Level of Consciousness - Egoism
As a level of consciousness, Egoism feels much better than the levels below it. Egoism is generally seen as a positive emotion in our society. We often "take pride" in ourselves, our nation, our favorite sports team, children, and many other things. We are encouraged to feel pride in our accomplishments, appearance, and lifestyles. The weakness of this feeling, however, is that it tends to be dependent on external circumstances, appearances and outcomes. If there is a change in those circumstances, it can lead to a quick fall into the lower states of shame, destructiveness, loss, guilt, fear, or irritation. Egoistic and prideful stances are vulnerable to attack, as they are like building a house on a foundation of sand.
Egoism can be helpful when instilled in children as a reward for accomplishments. However, if this pride is internalized as being about “me”, it can lead to a constant stream of behaviors designed to gain approval from others. Instead of encouraging self-esteem, such behaviors generally lead to an inflated ego. Genuine self-esteem comes from the intrinsic feeling of self-worth that is independent of the approval of others.
There is a small portion of the population born at the level of egoism. Such persons are often seen as boastful, defensive, arrogant, materialistic, superficial, competitive, denying, vain, and opinionated. For most people, however, egoism is transient and applied to only some portions of life. For instance, a person may be vain about their appearance, but lack other attributes of an overly inflated ego.
Some facts about egoism:
• Feels much better than the lower levels
• An increase in self-esteem is seen here
• Focused on external appearances and
accumulation - socially encouraging
• Depends on external conditions
therefore it is vulnerable
• Defensive and inflated ego
• Easily sinks back to shame if inflated
image cannot be maintained
• Can be arrogant and denying
• Materialistic state of consciousness
• Denial oriented thinking blocks growth
A key to transcending egoism is to recognize one’s intrinsic self-worth independent of external circumstances. Developing humility regarding the self and all aspects of life is an antidote to pride.
Associated Meditation Practices:
Some books that may be helpful include:
Music that supports this LOC:
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