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
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
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.