Robert Johnson on the ego and the self

Psychologist Robert Johnson, in Balancing Heaven and Earth, says that when something is ready to move into consciousness it needs an intermediary, generally a person or thing, and will be projected onto it. “Our projections of the hero onto others always represent where we are headed,” he says.

And he has some interesting things to say about the relationship of the higher self and the ego. For one thing, he says that dreams can exaggerate in much the way the ego is exaggerating in the opposite way, and so you can’t give up your authority to dreams. But we can dialogue with them and be informed by them. He says the unconscious gives us guidance as we go, now saying “you are estimating yourself a little too high,” now saying, “a little too low.”

Johnson says, “I feel that the ego is properly used as the organ of awareness, not the organ of decision.” He says it “serves as the eyes and ears of God,” gathering the facts, but that the ultimate decisions come from the Self. 

I like that very much. What I have come to via the guys, he had come to long before. Well, good! This means I am on solid ground. (Who would think to find me there?)

One thought on “Robert Johnson on the ego and the self

  1. Dear Mr. DeMarco,

    I always thought of Spirit as the good guy, and ego as the bad guy. Seeing the ego as an organ of self awareness helps me take the judgement out. As “serving the eyes and ears of God,” ego gathers info, but then the Self makes decisions, right? How does one differentiate the part of us that observes, and the part of us that makes those important decisions? When I think of the “Self,” does it mean me as a person, a spiritual being, or both?


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