International Lifestyle Magazine Issue 51 - Page 39

FU EL freak yoga types and other assorted covert or not so covert puritans bang on misguidedly about vanquishing the ego, what they’re actually referring to or should be referring to are the ego-defenses: the ugly, smelly web of bullshit that sits like an old smear over the ego, and which ironically tends to be spread thickest on those who bang on about it most. But the way to overcome this complex of ego-defenses, which otherwise limits full selfexpression enjoyment and hence achievement in life, is not through vanquishing the ego. To the contrary, without an ego, no one would be able to survive in the world, any more than we’d be able to survive without bodies. The way, as Freud, Jung, RD Laing and all the great healers of the soul promoted through the psychotherapeutic process, is to heal the ego, to literally make it whole again. To reintegrate all the disowned, split-off parts of the self, left behind after various traumatic, humiliating or painful episodes during our formative years, and to make TH EE GO the ego robust. Once the ego is whole and robust the egodefenses become redundant and spontaneously fall away of themselves. So three cheers for the ego, for Sigmund Freud, and for you and I and all of us here, for when you consider the complexity of what it is to be human you have to admit that despite all the trouble and strife, we’re actually doing damn well (so far).