We have come to an acceptance here at Nova Avalon, and also in the other communities which dot the gentle slopes of Temperance Valley. We've developed a profound understanding, of the distinction between the Self and the Ego.
For many years, even dating back to the 20th century, we had a vague knowledge about what the Ego was, thanks to pioneers like Sigmund Freud, and later Carl 'old man' Jung.
After our inevitable rendezvous with destiny, it became clear to those who were able to adapt to the new paradigm, just what exactly was this thing we call the Self. We always did know, but in a majority of people it was an unconscious knowledge. Now we all know what the Self is, and are able to articulate our feelings about it with great clarity.
We draw a clear distinction between the Self and the Ego. The Ego is not the Self, it is merely a construct or idea we have about ourselves. When someone used to make fun of me for what I did for a living, by not owning truck and instead choosing to ride a bicycle, I knew that that was merely an attack on my Ego. Making fun of how I walked, or how I used to cut my hair was all just Ego criticism. My passion for that old 60's TV show Star Trek or the Flintstones even, my dislike of certain foods, the priorities I had on how I chose to spend my money, or the lack of a significant female friend were also attacks on my Ego.
The Self is a very different realm though. It is the fundamental dignity of an individual. For example: When someone agrees to go on a date, and then cancels at the last minute, does not make an attempt to reschedule, or does not even call back, that is a disrespect of the Self. If I were to have phoned a friend, or left several messages and e-mails only to be ignored, (unless that person happened to be on vacation, or in the hospital) that was a disrespect of the Self.
If I had worked for someone, had completed the job while they were away, and then were not paid for the work for a longer period than was acceptable, without any explanation, that was a disrespect of the Self.
When someone was angry at me, be it justified or not, and then decided to exact some kind of 'punishment' without explaining to me what I had done wrong, that was also a disrespecting of the Self. By not offering me an opportunity to either explain or apologize for my actions, the individual disrespected my Self, and for that I had, and still have, zero tolerance.
Ultimately though, the inability to forgive another is the most harmful to the Self, because it not only causes pain to others, but also one's own Self, by harbouring, and allowing to fester, unnecessary anger.
My true friends, those here at Nova Avalon, know that I draw a distinction between these two concepts, and even many who don't know me also recognize this concept.
When one is attacked from a source where there is insecurity as to what that particular individual may or may not think of you, that is when hurt feelings generally arise.
Any attack on the Ego coming from a source of unconditional friendship has now become very easy for us to tolerate, until of course it crosses the line into abuse, by an overindulgence in mean-spiritedness.
Here, we tease the people we care about, it's even recognized as a form of affection, because those who we do not care about, we tend to ignore.
Future CT Village 5, Nova Avalon. Year 17 P.T.E.