Sometimes you need to break the rules. Many people spend their whole lives coloring in-between the lines, but fail to find their own creativity. One important step in development is building the foundation. Some people spend their whole lives constructing that base. Others need to take the next step and break what they’ve built.
In the treatment of severe psychopathology, building an ego is the goal. This step is vital, because without an ego, the individual cannot function in society. They are unable to differentiate between rational and irrational thoughts, and lack the ability to repress their impulses. To help these individuals develop the ability to function in society, they need to develop some sort of ego.
Treatment for most people involves replacing a false ego with a true ego. Through various psychotherapeutic techniques, individuals learn self-awareness. They discover ways in which they are engaging in unhelpful patterns of behavior, and learn to modify their actions. In long-term therapy, they learn to challenge their deeply held beliefs and feelings and then form a more realistic understanding of themselves.
Building a true ego is the extent of western psychology. No matter the technique, the goal is to build a healthy and functional ego that enables the individual to function at a high level. After relationships and work have been improved, western psychology falls short. To keep progressing, you have to turn to the East.
Eastern traditions help you transcend the ego. When you practice meditation, yoga, or other traditions, you learn that you are not your mind, body, or ego. Your definition of self and experience of living expands to include your True Self, which is the energy of the universe. With time and easing into full acceptance of and identification with the present moment, you learn to transcend the ego and contact your True Self.
The rules are meant to be broken. The work that I’m passionate about is guiding individuals along this continuum. I want to help people work through issues preventing their own growth. As they become more stable and function at a high level, I want to encourage them to break the rules. After building your sandcastle, you need to remember that you are all the sand on the beach.