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Topic: Ego......A Final Post
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Jul 2, 2013 11:40PM)
This will be my last post on what has been a most interesting five days. It is a passage from my soon to be published book "The Spiritual Stage." I hope you enjoy it:

All of you have an ego, but what exactly is meant by this word? The simple definition is when it is all about “me.” When all you talk about is “me”, then I would surmise that you have a large “ego.” It is vital for you all to learn to recognize this ego not only in yourself, but in others. By recognizing ego, it can be eliminated almost instantly. Ego can be very destructive. On one account it can be the cause of a domestic argument, and on the global scene it can be the reason for nations destroying nations. By the very nature of the job, many dictators have a large ego. As a general rule they are more interested in their power base than they are in the well-being of the citizens of their land. However, on a much more intimate level, a great example of ego for an entertainer is when you believe you are better than other entertainers, and you continually boast about it. Even if you are a better entertainer, the very fact that you are verbally letting people know this means you are caught up in ego and are very likely insecure. A wise, humble and spiritual entertainer will never say or imply how good they are. They will simply perform, and let others pass verdict.

An actor who says “I am the best actor in this role that you have ever seen,” obviously has a huge ego. The entertainment profession, by its very nature, attracts people with big egos. You all love to be told how wonderful you are as performers and even having an audience clap for you, laugh at you, or give you a standing ovation, can be fodder for the ego. An inflated ego is not healthy and the first step is to realize when ego is banging on the door, and you are opening it with ease. You open the door because it makes you feel good. But this feeling is only temporary. Be kind, thoughtful, grateful, compassionate, loving, and always true to yourself. All humankind is connected to one another, and you are all part of one large consciousness. You are all just as important as the next person, so let go of any self importance you may have, and you will begin to be free of ego.

If you believe you are egotistical on occasions, try not allowing the ego to dominate situations. Every time ego comes into play, be aware that is what it is and try and let go. A performance will be as good if not better if you bring down your ego a notch or two. You will become a more likeable person. Would you rather for someone to like you as a person even though they are not too keen on you as a performer? Or is being liked as a performer of paramount importance? Naturally to like both you and your act would be ideal. However, being a nice, kind, loving, and helpful human being transcends everything. Bring those attributes on to the stage and in to your performance, and you will be nearer to seventh heaven. If you reduce the size of your ego, you will be more in tune with your true self. Your inherent creativity will then be allowed to come to the foreground. If you are constantly in search of praise and recognition, you are wasting energy in the constant pursuit of ego related irrelevancies.

As entertainers, there are occasions when you do need to tell others about your talent as a performer, and this can be difficult for some to do without ego. For instance, if a prospective client calls you up you naturally don’t want them to think you are a mediocre entertainer. You would like them to believe you are the best, which indeed you are. How is this possible to do without being egotistical? The intention in your conversation is the key, which of course would be that you want to secure the booking, and at the same time you want the client to know more about you. Rather than telling them that you, an unknown quantity to them, are absolutely brilliant, you might simply take the approach of giving them an honest resume over the phone. Inform them of some of the places you have performed, offer references from other clients, and always tell the truth. If possible, give them a link to a video of your work. This is nothing to do with ego, but simply attempting to secure a booking in an honorable way. The client is eager for as much information about you as they can muster, and you are giving them this without sounding egotistical

“Ego is to the true self what a flashlight is to a spotlight.” ~John Bradshaw

The reason that ego is so unhealthy is that it is not part of your true self. You could see it as a little demon who believes he can mold you into someone you are not. This demon is constantly entering your psyche and telling you that you will feel more secure about yourself if you keep focusing on your own importance. Why do you need to tell others how wonderful you are? They will not be interested in what you are saying, as they will know it is superficial. They will subconsciously recognize it as ego. Always be your amazing wonderful self without any pretence, and others will immediately warm towards you. Every time you perform your act, the audience will know you are good. If you go around telling everyone after the performance how good you were, it will be meaningless.

Be aware in your daily lives how much you talk about yourself. In the times you are in conversation with another person, try taking an interest in them rather than focusing the topic on yourself. Some of you are likely to be surprised how often the focus comes around to talking about “me”. This is likely to be the ego talking. People will warm to you when they know you are taking a genuine interest in them.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Jul 3, 2013 12:01AM)
:applause: :applause: :applause:

Fantastic food for thought. THANK YOU Roger, for sharing your gift and time with us!
Message: Posted by: Rodney Palmer (Jul 3, 2013 03:01AM)
Jolly Roger,

I am sorry to disagree with you but you have a very BIG Ego and I know for a fact as I see it in your writings and articles that you write or have written for magazines. It sounds like the book you are writing is for your EGO. Sorry I am not a fan of JR to BIG of an EGO.

Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Jul 3, 2013 05:14AM)
Jibe-ho! Roger, The Jolly Roger is THE GREATEST!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hoep eh visits the Café often!
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Jul 3, 2013 07:49AM)
On 2013-07-03 04:01, Rodney Palmer wrote:
Jolly Roger,

I am sorry to disagree with you but you have a very BIG Ego and I know for a fact as I see it in your writings and articles that you write or have written for magazines. It sounds like the book you are writing is for your EGO. Sorry I am not a fan of JR to BIG of an EGO.


Nice to know you read my writings and articles, despite not being a fan!! Much appreciated Rod!
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Jul 3, 2013 07:59AM)
From my book:

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can somehow become great.” ~ Mark Twain

There is a vast difference between constructive critique and malicious criticism. You live in a world where you spend your lives connecting with other people, all of whom have faults, and some of those faults have the possibility of disrupting your life if you allow them to do so. I discussed in an earlier stage how it was important to listen to all those around you and then make up your own mind about the best route to take. It is often said that you may appear to have many friends, but the number of true friends can be counted on the fingers of one hand. There are those who have ulterior motives in their criticism. Some of them may not in fact be aware that they are being malicious. In other cases it is totally conscious.

“Oh beware, my Lord, of Jealousy….it is the green-eyed monster!”~ Shakespeare, “Othello.”

Jealousy is indeed a monster. Many of the situations in the plays of William Shakespeare revolve around the emotion of jealousy. Jealousy can be a common reason for negative criticism. It is sadly true that the better you are as a performer, the more success you have, the more jealous transgressors you are likely to make. Some of these performers you come in contact with would like to have your talent. Rather than these folk assessing their own lives, they try to figure out how they can do everything in their power to upset your life. There have been many cases where jealousy has lead to extreme behavior and even violence. Tonya Harding was an American figure skating champion. She became notorious after her ex-husband organized an assault on Harding's skating competitor Nancy Kerrigan at a practice session, during the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Then there was the famous Watergate break in, where Richard Nixon, the President of the United States was consumed with power and jealousy resulting in him masterminding the break in to the offices of the Democratic Party. This crime helped him towards victory in the general election, and as the law of Karma would have it, his eventual resignation from the highest office in the land. The struggle for power can often be the result of jealousy towards the competition rather than an honest and respectful debate of issues.

When you come in contact with those of a jealous nature, it is important to realize is that this is nothing to do with you. Listen to your closest friends. If they are true friends, they will support you, love you, and stand with you through your good times and your bad times. They will honestly approach you if they feel the need to offer you some advice. This critique is likely to be genuine in the case of a loyal friend. Even if the critique is given to you with good intention, you must realize that it is not inevitably justified. You are the one who will need to determine if it necessitates any call to action. If you connect with yourself, and you know yourself, as you get wiser, you will learn to weed out the malevolent, toxic criticisms.

Once you have established that somebody is making a negative critique that is actually more about their own inadequacy than your performance, how do you deal with this? An unwise person will retaliate, argue, and defend themselves. An astute, spiritual being will realize what is happening, and will accept it for what it is. In other words the person who is doing the criticizing maybe needs to look at themselves in the mirror. It is not your problem, it is theirs, so try letting it go. Who knows you better than anyone in this universe? The answer is “you” do. You innately know the difference between right and wrong. In these situations you need to stand alone. Be proud and be positive, and know that you are a wonderful and divine spirit. You might try putting some of your affirmative energy back on to the person who is criticizing you which may actually end up helping them. This can be quite powerful, and can turn into a positive experience for both of you.

I once met a man from Sri Lanka. His name was Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne. He was small in stature, but huge in presence. This one man has transformed the lives of many simple villagers in that country. Some of these villages were run by corrupt elders. There were occasions, he recalls, when he was surrounded by hostile foes who were brandishing knives and guns. Rather than fighting back he just stood there in a quiet still way until eventually they put down their weapons and retreated. Many of the great peaceful spiritual leaders of the world have adopted the same attitude. To name a few, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mother Teresa, the Dali Lama, and Mahatma Gandhi. All these people when confronted with hostility have, through their spiritual enlightenment, projected peace and love back on to their aggressors. On many occasions, this has resulted in their enemies laying down arms.

I will summarize my thoughts on criticism when it is directed to you as a performer. Listen to it all, whether it is good or bad, but do not outwardly react. If you come off stage, and someone pulls your act to pieces, do not attempt to defend yourself. This is the worst thing you could do, but it is a very common reaction. It is just the ego getting in the way. Accept it for what it is, and for a few short moments the ego will be challenged. After that, spirit will come in to play, and you will actually start to feel good. Your spirit is vaster than one negative critique of one performance. You have performed many shows on other occasions where you have received great praise. The criticism may or may not be justified. That is for you to determine. Accept that someone has criticized your performance, learn from any helpful comments they may have given you and ignore anything you know to have been said unjustly. Move on with your life. The uncomfortable moment has already past, and you are already a wiser, stronger spiritual being.
Message: Posted by: scottds80 (Jul 3, 2013 08:17AM)
Well said Roger. I've learned a lot from your posts.
I and many others have appreciated your contributions to the magic community. You have been a great example of TMC's slogan "magicians helping magicians".
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Jul 3, 2013 08:43AM)
Frankly, ALL performers are ego-driven. To have an ego is not (necessarily) a bad thing.

On the other hand, false humility is more ego-driven than a big ego!

I for one appreciate the input from ALL of our members here...even if I might not like their style, their personality, whatever.

I have thoroughly enjoyed our time together, JR...thank you for your contributions!