To be happy and peaceful stop defending your ego



Ozodi Osuji

     Every human being has a separated ego self-concept; having an ego self-concept is what it means to be a human being.

     Some people have flexible self-concepts, whereas others have inflexible and rigid self-concepts. Those with flexible self-concepts live smooth existence whereas those with rigid self-concepts live disturbed existence; persons with rigid self-concepts spend most of their times defending their ego separated selves.(Psychoanalysts have described the various ego defense mechanisms, some of them are repression, suppression, denial, dissociation, displacement, projection, rationalization, reaction-formation, sublimation, fantasy, minimization,  acting out, pride, shame, anger, fear, avoidance etc.)

     Defense of the ego, that is, defense of the idea of who you think that you are is the greatest source of failing in life. The idea of the self, the self-concept and self-image is set during the individual’s childhood.

     The life force in the child, building on his inherited body and his social experiences, constructs a sense of self, the person he thinks that he is.

    By age six most children already have self-concepts and self-images and defend them. Positive interactions with other children and with adults can get them to modify their self-concepts but once the ego self-concept is set one lives as if one is it.

     One forgets that the self-concept is just an idea that one posited in childhood and is not who one is. One looks at the rest of the world through the lenses of one’s self concept and self-image, nothing is seen as it is, all things are seen through the coloration of the self-concept.

    Since one now sees everything through the lenses of the self-concept, what exactly are the things seen? Can we ever attain objectivity and see the world as it is instead of coloring our perceptions   with our self-concepts, preconceptions and presuppositions?

     Consider a child who feels inferior as he is and compensates with desire for superiority. He posits a self-concept that says that he wants to be superior. He is not the superior self; his real self is neither inferior nor superior, it is the life force in him and in all people. Now that he has posited a self-concept that wants to seem superior, he pursues its realization. Everything he does is an effort to seem like his self-concept.

     At school he struggles to be the best student in his classes, for his self-concept demands that he succeed; at play with other kids, he insists on being seen as the best and if he suspects that he would not be seen as the best he avoids other kids and keeps to his self.

    In social isolation he manages to retain his desired illusory, grandiose self-concept. If you do not treat him as if he is his desired grandiose self-concept, he feels angry at you; in an unspoken manner he asks, how dare you not see him as he wants to be seen, as important, powerful, and knowledgeable.

     This person may drop out of school to not fail or be second to other kids. He gets a job, a job that he does well at and does not fail at it. But such jobs are likely not to challenge him for an excellent job is competed for and is challenging and one is likely to fail at it and pick one up and keep on trying regardless of what other people say of one, but our neurotic person only does what he finds easy to do to not fail. That way he does not really challenge his talent and develop it.

    In my town there were boys who had only elementary school education; when they got to the big city, Lagos they worked for other people as their servants. I would ask them why not go to evening schools and train their selves beyond their elementary school education, I would say, go to adult evening school, get high school diploma, then proceed to higher education, university or go study a useful trade, why remain another man’s house boy for too long?

     It is their ego, their self-concept that prevents them from seeking success; they are doing jobs that they are not likely going to fail at, they are not competing for success but do the same thing, repeatedly. It does not take more than a few months to learn how to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner and do it with one’s eyes closed, so why not, in the evenings, go to some of the adult education classes that are all over Lagos?

     I noticed that the reason that they did not do so was because they were defending their ego self-concepts and using rationalizations to justify their shiftless status; they would say that they are too old to go to school.

     You are not too old to go to school; I have had folks in their sixties and seventies in my classes.

     These people posited passive egos and are defending them and are now slaves of their egos and must always defend them, including the defense of dropping out of school and living on the sidelines of society where they do not have to compete.

       Some other persons posit egos that seek success; they are the active, not the passive type that I just described; these types want to seem successful and struggle to become successful. They persist at going to school and may make it to universities and struggle to be the best in their fields. Many of them succeed but develop some of the active personality disorders, such as narcissistic, histrionic and paranoid; they seem successful but have inner fears that drive them to work hard, they fear failing and have its attendant anxiety; they may smoke a lot, drink, engage in sex a lot to calm their over overheated bodies (ambition, the desire for success makes the body excited and over aroused).

      The salient point is that folks in childhood posit ego self-concepts and images and devote the rest of their lives to defending them and in doing so limit their lives. These people have become the prisoners of their self-concepts, prisoners of the ego.


     Given the limitations placed on one by the constant defense of the ego, I ask, what would happen if one completely desisted from defending the ego?

     The ego self-concept is a mere idea one posited. It is the individual, with the help of other people, who constructed his ego self-concept and defend it.

     The ego is a mental idea and picture of who one wants to be but not who one is, in fact; who one is, in fact, is a part of life.

     Now, suppose one realizes that one is not the ego self-concept, good or bad, and not desire it and not defend it what would happen?

     What would happen is that you would experience inner calm, you become less fearful (fear will still be there for the human body anticipates what could harm it and fears it, at the physiological level fear is not consciously controlled).

      If you have no ego self-concept that you are defending you simply live; you would flow with life, for your real self is life flowing and interreacting with other parts of itself.

     We are all parts of life, units of a wave of life. Life is like a wave of light and each of us is a particle of it; we cannot separate from life; we are eternally connected parts of life.

    If you did not defend your ego, you would live authentically and spontaneously. If you want to run you go run, if you feel like riding your bicycle you go do so, if you feel like swimming, you go do so, if you feel like dancing you dance and have no ego self-consciousness of how well or not well that you are doing, you just do it.

      In interpersonal relationships you relate to people quietly, talking when you must talk and keeping quiet when it is not necessary for you to talk.

     You do not feel unnecessary anger, for much of anger is really a product of a grandiose ego self-concept; the angry person posited a grandiose self-concept and self-image;  if what other folks said or did makes him feel belittled, he feels angry at them and acts out, talks loudly to assert his imaginary power and importance, or even fights them; if you have a humble self, or better still, have no self-concept, you do not have to prove anything to other people, you keep quiet regardless of what other people did.

     The egoless person, the person without a separated self-concept knows that he is part of eternal life; he also knows that life is love and light, so he loves his self and other selves.


     Life outside the body is one life with infinite units, all of them unified as one life; all the units are the same and equal.

     Parts of unified life decide to experience the opposite, separation, and differences and did so by manifesting in body. The type of body one is born into influences the life in one; life in body constructs self-concepts and self-images.

    Body influences the construction of the self-concept, self-image, and personality up to ninety percent and social interaction shapes the other ten percent.

     The point is that the human body plays a critical role in the formation of the human self-concept and personality; one should not underestimate the role played by one’s body in one’s self-concept; for example, without my problematic body I would have constructed a different ego self-concept and be a different personality.

      That been said, I know that one can consciously say:

I am not my ego self-concept; I am not my body; I am life and light.

  One should say, I am life, love and light and live as such. That is to say that one can disregard one’s self-concept, personality and body and choose to live differently, an unfettered life (by life I mean what folks call spirit).



    To love is to be joined to the person one loves and to know that one is eternally joined to life and its origin in God. No one lives outside life, love and God; so, separation is a mere illusion.

     People on earth, in body will die if they are separated from other people, that is, if they are not loved they will die.

      In racist America, some white folks do not love Black people but Black people who love themselves are alive whereas the unloving white folks, those separating from union, which they cannot really do, suffer psychological pains and that is why most of them are insane; they are trying to separate from love which no one can do and stay alive.

    As for me, my goal is to love all people, for if I do not love people, I am trying to kill them.

    Let me quickly clarify that to love other people is not to give them money or do things for them that they could do by themselves.

      Love means living and letting other people live without telling other people how to live their lives. You flow with life and let other people flow with their lives.

     I say this because the guilt feeling ego tells us that to love is to do certain things for other people, such as give them money, and sacrifice for them. This is not true.

     You are obligated to work to provide for your children because you brought them into this world; you must support them through college but beyond that you are not obligated to support them for the rest of their lives. Collectively, society must help train our children through university, and provide all citizens with publicly paid health care, but we are not obligated to give adults money and food.

     The neurotic feels guilty if he does not support other people with money; no, it is not your obligation to keep other people alive; if people want to live, they must fend for their lives and not depend on other persons to keep them alive.


     My ex-partner attacked me and expected me to counterattack her, which I chose not to do, and thus lived in fear of me attacking her.

  Fear is the absence of love.

  It was her choice to live in fear and not love that caused her physical illness that she died from.

  If you want to not live in fear, hence be healthy, you must love you and love all people. To live without love is not only to be unhappy but to be dead.


Adler, Alfred (1921). The Neurotic Constitution. New York: Moffat, Yard and company.

Schucman, Helen (1976). A course in miracles. Mill Valley, California: Foundation for Inner Peace.

Ozodi Osuji February 18, 2022

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