With your Barnes and Noble trial subscription you can now get Yoga Song as an audiobook for free. Driving this summer, listen in to this high quality Lantern audiobook in five songs and 21 chapters for an integrative description of the Humble Warrior Pose in “Yogi, Heal Thyself,” an excavation of emotions rising up during the heart-lifting arc of a camel pose in “Making Heroes,” and the affirming mystery of yoga’s therapy falling upon you in “Yoga, A Breathcentric Community,” and much more.
In the West, we understand the notion of ego as the anchor of our public identity. While it’s not talked about in casual conversation, some psychology terms are part of our regular vocabulary to the degree that most of us have some understanding of the unconscious. No matter how we interpret the unconscious today, it lays the groundwork for a post-modern study of personality and the mind.
Ego isn’t a bad word. Ego is necessary, and having an ego allows us to differentiate ourselves from others. Ego is part of our engagement in place and time. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, an oft-cited yoga philosophy document, even point to ego’s role in identity formation, using the word ahamkara(a) as the sense of “I” or one of ego’s three aspects.
The ego is elusive though because humans are complex. The American poet Walt Whitman wrote in “Song of Myself,” “Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.).”
The truth is, we are all multitudes and it’s only a question of how conscious we are of this.