Friday, April 29, 2005

Leggo my Ego

It's pretty much been a running theme throughout my life that I've noticed a lot of people doing some very silly things because of their ego. They might want to get someone to do something, or communicate something to someone, but then they're frustrated by their own responses to the situation - responses that come from their own self pride. So, they say something insulting in response to having their ego hurt and it causes reactions that are unfortunate for them.

For some reason, I don't think I've ever had much of an ego in that sense. I have a good conception of myself so I don't mean I have low self esteem, but people saying things about me and to me never really rile me up. I don't feel a natural response to go into a huff if someone insults me. I just tend to think, "That's odd, I wonder why they said that? What effect did they intend it to have and what does that tell me about their feelings, motives, or intentions?" So, I've always been a proponent of the complete abandonment of egotism.

But one thing occurred to me yesterday that inspired me to write this entry. That is that, very often, a person with no ego can seem very similar to someone with an inflated ego. As you know, both this site and my philosophy site are filled with all sorts of my views on a number of things. I do this because I enjoy thinking about these things, and hearing what others think of these concepts. Furthermore, if someone might find enjoyment or come to think of something they hadn't from reading, then all the better.

But some people react to all of this as thinking that I'm full of myself or something. I can see how it may seem that way. After all, a guy who thinks he's the greatest in the world will go on all day about all sorts of things. Meanwhile, take a person with a moderate ego. They might say a little here and there, but not a huge amount perhaps (for some) because of concern about what people may think. If others were not to like what they wrote or said, then it would hurt their ego to hear a negative response, so some limit themselves.

However, a person with no ego whatsoever, has no fear of embarrassment and isn't hurt when others insult him. Therefore, if he happens to be interested in exploring ideas and learning what others think of ideas, he will throw out all sorts of things to see how they resonate with people, without restraint. It's all about the ideas being discussed and learning about other points in response.

So, both the inflated ego, and the ego-less will have a lot to say, and one may often be mistaken for the other. At least that's a crude concept I was thinking of recently. Like everything I write, it could be complete garbage. So, if you like, feel free to tear it apart and teach me something - I have no ego to bruise :)


Blogger Vega said...

I didn't understand at first reading what you meant by a person with no ego being similar to one with a great ego, but I think I get it now. A person with no ego has no attachment to the words that are thrust at them, and therefore does not feel threatened to need to decide to be angry. A person with extreme ego may think so little of the person insulting them that the person is too inconsequential to cause anger. To an observer who only notices that insulting words do not cause anger, it may appear that the responses are very similar.

You're in the first category since you don't think so highly of yourself and your ideas that you believe anyone who disagrees is simply in error. You are in fact delighted at good arguments and are completely open to being convinced that you are wrong (if it is in fact the case).

7:36 AM  
Blogger DT Strain said...

That's an interesting point in your first paragraph. Actually, my focus was more on the content of the words of an ego-less person compared to a high-ego person, but your take here focuses more on how these two different types REACT to the words of others. That's a good note, and one I didn't think to include - thanks.

7:52 AM  

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