The Anatomy of a Dwarf, Robert S. De Ropp, from The Master Game
- The false ego is a component of man's psyche which follows him into high places, a clown, a buffoon, hunchback, dwarf, a poor companion but one not easy to shake off. To know its aspect, to be able clearly to define its limits, the student must observe and gatehr material. Nothing is gained by concealment. The false ego derives its power from its capacity for disguise. It shows itself now in one form, now in another, will pick up high-sounding phrases and trot them out like a parrot, will learn the language of the inner work and talk of higher states of consciousness, mystical experience, occult powers and celestial influences. Talk is its milieu. It love talking. If it cannot find anyone else to talk to, it talks to itself or engages in imaginary conversations with some friend or admirer.
Admiration it loves. To strut and show off like a jackdaw in peacock's feathers is for the false ego the very height of bliss. But if anyone criticizes this performance, if anyone dares to suggest that the plumage is borrowed and the whole display a fake, how bitter the resentment, how anguised the outcries and protests! Not satisfied with weeping on the shoulders of everyone within reach, this tiresome entity will fill the whole psyche with lamentations, airing its grievances in imaginary conversations which, because of the cyclic nature of the mental hookup, repeat themselve interminably. "He wronged me, he insulted me, he damaged my reputation, he made me look foolish." In such phrases as these, with a thousand variations depending on circumstances, does the false ego express its reaction when the praise it so dearly loves is withheld or its antics are treated with disdain.
The counsel of perfection is not to let the false ego take charge, to avoid those situations in which he is likely to play a dominant role. True to the old saying, "Birds of a feather flock together", this aspect of the psyche is automatically drawn into the company of fools who pander to his weakness and praise his performance. Certain people, as any careful observer can note, get together for no other reason than to reinforce each others false egos, forming little mutual-admiration societies within which they can display their most artificial aspects without fear of censure.
Friends of the false ego are foes of the essence. An essence friend is no flatterer and does not admire the antics of the inner fool. It was well said by the Sufi poet, Rumi, that the friendship of a fool is like the friendship of a bear. He added, in another story, that even Jesus fled from the fool, saying: "I can make the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame run and raise the dead, but I cannot turn the fool away from his folly." So the practical student of Creative Psychology learns to avoid these people and circumstances which encourage the manifestations of the false ego. Instead he seeks essence friends whose aims are similar to his own. This does not mean that he lacks compassion or is excessively critical. He is simply a realist who knows his own limitations and does not propose to make a hard task still harder by deliberately fostering his own delusions.
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