Fighting Against the Superego!

Good and evil. Healthy and unhealthy. Libido and destrudo. Ever notice how often we see life and therapy as a battle between the forces of light and darkness?

A student of mine asked yesterday, “Does this conditioning ever stop?” Therapy and supervision will never “destroy the ego” or allow us to reach an “ego-free” state or enable us to “get rid” of the pathological superego. Yet how often we refer to therapy as a kind of battle against the “destructive side of your personality.”

Our narcissism, defenses, and lies that we associate with the superego are  things we do but not who we are. Therapy is not about fighting the superego. After all, it does not exist. It’s just a concept we use to describe ways we hurt ourselves.

Let’s take a look at our narcissism, our defenses, and superego. Let’s note how they operate in our lives. But don’t bother fighting them.

My narcissism is just an illusion about me. Why fight something that is not real? My defenses aren’t part of me. They’re just lies I tell about myself. There’s no need to fight my illusions or the lies I tell about myself.

All I need is to do is see the illusion and experience who I am underneath. I don’t need to fight the lies I tell about myself. All I need to do is unite with the emotional truth of this moment.

Why do we tell lies? To hide from the truth. Lies appear only because truth is here. Lies have no existence separate from the truth they try to hide. Strangely, lies depend on the truth they hide. Truth does not depend on lies. Thus, lies have no power of their own.

The truth of you does not need your lies or defenses to die. The truth of you will continue to exist in spite of whatever lies you or others tell.

There is no need to fight your lies. First of all, they are not real. They are just illusions. We don’t have to engage in war with them. But we do need to know the truth of ourselves. In that breakthrough to feeling where our illusions melt away, we begin to see how our illusions and lies were never against us.

Amazingly, lies point to the truth of who we are. They are just inverted messages from the unconscious telling us who we really are underneath those lies. Our lies are always telling us, in their upside down way, to wake up, remember who we really are. The lies we tell are the ways truth reaches through denial to teach us the path back to the truth of you.

Lie: I don’t care.

Truth: I do care.

Lie: I never have treatment failures.

Truth: I have treatment failures.

Lie: It’s his fault.

Truth: It’s my fault.

Lie: He doesn’t care about me.

Truth: I don’t care about me.

Lie: There’s nothing I can do.

Truth: There’s something I can do.

The war within us between the truth and our lies can never be won because it never began. Truth has never been at war with illusion. Truth just is. Lies are at war with the truth of what is. Illusions must fight truth because union with truth kills lies. In contrast, lies can only hide the truth but not remove it.

And when union with the truth kills lies, it feels like something in us died too. An illusion died. The false self died. That’s the basic fear: dying before we die. But then the real self emerges.

We can fight reality, but reality keeps showing up. In that sense, our defenses, narcissism, and lies are how we conduct our imaginary war with reality. Reality keeps on existing, oblivious to our imaginary war that seems so true, so dramatic, so impressive, but, on the death bed, so irrelevant.

Yes, we can fight reality. We can fight our illusions. We can waste our time and our lives. But in the end, reality and the truth keep waiting for us to unite with them so we can be transformed.







2 responses to “Fighting Against the Superego!”

  1. F. Cox Avatar

    Once again Jon you leave me with my jaw-dropped…LOVE this article! It is exactly what I needed to hear and be reminded of…over and over…but especially today.


  2. Jon Frederickson Avatar
    Jon Frederickson

    Thanks so much Fallyn!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *