Your ego is the driver and navigator. The journey is your lifespan.
Pretend that you are going on a journey by automobile across the country.
What would you have to do before you got in the car and began your journey?
You’d need a tentative destination, maps and guidebooks, money, supplies, a cell phone, and perhaps a GPS (geographical positioning system). Your automobile would need to be serviced, gassed up, and made ready for the trip.
All of this is done even before you drive your first mile. Even if you decided to just wing it and take your chances, you’d still need to decide on your general direction.
These are functions of your ego as driver and navigator. In a sense, the vehicle is your body. Your ego is the driver and navigator, and the journey is your lifespan.
This is where your view of reality plays a crucial role. If you believe that your consciousness creates reality then you will not be too concerned with maps or asking directions, or all the various functions one must consider for a trip.
But, if you believe in the primacy of existence, meaning that you know that the world out there exists whether you believe it or not, you will spend your time determining where you’re going and how you will get there.
Your job is to navigate through life and accomplish the best that is in you. Your ego as the driver and navigator has to be aware of its surroundings, where it’s going, the weather, and the state of the vehicle. It has an outward focus. One of the other things that the ego must be aware of is the passengers in the car. Let’s consider them next.
Ego Takes Test-Drive… Finds Id and Superego in Back Seat
Your ego is driving on a long trip and suddenly the kids in the back seat are raising a ruckus.
They holler out to you, “Are we THERE yet?”
When you tell them that there’s still a long way to go, they say, “We want an ice cream cone.” And you might be in the middle of a desert.
Or they could say, “We want to go someplace else.”
The kids in the back seat are your id. Your id is the part of your psyche that wants immediate gratification, just like an infant or a child.
So, you’re driving, and suddenly you get the kids in the back seat wanting to stop when you’re not ready to stop.
To make matters worse, you also have a back seat driver, perhaps an in-law, saying to you, “I think you should have taken a left, back at that fork in the road,” or “I think we’re going in the wrong direction.”
That back seat driver is your superego.
So now you must also mediate between the demands of the kids (id) in the back, and the back seat driver (superego).
You’ve got your job cut out for you.
This is why having a strong ego can be so beneficial. You are able to continue your journey while you firmly handle those in your back seat.
But, if you have a weak ego, your id (which wants immediate gratification) and your superego (which is trying to second-guess your every decision) can tie you in knots and make forward motion very difficult.
Yet both your id and your superego have important functions. Your id is the childlike part of you that wants immediate gratification. When you’re a child, your id seeks milk, mother, and nurture. When you’re an adult, your id seeks sex, and whatever else immediately triggers its desire.
Your superego is the part of your psyche that has absorbed the lessons that your parents and society have taught you (be they rational or not). It’s the deepest component of your conscience. Yet, if it’s programmed with incorrect information, your conscience will make you feel guilty for the wrong reasons.
In another post, we’ll discuss what can happen if you let your superego choose your purpose in life.
Your ego’s job is to mediate between these two parts of your psyche and to stay in charge. If the id gets control of your life, you are in danger of becoming a criminal. If your superego gets in charge, you could be in danger of never taking bold action when needed.