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The Mirroring Self

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posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 01:19 PM
The natural tendency of the ego is to separate itself from its environment. We know this because, by its very definition, an ego cannot exist if it is not able to square itself off from its surroundings to one degree or another. This is its prime directive, and how it accomplishes this goal is far less important than the goal itself. The ego is satisfied as long is it is able to create the perception of difference between itself and its environment.

It does this by imposing a sense difference between itself and others. Others will be isolated as being separate and then judged as less than or greater than the ego on an imaginary scale of merit.

But how does the ego accomplish that? Mirroring the self in the eyes of others is one of the key ways. This involves imagining what others think of you and then projecting that back onto yourself. This is a favorite ego tool, because it imposes not only vertical difference (he or she is less or better than me) but horizontal difference as well (the other is being used as an external "mirror"). Take the example of an ego that seeks to make itself feel more intelligent than others at a party. First it meets someone who it feels fits that description (seems less intelligent), then it imagines that that other person is thinking that it, the ego, is therefore more intelligent. Using the other as a mirror both helps bolster the ego's fantasy of intellectual superiority (intellectual difference), while further strengthening the ego’s sense of separateness by positioning the other as an external observing eye. We can see that such an ego might easily run into trouble and find itself mirorring someone who it believes is more intelligent thus diminishing the ego's sense of its own intelligence. As already mentioned, however, this is okay, since all the ego wants is to feel different.

The way to short out this mechanism is actually quite simple. Do not ever try to imagine what others think of you. Work from your own internal sense of self worth.

posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 08:55 PM
I agree to a point that we shouldn't try to imagine what others think of us. But sometimes we need to imagine what others might think of us in order to foresee the consequence of our action.

posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 10:02 PM
Someone such as myself who has been allegedly diagnosed with DID or alternate personalities may not be able to do this. Having repressed and recalled memories isn't easy either.

Self worth for me comes from the desire to survive my past and other related health issues. Being on disability has given me the chance to stop, search and possibly find the cures I couldn't get from my present doctors. I think some mental illnesses can be better controlled with specific changes in diet.

I still prefer not to confuse self worth with what seems to be mostly ego (trips) for many others. For children the term seems to be self esteem?

What about the inner child?

posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 09:58 AM
Hi Truth,

Not sure I would agree. In my view, once we reach adulthood and gain awareness of our ego, there is never any need to imagine what others are thinking about us from their own ego perspective. What I'm talking about is one ego imagining what another ego is thinking about it. This is always either narcisistic or damaging to the self-esteem...ego activity is never neutral. Our ego is only interested in mirorring back onto itself the ego-based thoughts of others. It does not want to know that another person thinks everyone is equally endowed with the same worth.

[edit on 8-8-2008 by Silenceisall]

posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 10:05 AM
reply to post by aleon1018

Hi Aleon,

I understand that this is more challenging to some. That you have made it this far and seem to be holding it together speaks to your inner strength for sure. I wonder, though, if you have ever tried separating yourself from your thoughts. There is an awareness that lies behind our thoughts and emotions. We knpw this because we are often aware of our thinking and feeling. This awareness is also sometimes called the pure subject.

When I hear "inner child" I think of a less complicated personality and an ego in the process of forming. I think that we should be in touch will all aspects of ourselves, including the child that we were, but ultimately I think we have to move beyond the "personality" and get in touch with the foundation of our being, which is pre-thought.

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