Recovering from slavery to our Ego-References presents some special challenges, because so much is at stake. To separate ourselves from our Ego-References equals (we subconsciously believe) losing our sporadic and tenuous grip on any experience of ‘identity’. Thus, separation of ourselves from our Ego-References – recovering from having a Substitute Sense of Self – is hardly an option – until and unless we become utterly aware of our slavery to them, and powerfully determined to carve our path to freedom – which is what this Theory envisions, and hopes and endeavors to facilitate for you.
In trying to actually fulfill our Ego-Reference’s ‘conditions’, we are like Don Quixote, tilting against windmills, but we can’t afford to realize that. We are striving for a fictitious and actually unattainable goal, but we can’t allow ourselves to see that. We are actually skipping our own Real Life altogether by being the slave of the Ego-References instead of the Masters of our lives, but we are oblivious to that.
How deeply can we can be trapped in this pattern? Consider this: At some point in my own healing process, when I was breaking through my dependency on the fulfillment of my Ego-References, I experienced moments of terror, or anxiety attacks. This terror came up despite the fact that I was the one who had consciously made the decision to counter my compulsions!
When I was healing myself and opening my own path to freedom, I would resist trying to fulfill my Ego-References, such as compulsive practicing piano or violin, or working on this website, or cleaning the house. I would deliberately not do those things, and do other things instead. Then I would get very anxious and have insomnia. When our only way of experiencing our Self is not allowed to take place, we get a frantic fear that may result – if not in rage and violence – at least in physical symptoms like insomnia and depression.
So very much is at stake, we are threatened with collapse of our inner world which Nature simply will not tolerate and our subconscious is (misguidedly but sincerely) trying to warn us we are doing something dangerous to our very sense of existing!
This is the reason I have emphasized that we cannot recover from having a Substitute Sense of Self without putting something positive, a more postive healthy beginning of such a Sense of Self, before diving into the letting-go process.
So ‘Ego-References’ are conditions to be fulfilled, tasks a person identifies with and that need to be performed with specific results, which then enable the person to experience a Substitute Sense of Self. It goes without saying that, when so much is perceived to be at stake in keeping unhealthy and suffering-inducing beliefs, motives, and behaviors, (link to Substitute-Sense-of-Self-oriented System) a person doesn’t really have ‘well-being’ and cannot be of any real help to anyone else as she is utterly pre-occupied with herself. People might call that egocentric; again I have to say it is because there is a big need.