The Ego And The Subconscious

by Mark Ivar Myhre on May 13, 2011

“The Ego And The Subconscious” – it almost sounds like a children’s story…

Someone just asked me if they were the same, and even though I’ve written about both, it might be worthwhile to compare the two side by side.

The short answer is no, they are most definitely not the same.  The ego is easy to figure out.  (That is, if you want to – which I would highly suggest doing!)  The subconscious can never be fully explored.

The ego is born when you’re born.  It’s part of the duality of being on this planet.  The ego is the closest part of you – of all the many, many parts of your consciousness.  (Of course, the subconscious is very close to you also, but in a different way.)

As long as you’re in a body, you’ll have an ego ‘I’.  While you are the self ‘I’.  What that means is your ego has its own thoughts and feelings, separate from yours.

Most people never distinguish between their own thoughts, and the thoughts of their ego.  Which creates a high likelihood they’ll end up lost in the fear stories – or other stories – that the ego makes up.

For the most part, any thoughts you have of hurting another, or any thoughts you have that lead to any kind of separation, are probably from your ego.  Thoughts of limitation, thoughts of death and destruction, thoughts that want to tear down another, or tear down yourself; it’s probably your ego.

Your subconscious, on the other hand, does not come up with any kind of thoughts like those.  It doesn’t really think at all, as you might imagine it.  In fact, it doesn’t really have much independent thought, as far as I’ve been able to tell.  Even though it’s way more conscious than the conscious mind.

Your subconscious does not make choice. It’s been compared to a super computer, and from  what I can see, that’s an accurate description.  Your ego, on the other hand, does make choice.  It has just enough ‘smarts’ to do that…  even though it has much less consciousness than you.

Your subconscious – like your ego – starts this life with pretty much a blank slate.  Obviously there’s an operating system in place, but still, you get to flesh it out and fill it up.

The input into your subconscious mind starts while you’re still in the womb.  The subconscious mind absorbs all data from its environment – for your entire life.  But the first five or six years are the most critical. At this time you function almost exclusively from your subconscious mind.

While your ego is designed to mature over the years, as you do, your subconscious takes a different trajectory.  It merely absorbs more data.  But with a twist.  By the time you’re five or six years old, your conscious mind takes over.  And by this time, your subconscious has enough data stored so that it sets a certain pathway and direction for your life.

For example, you have specific and well-defined beliefs about love.  Love means this, or love means that; love is painful; love is freedom; love is imprisoning.  Whatever they may be… the beliefs are there.  They become boundaries in the sense that the barrel of a cannon is a boundary.  And when you get shot out of the cannon, you can predict where you’ll end up just by the shape and direction of the barrel.

So certainly, the direction of your life is set at an early age.  Because of the data that was absorbed by your subconscious mind.  It’s like your brain was a virgin forest, and the roads were laid out according to the data that your subconscious mind took in from the environment you were in.

The subconscious always seeks consistency. Everything must conform to the input that was stored into it in your early childhood.

Now, this can create a positive, uplifting, joyful life…  or it can create a living nightmare… or perhaps it creates some sort of mediocrity in between.  So in one sense, you’re a victim of your childhood programming.  Very few people overcome their childhood, unfortunately.

The dysfunction of society not only contributes greatly to errant childhood beliefs, but it also contributes greatly to the continuation of those beliefs.  What do you see when you turn on the TV?  What do you hear from your ‘leaders’?  What do you experience when you express ideas outside the norm?  It’s like there’s a ‘collective unconscious’ that wants to keep you small and powerless.  You’d almost think it was a malevolent consciousness that purposely wants to keep you down.  And through it all…

The subconscious just does its job.  You couldn’t live without it.  It follows the programs you put into it.  Admittedly, programs from an errant society.  The ego, on the other hand, has its own agenda.  It can think for itself.  It can plan and scheme and come up with all sorts of devious agendas.

Your ego is like the end result of an errant society.

But why would your ego not be your greatest ally?  Like it was intended to be…?

Because of the very same factors that go into shaping your subconscious mind.  The shame, the chauvinism, the domination, the lack of soul… all the various factors that shape our society also shape the development of the ego, the subconscious, and of course, shape us as well.

We come into a dysfunctional society for reasons we can only guess. We’re bombarded with shame and domination.  The shame we feel has to be dealt with in some way.  The shame that was passed to us, we try to pass on ourselves.  But as a child, so small and helpless, we can only shame ourselves.  We can shame our ego…  We can shame our body…  And we can shame our subconscious.

But the ego fights back.  It doesn’t just sit there and take it like the subconscious and the body.  The ego has just enough power on its own to think for itself and develop plans to get you back for shaming it.

And the number one part of the ego’s plan is that you never know what it’s up to.

The subconscious, meanwhile, has no agenda.  You tell the subconscious you’re stupid?  No problem.  It will do all it can to make you stupid.  You tell the subconscious you have no right to feel love, to be in love, to experience love?  No problem.  It will do all it can to make sure you don’t feel love.  You tell the subconscious you… and so it goes.  But there’s no agenda.  It’s not making choices.  It’s just following your instructions.

Or else it’s following the instructions of your ego… if you’re functioning from your ego.   And that is the most dangerous place of all.  See, it’s bad enough that we live in a world of lack and limitation and pain and suffering and all that stuff…  And it’s bad enough that our subconscious mind had to absorb all that garbage when we were young, and thus set the direction our lives would take…

But to give your ego the reins of your life creates an almost insurmountable problem.

Eventually, you’ll most likely manifest your negative ego’s fantasy that it holds for you.  I say ‘negative’ because that’s what happens to the ego in the course of living in a dysfunctional society.  It becomes negative.  Always whispering in your ear.  Telling you how bad things are.  How bad they’re going to be.  How bad they were.

Always whispering about how you’re either better than everyone else – or worse than everyone else.  Just so you’re separate.  Always whispering.

Can you hear it?  Can you tell when it’s you – and when it’s your ego talking?  You better know.  If you want to get anywhere or make any kind of progress in this life.  Or if you want to work on your subconscious – like maybe start changing some of those crazy beliefs about love and self acceptance and deserving and feeling good enough.

A negative ego is your worse nightmare.  A positive ego is one of your greatest allies.

Just like a subconscious filled with negative programming creates a horrible life, so a subconscious filled with positive programming helps create a wonderful life.  Both of these parts of you have been corrupted by a dysfunctional society.  But don’t use that as an excuse!  Let it be a challenge.

Learn about your ego and how to work with it and heal it, so it becomes strong and powerful, the way it was meant to be.  A weak ego is negative.  A strong ego is healthy and positive.  (And of course, you’ll want to learn all you can about your subconscious too!)

You didn’t come here to increase the negativity down here on this planet.  You came here to change.  Think about it.  Let it in.  Feel what I’m saying.  You can make a choice right now – to improve your life.  You can vow – to yourself – to do what you can in your own little way.

Change yourself and you’ll change the world. That’s what I believe.  But that’s just me.  The real question is, what do you believe?


J. May 13, 2011 at 10:50 am

“The subconscious, meanwhile, has no agenda. You tell the subconscious you’re stupid? No problem. It will do all it can to make you stupid. You tell the subconscious you have no right to feel love, to be in love, to experience love? No problem. ”

Well said and very true. Like change your space / environment / friends and you change your life. The hard part is not understanding you can do this. It is actually the re programing. Staying consistent. The ego is a conditioned part of the mind.

Thank you for this article Mark

Mark Searle May 17, 2011 at 5:38 am

Just for once it was Great to hear & read something like pure Gold instead of airy-fairy diarreaha!

Mark Ivar Myhre May 17, 2011 at 6:15 am

thanks, Mark

Chris May 20, 2011 at 1:18 am

Dear Mark,

Thank you for this article. It really helps. I have been in a dark place for the last few years and am slowly finding myself again. Your articles always seem to arrive at the right time to clarify some issue I am dealing with. This article clarifies so much for me. Keep up the good work and thanks again.


Mark Ivar Myhre May 20, 2011 at 6:30 am

Hi Chris,

I appreciate the comments!

ashvin June 24, 2011 at 1:44 am

thanks a lot for these is really instructive

hyram April 17, 2012 at 9:40 am

Thanks for being generous enough to share this with me for free… just a great gift…

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: