A heartfelt talk on ego is delivered by the principal psychotherapist of the Learning Centre Consultancy in Singapore. Bernard Mackenzie frames his keynote in terms of his personal experience, drawing inspiration from an Eastern tale and Sigmund Freud's theories.
The speaker references some interesting statistic in his talk on ego— 60,000-80,000 is roughly the number of thoughts we have per day, 80% of which are negative. To better understand the imbalance that these numbers signify, Bernard Mackenzie dives into exploring what the relationship between Id, Ego and Super-Ego is as unpacked by Sigmund Freud in the 30s. While the Id is innate to us, the Super-Ego is a reflection of the internalization of cultural values. The Ego is the manifestation of the balance between the agents. Whilst telling a personal story about his relationship with his brother, Bernard Mackenzie stresses the importance of setting one's ego aside to embrace and nurture a functional relationship.
The entirety of the talk on ego is framed by a story of a man approaching Buddha with the plea "I want happiness? How do I get it?" The story, simple yet packed with connotative meaning, ends with Buddha exclaiming that all the man has to do is remove the 'I' and the 'want.' For Bernard Mackenzie, the omittance of these words signify the removal of the ego, 'Happiness' is thus understood by building meaningful relationships.
The Tension Between Relationships and Ego
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