Ego, Authentic Self, Spirit

In it’s healthy form, the ego is a great asset. It is the part of the mind that allows us to use good judgment, balance instinctual urges with any excessive restrictions of a harsh conscience, perceive reality accurately, exert proper impulse control, monitor healthy boundaries, and think clearly. These are all skillful means for getting on in the world. In traditional psychotherapy, developing these abilities, or ego functions, is part of the focus of treatment.

If and when these skills are fairly well developed, and sometimes as they are developing, there can be more of a focus on transcending the ego, which allows the true, essential, or authentic Self to emerge. Various forms of meditation can be helpful at this stage, as the process shifts toward contemplative psychotherapy. As the investment in, and attachment to the ego begins to lessen or fade, the light of Spirit begins to shine through. This enables us to show up in the world with greater integrity, beauty, wisdom, courage, and compassion. Ideally, enabling us to live life as a sacrament; bringing the awareness of the infinite and the eternal into every moment.

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