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Identification and reference are good. Without them, I suspect we would all come quite unhinged. I like to think about having a core set of value to be grounded in, and staying flexible in how we show up.

Yes, Eastern thought has covered the concept differently. Spent many years reading and learning from the thought leaders of the East to temper my Western schooling. My niece wanted to learn about politics, so she went to the bookstore and bought Plato. Being inquisitive is a good trait to have.

Why yes, the Ego is a hard thing to manage. I like to think of it as 'the sense of self'. In that regard, it is completely imaginary. Yet a conceptual sense of self is very important in living life as a means of identification and reference. However, a strong belief in and/or attachment to this sense, can be harmful and an arbiter to negative emotions. Combined with a perception of permanence and simplistic causality, a healthy ego is very hard to maintain.

That is unless we cultivate a fluid sense of self, in touch with impermanence and the interdependent nature of all phenomena. I believe such an ego is vastly more capable of maintaining a healthy overall balance of altruism and selfishness.

As you know, this is all very Eastern. While I appreciate Freud's meta model, it does somewhat reflect his animalistic view of mankind, to which I'd like to think we as sentient beings are capable of being 'above'. When I get the time, I'd like to explore the teaching of Carl Jung and get his perspective of things.

Thank you for correcting me, Roger! Now I know what to look for.

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