The ego, as a whole, comprises all that is the perception of a living and cognitive being. There is, however, a very important distinction between active ego and passive ego.
Ego is the entirety of an individual's perception, including all thoughts and experiences, whether conscious or subconscious, regardless of whether they are or have ever been consciously accessible/identifiable.
An understanding of this interpretation of ego is fundamental to forming an accurate view of objective reality.
When contemplating ego, often, the primary focus of attention people have is trying to define what exactly a gratified ego is. This is an extremely flawed approach. Gratification isn't something you apply to ego as a whole, it's something you feel at a given moment.
It's like happiness. You don't say your ego is happy, you simply feel if you're happy or not at any given moment. You're also capable of reflecting on past moments and remembering if you were happy in that moment or not, but that also doesn't necessarily mean your ego as a whole was happy at that point. Keep in mind what the supplied definition of ego covers.
There are two fundamental divisions within which any portion of one's ego falls under. Passive ego and active ego.
Active ego is what people are talking about when they say someone has a huge ego. It fundamentally comes from a place of emotional imbalance. As human beings are not born perfect and emotionally balanced creatures, it's no surprise that they're born with a predisposition towards having active ego. Active ego can be demonstrated to a very significant extent, even if it's not recognized by others in a specific context or environment. Its effect isn't necessarily always entirely destructive, however it typically does more bad than good.
Passive ego is the ego most neglect to carefully consider. In contrast with active ego, it fundamentally comes from a place of emotional balance. While this certainly doesn't mean that an individual displaying it is actually emotionally balanced as a whole, it does indicate that they're sufficiently capable of appropriate behavior at least some of the time. The fact that most people live their lives trying to push themselves into this state and only when absolutely necessary, as opposed to being driven to be pulled to it constantly, is the reason why they have fundamentally weak mentalities.
A major area of consideration as it relates to ego is the formation of expectations. One's core value forms desires, which go on to form expectations, culminating the process in actions.
Expectations can come from two distinct places. One kind of expectations are very healthy, while the other kind are very unhealthy. Expectations based on an accurate application of the consideration of the universe being fundamentally probabilistic in nature allow for rational probability-driven motivation to identify and pursue goals one makes. Expectations based on emotional reactivity, however, are entirely driven by active ego and are very unhealthy in nature.
The most flawed mindset you can adopt is one of having a core value of logic in an attempt to reach for safety in your life.
Any core value not fundamentally adopting logic is far more loosely grounded in reality as well. From a grounding perspective, using logic allows you to ground yourself better, but if that comes from a fundamental place of not being grounded with your emotions and fear you are more firmly grounded in your dilusionality in a way.
When properly employed, logic is the most practical core value.
Adopting logic as a core value to embrace fear of the objective reality is more concretely grounded in objective reality than adopting logic as a core value to embrace safety because the universe is fundamentally probabilistic and embracing fear using logic is a fundamentally more probabilistically accurate way of living life as it more accurately reflects the nature of life bringing about the paradigm most in line with it.
The problem is that adopting a core value of logic in an attempt to reach for safety is fundamentally flawed because it is a performative contradiction. It only makes sense to adopt a core value of logic embracing fear of the reality that results from the nature of your existence. Let me explain why.
Because you can't logically feel completely safe if you try to define and express your identity completely clearly, the core proposition of your ideology promotes not labeling identifying with an identity as rational or irrational but simply states it is entirely dysfunctional.
Fundamentally, you are who you are whether you let it bring you down or raise you up. If you apply emotional modifiers inappropriately, it can very easily hinder you; this becomes much more easy to do and likely to happen when these experiences are extreme (whether good or bad).
Now, while it makes sense to emotionally distance yourself from your identity in a fashion that facilitates freedom from emotions that otherwise hinder your ability to function at your highest degree of efficiency, it is completely outlandish to deterministically claim that any form of identifying with the patterns that bring about the reality as you perceive it is completely dysfunctional.
Why, you ask?
Using comfort, you are basically stripping meaning of everything until there's literally none left and this puts you in a constant state of negative emotion subconsciously. You're not neutral or positive, no matter how much you may try to convince yourself you are. It's eventually going to become too much for you to handle and you're going to end up performing at your worst.
Turning your emotions off is very different from seeking emotional balance. Human beings are fundamentally emotional creatures; living one's life trying to turn these emotions off is going to result in increasingly unhealthy coping mechanisms forming.
If you instead use fear to assign probabilities to thoughts with ease, you are closest to emotionally balanced as possible, therefore making your logical evaluation abilities at their best too. This process may seem nearly indistinguishable to someone who sees intellect as intellect regardless of the emotional backing, but to someone experiencing it, they can clearly tell the difference between the crippling and frustrating effect of trying to turn their emotions off versus carefully working through them.
The practical outcome of your ideology as presented is that you have a persistent notion that while your sensory perception would seem to indicate you exist and your experiences are your own, at least as you have perceived them, you are constantly fundamentally in denial of the presence of the identity which only exists at all because you exist in the first place. This is what is logically accepted as a performative contradiction.
This effectively slowly strips away any meaning from your life since you are not fundamentally evaluating things logically to identify the value they truly have in reality (which is naturally affected by your perceptions of both the subjective and objective reality), you are effectively behaving like a robot that only applies rational thinking for the sake of being rational because you see no better alternative.
This is EXACTLY the mentality that fundamentally drives cults and it is extremely dangerous because in practice it means you are making rational decisions based on seeking emotional comfort instead of embracing the inherent fear that a universe of a probabilistic nature as your own ideology states would naturally imply.
Since a delusion is a belief that is held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary, this means you are logically delusional and very concretely grounded in your denial. This doesn't cease to be clinical insanity just because there's a lack of apparent full-on schizophrenic-level auditory and/or visual hallucinations.
If you truly want to be as aligned with objective reality as possible, and the objective reality is inherently probabilistic, then you should base your seeking of logical evaluation on the natural fear that comes along with those probabilities instead of attempting to seek comfort in them when probabilities naturally cause dissonance therefore making any attempt to find comfort in them irrational. This brings about a paradigm shift from denying identity to constantly questioning it.
The result is a fundamentally probabilistic core value and the resulting realization that your true essence is not to blindly logically evaluate everything and attempt to rid yourself of emotion, your true essence is to logically embrace fear to become at peace with the inherently scary nature of reality. That is what real enlightenment is.
Many people will ask, "Why would I ever care about this when I'm living happily without it?"
The answer is that if you want your lack of logically embracing the natural fear reality causes to keep limiting your potential as a human being, then don't care about it. Part of being human is accepting that some humans will want to continue to drown themselves in their own delusionality until the day they die.
And I personally know people just like this, so it is very much a real phenomenon.
Understanding every conclusion an individual comes to and whether or not it is logical or not first requires a premise that the person tells you every single conclusion they have come to, missing absolutely none. You must then have flawless critical thinking ability in order to have any chance at accurately gauging the accuracy of their thinking. Even still, if you personally believe the individual to be hiding any details, you can come to the belief the individual still holds beliefs on solely your own perception.
Since beliefs are inherently subjective, an attempt at making such an evaluation practically holds no real weight. In attempting to evaluate a point of life, you must use a fundamental evaluation of a value proposition. This must be objectively quantifiable in order to objectively measure validity.
If you deterministically state that you don't have an ego without being able to back it up in an extremely concrete objectively quantifiable manner, you are actually demonstrating massive ego. Without a core value of refined pure bidirectional apprehension, there is no way to have no ego, you can only try. That's what it means to be human. If you want to believe that I live in denial, then you can enjoy believing that I enjoy doing it. I suppose that you shouldn't aim to have no ego, you should aim to be a realist.
A classic example of how your ideology falls apart is one of the common arguments you might give that murder isn't wrong, at least in a way. The definition of murder is "The crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought." Murder is wrong, in every way, at least as far as a position of moral consensus is concerned. Ending a human's life in a general sense, however, can only be rationally thought of as justifiable or not justifiable.
The distinctions in details are very important in truly accurate and objectively quantifiable critical thinking; the meaning of words carries the thought process behind them, so something that may seem like trivial alternative word usage to a lesser intellectual is actually a significant difference in meaning to a brighter individual.
Logically when you have logic as a core value, you automatically will seek to figure out how you can have the most effective impact. But you can harbor logic as a core value seeking safety or embracing fear.
The practical difference is that when your core value is logic embracing fear, you realize that the best thing to do is seek the most practical impact, for both yourself and your environment, in a fashion unbiased with a need for safety.
This leads to a complete freedom from identity that also does not cause you to lose touch with who you are in essence. Basically, seeking safety leads to binary thinking, and that's dangerous.
"How do you logically consolidate being driven by logic to give you safety when the means within which you came to the conclusion to reach for logic through safety were uncertain?"
Everything you live through can be framed and is subconsciously framed through your subjective reference frame whether you like it or not. The practical implications of this are that every experience you have effects your cognitive state somehow. If you ignore that fundamental aspect of evolution you are setting yourself up to be unaligned with reality completely.
Experience is a tool and a goal. Logic is also a tool and a goal. When you use the evaluation of this understanding of these concepts properly, you encounter minimal dissonance possible.
My primary value is being logical embracing the natural fear reality causes. So my ultimate goal is to allow consistency within the entirety of my experience to dictate what is most logical at any given time and do it to the best of my ability.
Some may say, "That's just using experience as a tool with the primary goal of being logical."
Not exactly. Being logical cannot go at the cost of being consistent.
Others worry, "If experience and logic are both goals, which one wins over if they go at the cost of the other?"
You use logic, combine it with experience to increase its probability of being accurate to the best of your ability, then make the logical decision.
Logic is being used as a tool and a goal synonymous with the consideration of the context.
Your consistency comes from making logic your goal and aligning yourself with what you are.
It's illogical to claim a purpose as reality, because it requires your belief to become reality, therefore you can deduct that it must be a concept.
Some may be left wondering, "What do you think about respect, what is it, how do you distinguish between fear and respect?"
There's nothing wrong with wanting to feel safe and secure. There's nothing wrong with wanting to feel comfortable in an environment that feels familiar. Constantly going through drastic or considerable changes and having to adapt to considerable discomfort is not a lifestyle that should be sustained perpetually. Seeking either extreme between safety and danger are both not going to lead to a healthy mentality.
In a nutshell:
The final point is only untrue if your core value is refined pure bidirectional apprehension. Based on what your core value is, the degree of impact your resulting emotional state has on your ability to apply flawless critical thinking in context is generally hindered in relation to how weak your core value is.
As far as being altruistic, the bigger picture is great and all, but the real reason you should want to strengthen your mindset is because it makes your life better on a personal level. If everything else comes as a natural bonus, this allows you to remain appropriately invested and attached and retain a perspective lacking any active ego. That's not selfish, it's simply practical; if you don't look out for yourself properly first, you shouldn't be feeling entitled to have someone else do it for you, even if you're fortunate enough to be able to do so at certain points in life.
Do you have a strong emotional desire to understand everything logically?
Do logical actions flow naturally without discipline?
Do you experience a lot of dissonance if you act illogically or if you have contradictory thoughts or emotions?
Psychopaths and sociopaths are a natural consequence of the human condition and should be identified and dealt with using careful consideration.
A significant lack of understanding in modern psychology exists in the field of sociopaths and psychopaths. It's said that they don't feel emotion. While a general understanding of their thought processes is accepted and there are already suggested ways to identify and deal with them, traditional psychology still lacks the fundamental understanding of what they really are and how they really work that facilitates being able to deal with them fearlessly and possibly even help them to recover from this condition of it's so desired.
A lot of people give me shitty advice, and it's because they don't really care about me or even want to try to help me to any real extent, they simply want to look and feel like they're helping, to make themselves look and feel good to themselves and others, to feed their ego.
This exists pretty much everywhere, in all kinds of contexts. While perhaps most often not malicious in nature, this behavior can very well be quite harmful in different ways, and although it can make a lot of sense in certain situations, it's very often done in situations where it's certainly not necessary nor even particularly logical, but rather simply the easier choice emotionally and the one that provides less resistance. It should be understood that because this is effectively learned behavior that is fake and equivocates to putting on a mask in a sense, it's technically sociopathic behavior. It's selfish and manipulative.
It's important to distinguish that there's a clear difference between being a sociopath and displaying sociopathic tendencies or sociopathic behavior.
At the heart of the issue, however, is the fact that qualifying criteria for a sociopath originates from their relationship with empathizing with others. In a normal person, empathy is entirely an emotional response at the fundamental level of their consciousness. They relate to others and attempt to understand them out of a very natural process of the mirror neurons in their brain seeking a more complete awareness and them wanting a genuinely holistic view and experience interacting with others.
In sociopaths and psychopaths, however, empathy is a learned, rational response to observations about social cues, and only utilizes emotion in a process that's much more logically involved and unnatural. Unlike natural empathy, it's entirely conscious and calibrated using logical evaluation. Because of this, these kinds of individuals can actually be capable of giving much better advice than someone utilizing natural empathy, however trusting them can also be much more dangerous because they can also be much more manipulative.
The key factor that these people possess which separates them from a "normal" person, as understood by philopsychology, is known as a core value presentation mismatch.
What this means is that the core value they present to others and react to social cues with, and the core value that they truly harbor internally, aren't the same. For example, someone may present to others as valuing morals above everything else, when in reality they value money the most in life.
Because they're effectively putting on a mask, the truth is that these people try hard to adapt to their surroundings. They're presenting a certain core value externally because they believe, based on their logical deduction processes, that the core value they're presenting themselves to have will be the most beneficial to give off the impression to those around them that they are of the highest value they could possibly make themselves to be. As a result, the core value they present externally often may change based on their environment.
In order to seem to value something the most, these people have to actually act in alignment with that presentation in order to attempt to actually be convincing to others that they're being honest and genuine. Since this means that what the individual is living their life around others valuing is entirely driven by their perception and evaluation of social interaction and not their authentic personality, the people they surround themselves with become a very integral part of their own personality, and they often end up losing themselves quite considerably as a result.
Their perception of their own identity is so heavily driven by their attempts to carefully evaluate those around them that if they ever reach a point where things become more difficult for them and they start questioning what they themselves actually value most and want out of life, it may become very difficult to unravel all the layers of conditioning they've applied to their psyche. As a result, these kinds of people may end up taking much longer to be able to truly identify their deepest core value because their core value chain has become so convoluted.
In many cases, their lives may never become so difficult that they feel the need to completely unravel their core value and find their true selves within. If they're one of the more fortunate ones, they can still manage to integrate themselves in society and layer on more self-conditioning to the point that they're functional and, at least for the most part, blend in with the crowd. If they're a product of a more traumatic life, they often end up being the really messed up ones that become serial killers and other such criminals.
Now, you may be over there thinking that I must judge these people really harshly, especially since I understand such intricate details about how their thought processes work. Actually, people with core value presentation mismatch aren't necessarily any worse than any individual with a core value other than refined pure bidirectional apprehension.
The final result to me, an individual with refined pure bidirectional apprehension as a core value, is the same. Because I know the nature of their core values and that it's fundamentally imperfect and destructive, I must carefully question their intent in any interaction.
I already have to carefully question the intent of anyone who I'm not certain has a core value of refined pure bidirectional apprehension, even if they don't have a core value presentation mismatch, so the relevance of the presentation mismatch is only to the extent that I become aware of it and as a result understand how to best maneuver around interactions with said person.
That being said, to any individual with a core value which is also imperfect, meaning any individual who possesses a core value other than refined pure bidirectional apprehension, individuals with a core value presentation mismatch present an increased threat. Individuals who manipulate their own egos do so in order to attempt to manipulate others, and the more capable and willing someone is to manipulate you, the more predisposed they are to using you with a degree of regard to your own interests that you may find perhaps less than satisfying.
In more simple terms, they give less of a shit if they absolutely fuck you up and toss you aside when they're done with you.