Dr. Lou Cox has studied the ego for decades. He joins Dan to talk about his work and his new book, Ego: The Ghost in Your Machinery. Specifically, he and Dan talk about the male ego and how men thrive and suffer as a result of their dances with the ego. Cox talks about two essential needs every human being has: the need to be accepted and the need to be true to who we are, our own unique self-expression. These two needs can be in conflict with each other which creates confusion and feelings of disconnection. These needs are pure when we are children but they gradually, and seemingly inevitably, get corrupted by our conditioning from our parents and society. The ego is this complex combination of all the ways that someone tries to meet those needs and be safe.
Ultimately, Cox says, while we cannot overcome the ego we can step aside from it and move toward our native, and more authentic and vulnerable, self. At the end of the day it comes down to a person being willing to realize that they have unconscious parts of themselves that can run the show without them realizing it. The more awareness the more you can see those parts and make different decisions about who and how you want to be.