Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
 
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit

Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
While Dr. Friedman is no longer with us, there are still many helpful resources on his site. Articles and resource links have been relocated to the top. His family hopes you might find them helpful. But since this site is no longer being updated, some links may no longer work.

 


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Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)

Categorized by Process | Topic

From His Book | Meditations For Life | The Flow of Money, Business and Innovation | Transpersonal/Mind-Body | Approaches, Worldview and Will-isms

Skills For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | Feeling, Thought, Communication & Action

Strategies/Distinctions For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free

Awakening Stories/Metaphors For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | The Way It Is

Holiday Family Gatherings | Cartoons, Jokes and Humor | Poems and Quotes | Song Lyrics, Wit and Wisdom

Tools/Skills for Life: Free the Ego, and You Are Free

The Ego�s Way of Handling the Now

© 2011 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
 

If all “experience” is thought to solely occur to the ego, then how does the ego as a mistaken identity handle the now? Eckhart Tolle in The New Earth suggests that the ego could be defined as “a dysfunctional relationship with the present moment.”1 Tolle further offers three strategies the ego uses to regard the present moment:

  1. A means to an end — A way to get to a desired objective or result.
     
  2. An obstacle — Some hindrance to overcome that is associated with the onset of anxiety, time-pressure, or frustration.
     
  3. An enemy — Making “what is” into an adversary.

While life continually refuses to fit into nice little categories, the above list can be extended to include four more strategies the ego uses to “manage” the present moment:

  1. A receptacle — Something to negatively or positively throw projections into, and then react to. One negatively projects to diminish, criticize, or punish others and oneself—what's disliked in another is likely to be disowned in oneself. One positively projects to boost grandiosity and entitlement, and justify one's poor attitude and behavior.
     
  2. A problem — Make life and its challenges something to be reasonably managed, controlled, structured, and supervised.
     
  3. A threat — Something to ignore, resist, avoid, or fight.
     
  4. A fantasy — Deny “what is” by ignoring it or treating it as irrelevant, a delusion, or a lie.

Tolle suggests asking oneself how one is treating the present moment—as a means to an end, an obstacle or as an enemy. Becoming aware in this way is a means of unmasking the ego by seeing through its dysfunction. One can laugh, befriend it, and have compassion for it, thus open the space for Presence. Similarly, ask which of the four added strategies above were used to deal with the present moment. When seen, each deconstructs and reveals ego's means of operation, opening space for Being here-and-now.

The imaginary self, the ego, gets absolutely nothing out of Presence. It “gets nothing” from Truth, silence, illumination and liberation from itself. The ego also gains and receives nothing from serenity, joy, natural happiness, kindness and equanimity.

At every moment every one of us stands at the crossroads of life: Will you choose your life, or the ego's version, imitation and simulation of your life? Adapting a line from Lewis Carroll, who is to be master—that's all?!


George Demont Otis     Valley Creek

Reference

1. Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. New York, New York: Dutton, 2005, pages 200-204, quote: page 201.

Browse excerpts from Dr. Friedman's forthcoming book
Awakening to Sanity: Being Sane in an Insane World—A Traveler's Guide
 
© Copyright 2013 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
 
 


Home | Dedication/Orientation | Articles by Dr. Friedman | Video and Audio Clips | Annotated Resource Links | Psychology Professionals

Dr. Will’s Perspective on Practicing Psychology: Dr. Friedman's Practice | Dr. Friedman's Approach | Therapeutic Purposes | Credentials | Experience | Brochures | Interview | Events and Workshops | Website Disclaimer | Contact