Making Decisions: Heart, Ego or Both?
This week’s vlog was inspired by this query someone sent me recently.
Can you make a video on having an ego versus letting go of the ego? When is the ego creating too much resistance in you to being open versus when it is choosing to be closed or is saying no a choice of the heart? It can sometimes feel like mental resistance and irritation to say yes, but how do we determine if the resistance is fear of what the mind might lose by saying no or what it might suffer from saying yes, versus if the resistance is from the heart?
These are complex questions that may sound very simple on the surface, but they really get into the essence of what spiritual development is all about.
Remember, a succinct definition of spirituality is “the process of realization or realizing your connection to the greater whole, which extends from you to others, to the world and then to the universe as a whole or the Kosmos.”
I’ve built a simple model to show you what I’m talking about today…
The head represents the home of your I’ness or your ego. The heart represents the home of what I call your Weness. The heart is the home of feelings, values and connection. In our gut, we have our gut instincts which are very deeply woven into our biological self and include the information and functions of the DNA as well as the subconscious mind (the wisdom in your cells relative to the unconscious which is related to what you’re unconscious about).
Some definitions that will help you better understand this concept:
1. Ego: Border, barrier or self-definition. Whenever we have an ego, there’s some sort of perceived border. For example, this is mine, not yours. Probably, there’s a barrier — a body — involved. If you have an ego and you’re here, you’ve got a body.
It’s also about self-definition, your own inner world which encompasses your thoughts, feelings and even emotions that cannot be anyone else’s.
The ego is that which creates a sense of self-containment. There may be a lot of negative energy around the ego and a lot of negative connotations particular with the Abrahamic and Eastern religions, but it’s important to remember that the ego is absolutely essential to the process of love.
If you don’t have an ego, you couldn’t say, “I love you.” Because if there was no I, there would be no mode of transfer of the energy and information that creates what love is.
2. Love: The flow of energy and information through an empathic and compassionate connection to the self and/or to others. Love can also be defined as consciousness becoming aware of itself.
You can’t become aware of yourself and be more conscious without relationships. So, if you don’t have an ego, you merely have unconditional love without any source of self-reference, therefore we’ve got to have conditional love (I and mine) versus you and yours for love to have some kind of circuit or connection to flow through.
Some kind of relationship has to exist.
The ego is often referred to as the idea-plex. It’s largely programmed. Most of the things you think about yourself and others inside your head are built on ideas that came through unconscious programming, particularly through the first 12 years of your life.
In the first seven years of your life, you have zero defenses against what’s programmed into you. Your familial, social and religious environments are almost like injections you receive without any defense against them.
Often, we spend the rest of our lives trying to heal from those initial injections!
If you had a computer program that would allow you to download every belief or idea in your head into a computer, then you were able to run a filtration system to identify which thoughts or ideas were of your own creation, you’d find more than 98 percent of all of these ideas are the product of someone else’s or concepts that came to you from your mother, father, brothers, sisters, family members, friends, school teachers, TV, books and many other things.
Most of us are unaware that who we think we are is really a collection of the people who have influenced us for better or worse.
The ego is largely oriented to the past too. With rare exception, every idea in your head is something that was created 10 minutes or five years ago.
If you’re too ego-oriented, you’re really trapped in the past. In other words, if it’s already programmed into you, it’s already old news…
Also, the ego has a negative bias which is essential for survival. The tendency of the ego is to focus on any perceived threat. For example, in nature, you can die from a snake bite or being eaten by animals. But no one dies from having a good time at a party dancing and singing.
So, the ego has this challenge in relationship because it takes a negative bias that’s really oriented toward authentic survival against authentic threats and it projects its fears outwardly onto almost everything.
That’s a big reason why there’s so much anxiety and depression in the world. With that negative bias, we have a tendency to project our fears forward and make them real in the present moment when they’re really perceived threats or even manufactured perceptions.
That can be a real problem for people who are overly narcissistic, perfectionistic or are hypochondriacs.
When it comes to the heart, we are at the home of We. The heart is all about connection, feelings and values. Also, it’s the home of the soul, your potential for experiencing and becoming. Your soul is your consciousness from within.
The heart is the storehouse of your potentially infinite capacity to become, express, grow and self-realize. It’s more oriented toward feelings and values which are a source of emotions, although your body and body chemistry can produce a significant amount of emotions too.
This is one reason why creating and maintaining a healthy body is so important. A lot of mental/emotional diagnoses from doctors generate prescriptions for drugs and other things that are related to emotions that cannot be regulated effectively.
If your body is unhealthy and out of balance, you’ll experience a huge amount of emotions but they may not be driven by values or feelings.
Stepping on a tack produces an emotion. Being cut off in traffic elicits a value trespass which triggers an emotion because you’ll feel disrespected.
The heart is also the home of connection or We which is related to people, places or things. We can love a dog or a car. We can love places in the world like our favorite park or our office.
The heart is the center of intuition — guidance from the whole — as well. For intuition to function well, people have to shut down their thinking, they need to be healthy and comfortable enough so that sensations aren’t overwhelming them and their feelings have to be stable so they’re open to intuitive insights.
If a person’s thinking function is afraid of what has been intuited, he/she lacks spiritual courage and will block or deny their intuitions consciously or unconsciously. This leads to “Groundhog Day” kinds of relationships to the self or others and causes more breakdowns in health.
Although the questions posed to me related to the ego and heart, we can’t ignore instincts because the heart nor the head operate in absence of influence from them.
As a therapist who has worked with countless clients with problems of all types, one of the big things we face today is a suppression of our natural instincts due to the pace or the ways in which we’re living and a disconnection from the earth because we’re way too trapped in the information loop.
For example, when you’re talking to someone via Facebook or writing text messages or emails, it’s very easy to say very inflammatory things that most people wouldn’t say face-to-face to each other. Their instincts would tell them that it’s dangerous to behave that way because you could get hurt. That’s just one example of how our environment takes us away from our instincts.
Another is direction. It is our inner instinct, for example, to know where to find water. Developmental man would have had very good instincts for finding it. I know that for a fact because I used to be a dowser on drilling crews for water wells. I used my feeling capacity to sense the electromagnetic flow of energy beneath the earth’s surface.
Today, we have people who can’t find their way anywhere without an iPhone, or even how to find where North is on a map.
This lack of connection also applies to obesity. We’re losing our instinct for sensing what to eat and how much we really need. A survey from a few years ago reported than only 8 percent of men and 3 percent of women exercise on a regular daily schedule. That included walking a dog, so you can see how we’ve lost our instinct for movement.
When we’re trying to answer questions and manage ourselves and our relationships, we have to be aware that, to the degree that we don’t consciously have a connection to or conscious awareness of our instincts, our heads and hearts can be dangerously misled.
Why? The solar plexus has been found to have as many neurons as the brain and spinal cord combined. There are massive amounts of neurons that basically guides your digestive/eliminative process.
Plus, all of your organs are connected to key feelings, if you’ve studied Chinese medicine, such as anger, anxiety and many others.
These approaches I talk about in my vlog are very much in line with the teachings that my instructors and I share in Holistic Lifestyle Coach (HLC) training for entry level beginners. It’s the kind of common sense knowledge that people have lost touch with because of the corporate ways of world.
HLC 2 offers training for people who want to be holistic lifestyle coaches for a living and goes much deeper and has a fair bit of information on how to coach people and work through these challenges.
This kind of information is also covered in my ebook, The Last 4 Doctors You’ll Ever Need, another great introduction to these concepts.
Also, I work with people constantly on these issues in my CHEK 4 Quadrant Coaching Mastery Program. When you buy any single lesson, you have access to live coaching calls and more than 500 hours of previously recorded calls where I’m asked just about any kind of question you can imagine.
From health, life and God’s spiritual development to shamanism, metaphysics, sex, relationships and exercise, you name it… it’s in there.
If you’ve been struggling with making decisions and where to turn for help, I hope this week’s vlog will guide you in the right direction.
Love and chi,