Star Trek and the Ego

kirk and spockI’ve been thinking a lot about ego lately, and just recently came to some intriguing thoughts. I think ego has been getting a bad rap in some ways. Let me explain:

Ego has an important and even life saving job: to protect us in a sometimes cruel world. In childhood the ego works overtime to build these protections around us, keeping our tender, beautiful selves safe from the harm that a sometimes unkind world may inflict. It does this with little direction from the interior self – because most of us are weak as children, whether that weakness is based on having no cultural power or being in an abusive situation or simply due to our own naiveté in a confusing world. To use a metaphor, the ego builds a structure around us to shelter us, a fortress, a house, or for those who grow up in a kinder environment, maybe a cottage.

Then, when we enter on a spiritual path, whatever that path may be, the ego – which has been doing the best it can to protect us – is suddenly the bad guy. We want to get rid of it, disenfranchise it, diminish it to the level of a barely tolerated pet, if we want it to continue existing at all. We tear down the structures it built around us as fast as we can (though it can take years or even decades), and think of the ego as opposed to soul.

I honestly think that for a while, ego might be opposed to soul. I mean, how would you feel if your lifetime’s work was being torn down by a boss who hasn’t been much of a boss until now. It would suck.

But I believe there comes a time when soul and ego can pretty much look at each other and realize they are stronger together. The ego’s job is to protect, and it can only do that job well under direction of the soul, the higher self, the spark or fire or blazing inferno within.

And where does Star Trek come into it?

Captain Picard and Riker. Captain Janeway and Tuvok. Captain Kirk and Spock.

The Captain and their Number One.

The ego is Riker, or Tuvok, or Spock. The Number One is the one who makes things happen in this world. Without it, the Captain is handicapped. The Captain is the one with the wisdom and vision. Without the Captain’s guidance, the Number One does things that are detrimental in the long, and sometimes short run. They need each other to be the strongest they can both be.

Just a weird thought that I thought I’d share. I’d love to hear what you think of the relationship between Soul and Ego – or whatever labels you use. I’ll use your labels too, if you tell me what they are. 🙂

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8 Comments

  1. Ego is the problem when it Edges God Out.
    For me I had a diseased ego, damaged by self, others and neglect. No healthy tools.
    So for me when my ego is surrendered then it can be transformed into the image of Him who created me.
    It is always a work in process and days I am not in charge are the most joyous days.
    Days I battle to take control are not so much joy, instead discouragement, doubt, and regret follow.
    Kind of like renewing the mind and allowing the One who knows all to transform me.
    This is very obvious when I attempt to control another’s behaviour. The war begins.
    When I treat others with respect even if they are not treating me that way, love wins.
    Not that week maybe or that month either just down the road, sometimes years.
    Love needs me out of the way as I have selective love.
    What God fills me with is complete love.
    Thanks for sharing, love how your mind puts different things together.

  2. I LOVE THIS–and as someone who has had similar struggles, worrying about the place, role, validity of ego, or thinking that, perhaps, having any ego at all is bad–but unable to see how a person survives, lives, flourishes, creates without at least some spark of one–your insight adds a lot of clarity. Star Trek, indeed! I should’ve known the answer somehow lay with Spock, et al. 🙂 🙂

    • All answers to all questions are hidden somewhere in Star Trek. LOL! But seriously, yes, it’s a hard thing to figure out and I’m sure I haven’t done it, but this idea seemed to make sense to me. I’m glad you got some value out of it too. 🙂

  3. I LIKE It! …. I always think of my soul as my eternal self and my ego as my worldly self.

    Perfect for your Picard and Riker analogy… as Picard is the thinker/philosopher (other-worldly) and Riker is the (down to earth) man that gets stuff done – Lol.

    Maybe without our egos, we would all be more enlightened, but would we remember to work, play, and pay our bills on time? Thanks for the food for thought! Lol

    • I’ve always struggled with that too, and you hear of the spiritual masters who can’t really function in the world and would probably die if others didn’t take care of them. However, maybe when you get close to being a spiritual master, God sends someone to pay your bills and feed you. Since I’m not any sort of spiritual master, I guess I don’t need to worry about it. 🙂

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