of life subculture is already here.
    if this movement would be more developed and pushed forward i can see how it could solve many problems,
    it could be a subculture of "US" ideology growing under the protection of capitalism.
    in these small groups i think it would be easier to do social good, and it will be good socially..

    what you think?
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      May 16 2011: Yep, it's called China.. a bit.. or more, don't know the living standards, perspectives and experienced freedom within. See also my other post on East and West Europe Ego.

      My opinion, a movement without an 'Ego' is starting globally to do this. Already going on a long time. Only this type of big change only comes with big crisis. We have to wait for that ;) Experiments are here and there. The nation state as we know it is temporal, regions of about 50-100 KM (30-60 miles) in Europe will get self organized under the care of the nation state though highly connected with the continent and beyond.

      I don't know how it is in Germany, though in the Netherlands regions are seriously experimenting with alternative currencies. The state government looks, to be inspired I guess. Because if capitalism really falls... there is no backup plan... yet ...


      I think it is a great new topic on TED.. or maybe it is already somewhere?
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        May 16 2011: coool!!! me like, lets make a team to research and raise awareness!!!
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      May 16 2011: ANARCHY FTW (non-violent, of cource) :)
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    May 15 2011: Wanting to destroy ego is another activity of ego.Therefore one can only start to lessen one's ego by observing it,being aware of it's mechanisms.From my experience it is not possible to do this without regular practice of meditation (by meditation here i mean a practice in which i am aware of something-for example my breathing-and every time the mind is creating some kind of story,i aknowledge that it is happening, label what just happened as "thinking" and go back to being aware of the breathing).
    By being more aware of the thinking process we can see that there are a lot of things happening all the time that are beyond that process.
    By being more aware of our thoughts we can understand that the truth is,that,in a way,it is not us who are thinking.
    The thinking process just is.Thoughts are coming and going.If the truth would be that it is us who are thinking,then it would be possible to stop thinking,for example by saying "From now on, for the next 2 minutes, i will not think".
    So one could make an argument that if it is not us who are thinking, then who is thinking?
    And the answer to that would be that if one has understanding of the fact that, it is not us who are thinking,the very question:"if not me, than who is thinking?"will not even appear.That question is another thought.
    We can understand this only by observing our thoughts, thinking about them without seeing that we are thinking is just another lack of awareness.

    If we go further with looking at how ego works,we may come to the conclusion that the ego is just a mental construct.It does not exist independently,in a way that most of us experience it in everyday life.
    We can say that it does not exist(as a solid, one thing),and therefore that it is not possible to destroy something that doesn't exist.
    From that perspective,that which exists is our confusion-our lack of awareness of what is happening in our minds all the time.
    So my answer is:the ego doesn't exist, world would be better without confusion.
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      May 15 2011: Piotr, thank you, for your wise words. silence and meditation are also my practice and even though our numbers are growing worldwide.(.people with a spiritual practice)..everyone can experience and overcome the limitations of ego simply by self monitoring in daily life. Almost every strong reaction to anyone or anything is a real clue that ego is at work..every stong aversion or immediate refutation of anything that challenges what we already know shows ego is at work..anger and impatience always shows that ego.is at work. Just by forming an intent in daily life to catch ourselves in these reactions, giving ourselves silence instead of automoatic reaction in those moments, asking ourselves unwardly why..not analysing it just openly asking "the inner observer" why?. Chances are it will lead to some specific broken moment in our lives ..some specific memory..and as soon as you connect with that you can just let go of it.
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        May 15 2011: Lindsy wrote ....Almost every strong reaction to anyone or anything is a real clue that ego is at work..every stong aversion or immediate refutation of anything that challenges what we already know shows ego is at work..anger and impatience always shows that ego.is at work. Just by forming an intent in daily life to catch ourselves in these reactions, giving ourselves silence instead of automoatic reaction in those moments, asking ourselves unwardly why..not analysing it just openly asking "the inner observer" why?. Chances are it will lead to some specific broken moment in our lives ..some specific memory..and as soon as you connect with that you can just let go of it.....

        Can I add that...none of us is ensured from anything in this life....it is easy to criticize, while very hard to build understanding....listen, tolerate, and also forgive...
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          May 15 2011: I think it is also evidence of unbridled ego when anyone insists that another person approach and interact with the world in the way that they themself choose to do. Who can really believe that there is only one right way to deal with people?
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          May 15 2011: Kristine..thanks for that important addition.
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  • May 14 2011: Perhaps to play devils advocate ego is a good thing. for me my ego is my drive to be better than others to generate novel ideas and to advance and shape the ideas of others. I propose that with out ego there would be no drive no incentive to be and think differently leaving the world high and dry of ideas that could potentially alter humanity or the environment. However egos do posses a dark side the stinging pain of someone being a jerk due to their ego and so on. But I suggest we cultivate an intellectual ego that starts and ends there. Not enough to damage a relationship but just enough to provide the extra drive to be different and to pursue new avenues.
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      May 14 2011: In the conversations comes forward I guess ego is too prevalent, not in balance with what the world needs from us. We all know we need some, though there is a tippingpoint. Our DNA is set for 'survival', we just went too far beyond that at the cost of others.
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    May 13 2011: AMAZING thread everyone! im new to the forum but i feel very connected to the ppl talking here.
    hope im not too late to keep this ball rolling for a while.
    i think that there is an overall agreement about the essence of things but not necessarily about the words to use the definitions of ego. also we seem to agree on the importance of the different points of view.

    and it looks like the answer for many ppl is: yes! the world would be better.
    and for the second question of how to overcome ego the answers are individual and divers,
    what ever works for you is great and good.

    but there is also another question being asked wich is how to overcome cultural egoism.
    and to make progress on this question i think we need to create a whole forum for this mission. where we will find the common language to discuss this in detail... and to maybe come up with a manifesto for the group of ppl interested in solving this problem.

    i do also understand that this can only serve the ppl who already have some shared understanding of the paradigms
    in question, so it may not be for everyone but it would be a great bonding tool for the world community of ppl who wish to spread Ubuntu.
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      May 14 2011: I think we could suggest TED to create next TED initiation :) TED CONVERSATION PROJECTS :)))Which means projects that streamed from TED conversations.....:)This would help to transform inspiration to action and help really impact the world....We can have fantastic conversation, learn a lot from each other, but it would be great to do something to pass on... this inspiration to others who are out of TED community, because of language and other barriers....For example If we could create a training module “7 habits to balance our EGO” or “Things we should know to be able to balance our Ego” or this could have been a book even :)… this would be great !!!!Ubuntu forever!!!!!
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        May 14 2011: I stumbled upon http://education.ted.com/ once, in a way TED conversation projects, though it looks like and old version of TED conversations, but with the goal of real actions?

        Personally I enjoy the http://www.OPENIdeo.com method to make idea's really happen collaboratively, mixing TED Conversations with this would be a world changing thing!
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        May 14 2011: Kristine I agree with with you. we need .a project incubator to allow TED Conversations to evolve into action or at least a plan of action...This one certainly lends itself to that and there have been several others ( I was recently involved in a conversation about using the internet to educate young children that neede that next stage incubator.Same with the long standing discussion on democracy.) For now on this conversation perhaps we could havea part II that is focused as you suggest on actual practice to trasnncend ego.a part II that isn't about debating whether ego is good or bad but begins with what has evolved here...that ego is something we need to learn to transcend.
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          May 16 2011: The beauty of ted conversations it is totally 'free' in all possible ways.
          - Let your thoughts free
          - No obligations, no commitments (only the person who starts is burdened with replying ;) )

          Though I agree we should do something committed !

          We can ask Kristine to draft a summary, a manifest, though then she would never start a conversation again I guess, if that's the price to pay ;) And than what's next?

          As I sit at a dull airport, nothing else to do... Here an idea to (a) stay close to 'free', (b) idea's worth spreading and (c) on the topic of Ego and Self.

          Idea :

          step 2 after a passionate conversation month; At Openideo.com after a conversation they have a month or so for 'applauding' the best idea's/thoughts. This helps bringing above the most interesting thoughts. We can do that here with the tumb 'this is helpful'.

          step 3 could be to choose your own comment with most thumbs and turn it into a little video, most people have a webcam or phone with video within reach of a friend. Just reading your own comment that is praised by others, outloud into the camera.

          step 4 we post them on one Youtube/Vimeo TEDy ego channel :) We have an INDIE Democratic TED conference with our greatest ideas in one Conversation!

          ...

          Why :

          - My 'fear'/worry if we stay in text, we become like the classic news groups trying to draft manifests/conclusions which end up in very long monologues trying to convince eachother.

          - If we believe in 'The Self, Empathy, Compassion, Unconscious. And believe with the internet we imitate this 'common good field', let's see what a great thought in text becomes 'told' through a video. TED is big because of video, let's democratize it even further :)

          - I : Making your own little video, being confronted with your own voice, face, message is one great meditative experience..

          - WE : Who knows what time brings after this experiment, we achieved getting our collective conscious visually out there with little personal effort.
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        May 14 2011: it would be great to do something to pass on... this inspiration to others who are out of TED community, because of language and other barriers...

        kristine.. i would go far to say its our responsibility to spread this inspiration,
        and liberate our imagination to lead us to the highest dreams that we can imagine for the benefit
        of life on the planet. its the ageless battle between darkness and light and i dont need to tell you which side were on.

        ....For example If we could create a training module “7 habits to balance our EGO” or “Things we should know to be able to balance our Ego”

        i think when we give ppl advices on how to balance their own ego it still would put them
        in a lonly place of them having to deal with themselves, and wont be as fun,
        also what the dali lama suggested wouldn't work for me and many other young ppl..
        meditation and ego control tips are just not FUN for most ppl under 30.

        im sure if we create a group of ppl to bring it in to action, using the 5D's we can do it big.
        u can bet i have some idea's and already started working on it with a small group im putting together in Berlin, but i will wait for the right moment to share when were all more focused on how to turn it into action.

        this could be a great TEDActionSOC project!
        long live Ubuntu!
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          May 14 2011: Great point! It should be fun as well :)))
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          May 15 2011: Gad wrote: also what the dali lama suggested wouldn't work for me and many other young ppl.. meditation and ego control tips are just not FUN for most ppl under 30."

          I am confused why you believe that meditation would not work for you. I have been teaching it as part of my course for 29 years and the majority of my students are in their twenties. Meditation teaches you how to develop mental and perceptual flexibility to choose your frames and way of thinking. It is the ultimate freedom. So much of our thinking is established by experience and training not of our choosing. Meditation puts us in touch with something deeper and more lasting.

          I would not describe meditation as fun but I have found it to be very rewarding and often (but not always) very pleasurable. There is a lot of research that indicates that meditation increases problem solving ability, learning, and memory. It is tool for sharpening and disciplining the mind. Our mind determines our reality and our future, it is the vehicle that brings us to our future. Why not try something that helps keep that vehicle in optimum condition.

          I believe meditation allows us to suspend our ego and find a sense of flow and connection with a wide range of people and situations. It allows authenticity to emerge. I would encourage you to give it a try for 6 to 8 weeks.
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        May 15 2011: Bob, i dont practice meditation, at least not in the classic sense,
        im sure it would be very beneficial, like so many other things,
        i also dont clean my room, dont always eat healthy, and dont do any sport.
        laziness is real.. and is evolutionary built in my system.
        the main thing in life that automatically gets me off my ass..
        are my commitments to my social groups.

        i agree that meditation is an important part in the shift we are discussing
        but i am stil not convinced that it is the cure for the egocentric culture
        unless you have an idea for how to get meditation something really cool
        catchy and fun.

        question: do you think listening to instrumental slow and deep music can trigger meditation?
        or do you think its possible to harness the powers of meditation but not in a meditation
        format, maybe what is necessary for me is a bit of repackaging of the word,
        cause for example i love the feeling of going to the park and clearing my head
        or the empty feeling in my brain when im improvising music... but i wouldn't want to put it in to structure and take 1 hour a day and turn it in to a little ritual.

        do you do meditation alone or with a group?
        isnt the original form of meditation done by groups of monks?
        for sure its a major road for spiritual enlightenment,
        it seems to me that these groups of monks are seeking this path,
        and are connected by their mission for higher awareness,
        but that just not most ppl.

        and also their are other ways, in Judaism its through reading, understanding, and prayr.
        and recently i came to think that in many tribal societies have their own rituals
        to get them to experience the being part of everything, through music, dance, trance, and possessions, wich all look really fun.

        im dont think we should try to agree on what is the best way to achieve less ego,
        but rather examine all the different ways, then Dream, Design, Deliver.
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          May 15 2011: I agree Gad that there are paths other than meditation..I hadn't seen your ocmment here when I commened above about practices we can incorporate in our daily lives that make us mindful of ego at work and help us to overcome iti
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          May 15 2011: I agree, we all have our paths.... and it would be great to share them here so we learn from each other and later on collect them.... cross-pollinate and find something new ... :))))) what do you think ????

          I personally never meditated, but I learned to recognize my thinking patterns and errors and deal with them, to accept that I am not perfect, to understand my emotions and manage them, to develop habits which proved to be effective in terms of communication, listening, to taking time to understand, not to assume.... to understand my perception errors and so on… I even trained myself to use the energy created because of anger for something good… yes, why wasting energy on anger and so on, when you can invest it in something good, but honestly saying I am thinking to take yoga classes and also learn meditating, WHY???? Because all colleagues, friends, relatives and all say it is the best way to find inner harmony ….

          Anyway, there are always things that we don’t know, and just as I have mentioned above anything you share is highly appreciated, cause it can open our mind….
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          May 15 2011: Gad wrote: "do you think its possible to harness the powers of meditation but not in a meditation format?"

          The ego is a product of the human mind. It is fed by our thoughts. Our thoughts are strongly influenced by our culture and experiences. Meditation is the clearest method of learning to control our thoughts because it works with distractions that come from our personal internal chatter and external conditioning. That’s why it has been consistently effective for over 2500 years.

          Unfortunately the word “meditation” is used to describe many different practices. I refer to meditation as a regular practice that disciplines our thinking process and opens our mind to a fuller range of life experience. This is accomplished by gradually letting go of every distraction that enters our mind while we are sitting. Music, guided imagery etc. may be relaxing, peaceful etc. but they call for attention which contradicts the purpose of meditation.

          Any external stimulus that helps us suspend our ego would have limited value because we will require that stimulus whenever we need to apply it. Meditation helps us develop a skill that does not require external stimuli or support.

          I made a video podcast that describes how and why meditation works. You are welcome to view it along with any of the other videos at http://www.bobvanoosterhout.com/id113.html
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        May 16 2011: On Kristine contacting TEDconversations : Very proactive Kristine! Also compliments on your passion on keeping this conversation going. Is this your start of TEDego Armenia with a quiet view on lake Van to contemplate? : )
  • May 13 2011: If ego is in us, then there must be a reason. Meditation is a good thing to control your ego or to understand it. A lot of great people had big ,egos and yes a lot of bad peoples had also big egos:)
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    May 13 2011: continued from previous post...

    A frame based on “us” is larger and more flexible. We have access to more information and a broader understanding of our surroundings We are aware of our compassionate nature, recognize how people become stuck in their ego’s, and learn to respectfully navigate around them. “Us” frames allows us to see our connectedness and interdependency. They provide space for exploration and reflection. Problems become easier to solve because we are able to more fully understand where they came from and how they can be addressed to bring about lasting solutions.

    Larger frames allows us to see where we are going and avoid obstacles and pitfalls. We respond rather than react. Self-judgment fades into the background. Being free from the effort of promoting and protecting a self-image allows us to make mistakes and learn from them. It becomes easier to ask forgiveness and to forgive. We recognize limitations, resources, and opportunities.

    We can learn to choose our frames. We can choose compassion instead of defensiveness, hope instead of fear, personal responsibility instead of blame, “us” instead of “me.” I believe this works better for us and for me.
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      May 13 2011: Here's to compassion, openness, hope and the 'US' framers.
      Well, well said, Bob!
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    May 12 2011: Some say it's good,
    Some say it's bad.
    Some say it's love I'm guaranteed to have.
    To say it's selfish is a leap too far,
    Maybe our ego helps us raise the bar.

    Is it competition?
    To be better not worse...
    An affliction towards power in my purse?
    My neighbour once said, 'You're no better then me',
    I replied, I agree, I agree!

    I feel this if a very subjective topic. One could perceive ego as their driving force to make oneself better or as a grade to be better then others. Like anything of the mind I feel it's only our own perceptions of ourselves that matter.
    To answer your question on 'would we have a better world without it?
    Hypothetically a world without ego could be quite mundane however controlling how we see ourselves versus others could be more moral and universal.
    So I guess I agree with you. Less mind and more heart!
    Cheers,
    Carl
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    May 12 2011: I have often pondered the same, each time ending my train of thoughts with the realisation that such ponderings are hypocritical, given my egocentricity.
    However, yes the world would be better. People would be easier to approach, more lenient, less self-important. But also consider this: without ego, or a confidence in ones' abilities, who would lead? As good as a truly communist society sounds, having no superiors would lead to an aimless existence of our species. No motivation, direction or reason to improve and develop.
    It can also be argued that the eradication of such a characteristic would be impossible. Egotism is innate in all animals. As can be seen in the animal kingdom and a number of Hollywood movies, it is typically the cockiest, most self-assured individuals who win the hearts of potential mates, thus giving increasing chances to pass their genes on to the next generation.
    So as nice as it would be to abolish "ego", we can't. It would be somewhat like wishing to abolish other aspects of human nature that society perceives as vices, such as greed.
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      May 12 2011: Elizabet, after a lot of comments most of us came to the conclusion that we cannot eliminate it, but we can balance it by finding our true essence, being honest with us, appreciating fact of being part of a greater whole or just doing good for people around us by enjoying it ...
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      May 13 2011: Elizabeth, Regarding your question: "who would lead?"

      I worked with an empowerment program for people in poverty for 9 years. All decisions were made by consensus with an average of 60 people at the weekly meetings. Leaders emerged when they had a passion to promote a specific project and then stepped back when the project was completed. People who "wanted to lead' (from their ego, like most politicians) never generated lasting support or interest. When there is shared responsibility, commitment and respect for the potential of each person, there is no need for singular leadership. Having a single powerful leader tends to diminish the possibility of shared responsibility, commitment and respect for the potential of each individual. Research shows that people become less concerned about the effects of their behavior when they are put in positions of power.
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        May 13 2011: "shared responsibility" can be a beautiful thing.
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      May 13 2011: Elizabeth, regarding your statement "Egotism is innate in all animals." This has been a common assumption for centuries but there is little solid research to back it up. I would encourage you to look at Robert Sapolsky's research with a highly aggressive band of baboons. All of the alpha males died when they hoarded rotten meat from a dumpsite for themselves. The interaction of the band of baboons was transformed over generations and even adolescent baboons from other bands, let go of their aggressive ego-centered behavior within a month or so of joining the band.

      I would also suggest reading The Fall by Steve Taylor. He cites anthropological and archeological research that indicates no evidence of person to person aggression or inequality for the first 90% of human existence.

      If we believe humans are naturally aggressive and self-centered, we will act as if it is so. If we believe we need strong leaders to guide us in every part of our lives, we will act as if it is so. However, I believe it is neither in our nature nor in our best interests to do so.
  • May 12 2011: looked at caroline casey story.

    beautiful.

    The rise of "ënlightment" (or light-ness) and trueness to self and our purpose and meaning of life.

    suggest everybody find this path. its surely worth it...

    makes a life "light" , beuatiful and fun..
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    May 12 2011: PAIN IN LIFE WILL MINIMIZE OUR EGO
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      May 12 2011: Juno..how very true..great suffering, though not our first choice of a path, is a very quick short cut to triumph over ego. ( There's actually a wonderfull book about that Suffering And the Courage of God--not as theological as its title implies) and many stories to support that my own included. My own struggle with advanced cancer and the ravages of aggressive chemo and aggressive radiation stripped everything away that was not essential or true..Not the chosen path nor the easiest..but yes scrubs ego pretty much out of the picture.
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      May 12 2011: Jano, I agree great pains open up our mind to think WHY???? and stat a self discovery process..
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      May 12 2011: Sadly, From my experience, Jano, it is often not true that pain minimizes ego. I have worked with many people who fight pain and allow that process to dominate their entire existence. They become angry and self-centered. Others are able to use pain to let go of a sense of self and recognize a much larger picture. The good news is that when people learn that fighting pain tends to make it much worse they become open to learning how to regain balance and see their life in a much larger context.
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    May 12 2011: maybe one advantage of having ego is that we get the opportunity to transcend it and appreciate more fully the beauty of our collective humanity
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      May 12 2011: gerry..I love that..the work of transcendence is indeed good work..and very rewarding..your words so true and simple thank you
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        May 13 2011: thanks lindsay .. i don't believe that the ego in itself is a problem as part of the beauty of nature (which we are part of) is that there is a beauty in eg the simple single leaf and the combinations of all those individual beauties gives us an element of the beauty of the tree .... so i think the ego has a role to play in giving us an individual identity that can provide an element of the beauty of the human race .....

        we often unfortunately get lost in the ugliness rather than the beauty of the ego ......and whilst there is a beauty in having the ego in place there is also the opportunity to step beyond it into an experience that is part of the collective humanity ...eg our thirst for fullfillment .. the transcendance you mentioned
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          May 14 2011: ....we often unfortunately get lost in the ugliness rather than the beauty of the ego ......and whilst there is a beauty in having the ego in place there is also the opportunity to step beyond it into an experience that is part of the collective humanity ...eg our thirst for fullfillment .. the transcendance you mentioned....

          Thanks Garry!!!!
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      May 13 2011: thanks Garry!!!
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      May 13 2011: Good point, Gerry. Having an ego allows us to have compassion for those whose excessive self-interest creates pain for others. When we have compassion for someone, there is a possibility we can influence them.
  • May 12 2011: I feel that we can't overcome ego.It is very normal and we can feel it everywhere.Everyone has own ideas and opinions,so ego is not a problem.
  • May 12 2011: Less than 5 minutes ago: Less than 5 minutes ago: Depends on how we define it..

    I choose 2 definitions from the webstern online dictionary:
    1.- An inflated feeling of pride in your superiority to others.
    and 2. Your consciousness of your own identity.

    If we as humanity got rid of this kind of pride /superiority the world will truly be a much better place for all of us, we'll relate better to ourselves and to each other. This kind of pride is a confusion of one self and we get further away from experiencing our escence and experiencing the priviledge of having other humans around. When we are focus on beeing better than (better than others or better than we are without earning it) It's not even true, we are living a lie. It will be a better world if we could have more inner honesty and less fear to be ourselves and honor and love who we really are.

    If we use the second definition then we will go back to be primitives with out an awarness of self and our identity. This will not be a better world in my opinion, we will be going backwards instead of evolving into a more interdependent way of living together.

    (I appologice for my spelling and the fact I havn't read all the posts)
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    May 11 2011: while the devils greatest trick was to make you believe he doesn't exist, the Ego is far more cunning and sly, its trick is to make you think it IS you.
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  • May 11 2011: Your ego is as good as you are! Ego is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented word. It totally depends on what you mean by "Ego".
    Now let me put this way, you see lot of corruption around you. And you think YOU must do something about it. YOU cant just keep quiet about it. YOU cant ignore it. This is EGO as well! You assume that YOU should indulge and YOU should question it. If you just leave it to OTHERS to take initiatives and if you think that it is SOME ONE ELSE's bother... that is selfless.

    you should read We the Living!
  • May 11 2011: ego's says I won't talk to you!
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    May 11 2011: when are isolated from a supporting community we grow feeling weaker then our tru potential,
    that is when we try to empower ourself through egoic mind patterns, such as greed violence and further disconnection.

    the best way for ME to let go of the ego, is to understand and love the bigger organism that i want to be part of, my community. when you find a group with common interests goals or ideologies, its much easier to drop the burden of egoic
    wants from your shoulders.
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    May 11 2011: overcoming ego is not so easy . find out the root cause. kill it
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    May 11 2011: We have to understand What is Ego? I believe psychiatrics or sociologist could define better. However I would look into spiritual and religious aspects of it. My observation is that insecure the person or nation more of ego is found. That leads to understanding Insecurity. Insecurity could be even loosing POWER that one already has due to what ever reason. So ego is not confined to any geography or sections of society.

    To be principled and honest person ans standing against injustice is different from Egoism.
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    May 11 2011: There is a methodology that helps a lot to transform organizations from "One men show" to one system with system thinking and Ubnuntu mentality. It is called "Appreciative Inquiry" . This method is based on positive psychology and appreciation, which really helps to feed EGO, and put it into "Balance Mood". The method has 4D model, where D's stand for different phases:Discover, Dream, Design and Delivery. During the first phase all organization's members, staff and key stakeholders try to discover the best in the organization, real strengths of the organization, which make them competitive, all life giving factors of the organization. During this stage a lot of individual capacities are discussed and appreciated. At Dream stage organization's members try to dream of their future state, this is a participative visioning stage where all get chance to tell their part of the dream and then combine it into one. At Design stage organization starts thinking what needs to be improved so they are able to fulfill their Dream/ Vision. At this stage organizations are very constructive and not afraid to talk about its real problems, since at Discovery stage they all have been appreciated for the good they do, now they are usually ready to put on the table key things that hinder them from achieving their vision. At Delivery stage they start implementing the action plan which was made at Design stage. After using this method for several years with many organizations I clearly could see that things work better when you first appreciate the organization/ individual as it is and then start the development process rather than starting your process with immediately jumping on searching for problems to solve them. In such cases they are afraid and become protective. Our "ego" often don’t allow us to see and appreciate people who are good and better in something or someway. So teaching our ego to appreciate others is a really great way to connect with people and find inner harmony....
    • May 11 2011: Beautiful phrased.

      See the magic and beauty around you- and join to play with it. Makes life so much easier and so much more fun.

      Happy to be in wonderland
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      May 11 2011: Yes, it's a great empowering method. And it works very well within organisations where the people speak the same field of expertise language with about the same backgrounds.

      Putting strangers in a room with a whole different palette of expertise, with different backgrounds and even different mother language needs another workshop first. To stay within the 'D'... it's the Dummy phase.

      It's finding a word-use to tell the common story to explain the project, organization or challenge to a 8 year old and a 88 year old. Leaving your own technical language behind in the first workshop, using only common sense words, creates a general appreciation and understanding among eachother and a great base to start Discovering the great details.

      This '5D' ;) process is needed in many EU FP7 research and development projects!
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      May 10 2011: Yes, as 'simple' as that it is. And now let's knit knowledge together to re-learn and de-sign to be more intuitive as our school system and work system has systematically ignored and rejected 'subjective' thought. And to start giving kids the right way to stay intuitive after the age of 5...
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        May 11 2011: I wonder if intuition is our true essence which can help to balance ego????
        • May 11 2011: some may call it spirit. some soul. some god. some higher conscious. some intuition.

          doesnot matter.

          it is a higher dimension helping us.
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          May 11 2011: exactly, well said.

          Some call it the A-field, some Aura fields, some collective consciousness.

          Basically through eating our material body is connected to material planet system and through thinking our mind is connected to the immaterial planet system.

          Another way of saying it I guess.

          And in many minds they are disconnected while they should not be.
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          May 12 2011: Intuition can be ego-centric and can feed the ego. (George W. Bush claimed he made decisions based on intuition...) I would think that compassion is one of the best ways to balance the ego. Understanding that we have a shared, connected life and making choices that take the needs of others into account would be one way to put that into practice.
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          May 13 2011: Bob, would you agree that not all groups or individuals can or should be connected and with balanced ego?
          as for if there was no disconnection and ego in some of the groups it would maybe make for over-clustering where there is less space for happening.
          its just important that WE know what side were on ;) and shift the balance of power towards the light.

          but if we want a really solution to the egocentric culture you must allow the egocentric groups to experience this shift without telling them they are wrong to have their high self importance. as an outsider on this egoic group, accepting their self centerdness would be dissempowering, like petting them on the head and letting them play their games :D
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          May 13 2011: Gad wrote: "Bob, would you agree that not all groups or individuals can or should be connected and with balanced ego?"

          I have seen too many apparently unresolvable conflicts resolved to ever say a group or individual cannot connect with others. Look at what Desmond Tutu did with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa...

          I try to avoid using the word "should" - it implies I have authority that I don't really possess. If we are open to connecting with people within a group, we are more likely to understand how they see things and they are more likely to pick up some of what we see. Telling people they are wrong tends to reinforce our own self-righteousness and seldom helps them change course. We can be understanding without being condescending. We can touch people by opening our hearts to them, one person at a time. The egocentric culture will fall on its own because it does not contribute to long term fulfillment and satisfaction. I understand how easy it is to get caught up in an ego-centric lifestyle because I have spent much of my life there and, on any given day am pulled by the same temptation to see myself as somehow more important than others.
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        May 12 2011: yes we are born with it and it is squeezed out of us..my friend Seymour Papert , one this centuries great educational philosophers, agrees with you that preserving that connection to inuition is critical to discivery and growth and true learning. intuitive people are so busy and so happy exploring and learning there is no chance for ego to grow and interfere.
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          May 12 2011: So true, sharing on TED puts Ego already back into right proportion..

          I read on Seymour Papert site, "methods of learning that are too far ahead of the times for large-scale implementation".

          'large scale implementation' will never happen again as we no longer live in the industrial age.. So I would be grateful to get a small bag of seeds from your friend to put into some schools or ipads so these methods can naturally grow with children growing up, and by the time they both have the right age, children can eat it's method fruits.
    • May 11 2011: Agreed.

      And by becoming silent- we can hear this voice (or intution) better.

      Even better- by remaining "Attuned" - this intuition stay with you all day and help and guide you - and align your actions and mind for the day.
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        May 13 2011: Excellent point about the need for silence, Adriaan. We need silence in order to listen. Your use of the word "attuned" helps clarify what you meant by "intuition." It is much more that "what feels right at this time." It is a process of opening and connecting with others and the environment. Thought and self-awareness disappear and there is a natural flow that we seem to join. From my experience, the flow is interrupted whenever my ego creeps in and that is the point where I stop being helpful.

        When we are "attuned," we carry no baggage and have no answers. Solutions are discovered in a mutual journey and then we can learn from them.
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      May 12 2011: jaime..yes and we can invite that to speak by allowing a little silence before we speak or act..by cultivating a place for silence in all our relationships, all our seeing
  • May 10 2011: My point of vue is: YES, the world would be clearly better but we are far from being ready for it.

    We would need to improve individually before to be better as a civilisation.

    How to improve ? (my way)

    - Eliminate some traumas (creating fears, envy...) by psychanalysis, gelstat... even if your group doesn't like it.
    - Read the words of Humankind Masters
    in Phylosophy (Socrates, Platon, Aristotes, Confucius..), Religion (Bhoudda, Jesus...), Sociology (Tocqueville, Weber...),
    Politics (Gandhi...), Scientists (Einstein...)
    - Meditate to learn how to focus
    on really important things, choices and to focus your energy in real action not agitation.
    - Be brave because it's about being stronger than your bad side, some choices would be difficult
    - Help someone in the real world directly, don't put just money in the middle

    You don't need domination to say NO.
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      May 12 2011: ...We would need to improve individually before to be better as a civilisation....

      I think we also should want to become better as civilization so we make some effort to improve ourselves individual... Thanks David!
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        May 15 2011: for me, to improve individualy sounds like a chore, like going on a diet or something.
        and improve civilaization sounds unreachable (but exiting)

        if the messege is u must first improve yourself so you can improve the world,
        i dont see how the ego culture would take this on.

        but, if you throw yourself in to a group that is doing something you identify with
        (never-mind what it is), and if this group has a non ego structure of functioning..
        this would make you conform, let go of ego, learn yourself, and give you personal and social satisfaction.
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      May 13 2011: so your saing that in order to let go of our ego and live peaceful in our society we need to read all these books
      and go to some yoga class?
      that sounds very specific and not something that everyone can accomplish or may want to do.

      it would be more helpful if we came up with a technique that would be more easy for ppl to grasp and use..

      what you think?
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        May 15 2011: Gad wrote: "it would be more helpful if we came up with a technique that would be more easy for ppl to grasp and use.."

        Meditation meets those criteria.
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          May 15 2011: Absolutely... If you look to my comment below, that is exactly what i was trying to explain using the example of your video... on meditation
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          May 15 2011: Thanks Bob Van Oosterhout! For having these video's online. and you yourself being 'silent', with great accessible analogies. Love it. Great inspiration. I have a toddler of 2 running in the house, who can all the time enter any room, so it's a quest for me on itself to find the 20 minutes. :)

          I feel meditation is like training your body to be strong. Training your brain, keeping your mind fit.

          So when fear or stress comes in, an unfit brain would loose sight on the bigger (compassionate) perspective, only seeing the short term community/corporate goals and in the end only themselves, where 'I' only counts.
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          May 15 2011: cant find the video Kristine :P
          repost?
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          May 15 2011: Reposting: BOB the day you shared your website link, the first video I have chosen to watched was about meditation. Honestly telling I never meditated before, always planned to allocate time for that, but never did. One of the reasons was that I had perception on meditation that it is kind of hard thing to do, that I had to prepare myself, I have to read, understand a lot before starting, attend some classes, have a great muster and so on. Also I was afraid that I can never concentrate on one single thought or sound all the time. When I saw the video, I was surprised. In about 5 minutes you explained how to do meditation, why to do it and most importantly, you mentioned about the common errors people do while meditating and that we shouldn’t be afraid of it as it happens to all. This encouraged me to feel confident to experiment, I tried I have chosen just a word and started to experiment the breathing mechanism you explained in this video:

          http://exp.lcc.edu/users/bobv/weblog/2a3da/Meditation.html

          .......when we become more experienced and self-actualized and have “balanced EGO” we enjoy sharing, and we share all the magics and key parts of our experience, all underline lessens making us successful. We “show the doors and also give the keys“ and also empower and encourage people to open the doors to see things differently, mind gets open and mind shift happens. I hope I made my point clear. we learn lessons when they are clear and easy.
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          May 15 2011: Hi Gad,

          I know little compared to Bob his experience, so here my own;

          I come across youth of 13-16 who got the ADHD stamp on their forehead. Telling them to go for meditation is the same effect as you described earlier, not cool and no fun.

          Straight to meditation when they hit puberty is one jump to far at once it looks.

          So we ask them to make a mindmap of all the things going on in their head. And after that to make a mindmap on what and how they want things (organized) in their head. If it feels 'good', they can repeat it for themselves and come and show me if they like.

          Sometimes I show them this video on 108 times KLEEM, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KPCI6-x3rs and tell them I don't believe in getting friends like that, but the challenge is to make it to 108 times saying out loud KLEEM, and if they don't make it to 108, they can write it at once like in the video.

          Both are a way to trick yourself into dealing with distractions like Bob explains in the video.

          After they get bored with these two personal challenges, I tell them about meditation. I guess I will just show Bob's video from now on ;) hehe
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          May 15 2011: thanks guys! checking out the videos..
  • May 10 2011: I think that 'Ego' can be a hindrance. If I live in harmony with my world withot attempting to control it, I am a much better person and can move within the flow of life without being negatively affected by events. I am cause, not effect.
    This does not mean that I do not have a distinct personality or self confidence, rather that I refuse to be controlled by hidden life scripts or emotions. My real self, not my physical body, transcends existence at the human level.
    Would the world be a better place? Perhaps, but I cannot imagine it is possible. After all the 'Ego' provides us with an abundance of lessons including the opportunity to be aware of it and its effects in our daily life.
  • May 9 2011: I will preface my response by stating I have not read through every comment, so I apologize if I am just repeating something already said.
    ---
    In my opinion, "ego" at a fundamental level, is not to blame. The modern mentality of self-consumption and the ever-present "me, me, me" attitude in much of society, is the primary inhibitor of "social good" as you phrase it. Google defines "ego" as: "A person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance". Society should redefine what gives one self-esteem and importance. Instead of idolizing individuals solely because they accumulate large sums of wealth and have great power, let's focus on perpetuating the people who are morally wealthy! Let's adore those who give instead of receive! If we can really change the way society perceives self-importance, our egos could become assets towards doing social good.
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      May 12 2011: ....Let's adore those who give instead of receive! If we can really change the way society perceives self-importance, our egos could become assets towards doing social good... Good point Austin, this is exactly what we need to do... to change the perception of self importance and also society... we all should understand that we are a part of that society... often we perceive society as something which is not connected with us and we have noting to do with that...
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      May 13 2011: hi Austin, i feel that if someone wants to do good because it makes him feel superior to some
      other do gooder, he would still have the frustrations of never being good enough, and eventually
      it would turn in to something harmful, the idea is that when you realize that you are part of a bigger organism
      then yourself, you start to loose the desire to be bigger then anyone, and focus on the mission and survival of your community, then social good follows naturally :)
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      May 13 2011: "morally wealthy"..what a wonderful thought Austin..I shall remember that
  • May 9 2011: The question is senseless until there's no definition for EGO: everyone has some differences(sometimes big ones) in understanding of this word, so what we can see is an example of a Dutch concert(or "Some to the forest, some to gather firewood" would be more up to you :) )
    Or you just want to have a "dinner talk" and to get some proofs for your point like many other "philosophers".
    To my mind, philosophy like ubuntu and so on is just muddling smb's brain. I don't feel like exploring ubuntu and criticizing it now. My brain had an "intercourse" with such like philosophy and i know what i'm saying.
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      May 10 2011: I am afraid there is no one definition for ego and to me its much interesting how different people define it and then discuss it. Anyway I would appreciate you experience with ubuntu, It is not enough to say that it is muddling smb's brain... how? Why? May be you could tell more about you experience.. so we know what exactly you are talking about. We all have different experiences and I know things can work upside down as well, that is why we are having this conversation....
      • May 11 2011: (russian language, i guess you should know it) http://www.scorcher.ru/art/any/ego.php
        But first of all read this http://www.scorcher.ru/sys/main_condition.php

        A couple of years ago(3-4) i tried different mystic philosophies from totally inadequate and fantastic stuff kinda new age, castaneda, to classical eastern theories kinda osho, buddism, gurdjiev e.t.c and then some would-be scientific stuff like R.A. Uilson, T. Liri & Co and so on.
        Well, i can't argue that it has influenced me and i guess i got some traits of character, skills that may be useful in everyday life, but right now it's hard to distinguish them, there were many changes in me since that time and everything mixed up.
        The result of such activity depends on the person mostly. Some just can't grow up and remain in chains of mystic, becoming inadequate and narrow-minded, unable to see it.
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    May 9 2011: I don't know that the world would become a better place. A lot of good is done because of ego. A lot of people do good, not just because they want to do good but they do it because of what it means, they want prestige. Is that why we should do good things? No. But we can't help ourselves, we like to be praised, complimented etc. But even though that good was not done solely because it was the right thing to do, it is still better than not doing any good at all.
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      May 10 2011: Focusing on the prestige we might gain from "doing good" would seem to block our ability to clearly assess what might be truly helpful I have seen many situations where someone has done great harm by trying to look good by doing what they thought was helpful.

      Ego, pride,and the desire for prestige all distract our focus and undermine compassion and understanding. I believe we do our best work and are most helpful to others when we get into a "flow" or "zone" where we lose awareness of a sense of self. This is true in music, art, athletics and, I believe, any meaningful work we choose to undertake. As soon as we think about how we are doing or how others might appreciate what we are doing, we split our focus, and diminish our understanding and responsiveness to the situaton.
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        May 10 2011: Bob, but that is so hard to do... is it even possible?
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          May 10 2011: Very good point, Jafia. It becomes harder the more we try. The key is to let go of the sense of self. Our sense of self implies a separation from others and our situation. When we let go of that, we can more easily connect with another person and merge with the situation.

          Regular meditation is a very good path to follow to develop this ability. It trains our mind to consistently let go of (not get rid of) distraction.

          The constant chatter of our mind talking to ourselves also feeds the ego. Creating other mental spaces where our mind can go is very helpful.

          I believe another main obstacle is tension. Tension is built up when we resist or try too hard. Letting go of tension allows us to be more in the moment. Tension creates an imbalance in our autonomic nervous system which leads to more tension. There is a simple process to restore that balance, and another called grounding which helps us keep our body in neutral so we are aware of when we are building tension.

          I have made video podcasts for my student on these topics. You are welcome to view them. http://bobvanoosterhout.com/id113.html
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          May 10 2011: Bob, thanks for sharing your website....
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        May 10 2011: Bob, thank you. I will check your website out.
  • May 9 2011: I think ego is the predominant characteristic of an individual and the essential element of a society which can not be ditched. Without ego,we will have a monotonous world
  • May 9 2011: in my view point ,a person without ego is more charming and easier be accepted by others.
  • May 9 2011: World has neither been good nor bad. It is. It is my experience that is changing my view or belief about the world. Experience is the guru. We can discuss till cows come home about different techniques, system of beliefs etc, but without the "self" engaging in real life situations where "real" actions need to be performed, it becomes a matter of theory. As quite a few have already indicated without the concept of "ego" (self importance) where is the world - if I can not regard myself well, how can I ever regard others well. I think, If we accept our own ego, we can accept the way the world is, including others ego and then there would be no conflict, but a natural form of ego - like water, air.
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      May 9 2011: .... if I can not regard myself well, how can I ever regard others well. I think, If we accept our own ego, we can accept the way the world is, including others ego and then there would be no conflict, but a natural form of ego - like water, air.....
      .....It is my experience that is changing my view or belief about the world. Experience is the guru....
      ......without the "self" engaging in real life situations where "real" actions need to be performed, it becomes a matter of theory.....

      Thanks for comments Vijay!!!!
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      May 10 2011: "without the concept of "ego" (self importance) where is the world - if I can not regard myself well, how can I ever regard others well."

      Good question. I believe the world is clearer, larger and more connected as we let go of the concept of self. Many people who regard themselves "well" have caused a lot of pain and those who cause the most pain likely regard themselves as most important. Tyrants tend to have the largest egos and the least concern for the well-being of others. Better that we see ourselves and others clearly and be careful not to over-emphasize our importance. Thinking about the "self" is a distraction from taking "real" action. I believe our most effective action occurs when we let go of the sense of self and become totally engrossed in what we are engaged in. Thinking about self is always in the past or future. When we are fully present in the moment, we don't think of self.
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        May 10 2011: ....Thinking about the "self" is a distraction from taking "real" action. I believe our most effective action occurs when we let go of the sense of self and become totally engrossed in what we are engaged in. Thinking about self is always in the past or future. When we are fully present in the moment, we don't think of self.... BOB Van Oosterhout
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          May 12 2011: yes fully present in the moment without ego,need,fantasy or attachment..that's where the magic is
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          May 13 2011: In Arts it's called getting into 'Flow'. Though the activity is for everything.
          http://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow.html

          Enter the magic.
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          May 13 2011: I believe the words of Chuang Tzu provide an interesting perspective on this conversation (From The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton)

          Khing, the master carver, made a bell stand
          Of precious wood. When it was finished,
          All who saw it were astonished. They said it must be
          The work of spirits.
          The Prince of Lu said to the master carver:
          “What is your secret?”

          Khing replied: “I am only a workman:
          I have no secret. There is only this:
          When I began to think about the words you
          commanded
          I guarded my spirit, did not expend it
          On trifles, that were not to the point.
          I fasted in order to set
          My heart at rest.
          After three days fasting,
          I had forgotten gain and success.
          After five days
          I had forgotten praise and criticism,
          After seven days
          I had forgotten my body
          With all its limbs.

          “By this time all thought of your Highness
          And of the court had faded away.
          All that might distract me from the work
          Had vanished.
          I was collected in the single thought
          Of the bell stand.

          “Then I went to the forest
          To see the trees in their own natural state
          When the right tree appeared before my eyes
          The bell stand also appeared in it, clearly beyond doubt.
          All I had to do was put forth my hand
          And begin.

          If I had not met this particular tree
          There would have been no bell stand at all.

          “What happened/
          My own collected thought
          Encountered the hidden potential in the wood;
          From this live encounter came the work
          Which you ascribe to the spirits”
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        May 10 2011: "Tyrants tend to have the largest Ego". From the people I know who play the Sid Meiers computer game Civilization, you are only working on long term gain and you don't care some suffering and war is needed for the 'bigger picture'. So there you go, everybody is a tyrant when it comes to super power..
      • May 10 2011: Bob, agreed that self importance should dissolve. But I do not think we can start from that standpoint. Because any form of "should" thinking causes a sense of control. So I think we should accept the fact that we have ego and others have ego. As the owner of ego, if I observe the actions without a sense of control I can see where the action is "ego" centric and where it is not. As my ego tries to dominate, the futility of the exercise comes into resolution. Now comes the stage that you are describing...doer becomes the done.
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          May 12 2011: I find it helpful to replace "should" with "if... then"

          Trying to "overcome" ego would be dominating it, which would take a lot of ego... If we become aware of how our own ego limits us and others, then we can discern situations where we share what we are learning. If we recognize how our culture feeds ego-centric living and choose not to participate in that but rather get involved in something more meaningful, then others may notice and realize there is a more effective way to live. If we do this in our day-to-day relationships, then others might be influenced to do the same. If this continues, then there will someday be a tipping point where most people realize that life is much more meaningful and fulfilling when we let go of self-centered thinking.
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        May 12 2011: Bob you mentioned that Many people who regard themselves "well" have caused a lot of pain and those who cause the most pain likely regard themselves as most important... I wonder what is your experience with this type of people...are there any external methods or interventions that are used to awake them...here is mean something different then self discovery or meditation...what if people are far away of understanding what they do .....
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          May 12 2011: Good question, Kristine. In my experience, influencing someone to become aware of pain they are causing when they think they are being helpful involves finding a way of triggering compassion in them. They are usually viewing the situation and people involved through a small, narrow frame and are unaware of the full effects of their actions. Seeing the world through their frame and discerning ways to expand it, without triggering defensiveness (which shrinks and strengthens the original frame) at a time when they are receptive is the challenge. This is easier when there is less tension or pressure (which tend to constrict our vision) in an atmosphere of acceptance (when frames become more flexible). Patience and understanding are critical. Direct confrontation tends to make frames more rigid and fixed and the possibility of compassion is undermined by a defensive reaction.
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          May 13 2011: Bob, so you would agree that in order to have egoic frames more open for integration,
          you cant tell them that thats what they should do?
          if so then for them to change their culture you need to give them a tool that can also
          be helpful for them to achieve their egoic ambitions, and let the culture of connectivity
          slowly sync in, while we create our own frames that push things in the direction we want for humanity...
          what im saying is that it would be good to have a structure of thinking about frames that can be used by anyone... and not just testers :)

          would apricot your feedback
          p.s you ppl are cool.
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          May 13 2011: Gad wrote ... “if so then for them to change their culture you need to give them a tool that can also be helpful for them to achieve their egoic ambitions, and let the culture of connectivity slowly sync in, while we create our own frames that push things in the direction we want for humanity... what im saying is that it would be good to have a structure of thinking about frames that can be used by anyone... and not just testers :)”

          I can think of a number of issues that need to be addressed in order to move away from an ego-centric culture. One of the first is that people need to learn to live more balanced lives. Hurry, pressure, tension and stress narrow our focus, shrink our frames, eliminate the possibility of reflection and put us on fight-or-flight automatic pilot. I love reading the responses my students post after what is different in their lives after 10 required practice of a number of balance techniques. Many times this is enough to stimulate significant change. When you slow down and see more clearly, what needs to be done often becomes obvious.

          I am finding that people seem to grasp the concept of frames pretty easily once they are in balance. I have a large picture of the moon rising over a beach in my office and often put a smaller frame over a dark area to illustrate how much we can miss as our frames get smaller. I am writing a second edition of the text I use in my class and am currently working on a chapter titled: Perception: Frames, Filters, and Focus. Send me an email and I will be happy to share it with you when it is finished.
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          May 14 2011: Bob, im sure you are right.
          but lets investigate african tribal societies such as types of pigmies...
          i think we will find they have different methods to achieve a non egoic society...
          maybe why we need to quite our heads to see the reality
          is because we live in such a noisy and overfull environment.
          but i cant help but think that the way of mediation is a far-east culture method
          to achieve balance... and there are other ways.. in specific...
          the naturalistic way is the way hunter gatherers groups function..
          wich i think must have a pretty good ego balance for it to survive 10's of thousands of years.
          maybe when you are in a safe and strong group the ego eventually becomes useless.

          i agree with all what you say, and still see more unexplored possibilities from my angle of perspective, it would take some time for my to explain my inner truth more properly...
          and i think the mission is to find how all our truths fit together... challenging!!!
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        May 13 2011: BOB I agree, Patience and understanding are critical, people are more tend to accept advice, reflection or even help when they trust you, otherwise they are more defensive and resistant.....

        Johnson, Thank for sharing these TED talks!!!!
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    May 8 2011: Ego has to do with the way we do something, in Vedanta tradition the word for ego is 'ahankara' and contains the roots for the words 'I' and 'action'. Sometimes we try to put the guilt on the ego as if it was another part of ourselves that works for itself and make us do things we wouldn't do. But the truth is that we have complete consciusness of what we are doing and it responds directly of what is inside our minds. Rarely we rely on our true self, that essence of which has been discussed, instead of that we prefer to stick to our habits and act in a way that –if we're lucky– we know is wrong.

    The first step is to awake and be aware of our reactions, then we can do something about them and start to correct them. The issue is not only overcoming ego, but uncover our own essence and start doing fresh and clear actions.
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      May 9 2011: Adriana I do relly believe that finding our true essence can really help to balance ego, I agree we should be aware of our reactions and emotions so we can do something about them and start to correct them... Thanks
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        May 9 2011: Kristine, opening our hearts is the first step to really do something from the inside, from our own essence, from our real self. And also recognize that there is other people around us and there is so much that they can teach us. We can learn from the smile of a child, from the wrinkles of our grandma, from the words of our teachers, from the person who sell us the groceries... and so on. In order to put ego on its place we have to learn that we can find a teacher in every person we meet. Thank you.
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    May 8 2011: In thinking about your question I think you may be talking about people who are self centered they do not see suffering or need beyond their own needs. My own feeling is ego is an important human aspect that in some cases needs to be nurtured. Let me explain.

    Most people have some degree of ego, a sense of self-esteem, and some people have a sense of self-importance, which is also ego. Ego centrism is the high extent of ego. I would therefor say ego in itself does not prevent people from doing good, in fact some people feel better about themselves when they do good. This sense of feeling good is most probably driven by a feeling of enhanced self-esteem. It is also worth noting how many charitable organizations play to peoples ego's to encourage a contribution to the cause.

    On a final note I have found that some people who have a troubled life and are in some degree in need of help suffer in many ways. One aspect of their suffering can be ego deprivation, a very low sense of self esteem. In assisting these people it is also necessary to pay attention to their sense of ego.
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      May 9 2011: Alan, yes, I talk about people who are self centered and create similar culture in their groups .... I do recognized that every single human has a self and needs to satisfy its self. For me EGO is an overestimation of self... which cause ignorance toward other and is a self centered phenomena....Anyway I see from this conversation that every person has his understanding of EGO and consequently all show different reactions....
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      May 10 2011: Alan, My experience in working with people who "have a troubled life" for 35 years is that being ego-centric is a big part of their problem. Negative self-judgment and low self-esteem are places where people get stuck partly because they payi too much attention to their own self. When people recover from "troubled lives" they become more naturally themselves and don't waste a lot of time worrying about how they are doing.

      I don't believe the goal of life is to feel good about ourselves. We are more likely to feel good when we can "be ourselves" without thinking about it and when we connect with nature and each other. Feeling good about ourselves is not a means to that end, it is a side effect.
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        May 10 2011: BOB! I have to repeat your words again.... just to emphasis....
        ......... I don't believe the goal of life is to feel good about ourselves. We are more likely to feel good when we can "be ourselves" without thinking about it and when we connect with nature and each other. Feeling good about ourselves is not a means to that end, it is a side effect....

        For many It will take time to adopt what you say, but it's worth spending time on this... thanks!
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        May 12 2011: "when we can be ourselves without thinking about it".. valentin tomberg calls this "concentration without effort" comparing it to a tight rope walker who would fall if there were too much thought..it's a kind of fluid mastery linking knowledge and intuition invisiby,..like being "in the zone" you recognize that you are operating from a different centerdeness
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        May 13 2011: Bob bless you
  • May 8 2011: We strive to overcome ego by imitating Christ to create the City of God. "Jesus said to his disciples, 'Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.'" Matthew 16: 24-25.
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      May 8 2011: With real respect Kathleen, I have seen some massive and destructive egos in the church at high levels.
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          May 9 2011: Jaime, again- I love the way you use words. I am not suggesting egocide but I think it is dangerous to pretend that any institution is a safe and egoless place where the sins of humanity are not present. The two per sonares you referer to could also be considered as the flesh and the spirit. The practice of faith can be a very beautiful thing that can lead us to great humility. There was no attack intended on the real manifestion of the Holy Spirit. It was a reference to the flesh and how it has a tenacious hold on humanity.
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          May 9 2011: Can you elaborate on the modern realtivism that you point to, please?
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          May 9 2011: If I bring this directly back to the idea of ego or egolessness- I have to tell you that I have always believed that heaven would be a place where there were individual personalities but that everyone had the capacity to love everyone else, to have empathy for everyone else as they do for their very best loved ones.
          I think that is what I believe an ego in proportion would do.
    • May 9 2011: I believe it not imatatio cristo, but a metamorphosis of being and culture. That is why the Kingdom concept fits so poorly in any institution (even church) or any culture. It is a different way of viewing things. Kristine's comment above on Ubuntu is much more like the Kingdom, than say a religious institution. Transformation is not just self to selfless, but to a new community.
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        May 9 2011: "Transformation is not just self to selfless but to a new community. "Thank you Michael for that sentence. It helps my ideas to gel. Its like recognizing that the earth (self) is not the center of the universe but that the source for all- the sun- is.
      • May 9 2011: It seems to me that Christ wants that metamorphosis of culture, that He asks us for self-sacrifice because that is the fullest way to satisfy the commandment to love one another, to give up one's life for others. (And that doesn't have to mean suicide.) That many in the Church and beyond sometimes fail -- we all do -- is a great reason to be thankful for a merciful God.
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          May 9 2011: Kathleen, you remind me of some of the most beautiful directives in the bible. It is however an inward journey to which the indiviudal must be faithful. I have just always hated the bumper sticker that says " We aren't perfect- just saved'. While true it is nothing to take lightly. In the church it is impossible to tell the wheat from the tares and the tares are often in powerful ego filled positions and can highjack the ship.
        • May 9 2011: Frankly yes, I love the Mythbusters mantra "Failure is always an option." But we do live in grace. Thank goodness. The important part for this theme is that we stop thinking about ego in terms of me and think in terms of "us" and yes, transformation of self and culture is possible. I am not sure we can overcome ego and selfishness, but we can be changed our selves. I do believe that would lead to a transforming of culture...at least for those who adopt that vision and as a witness to that reality to those wrapped in self. Again, self-identity, self-differntiation is not bad, it is when it leads to selfish being and selfish acts we have a problem. Unfortunately those do abound sometimes.
  • May 7 2011: The ego centralizes in the mind, the true essence of a person, that which we are born with, is from deep within. That being said, I believe that as we grow up we become less intune with our true essence and more connected to our ego, by our thoughts and actions. There is no way to get rid of ego, because we would not be who we are without it. There is a simple truth that if people actually do some work and try to dig deep inside themselves then they will start to get connected to their "higher self" their essence. I have done some ennegram work, which basically is a system that help you get to your core and help strip away the ego and help bring your essence to the surface. It describes us as all being born with one of the nine personality type and of course we can relate to them all, but one of them we can relate to more and that is our personality type. Ego to me is a fear based concept. If you interested take a look at the ennegram books. It really helped me in getting better in touch with myself and my core.
  • May 7 2011: .

    I wonder if what you are really asking here is whether the world would be a better place without people succuming to a sense of superiority vs others?

    Ego, in the absolute, I don't believe is an issue. A sense of self and focussing on that which we do well I feel does not contain a negative consequence. The focus on superiority or, conversely, the inferiority of others, is where the danger lies for the world. By seeing others a "lsser" in some way provides the basics for prejudice, exclusion and violence. I

    I'd appeciate your thoughts on this.
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      May 8 2011: Mick, if we leave out the scientific definitions of EGO and just talk about the meaning it gained in everyday talks among people, we’ll see that ego gained a mining of focus on superiority or, conversely, the inferiority of others. So why is this happening??? I guess because the expression of ego is more often observed in focuses of superiority or inferiority of others....
      My personal concern is the impact of such behavior on society or community or a group as a whole. What happens when focuses of superiority or inferiority of others or EGO, the way I call it, becomes a cultural attitude for a group, community, society or nation????? I think each of us is part of family, group or community and self centered, egocentric thinking and attitude should be balanced in a way so you don’t do good for you in harming others around you. It is absolutely fine to take care of yourself and have focus on you, unless it is not becoming ignorance or defense toward others....

      It is really interesting for me to see so many different opinions. Many of them stream from the understanding, knowledge and perception of "EGO" each of us have …. I think if we all understand that there are so many different understandings and perceptions of EGO it is already a step toward balancing it…
      Thanks for your thoughts Mike !
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        May 10 2011: ego gained a mining of focus on superiority or, conversely, the inferiority of others. So why is this happening???

        I believe it stems from fear.
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          May 10 2011: Yes, why is it happening???

          I believe fear and also not recognizing our true essence, also wrong examples or attitudes on which many of us are brought up... it really takes time to understand and develop habits which balance "Ego"
          Thanks for all interesting comments!!!
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          May 12 2011: @ Bob..I Believe it stems from fear

          .. I sense that too Bob..a sort of brittle, fragile outer shell that keeps us locked inward almost paralysed..its a cultural thing newly emerged? would be agreat separate TED discussion..the paralysis of fear.
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          May 13 2011: "So why is this happening???
          I believe it stems from fear."

          i love bill hicks's sentence

          every thing that exists has the choice to fear or love... to connect or separate it self from
          the higher form it may be part of...
          i like to think of it like a brick wall... all the bricks together can be used for safety and shelter
          and one brick at a time can only be used as a weapon or destructive tool
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          May 14 2011: And not to forget his (Hicks) conclusion : we have a choice right now between fear and love. Fear put's locks on our doors, property protection (mine!) and love we share in compassion (ours!)

          Eastern Europe political intentions had to much focus on Love, "We survive" in the end power corrupts.
          Western Europe political intentions have to much focus on Fear, "I survive" where still power corrupts.

          If we talk about who would be the big tribe of this Ego/Self INTERVENTION;

          There is one generation which can make a balance I believe,

          the ones grown up in socialism, puberty in the crisis and turnaround, now living in capitalism.

          For people of this generation I know they feel lost as they know both systems and both have good and ugly things they realize, pitty the good parts of socialism are run over by western trains. It's not too late though... I guess answers on Ego and the Self for society organisation can be found learning from these two histories.
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        May 12 2011: Kristine whether you intended it or Ijust read it there..the idea of "cultural ego".. seems to touch something deep in me.. that is I think what I see around, feel palbably around.....I had labled it "Cosmopolitan Liberalism" but perhaps it's more fruitful and more accessible for exploration as "cultural ego" . Might be a great separate Ted Conversation
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          May 12 2011: Lindsay, yes I mentioned bout the cultural egoism.... this is a horrible phenomenon to me ... I agree that would be a good separate TED topic....I witnessed it in organizational setting, but still it streams from power holders in the group (who are not often the lenders).... usually the behavior and attitude of the power holders are copied by their followers and often a cultural egoism (this is how I call it) is set as a norm. Organization becomes an “exclusive club” where either you are a part of a club or not, and if you are not, you becomes an object of harassment and abuse…. And strong interventions are needed to brake this culture …
        • May 12 2011: Yes Lindsay, there is "cultural ego" also. It is ethnocentrism taken to an extreme. Unfortunately it afflicts many in the US. Having lived in another country for almost 20 years, and being able to travel widely, and then returning to the US, it really shocked me how much this "cultural egoism" permeates us. Re-constructing worldview however does take a revolution. Yes, it would be a good "other topic"....Kristine has led us down a wonderful path.
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          May 12 2011: Michael, I am just facilitating this conversation.... I opened this topic cause wanted to learn more and explore....Thank you and all and Lindsay to share your experiences and knowledge....I especially appreciate all reflections, cause they are mind opening and help to see things through different lens.... I learn a lot...
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          May 13 2011: "And strong interventions are needed to brake this culture …"
          KRITINE!!! lets make it happen! lets imagine something else and bring it to fruition.
          in our time, in our society :D
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          May 13 2011: Gab, I promise :) we'll get to that :))) Thanks for pushing us :)
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          May 13 2011: A real intervention promise! :) From Discovery to.....

          a manifest summary of this conversation? Count me in if it comes to introducing initiation of children into what we understand in this conversation.
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          May 13 2011: Perfect!!!, who else wants to join in ??? Let’s wait for a few more days and sum up... I think we still have things to add... :)))
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        May 13 2011: Regarding Gad's comment on fear: "to connect or separate..."

        I believe this choice is the essence of our discussion. Ego requires that we focus on a "separate" self. Being separate leads to fear - we are on our own, alone in what looks like a hostile world. The more we separate and seek our own advantage, the more we have to lose (or so we believe) and fear and separation increase.

        To connect dispels fear. It does not eliminate pain or loss, but allows us the see them as part of life. All of the striving of separate egos can be seen as a misguided attempt to connect but without the risk of pain or loss. "If only I had enough power and money, no one could touch me" is an illusion that has done severe damage to our world and its people. When we realize that connection is our nature and our destiny, we are able to accept pain and loss and risk and fear fade away.
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          May 13 2011: im very happy and feel less alone in my existance when i have this shared understanding with you guys! thanks for being you (or being us)
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        May 16 2011: Paul wrote: "There is one generation which can make a balance I believe, the ones grown up in socialism, puberty in the crisis and turnaround, now living in capitalism. For people of this generation I know they feel lost as they know both systems and both have good and ugly things they realize, pity the good parts of socialism are run over by western trains"

        Paul, you have a unique perspective that we can all learn from. Is there any difference between how ego is promoted in socialist or capitalist systems?

        I would be interested in your reaction to Jacques Maritain (The Person and the Common Good). He talks about the common good as the "golden mean" between the extremes of capitalism and communism. He states that both communism and capitalism focus on the individual (individuals fill a role that can be carried out by anyone, persons have unique gifts and potential.) He states the common good focuses on developing the full potential of each person rather that looking at what is good for "the individual."
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          May 16 2011: Thanks Bob, great you like this perspective. I will thank my muse/dreamworld for whispering it in my ears, or how you say that..

          Bob wrote; "Is there any difference between how ego is promoted in socialist or capitalist systems?" That is a very interesting question! Honestly I don't even have a clue how Ego was promoted to me, let alone in totalitarian systems. My mother always told me; what ever you choose in life, to study or not, if you can imagine it brings you happiness, go for it.
          I will ask around though, curious also myself now.

          Reading only Jacques line you put in; In my ignorance on his full writings I would say the intentions on common good are great, though are the opposite of what happened in both capitalism and socialism. Both educational systems are simply industrial, creating workers for the few in control. Both based on survival of the system. That the individual benefits in Ego and/or the Self at the same time is a side effect to quiet the people. It doesn't make the systems 'common good' as Maritain intended.

          Human common good potential is much greater than we have achieved in last centuries. Adopting meditation, martial arts and tribal learning in educational systems is an important part of it.

          This is just my vague ignorant idea!
  • May 7 2011: The ego is an essential part of being human. The ego we are aware of is that which allows us to interact with and manipulate the external world. The real problem is not the ego but the inflated ego. Doesn't the inflated ego arise from underlying insecurities?
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    May 7 2011: know others and know selves
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    May 6 2011: Really interesting views and opinions. I think Ego can be a help and a hindrance at times in life. I think ego can be a help within life as it can contain self confidence. Your ego about what you do and who you are can give you the confidence to speak out and do what you think you do best. Of course it is up to people to listen to you and decide if they believe you are right.
    Ego can be a hindrance when as Bob Van Oosterhout says self interest takes over. This is when ego can affect and contort to view of one self. The ego can lead a person to see only one view and in this view they can hurt other people or discount them very quickly due to only being interested in one self.

    The ego is a question of managing one self and their ego. Without Ego would there be competition on a football pitch? Would their be Tesco and ASDA? Would there be competition among graduates applying for jobs?

    My conclusion is that people can become to egotistical and this can lead them to self interest. But I believe there is a place for ego. Maybe not everyone has to have a big ego or maybe their ego focuses around doing "social good" but without an ego I think a lot of competition could disappear I think peoples drive to succeed may vanish and I think it would remove an element of diversity from our world.

    Whats everyone elses views on my point of view?
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      May 7 2011: Is it really EGO which drives development or competition???? In football does the team get success when every player individually thinks of his own show up and best game or when every single player plays with understanding that they are part of a bigger whole a “Team” ……….I don’t play football, but I would guess the second option…. I guess it is also important that every single player think of their own individual best game as far as it will bring credits to the team. There should be space for our self actualizing and best game, but up to the certain point, where it helps the team … in a word, I guess we should know how to put ego into its place as a part of the whole as Jonathan mentioned below.
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        May 7 2011: I think there is no competition. We are competing against ourselves. The mind creates the concept of competition. We are ultimately comparing ourselves, our accepted standards, and the accepted frame of reference or viewpont to that of others-or those we call competitors.

        This is a different way to look at it. Thanks for sharing.
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      May 7 2011: Self-confidence can cause problems. You would not want to be a passenger in a jet that I was confident I could fly without training. Better to see clearly, to know our gifts, resources, and limitations. I believe ego blocks our ability to see clearly by overemphasizing our self-importance. Diminishing our importance is not a solution - it only creates another kind of obstacle that makes it easy to get stuck. I believe the solution lies in developing compassion, humility, hope and a sense of personal responsibility.
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      May 7 2011: I believe competition is a distraction. When a football player is thinking about winning, his or her attention is diverted from the game. Competition narrows and splits our attention. I believe we have a natural tendency to want to explore and develop our gifts and competition is often an obstacle to that. We need feedback about the effects of our actions but "losing" is very non-specific and can be influenced by factors unrelated to the quality of our work. Competition feeds the ego. I would rather see a well-played game that my team lost than a sloppy one that they won.
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        May 9 2011: I like the way you said that! At the same time I all the time use 'competition' as a means to reach a goal in the example of the Williams tennis sisters; they could practice against a wall by themselves or compete with eachother for training purposes.
        Ofcourse sport has winning as intrinsic motivation, in the 'real' world we need a tippingpoint where competition stops for 'getting individually better' and start collaborating for a common goal/good.
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          May 10 2011: Practicing against a wall would only provide predictable returns whereas practicing with a partner inserts an unknown. This could be done without keeping score. I believe that competition has a tendency to put people way out of balance. Those who become obsessed by it will train longer and harder but to what end? Intense competition leads people to try to gain an unfair advantage when possible, especially in an economic sense. Microsoft had nowhere near the best software but their ruthless practices forced people out of business and came up with a product line that seems to become more difficult to use with each upgrade. Competition narrows one's focus, feeds the ego, and makes it more difficult to consider the effects of our actions on others or consider how we might collaborate more efficiently with less effort.
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        May 10 2011: Call it synchronity; Last night I continued on a book called 'the War of Art' and there the author puts The Ego for material gain and The Self for psychological gain. I believe in this tippingpoint in actions where Ego overrules the Self for believing more material gain is needed. So you make a strong case that competition drives you intrinsically over this tipping point.
        Though I can't let go of 'competition' just like that as nature is within itself all the time in competition. If a species has the resources to take control over others or a region, it will do so until their power implodes.

        So I wonder now of to work; is empathy in competition with competition...
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          May 10 2011: is empathy in competition with competition... Interesting thought... I would think that empathy chooses not to compete.
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          May 13 2011: it would make sense that competition is in competition with empathy,
          and empathy feels empathy for it and lets it win most times.
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        May 12 2011: collaboration is one of the highest forms of human engagement..the entire brain, the entire body literally comes alive.
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    May 6 2011: If there were no ego we may never notice our authentic self.
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    May 6 2011: ego can desructive, but it is very important to have self value. personally my ego gets a little puffed up when i donate myself to the greater good. ego is just a diguingishment of self. i think it would be more realistic not to eliminate but reframe it. is there a way to give people to give people the oppertunity to earn an ego?
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      May 6 2011: i think the opposite, i think its the ego that keeps people from truely being happy. i honestly think we can have a sence of self without a ego.
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    May 6 2011: “Ego is a structure that is erected by a neurotic individual who is a member of a neurotic culture against the facts of the matter. And culture, which we put on like an overcoat, is the collectivized consensus about what sort of neurotic behaviors are acceptable.”
    Terence McKenna quote
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      May 6 2011: yes I think Tolstoy was on a similar thought when he said "All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" When we give up ego we do shed our neurosis that we use to give ourself definition. As individual it may or may not be easier to do this, but I would find on a cultural level I would think its much easier to live in a society that has itself together.
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        May 6 2011: good quote! i think something like this would have to be understood at a personal level, i dont think it would spread culturally becuase culture seems to be ego driven. so i guess what we should be doing is undoing what culture did the first place.
  • May 6 2011: Ego whether we like it or not gives us a sense of me. That is not a bad thing until it becomes "I" am the only thing that really exists. And I determine reality. I am not talking about selfishness, though that is an outcome in some, but the Western idea that existence itself is defined by "me." (Think : Cogito ergo sum) While many other worldviews begin with "us" as community, we have devolved into "me." I have seen egos crushed when the world falls apart, like in a disaster, and have seen real community bloom in its place. Yes, the world would be better not if we crushed ego, but replaced me-centered reality with an us-centered one. Is it possible? Does it work? Of course on both of those. It would only require a revolution.
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      May 6 2011: Agree, Ubuntu forever!!! I should be just part of WE..........
      • May 9 2011: Kristine, loved the Ubuntu post!....a worlview shift like this would be so drastic. It isn't that North Americans for example can't be altruistic, but many times the altruism is a expression of their own ego! Altruism is another "me" concept. What I would love to see goes way beyond that. It is a community space in our cultures that is significant, changes culture and demands that "we" is examined in major decisions. Self does not have to get lost in that, but there has to be a new center or focal point.
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      May 9 2011: Michael, thanks for your thoughts, by mentioning about overcoming ego I mean balancing it, rather than getting read of it, since I know there is no need for that and it is not event possible. I am just very curios of learning about others experiences related to self discovery, ego balancing, ubuntu and other ego balancing mindsets and so on...
      • May 9 2011: Maybe what I was getting at was ubuntu plus non-self-serving ego.
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      May 13 2011: its possible if we want to create it Michael, and i wouldn't call it a revolution, i would call it shifting
      the human perception, and TED is a good inspiration for this process...
      it can be fun! all we need is think together and do the 5D's thing!
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        May 14 2011: Gad wrote: "i wouldn't call it a revolution, i would call it shifting
        the human perception"

        Well said. Shifting (or enlarging) perceptions is much simpler and less dramatic than revolution but, I believe more lasting and powerful. It is a process of becoming aware of how the frames we use to define our reality limit us and learning to expand them.
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          May 14 2011: exactly!!! its as simple as raising the bar of awareness to the frames :D
          such a strong and simple idea...

          this is like the ultimate information age adventure to save the world!
          im ecstatic about this stuff!!!!!!!
          AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!
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      May 15 2011: "the Western idea that existence itself is defined by "me." (Think : Cogito ergo sum)"

      Recent discoveries in brain science seem to support the concept of "I am what I think" more so than "I think, therefore I am."
  • May 6 2011: And if you just aren't that good person? You quickly get bored by helping others and there would be no self-motivation for yourself desires. Also, if you are spending most of your time for the others, wont it be a little tricky to look for yourself?

    Competition is the main driving force in the world. Our desires makes world to move. We always want something for yourself and from here and comes our motivation. Ego is the human nature. If we would remove this, we would remove our humanness. Evolution has given us, Ego for good damn reason- to look after yourself.
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    May 6 2011: One of the theatrical presentations that I appreciate the most relates to a lack of ego. The Blue Man Group has at its core a lack of ego. While it is an act, that state of intrigue and blind naiveness inspires the child in me. That child that looked upon the world with amazement and reveled in its splendor to me.

    At some age, we realize that we can know and learn everything we can about this world and fear begins to creep in that maybe we won't know everything that others know or we might do something to look stupid in front of other people (a major setback to knowing everything). The ego is building.

    Watching the Blue Man Group allows me to focus on what is important in life--people. Knowledge is good as long as it doesn't blind us to the people around us. Ego blinds us to what is REALLY happening around us. We can admit that we don't know everything and its okay to look stupid in front of other people. Much like Lucas Avelleda uses his karate analogy; when we can release ourselves from purposely building our ego, we will be more respected and better liked by those around us. Take off the mask and see the world in amazement again.
  • May 6 2011: no. because if there is no ego, there will be no ambition. because we usualy desire something to show that we are better then someone else, and pump our ego. so if there is no ambition or desire to improve, world will be stuck or slow down somehow.
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      May 6 2011: I believe ambition and desire are two different things. Ambition is personal and egocentric, desire can pull us in many directions. A growing ego feeds ambition and drives us to achieve without necessarily taking into account the effects of our achievement on others. A shrinking ego feeds the desire to connect.

      Ego limits our vision, crowds out our capacity to see and feel the effects of our actions on others and createses fear, and anger. We feel less threatened as we let go of ego.
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  • May 6 2011: Controling the way we think, and bringing clearity to our minds, and thoughts, will help us to understand our weaknesses and strenghts. In this meditation we can find peace of mind, acting toward our thoughts, to become more positive and happier people.
  • May 6 2011: I think it will. if there is no EGO, we will be happier. If we are all happier, the world at least felt better already, no?!
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    May 6 2011: Yes it will be.
    "Know thyself" & practice humbleness helps a lot to overcome .........
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    May 5 2011: yes!
  • May 5 2011: To help people overcome their ego there are a wide variety of meditative practices, religious traditions, and psychedelic plants and drugs. However, the ego is a necessary evil for providing a cohesive structure and a sense of I, of differentiation, between the self and the outside world. By saying "me", I also am saying "you", just as when you say "good" you are implying the opposite, "evil". An "I" provides identity and a locus for dreams, aspirations, thoughts and so on to arise.

    So perhaps the ideal thing to do would be to have the ego balanced by the collective human demands (of family, friends, society-at-large, etc) and the requirements of the environment. But this doesn't mean getting rid of the ego but simply putting it into its place as a part of the whole rather than the dominant role it often plays today.