What is the Ego?

Old 12-10-2008, 11:14 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I'm with Freud on this one.

It's complex to explain it's relevance to me. Those interested can peruse my Blog entries from a week and a half's ago!
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:28 AM
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Freud didn't have any time for Bill Wilson those many years ago, but Jung did. In this regard, I would lean toward Bill's interpretation of Dr. Jung's thoughts on Ego, rather than Dr. Freud. Of course, I personally do not have an issue with my Ego, since I have solved all of life's questions to my satsifaction.
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:07 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Thank you so much, this is the answer I've been looking for.
We have a person in the rooms that is always saying "ego this, ego that" and it was bothering me. I believe a little ego is healthy, especially for the new comer. When we come into the rooms, we are beaten down, stripped of all self-esteem. When a new person starts showing signs of a little self pride, confidence, and reflecting on the good things about themselves, I believe this to be a good thing. Why strip someone of finally feeling good about themselves again? I understand one can't let their ego get in the way of their recovery by thinking they can do this on their own, but let them have a little ego, it ain't all bad.

Originally Posted by justanothrdrunk View Post
My understanding of Frued's theory is that the Id is inate or instinctual while the Superego is learned. Meaning, all the functions of the Id are present at birth.

With the Superego being the moral center (according to Freud), it seems to me that the "ego" of which is referred to in the rooms of AA actually is the Superego (to some degree anyway).

I don't think any of the elements (Id, Ego, Superego) can be "weak" in an otherwise healthy person. The program of AA sets a sort of moral standard. And when member's own moral standard (the Superego) differs in certain ways, one is said to have a problem with their "ego."

The challenge then is to retrain the Superego to establish a moral code that is consistent with that of AA.

For example, one might think there are times when it's appropriate to be dishonest. It's their Superego that has developed this difference between right and wrong. But the program of AA teaches that members must be "rigourously honest with themselves." Thus it's the Superego that needs the adjustment.
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:50 AM
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Big Book talks about ''self and self centeredness as the root cause of all our problems '' it also says the alcoholics problem is ''centered in the mind '' and as someone said self will run riot that is good enough for me , keeping it simple works just fine , but it is a good thread , take care .

Regards Stevie recovered 12 03 2006
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:00 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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The simplest way I've heard in AA is that we have a smaller "self..ego" and a larger "SELF" ...higher power that transcends the smaller self.
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:00 PM
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yup,stevie, keep it simple is awesome and only an alcoholic can take the simple program and get all freudian with it and turn it into something so complicated.

i used to complicate it, but then decided lifes too short.
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by adore79 View Post
...Do you think that we alcoholics have a naturally weak superego, or ego, or both, according to the Freudian theory?
Ego, super ego? I don't feel we alcoholics are any different than non-alcoholics. I've often heard over the years we (alcoholics) are somehow special, more sensitive or whatever. Personally, I believe it's a lot of nonsense. As a group I don't think we're any different than anyone else except when it comes to alcohol. So why can't we drink responsibly? Are we weak-willed, is it hereditary, a disease or are we just plain f-ed up? Who knows? I'll cop to all of them.
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Old 05-22-2016, 03:20 AM
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My simplified thoughts on ego. Me thinking that I know what's best for me rather than listening to others who have been through all of this. In order to succeed in this program I have to let go of that. Which actually leads right into what I posted about shut up and listen. Nothing to do with sharing rather than letting go of my ego so that my mind and heart could accept all that I was learning.
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Old 05-22-2016, 03:20 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Good thread. I've seen some say its that which separates and I guess, for me, it goes a bit deeper. I get the ego-centric angle as well as that in the extreme as with disorders like malignant narcissism and what each of those cause but the difference is only in degrees. Separate things can still be connected or have a sense of it but an ego that over rides the spirit creates an actual disconnect. The greater the disconnect, the greater the personal loss; that being the experience of being one with all of creation including humanity. For me, the issue isn't about some measure of inflation or deflation but of not allowing it to create a disconnect from all that's been afforded me by birth right including my spiritual self. When connected, I realize that I am part of the lowest of low and highest of high, neither above nor below anyone else, and what I and they do affects us all. PS: Kind of a "100th Monkey" thing is what I'm saying and I don't disagree with the BB, I just see it saying this in my own words.
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Old 05-22-2016, 03:36 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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It might depend on whether you are looking at ego from a psychological or spiritual point of view. I just read a spiritual definition of ego as the "false self", defender of the status quo, defender of all decisions made as it must always be right, the root of denial, the driving force behind continuing doing what doesn't work over and over because the ego can't be wrong. The ego protects itself by hiding bad motives under good, by wrong footing any attempts to rectify character defects by disguising the defect instead of remedying it, and of course will never acknowledge that its own power is inadequate until it is absolutely forced to, by circumstances (not articulate human persuasion).

Hence the alcoholic such as myself is beaten to his knees by alcohol, the ego is deflated, and there is room for a new power and spirit to flow in. Those who have not suffered this humiliating defeat will not feel any need for a higher power. Apparently.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:02 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Mind made sense of self. Self-centeredness, selfishness, self will, self-pity, all forms of self in the book are referring to is what is termed the ego. So, everything centers around me (my sense of self)- hence why the big book says the main problem centers in our mind.

A spiritual awakening is awakening to the fact that I am not that sense of self - so I am not my mind, my thoughts, my feelings, my reactions to my life circumstances, etc. A deeper power has been uncovered in me and that is what is awakened - and that is who I really am.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:51 PM
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Very glad this older thread got bumped!! Thanks, pscirish!

I love the awesome posts above as both a psych major, someone who needed a refresher on Freud and Jung .... and I just got back to daily meetings this week after back surgery; I'd only been able to go to 3 in 5 wks which is the fewest in my sober time. One of them was about selfishness - and while people didn't really throw out "ego" as I recall, we all talked about it being about us- when drinking. Making it NOT about us, when not.

When I hear "selfishness" I also think of self-care, and that distinction. Kind of a branching off of ego-based urges and actions, if you will, on my mind now because of the literal need for it to be a lot more about "me" than usual in terms of help from others and my needs. Yet....not making it all about me!

Really glad to read this - thank you to friends still here like tomsteve for the very helpful shares.
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