Super-ego fears its own annihilation in bowing to higher power.
BOOK REVIEW: In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts, Close Encounters with Addiction, by Gabor Mate, M.D.: When people refer to the ego, oftentimes they really mean the super-ego. Even Dr. Mate uses ego the same way Freud used super-ego. Dr. Mate writes that, “Resistance to the higher power concept is really the ego’s resistance to conscience and to spiritual awareness, to the part of us that recognizes truth and wants to honor it. The grasping ego fears its own annihilation in bowing to something greater, whether to “God” or to the needs of others or even to one’s own higher needs.”
Thanks to Dr. Mate and my EMDR therapist I have recognized that I carry shame that prevents me from attaining me from fully accepting myself. For two years now my therapist and I have been working on reprograming my life of adversity and trauma. My healing from posttraumatic stress disorder has been interpreted by my emotions as spiritual in it’s releasing me from my pain.
Loss of Essence Can be Regained
Dr. Mate goes on to write that, “Trauma in the strict sense is not required for a young human being to suffer the loss of essence, the sense of oneness with all that is. Infants come into the world fully present and alive to every possibility, but they soon begin to shut down parts of themselves that their environment is unable to recognize or accept with love. As a consequence of that defensive shutdown, says the psychologist and spiritual teacher A.H. Almaas, one or more essential qualities such as love, joy, strength, courage, or confidence may be suppressed. In its place, we experience a hole, a sense of empty deficiency. “People don’t know the sense of deficiency, is a symptom of a loss of something deeper, the loss of essence, which can be regained. They think the hole, the deficiency, is how they really are at the deepest level and that there is nothing beyond it. They think something is wrong with them, something is basically wrong.” Such thoughts are not necessarily conscious but may take the form of unconscious beliefs.
Personality and Talking are Defense Mechanisms
In either case, we develop behavior patterns and emotional coping mechanisms to cover up the emptiness, mistakenly believing that the resulting traits represent our true “personality.” Indeed, what we call the personality is often a jumble of genuine traits and adopted coping styles that do not reflect our true self at all but the loss of it.” –In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts, Close Encounters with Addiction, by Gabor Mate, M.D.. pp. 416-419.
Primetime AA: Everything is a Second Step Problem
In Primetime Alcoholics Anonymous it is sometimes said that everything is a Second Step problem. In other words, have I really come to believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity? It feels like for me that this is a gradual process. To update the brilliant diagram by Chuck C. in his memoir, A New Pair of Glasses, “The only thing separating God from man is man’s [super] ego.” Here I am on the cusp of 18 years of sobriety praying and meditating for acceptance of my authentic divine self vs. my negative super-ego.
Dr. Mate says at page 421, “We may not be responsible for the world that created our minds, but we can take responsibility for the mind with which we create our world. Our most painful emotions point to our greatest possibilities, to where our authentic nature is hidden. People whom we judge are mirrors. People who judge us call forth our courage to respect our own truth. Compassion for ourselves supports our compassion for others. Healing occurs in a sacred space located within us all: ‘When you know yourselves, then you will be known.'”