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Excerpted from Love is the Answer by G. Jampolsky and D. Cirincione. Copyright 1990 by Gerald Jampolsky and Diane Cirincione. Excerpted by permission of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"The ego tells us to be demanding and willing to walk all over other people to get what we want."

Jerry Jampolsky and Diane Cirincione, 
Love Is the Answer
, Part 2

The Ego and Its Defenses Against Love

You will find that when we talk about the ego, our concept of it is a little different from that of most psychologists and psychiatrists. We define the ego as the part of us that believes that our identity is limited to a body and personality-self, born only to die. It denies that we have a spiritual identity, a self that is not limited by physical form. The ego often speaks to us as that chattering internal voice that criticizes and judges other people and ourselves. It is the source of much negativity in our lives.

The ego's main message is fear - fear that we are all alone, abandoned in a world of scarcity and that we must seek but never find what we are looking for. The ego sees the world as a place of separation, of separate bodies and separate minds and separate hearts. It does not believe in wholeness or oneness. It does not know the meaning of love, and sees peace as its enemy. It encourages us to believe that love can only be built by thinking of our own selfish needs first.

As a substitute for love and as a way of keeping love away from us, the ego entices us to make idols and gods of all sorts of things, from bodies, sex, drugs, suffering, gambling, failure, guilt, and money to an endless list of objects in our outer world. It does not want us to explore our inner world and heart to find our spiritual being. It wants us to be afraid of God and to believe that either there is no God or, if there is one, it must be a God that rewards us for good behavior and, at any moment, can be cruel and punish us.

The ego tells us to be demanding and willing to walk all over other people to get what we want. It tells us to keep remembering that anger and fear are justified, that, these ways of behaving get us what we want and that "attack" and "defense" are the best ways of protecting ourselves and our families.

To gain still more understanding of how the ego blocks us from the awareness of love's presence, let us imagine that we are listening to the voice of the ego at its "central control."

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