8.3 How Do We Know There’s an Ego?

How do we know anything that cannot be seen with the naked eye, like an atom, electrons, protons, neutrons or radio waves, or cosmic rays? Let me give you a metaphor for gaining knowledge of the structure of the mind based on Ernest Rutherford’s 1911 experiment to understand the structure of the atom.

In the last years of the 19th century, scientists were trying to discover what was inside an atom. This wasn’t an easy task since atoms were too small to see in a microscope and too tiny to probe with any common tool. They knew that physical matter was made of atoms, but they needed some way to interact with them to understand how they were constructed.

In the same way, we at Biocybernaut the need for the brain wave measures and the computerized Mood Scales to interact with the trainees’ emotions and consciousness so that we can begin to understand how the ego and the emotions and the higher levels of consciousness interact and how these interactions help or hinder the processes of the Biocybernaut training.

Ernest Rutherford did this marvelous experiment where he took pure gold and pounded it into completely opaque and fragile sheets. It was solid metal, and when you held it up, it would completely block the light; it didn’t have holes in it but was a solid sheet of fragile gold foil. Then he took a radioactive source that emitted alpha particles from radioactive decay. This radioactive source was uranium, which breaks down in a process that produces alpha particles and radon, among other things. Alpha particles (no relation to alpha waves) are basically a helium nucleus stripped of its electrons, usually two protons and two neutrons. Rutherford put the radioactive source into a deep hole in a lead block. A little bit of Uranium was placed at the bottom of a long narrow hole in a lead block. The lead absorbed all the radioactive particles that came from the radioactive decay of the uranium atoms, except those particles that, by chance, were emitted in the direction of the long narrow hole.

Rutherford had a little cannon that shot a thin narrow beam of these alpha particles right out of that hole. They came out in a stream focused in a nearly straight line along the axis of the hole. In his experiment, these alpha particles’ beam was directed at a thin gold foil set up in a vacuum. A zinc sulfide screen was set at different angles to the beam to detect alpha particles’ presence. The alpha particles produced visible flashes when they struck the screen. These flashes were carefully observed and painstakingly counted with a microscope in each of the many different positions in which the zinc sulfide screen was placed. The flash rate was measured at all angles to the beam, and it was found that most of the alpha particles sailed right through the solid gold sheet as though it were space, which in fact is a good description of matter (mostly space).

Rutherford found that almost all of the particles went straight through the solid gold metal like it was space. How- ever, once in a very great while, one of the alpha particles would bounce back, almost straight back, as though it had hit something very dense and heavy. Or almost as rare, one of the alpha particles would be deflected to one side or up or down. Even though Rutherford could not see the atoms, this data told Rutherford about the structure of matter as though he has seen a photograph of atoms in matter. From his data, Rutherford could figure out that matter is mostly space, but within that space were very tiny concentrations of something weighty and dense that was causing these alpha particles to bounce straight back or to be deflected at a large angle. This could only happen if there were something very massive and very tiny deep within each atom. We now call this the nucleus, and we know that it is at the center of the atom. Rutherford then began to develop a picture of what atoms look like based on that experimental evidence of what an atom is, mostly space with something tough and dense somewhere in it.

Today we know that this tiny heavy, dense thing is the nucleus in the atom’s center composed of neutrons and protons. Later we learned that neutrons and protons are also composite structures, made up of quarks and gluons. But this early experiment by Ernest Rutherford discovered important new data on the deep structure of matter. Based on that data, he began to make deductions about what an atom was, what it was made of, and how that ‘stuff’ was arranged within the atom. Rutherford cleverly used the data from his alpha particle probes to understand and describe the structure of matter, which he could not see, but which he could infer from logical and intuitive analysis of his data. Rutherford’s pattern recognition led to the discovery of the nucleus and shed light on the atom structure.

In the same inferential way, based on skillful observation and pattern recognition, we have learned from Dr. Sigmund Freud about the structure of the mind and the personality, which are also as impossible to see as are atoms. Freud discovered different properties of the mind or structures in the personality, and he called them the id, the ego, and the superego. How did he do this? Freud had an amazing set of experiences that no human before had ever had. He had about 20,000 mostly upper class, mostly middle-aged Austrian women lie on his psychiatrist’s couch and tell him about their often troubled lives. From this experiential database, Freud began to recognize patterns in behavior and infer that there might be similar causes for similar behaviors in different people. Some of the causes for behaviors and for emotions his 20,000 clients described seemed, to Freud, to be semi-autonomous structures within the personality that seemed to function as though they had their own intentions, and these might not be the same as the consciously stated intentions of the person.

When Freud first described the id and the ego, and the superego, this was revolutionary information. Freud went beyond just recognizing parts of the personality like the Ego; he recognized the roles it played in the emotions the person would feel and the behaviors they would engage in. And using his derived insights from his pattern recognition, he began to do effective therapy based on this knowledge of the id, ego, and superego. The patterns he recognized began to seem more real because as he worked with the assumption that things like ego really do exist and really do have influences on a person’s moods and behaviors, his therapy became more effective. And he learned more and more about the nature of the ego and the other parts of the personality. Freud’s pattern recognition led not only to the discovery of the id, ego, and superego; it also began to shed light on the structure of the personality and the internal forces influencing human moods and behavior.

In the same inferential way, based on skillful observation and pattern recognition, we have learned from Dr. Jim Hardt about the structure of the mind and the personality, specifically, the ego, which is impossible to see as are atoms. I have learned new details about the structure and the properties and the influences of the ego that are not known to any other human being – yet. And I did this in a very similar way to how Freud first discovered the ego – by pattern recognition on a large database of human experiential reports. In my case, they come from brain wave feedback trainees who have taken the mood scale tests and then interviewed with me about their brain wave feedback experiences and their life experiences.

I have compiled a large experiential database of more than 10,000 subject sessions where people sat across the table from me and did their best to explain their answers to questions on the computerized mood scale programs. In the same way that Rutherford could infer the structure of the atom and Freud could infer the structure of the mind and the personality, I have been able to infer details about the structure, the means of operation, and even the purposes of the ego. My experience with the alpha feedback training has given me and all Biocybernaut trainers breakthrough knowledge about the nature and the modus operandi of the ego.

At Biocybernaut, we can view the ego through a sophisticated and complex multidimensional instrument that no human has ever been had access to before. At Biocybernaut, we can view the ego through multiple lenses, including the recordings of a person’s brain waves and that person’s detailed reports of the feelings they have been experiencing using our proprietary Mood Scales. We also hear details about the contents of the person’s awareness while they were doing the Alpha One training processes, during which their brain waves were recorded, written out on polygraph chart papers, and analyzed by sophisticated computers. At Biocybernaut, I have created a laboratory to study the ego and its interactions with the authentic self that have never been available to anyone before. We have collected data for over 30 years, constituting a vast resource database from which I’ve been able to form new insights and understandings about the ego. And just the same way Freud found that he could use the insights he gained about the id, ego, and superego to help people to understand themselves better and to learn how to function better in their lives, so too at Biocybernaut. In every day of the alpha training, we incorporate our insights and understandings about the ego to help our trainees learn better and faster to increase their alpha brain waves.

Remember that Teilhard de Chardin said, ‘The true self grows in inverse proportion to the growth of egoism.’ To help our trainees grow faster and more fully into an awareness of their true self, their authentic self, we must help them to diminish their egos. Very obvious! But, as with many obvious truths, the practical question is: How do we do this? Saints, sages, and mystics in all cultures throughout more than 25 centuries of recorded history have identified the attainment of selflessness as a precondition, and a means to attain higher states of consciousness and a direct experience of God. Thus it is understandable that Biocybernaut alpha trainees, who benefit from our special coaching in disciplining and reducing their egos, have large and rapid increases of alpha waves, and they have profound spiritual experiences. When the ego is diminished, the true self expands, and there is an increasingly direct and deep connection with the Divine Source of the universe. This may be why no alpha trainee in over 30 years has, to my knowledge, become an atheist after his or her alpha training. On the other hand, many atheists have become deeply spiritual and have adopted God’s belief following their alpha training.

In the Biocybernaut training, we use a powerful set of probes; the computerized Mood Scales taken at different times during the daily sessions, the brain wave recordings, and the depth interviews which, collectively, allow us to probe deeply and with considerable precision into the structure of the mind and the personality. One of the components that are clearly revealed by these probes is the ego. Interestingly, it is somewhat like the nucleus in the matter. The ego is a heavy, dense part of the mind that strongly influences or deflects awareness when the awareness gets too close to the ego or becomes too influenced by the ego. The ego is a part of the self, just as the nucleus is a part of the atom, and the characteristics of the ego are that it is interested in control, just for the sake of control. To further extend the analogy, an atom’s identity is determined, largely, by the structure nucleus, which through its number of protons determines whether it is an oxygen atom, or a helium atom, or a platinum atom. And when the nucleus breaks apart or fuses with other nuclei, great energy is released. For most people, the ego determines much who they are in the world. Similarly, when it dissolves or fuses with a larger Divine Awareness, great energy is released, and consciousness is vastly enhanced. We all know what it means for somebody to be on an ego trip, or what it means if someone refers to someone else’s big ego, or conversely, for someone to comment on an unselfish act saying that person must not have much ego. There are clues as to the nature of that component (what component, the ego?). In the course of the training, we reveal to each of the trainees, through their data, the characteristics of the different parts of their personality. Usually, around the day, three people begin to have some evidence of the separation of the real self from the ego, and this realization and the work that follows lead to an expansion of the alpha mind state.

Many interesting and useful insights about the ego come to us from Dr. Richard Alpert’s work, who became Ram Dass. After extensive study in India with a guru and deep reading in the mystical literature, he has distilled many useful details of the ego. For example, he noted that as long as you have a body, you would have an ego. You cannot kill or get rid of your ego and still inhabit a body. And he gave a wonderfully useful metaphor of the ego as your carriage driver. It wears fine livery, with polished gold buttons and a gold brimmed hat, and it sits atop your carriage with the reigns of your senses in its hands. And it thinks it is in control. When it says giddily up, your body moves; when it says whoa, your body stops. And it has been through your whole life, thinking it is in control. Then one day, your true self inside the carriage wakes up and notices that things are not going very well, and there is a lot of meanness and cursing and swearing by this driver atop the carriage. So the true self says to this driver, this ego, and ‘Look here!’ This is my carriage, and these are my horses, and everything you do requires that you use the energy that I am bringing in from the Source (or some would say from God), and from now on ego, you are going to do things my way. Well, that awakening by the true self sets off a huge battle for control. The ego is not going to give up without a fight, and it uses all the weapons at its disposal. These include the ‘Five Hindrances,’ which have been identified through more than 1,000 years of Zen practice. The ‘Five Hindrances’ were identified through the same kind of wise pattern recognition that led Rutherford to his discovery of the structure of the atom, and that led Freud to the discovery of the id, ego, and superego, and that led me to discover the fine structure of the ego. The ego’s five hindrances are so powerful in blocking spiritual progress and suppressing our trainees’ alpha waves that we specifically teach each of our trainees about the Five Hindrances to alert them to these tricks and techniques that their ego will use to ‘hinder’ their alpha training.

On Day 3 of the alpha training, we give our trainees the following ‘Third Day Note’ to ward off the ego attacks, which will often come in the form of one or more of the Five Hindrances. We have also identified a sixth hindrance, which is forgetfulness. If the ego can make someone forget their spiritual breakthroughs in the chamber, it is has won a battle. If the ego can make someone forget to do their forgiveness work in the chamber, it has avoided fighting a battle. It has retained control of the negative emotions the person was going to shed by doing the forgiveness work.

8.3.1 Third-Day Note

Dear . . . ,

The 3rd day is often ‘the Pits.’

If today is not your worst day yet, then you are ahead of the game.

Having done all the easy things to enhance alpha on the first few days (sitting still, breathing slowly, relaxing, floating, going into the space of no thoughts, paying attention to the tones, etc.), there is now the opportunity and the necessity to implement some changes at deeper levels.

The ego usually responds to such an opportunity, with opposition and struggle, using some well-known ego defense mechanisms. This struggle suppresses alpha and emphasizes self, – . . . rather than oneness. The ego will also usually look outside (rather than inside) for the lower alpha causes. Thus externals often get the blame: for example, the chair might be seen as too hard, or too soft, or too high or too low, or the temperature may be wrong, too hot or too cold. Or there may be some fault found with some person or people or some things, all outside the self. You can be alerted to these tricks of the ego by noting the appearance in your mind of one (or more) of the Five Hindrances: doubt, drowsiness, distractibility (& worry), boredom, and aversion [any form of ill will]. The ego struggles to maintain its control of you and seeks to undermine your efforts to awaken into higher consciousness.

Trust in your heart, listen intently to the tones, excel in forgiveness and non-attachment, get plenty of sleep, and all shall be well. Your alpha shall wax abundant.

Warmest regards, Jim

In the quest for higher consciousness, this struggle is classic and usually breaks out when the deep self is poised to emerge. So the ego tries to prevent this emergence by disrupting the processes of growth and transformation. Diminishing the ego in favor of the true self is the only way to get into the higher alpha states.

You will benefit by being watchful for, and by avoiding the Five Hindrances:

I usually give people a 3rd-day note to let them know that they are not alone in their struggle and that others have been where they are now. And this note also brings the encouragement that you can win through this struggle to a higher and clearer awareness by persevering and opening your heart. By replacing self- importance with self-understanding you will gain self-realization,- a new awareness in which joy floods in like sunbursts.

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