Excerpt About Ego

Penetrating the Structures of the Central Ego

When we explore the structures of the central ego—our usual self-images and object relations—what we discover is that they are empty and devoid of reality. They lose their capacity to support our identity. Therefore, as we penetrate these surface structures, which are representational and cognitive, we usually revert to deeper ones to maintain a sense of self. We begin to encounter structures with less definition, ones that are less formed and more amorphous. Unlike in the representational structures, in these primitive structures, the living presence of the soul is more apparent. These structures are less rigid than cognitive structures, more partial and elemental and fluid. As we explore these primitive structures, we begin to experience elements that were repressed or split off from the central ego. Our libidinal soul—its animal aggression and hunger for pleasure—is revealed at this stage of our work. This is the realm of drives and instincts, which is an earlier stage of development than cognitive representation.

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