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What is the Super-Ego?

by Karl on July 10, 2010

What was your first experience after looking at the Tarot
card to the left? When I first looked at the card, the Devil, I
was horrified by what I perceived as something negative
and evil. I said, “get that thing away from me.” It was three
years before I understood what I saw in the card were
shadow aspects of my personality, my disowned self, mirrored back from the card.
The disowned-self represents those parts that for one reason or another are not
acceptable to the super-ego and our waking consciousness. Hence, they become
compartmentalized, repressed and ever more negatively charged.

The end result of this process, if allowed to go unchecked, may be that one or
more sub-personalities, at certain times block forward movement. The
super-ego strives for its perception of perfection. If it believes that not feeling
is of survival value, then it will numb you out through addictions. The
super-ego will do anything it can to protect you, including kill you! Dis-ease
becomes disease!

Aspects created by the super-ego can take over the personality totally and
determine the ongoing process of your behavior. The culture and historical
time of your development strongly affect the nature of the identification and
disowning process. An essential aspect of personal growth and a successful life
is the willingness and ability to consistently be open to recognizing and facing
the energy of these mythologies, subpersonalities that are either too
“powerful” or over-identified with or “weak” and  disowned. You’ve seen these
sub-personalities in yourself or others in the group. The voice changes with the
sub-personality. You may hear the voice modulate from the little child or the
deep male voice or the female voice, the judgmental voice etc.

Everyone has a primitive survival instinct, a genetic program that is all about
the survival of the DNA. The nature of this survival strategy varies with the
personal genetics. Over-identifying with these primitive survival instincts is a
self-destructive aspect of the psyche, the purpose to block forward progress
and shut us off from life. It’s the great mystery of the human condition. We
ignore the truth of who we are in favor of suffering.

Metaphorically in this example the super-ego is represented by the devil
energy of the tarot card. Many so-called problems come from this part of the
personality — addictions, fear, self-hate, laziness, rage, negativity and
depression. The super-ego is dynamic. It can make you miserable even when
nothing bad is happening. It is universally present in everyone because it has a
spiritual function. What is traditionally labeled evil is  really the thought
process the “super-ego.” It’s evil because it tries to keep us ignorant. It
demands that we ignore the truth of who we are; happy, free and limitless. The
authentic-self, our true nature, is happy, at peace, free and wise. The ego wants
to stay in business so it demands that we look outside the self for happiness and
validation. It demands that you remain unconscious and blocks your evolution.
If you give in to it you live a limited, unhappy, pain-filled life. However, when
you turn on the observer and notice the inflated ego states of addiction, face
these excited states and penetrate the deflated ego states, you develop higher
powers. You rise above your primitive nature. You become fully conscious.
You experience your divinity.

Notice that the devil card depicts a scene with a character that looks like a
monster. It is a conglomeration of disparate parts. This card is a metaphor for
the conglomeration, the matrix of our disowned-selves. The devil sits on a
block of stone, a representation of the ego’s rigid view of the world. Our world
view becomes cast in stone. The chains connected to this block of stone appear
to bind the man and woman, a metaphor for the  energetic binding of the
intellect and intuition. They are unaware that they could simply lift the chains
that bind them off their necks. They are in a state of blind resignation, bound to
illusion. They are blinded and bound by their personal stories and the belief in
limitation and the way things are. The energy represented by this symbol is
what happens when you get reverse wired. Things aren’t really what they seem.
The card represents the power of illusion to bind creative energy, how
ignorance and reversal of thought create pain and suffering when you hold
reversed beliefs. Life is a challenge and it feels like your tail is on fire.

Just as in a computer game, when you face and conquer the energy guardian of
each level of awareness, you incorporate the energetic power of each guardian.
In doing so you gain new powers and tools. With the new tools you move to
higher levels. It is the same in life. There are specific tools to combat every
dynamic each energy guardian on the path causes. The various seminars offer
tools to reveal the mythologies, energy configuration and the characteristics
of each energy guardian at each level. The more you participate the more
authentic power you’ll experience — in relationships, work, creativity, etc. It
is all about energy management. These mythologies and energy guardians
become your teachers in the process — that’s the real purpose of energy. You
learn and grow stronger from your struggles. When you grasp this, life
becomes more meaningful. Even the worst problems then have value.

The super-ego gets its power by creating a fantasy world, a realm of illusion and
traps you within. It tells you it’s possible to live in a place where you’re special
and things are easy — a perfect world. This fantasy life is a roller coaster ride, a
series of inflated ego states, excited states; emotional highs and a series of
deflated or depressed ego states; emotional lows. Your energy, your natural
creativity becomes bound, limited and contained within the fantasy world of
the realm of illusion. Most pain is caused by your failure to find and live in this
realm of illusion, which you never can and never do find.

However, as long as you narcissistically keep seeking the fantasy world, the
super-ego controls you. We all think there’s a group of others who do live in
this fantasy world — naturally we feel as if we are locked outside and inferior to
them. The superego inflates events in our lives — a job review, a date, a
birthday party — hoping they’ll put us in this magic world. The event becomes
more important than you and then you become terrified.

The search for the fantasy world of the realm of illusion makes us fixate on
things outside us. It causes an addictive relationship to the world. It says if we
accomplish this or buy that, then we can live inside that fantasy realm. This
can take the form of using alcohol, drugs, food, money, sex, etc. The super-ego
tells us it is the next thing that will make us feel whole. But it also makes us
dependent on the validation of others — then, if they reject or insult us, we feel
like victims. The super-ego also teaches us to use things outside ourselves for
motivation. This causes the addiction to danger in relationships or activities
and the need to start conflicts, “the devil made me do it.” No matter how
alluring it appears, the outer world is severely limited — it has no forces of
energetic flow or creativity. The true energetic flow comes from the unknown
and all knowing within. Once trapped in the illusion we’re overcome with
dissatisfaction, envy and fear. The super-ego lures us toward a perfect world
and ends up putting us in hell — that’s why it’s called the devil.

The key quality of the super-ego is that it repeats itself. It is cast in stone. You
become fixated and lose your self-respect. The universe keeps moving forward,
constantly changing. When you repeat a thought, feeling or behavior, you
keep yourself in the same place, resisting the universal flow of change. This
keeps you separate from the rest of the universe, trapping you in the fantasy
world of the super-ego where it can control you. You see this most easily when
you repeat negative thoughts over and over. Whatever it is you are repeating,
you tend to do it with the sense that you’re right. That’s a sure sign you’re
bound by the super-ego.

The energy guardians whisper in your ear saying this is what you do to enter
the realm of illusion. I invite you to turn on your observer, notice the mental
games and just stop!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Miguel July 20, 2012 at 10:12 am

I’m fascinated by this topic. I believe that the process of enlightment begins with ego management. Ego is so cleaver that it will take any form to convince you that he is your best friend. The best trick the ego pulls is convincing people that it is the observer, and it will keep you in an everlasting quest for enlightment, not letting you know that the very quest itself keeps you from it.
I had Mother Mary and Lord Jesus putting Broadway shows with all heaven’s angels in my meditations, telling me what a good boy I was doing my internal work, that I was in the right path…but my outside world reflected something very different. It wasn’t until a teacher told me that the observer is subtle and to the point that I was able to go backstage and catch my ego running the show. That was when the curtain fell and the silence came, and in that silence, I was able to feel the observer’s voice…since then, my external world is a much greater place to live.
Karl, I am new to your work, but I find it resonating with me. I’m open to better ways to understand the differences between the voice of the observer and the voice of ego, any suggestion? Sometimes a bit noisy in here.


Vicki July 31, 2012 at 11:56 am

Well said Miguel, and wow Karl, that is very very interesting !!!


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