Destroying the ego

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posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 04:53 AM
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While some are being reprimanded for "being argumentative" or opposing the suggestion that ego is our enemy, and only in it's destruction can we find peace, love, and salvation....

Let's take a quick look at the techniques of "brainwashing", shall we?
The term can be used a bit melodramatically- let's be more down to earth though- our psyche is impressed upon and influenced by the exterior and others all the time. But sometimes a deeper change or influence is done than other times, and sometimes it is more consciously chosen than other times.

This can be a good thing or bad thing, depending upon your point of view. If you have had a scarred childhood and resulting blockages and nevroses that you'd like to be rid of, a deep change in personality and perspective could be quite desireable.

If you would like to enter into a sort of personality profile and perspective that you see in another (or group of others) then this can be good.

If it is done through subtle manipulation, to influence you in ways you do not choose or desire, however, it could be undesireable.

If it is a fraternity you wish to join, then recognizing the steps of this method isn't troubling.
If it is a stranger, and you have not been able to find out what it is that they'd like to change and re-program into you, then it is a good idea to recognize what is happening.


In the late 1950s, psychologist Robert Jay Lifton studied former prisoners of Korean War and Chinese war camps. He determined that they'd undergone a multistep process that began with attacks on the prisoner's sense of self and ended with what appeared to be a change in beliefs. Lifton ultimately defined a set of steps involved in the brainwashing cases he studied:

source

The steps outlined-


1-Assault on identity
2- Guilt
3- Self-betrayal
4- Breaking point
5- Leniency
6- Compulsion to confess
7- Channeling of guilt
8- Releasing of guilt
9- Progress and harmony
10- Final confession and rebirth


I want to avoid just copying this whole article, but I admit I like it the way it simplifies.

Let's just look at the first three steps then-

Breaking down the self
Assault on identity: You are not who you think you are.
This is a systematic attack on a target's sense of self (also called his identity or ego) and his core belief system. The agent denies everything that makes the target who he is: "You are not a soldier." "You are not a man." "You are not defending freedom." The target is under constant attack for days, weeks or months, to the point that he becomes exhausted, confused and disoriented. In this state, his beliefs seem less solid.

Guilt: You are bad.
While the identity crisis is setting in, the agent is simultaneously creating an overwhelming sense of guilt in the target. He repeatedly and mercilessly attacks the subject for any "sin" the target has committed, large or small. He may criticize the target for everything from the "evilness" of his beliefs to the way he eats too slowly. The target begins to feel a general sense of shame, that everything he does is wrong.

Self-betrayal: Agree with me that you are bad.
Once the subject is disoriented and drowning in guilt, the agent forces him (either with the threat of physical harm or of continuance of the mental attack) to denounce his family, friends and peers who share the same "wrong" belief system that he holds. This betrayal of his own beliefs and of people he feels a sense of loyalty to increases the shame and loss of identity the target is already experiencing.

Breaking point: Who am I, where am I and what am I supposed to do?
With his identity in crisis, experiencing deep shame and having betrayed what he has always believed in, the target may undergo what in the lay community is referred to as a "nervous breakdown." In psychology, "nervous breakdown" is really just a collection of severe symptoms that can indicate any number of psychological disturbances. It may involve uncontrollable sobbing, deep depression and general disorientation. The target may have lost his grip on reality and have the feeling of being completely lost and alone. When the target reaches his breaking point, his sense of self is pretty much up for grabs -- he has no clear understanding of who he is or what is happening to him. At this point, the agent sets up the temptation to convert to another belief system that will save the target from his misery.


These are preferably carried out while the subject/target is isolated from much contact with others,
and with an amount of mind clouding from malnutrition and sleep deprivation (junk food and "all nighters" in front of the computer screen is good). A "meltdown", as we see happening sometimes to people on forums, despite a long history of rational behavior, is a good example.



The instinct to oppose or argue with someone telling you your ego is bad and should be destroyed is not necessarily "bad" nor "unenlightened"- no matter what that person says.
It is a natural defense system in response to anothers attempt to reprogram you without your permission.

It is just as legitamate as the instinct to fight back if someone attempts to rape you.
You do not need to feel guilty for resisting- that is just one of the steps in the technique.
And there is a difference between sex and rape.... just as there is in their mental counterparts.

AND
A person can employ this technique without being consciously aware of their intent!
It can be learned behavior- we pick up all kinds of manipulative behavior simply through the way our bodies work, drawn to repeating behaviors which brought us pleasurable experiences before. (That includes the pleasurable experience of power...)

I do not wish this post to be "warning of evil people" around- such judgements are not necessary, and more likely to be a source of wasted energy. But rather just a reminder- be aware, pay attention, do not be quick to distrust your own reflexes and intuitions.
Just food for thought.
edit on 23-4-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 05:14 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 


Interesting ideas, I need to read the article first, and I am running out of time right now, but I wanted to raise the point that, given your rape analogy, do you not feel that guilt is often more attributable to not resisting? Still in the context of mind control or brainwashing therefore, accepting a passive role, is more likely to cause guilt on a sunconscious...or unconfessed level...that is, if you reject the notion that you have any power/control in the first place, and take no responsibility for the act committed upon you, then you cannot emerge from the experience. Guilt is a powerful inhibitor on all levels.



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 05:20 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 


I have been reading up on Mk Ultra mind control lately, and i cant help but think everything in terms of modifying personality, esteem, outlook and belief breaks down to a form of mind control.



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 05:27 AM
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Really interesting thread...if a function of our "egos" is to use our intuition and preserve our own sense of self, dignity and safety, I would say that's a positive function.......



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 06:15 AM
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awesome, and your intent really is boosting me. My heart rejoices.



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 06:29 AM
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even when one is under the influence of ego, ego is not his/hers/ours. aum



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 06:44 AM
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post removed because the user has no concept of manners

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posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 08:34 AM
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Originally posted by Angle
awesome, and your intent really is boosting me. My heart rejoices.


That sounds nice then. I admit I was concerned you might take it the wrong way, considering as you are the most prominent promotor of "self destruction" here lately... but you are far from the only one. It is done all the time, by various groups, cults, and clubs- with hazing and initiation rituals, re-birth traditions and therapy.... it is part of the military tradition and boot camp!

It is easy to forget that and assume all "brain washing" is negative or malicious, and take my post the wrong way.
I am glad you didn't!
edit on 23-4-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 08:37 AM
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Originally posted by Angle
even when one is under the influence of ego, ego is not his/hers/ours. aum


Uh, no... that is almost a tautology.



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 08:54 AM
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Originally posted by AthlonSavage
reply to post by Bluesma
 


I have been reading up on Mk Ultra mind control lately, and i cant help but think everything in terms of modifying personality, esteem, outlook and belief breaks down to a form of mind control.


Yeah... I would prefer to say "mind influence" though,because sometimes it can be just a mild influence, not such a deep change in personality. LIke I said too, not all cases of this are negative- what if you want to be changed by the agents doing this?
_example-
The young man that wants to become tougher, emotionally and physically, and loyal to a larger cause. He can join the military, and will face hazing, insults, extreme conditions of physical stress and fatigue, a destruction of his current self concept, and then be reprogrammed with a new personality that is closer to what he wanted to be.

In a sense you could say it was done to him, but it was his choice- his "tyrants" are in fact simply giving him the aid he wanted. It was not against his will.

Even shamans have some death rituals which aim to destroy the shamans previous ego, to facilitate growth and receptivity.


It's sort of a matter of being aware of and choosing the ritual. I often want to argue when i see this being done in New Age or other religious cults because they are not always honest about the process. The concept that you can destroy your ego and "be free of it" is nonsense (unless one is in a coma, dead, catatonic, or extremely mentally ill).

To destroy your present self concept creates a vacuum, which is quickly sucking in other elements to create a new self concept. This is when the agent has a rich and fertile soil to plant his seeds in. This is a vulnerable state.



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 08:57 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 


Do you believe in the concept of alter ego fantasy? You know allowing your ego to dream your somebody else in a different life, or living out scenes that you dont and cant in real life.



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 09:12 AM
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Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
reply to post by Bluesma
 


Interesting ideas, I need to read the article first, and I am running out of time right now, but I wanted to raise the point that, given your rape analogy, do you not feel that guilt is often more attributable to not resisting? Still in the context of mind control or brainwashing therefore, accepting a passive role, is more likely to cause guilt on a sunconscious...or unconfessed level...that is, if you reject the notion that you have any power/control in the first place, and take no responsibility for the act committed upon you, then you cannot emerge from the experience. Guilt is a powerful inhibitor on all levels.


I am not sure I totally understand what you are saying by guilt being "attributable"... If you meant that not resisting and accepting the passive role could stimulate guilt feelings... perhaps yes, IF the target is aware they are a target of such an attempt. Like in the case of POW's, who are aware why these things are being done to them.

I think in those cases, it is the long term attacking which breaks down the ego slowly. The ego being what has values like "self determination" or loyalty to specific beliefs, ethics, values, it is the source of guilt. The more it erodes, the faster it erodes, if you see what I mean. The agent doign the mind control become the new ego- they become the voice of conscience in that vacuum, so whatever they say is "bad" or worthy of guilt, then IS.

But consider the cases of people who are not aware they are beign targetted with this method. They have no sense they "should" resist, because as far as they know consciously, this is a nice person trying to aid them.

This reduces the time needed for the ego destruction, because there is no resistance.
As soon as the person starts to show signs of confusion, distress and breakdown, an apple is thrown to them (metaphorically speaking)

here's the next step after the one I put up in the OP-


­­Leniency: I can help you. With ­the target in a state of crisis, the agent offers some small kindness or reprieve from the abuse. He may offer the target a drink of water, or take a moment to ask the target what he misses about home. In a state of breakdown resulting from an endless psychological attack, the small kindness seems huge, and the target may experience a sense of relief and gratitude completely out of proportion to the offering, as if the agent has saved his life.

Compulsion to confession: You can help yourself.For the first time in the brainwashing process, the target is faced with the contrast between the guilt and pain of identity assault and the sudden relief of leniency. The target may feel a desire to reciprocate the kindness offered to him, and at this point, the agent may present the possibility of confession as a means to relieving guilt and pain.


So by the time the person starts to have a negative experience and maybe it starts to dawn on them that this might not be a friend, they get some nice strokes, a compliment, "you are a good girl/boy", "You are smart and doing a great job"... that tends to head off suspicions as they start.

Then of course you get the beginning of injection of new programming- the God, the religion, the club rules and values, the new morals, ethics, and belief systems.....

This is why I think there is a big difference between a target that knows they are being targetted for brainwashing,
and someone totally unaware that is what is happening. In the second case, it is much easier and you don't even need to keep them imprisoned!

edit on 23-4-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 09:24 AM
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Originally posted by AthlonSavage
reply to post by Bluesma
 


Do you believe in the concept of alter ego fantasy? You know allowing your ego to dream your somebody else in a different life, or living out scenes that you dont and cant in real life.


I do believe it is possible. I have a schizophrenic aunt who began creating a different life when in her early teens. She wrote books, and took years developing the characters, drawing them, having them evolve. She has an alternate ego. (she was very talented, both in writing and drawing).

Now, she is on meds because her state degenerated and she couldn't survive in this world without help. But she has a daughter, who is named after one of her characters in her books, and has changed part of her name to include the name of her alter ego. She has merged these two worlds and ego's somewhat effectively.

I was inspired by her when I was about ten, to also write a book of my own, with a main character I idealized and related to, in an imaginary land. What is funny is that the village this story took place in was called "La Ville Des Fleurs" (in french) and a drawing I made looks like exactly like a pont in the road going up to my house now. I do not know how I learned those french words. But sometimes I wonder if it didn't influence my future choices and who I became.

This kind of imagination work can be quite creative (look at how athletes use it). I suspect, (after seeing my aunts experience) that some anchoring in this world must continue, for it to be creative.



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 09:40 AM
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Ideally, the individuation process will be powered by the Self. Not by a bunch of brainwashers.


The self is an archetype that represents the unification of the unconsciousness and consciousness of an individual. The creation of the self occurs through a process known as individuation, in which the various aspects of personality are integrated. Jung often represented the self as a circle, square or mandala.


"Follow that will and that way which experience confirms to be your own." -Carl Jung



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 09:43 AM
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It's not destroying ego, it's to undo yourself of its influences.
edit on 23-4-2013 by Angle because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 09:54 AM
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Originally posted by Angle
It's not destroying ego, it's to undo yourself of its influences.
edit on 23-4-2013 by Angle because: (no reason given)




There's a whole mess in there to debate on what "yourself" is that is being released from the influence... ego being self.

But let's say you are refering to your body? It's actions, behaviors, words.....

So.... if your body, and act and words are no longer subject to the influence of the self/ego....

Who/what do you propose as the new "driver" or influence to take it's place?



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 09:56 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 


the new driver will be the one you always were. You'll be like a child.


Beware of wolves in sheep clothing and


Matthew 18

King James Version (KJV)


18 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

Matthew 18
edit on 23-4-2013 by Angle because: (no reason given)


Do you read, Bluesma?
edit on 23-4-2013 by Angle because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 10:43 AM
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reply to post by Angle
 


Ooookaay.... here is the program - the religion.

Yes, I read. (?)

Yes, becoming like a child is part of the re-birth phase of programming. You become, like I described, fertile ground for planting, vulnerable, with a vacuum which receives new programming. It is also refered to using concepts like "virgin". Your receptivity is at a maximum at that point and pulling like gravity.

Why do you not start out your 'ego-enemy" threads with the revelation that what you are proposing is Christianity?

I have watched some people mistaking your perspective as being "New Age", or from Budhist sources.
I think some enter the process under false pretenses. (perhaps not intentional on your part)



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 11:15 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 


What's the problem with wisdom? What does language matter when it comes to wisdom. Right. Not?



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma
The concept that you can destroy your ego and "be free of it" is nonsense (unless one is in a coma, dead, catatonic, or extremely mentally ill).

To destroy your present self concept creates a vacuum, which is quickly sucking in other elements to create a new self concept. This is when the agent has a rich and fertile soil to plant his seeds in. This is a vulnerable state.


The concept of ego cannot be destroyed but it can be watched and studied - when it is being watched and it is you that is watching then you are free of it.
The ego is what you 'think' you are - it is an image built over time of the person you believe you are - it is made of what you believe in (what you support - be it football teams or just the country you were born in). People have an idea of who they are and they have labels, flags and banners that define them that separate them from others - it enables conflict. It makes people gang up and fight and defend. So if you want to get people to fight and compete - like you want to have a war - you can build up the ego in a team of people and it will make them fighters. Ego is ego - there is no good or bad ego. Ego makes conflict.

What is the 'self concept'? A concept is an idea. Are you any of the things you think you are?
What are you really?
Have you ever heard the term 'neti neti'? It means 'not that not that'. Whatever the mind or others say you are, know that you are not that. It is taken for granted that you are a thing, a 'concept' but it s confusing because you aren't really any thing in particular.
Would you consider it safe to say that you are nothing in particular? So no matter what idea you have of yourself it is never correct.
edit on 23-4-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)





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