While in college back in the 60’s, I majored in psychology. While it was not my eventual degree, I continued to find it a fascinating subject even decades later. I remember during one of my classes the professor stated that there were only two emotions: love and fear. I found that difficult to comprehend at age nineteen as I was certain I had experienced far more than just two feelings during the my life. Over the years, I’ve frequently reconsidered this concept as I gradually began to understand its veracity. In fact, the more I studied and understood spirituality the more I was able to grasp this idea.
In recent years there seems to be a growing debate between the role of ego in our lives vs the function of spirit. In its most simplified form, (according to Dr. Sigmund Freud), the ego is that part of our psychic energy that seeks to satisfy our basic urges, needs, and desires whether life-sustaining or frivolous. When a need is not satisfied, (me speaking again) we experience tension, agitation, and anger. In The Secret Side of Anger, I define anger as the direct result of unmet needs and expectations. Ego identifies itself as separate and apart from others, protecting itself from its perceived lack of resources, a sense of unfairness or injustice, or a threat (whether physical, verbal or psychological). “I must safeguard myself from those who seek to harm me; I must take what is rightfully mine before someone else claims it; I am entitled to, deserving of, should have what I want; this belongs to me.” Each of these statements affirms a fear-based mindset. Ego’s motto? Obtain – Secure – Protect from the (apparent) enemy.
On the flip-side of ego is spirit: our life force, the very essence of who we are – spiritual beings temporarily encased in physical form seeking to fulfill Divine Intention. Spirit is the extension of the Divine, longing to express its authentic self in every word and action. Spirit has no desire or need for possessions, status or recognition such as does ego. It is Absolute Love whose “soul” purpose is to love; not to be loved but only to offer love. Rather than deprivation and lack, spirit recognizes the infinite blessings God has graciously bestowed upon us knowing that all needs are provided by Father and distributed equitably among His children. Spirit identifies it’s oneness with all Creation – no division, only unity and concern for all. Born from the Divine, spirit possesses like qualities of its Creator: compassion, kindness, understanding, fairness, justice, forgiveness, stillness, and harmony. Anger and fear cannot survive where God’s peace resides.
On a human level, ego is necessary for our survival. Were we not concerned about our wellbeing, our need for food and water, safety from our enemies and/or nature’s threatening elements our physical bodies could be at risk for harm and possible death. The key is being acutely aware of ego’s influence for without proper restraint it has a tendency to become demanding, haughty, rude, arrogant, envious, hostile, and aggressive – all fear-based behaviors.
Spirit, on the other hand, has no agenda or capabilities other than to love. Period.
So the question is: Love or Fear? Spirit or Ego? Love engenders peace. Ego resides in fear (a root cause of anger). Do you desire less anger? Then transition away from ego and dwell in Spirit. It is your undeniable essence.
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