Lightmind Extract 048


crc 6.6.07
Elias wrote:
Come to think of it, I might be not so easy to define Adi Da’s alleged ego.

Ego? Maybe. Or maybe something egoless, amorphous, and demonic at the same time.


Elias, your remark coalesced an idea that’s been brewing in the back of my mind. I think you’re absolutely right about Franklin: egoless. From which amorphous and demonic naturally follow.

Everyday usage and spiritual aspiration has long associated ego with drives like self-preservation, territorial aggrandizement, dominance, self-pleasuring, pure appetite, etc. None of which constitute ego. All of which can and do flourish quite well, indeed even better, without ego. That is, the ego as it was initially understood in Freud, is precisely not these drives (collectively termed Id) but is that which has the job of governing them, of harnessing them to serve ‘higher purposes’. It’s ego alone that makes civilization possible and sustainable, being all that stands between civilized humanity and what Freud viewed as the barbarous hordes of instinctual appetite. From this perspective, ego provides a necessary, positive and often underrated service. Ego is not only responsible for the behavior of id, is not only the coachman struggling to keep his unruly horses under control and sufficiently healthy and willing, ego is also responsible for efficiently directing them wherever the unsympathetic, often draconian royal passenger (superego intent on its ideals) commands. Needless to say, a thankless task and one of extreme stress, sandwiched between conflicting sets of imperious demand.

The ego can as little afford to abdicate to the superego as to the id, since the superego is less than human in a different way. It’s basically an archetype fed by certain instinctive drives (like dominance) and as such admits of no finiteness nor cares what or who becomes its vehicle for expression. Archetypes have no need for consistency or integrity or sympathetic imagination. Neither do they have or need ego’s ability to distinguish ‘me’ from ‘you’. And the similarity between possession by an archetype or demon or entity has been long noted and sufficiently marked to suggest either no real difference or that the one seamlessly segues to the other.

So then, imagine if all that’s running a psyche is superego and id, archetype and drive, the all-too-human and humanizing ego eradicated. That well describes how Franklin’s appears to me. Egoless, amorphous and demonic.

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