View Single Post
Old 10-22-2010, 12:10 PM   #61
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,139
Re: Breaking the will of the ego.

After reading through many of the posts, I also am confused by the references to the ego. To many I believe the invocation of the ego calls to mind Freud's id, ego and super ego. Brushing the dust of my philosophy books I believe under freud's contention it is the maturation of the ego that controls our primal instincts, and the maturation of the super ego to balance the ego. In other words, you improve your self through the maturation of your ego and super-ego.
But I would contend it because if our dojo is a place where we train in a spiritual discipline (as O Sensei would point out) then it is of utmost importance that we come to understand that the dojo is a sacred room where subduing our ego is the main aim of our practice.
I do not believe the purpose of our training is the subjugation of ego. Rather, I believe it is the maturation of ego.
That's why it has been said that the back of the ego has to be broken. So it looses its tenacity to always have the last word. Once broken, or given up, it no longer serves as a justification for following ones owns rules.
Again, I believe Freud's model would contend that we mature our super ego to guide and balance the ego, not "break" it.

You may want to clarify the definition of your terminology if it is not Freudian since that seems to be a point of confusion for some of us.

True freedom lies in understanding surrender of ones owns mind.
To whom do we surrender our mind? I contend that our training does not advocate surrendering our mind to anybody. I think I see where you are coming from I don't know if I buy the argument that as we become more connected to our world we become more "free." I believe that as we become empowered to change the world, we have a responsibility to implement our knowledge in that pursuit. What use is enlightenment if you do not improve your world? Who cares if you are one with the universe? True philanthropy is the assumption of this burden.

I also believe that there is a class of individuals who are free in mind. Jumping into the way-back machine, we use the term idiot, but idiōtēs is a better term for those who are truly naive in mind. We now use the term as a perjorative, but in origin idiot simply refers to one who is unfettered by the ego or super ego, a layperson or one without professional education. These individuals have the least knowledge of our world and therefore the least burden of responsibility (philanthropy). It is also why idiotias weighed least as a member of society, they contributed less than their worth.

Last edited by jonreading : 10-22-2010 at 12:15 PM.
  Reply With Quote