chapter  3
10 Pages

Ego development and de-creation of our egos

The widening horizons that we dreamed of fi nding in our analytic culture sometimes seem replaced by ante-rooms and winding passages that apparently lead nowhere. Similarly, the analysand who is trying to be born again is not led into static self-knowledge but into the meanders of transformation. Ferro and Grotstein suggest that we are the ‘victims’ of an excess of light continuously produced by a successful egoic knowledge, a sort of pseudoknowledge that pollutes our minds and prevents us from truly developing. ‘Let us switch off the lights and wait for something to emerge, even if it is only shady shreds.’ 1 To the extent that it is a knowledge that does not derive from our whole personality, it cannot be authentic, and thus we become faced with the problem of unlearning it. 2 If successful, this venture will allow for a reconnection of ourselves to the ‘I’ of the personality and for surpassing the illusory identifi cation with our managerial egos. We could thus try to ‘weave shreds of meaning with the parts of ourselves which were kept disconnected or which were denied … and open our minds as wide as our current degree of evolution will allow.’ 3 In fact, the need sometimes arises to step outside of our rational schemas and risk a leap into the void, in order to escape the fi xity of the egoic structures that constrain us almost as strictly as the signals of our instinctual nature. Paradoxically, the hereditary load of programmes that in part determine our responses to life seems to assume a lesser position in the face of a dominant egoic structure so ‘well formed’ and ‘successful’ that it fi nally tends to respond to nothing but itself, perpetuating some false self. We can readily appreciate the merits of someone who develops into a successful person, strenuously maintaining the contours of her psychic and professional accomplishment. We could, for instance, think of some individuals who excel – as clinicians, theorists or whatever – and who reach a stellar position in a micro-or macro-community. It is possible that those individuals would greatly benefi t from a process of self-decreation as an alternative to becoming fi xed or constrained in their interlocking personal

and professional structures. At the extreme, they become caricatures of themselves.