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Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)
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:
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:
Tolle suggests asking oneself how one is treating the present momentas 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 masterthat's all?!
1. Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. New York, New York: Dutton, 2005, pages 200-204, quote: page 201.
© Copyright 2013 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
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