Dr. Jalaja Bonheim talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by alvinwriter.com about his book, The Sacred Ego: Making Peace with Ourselves and the World.
“The heart will never say, ‘I want a big, new car. I want a big, new house.’ Those kinds of things come from the mind.” ~Jalaja Bonheim
From a very young age, Jalaja wondered where violence and warfare come from, particularly after she was taught European history which is, essentially, a series of wars and conflicts over several centuries. She studied various Western psychological traditions as well as various spiritual traditions, and she combined this knowledge with what she learned doing Circles work that the ego has both personal and collective aspects, and that all of the violence stems from the collective ego, of which there is presently little understood about the latter. She also notes that conventional knowledge judges the ego as bad, which is a hindrance to understanding it, as these form barriers to respect and curiosity - two qualities necessary to understand something.
Jalaja describes three different types of ego in her book. The first kind of ego is the heart-centered ego, which is the kind of collective ego present in the tribal groups that humans have lived in for millennia, and this is typified by her story of Carl Jung’s meeting with an Amerindian, who remarked that the whites think too much with their minds, whereas his tribe thought with their hearts. The second kind of ego is the control addicted ego, which is typical of the civilizations that have created great empires and which is typified by dominance of their particular civilization over others, and even over Nature, and symptoms of this include increasing complexity of society and the inability to calm one’s mind. The third kind of ego is presently emerging, the planetary ego, wherein all humans identify as being citizens of Planet Earth, and that we only survive as members of a planetary community. A practical person that she is, Jalaja has included exercises in the book that readers can do to understand the workability and practicality of the concepts within.
Although this is Jalaja’s fifth book, it was the hardest one for her to write, particularly since she wasn’t clear, at the start, what the book was about, particularly as the ideas came from her intuition, and translating these intuitive concepts into concrete, conscious concepts was one of the challenges she encountered. Writing about the stories, on the other hand, was easy for her, as she admits she loves telling stories, which, she notes, are the most ancient way in which humans learn.
Jalaja loves to dance, and she uses this in her Circle work as a way to connect. She dislikes doing her taxes, as this is indicative of a complicated world. She is also interested in creating Circles using the Internet, and experiencing the love and connectedness of a huge group of people online, from all over the world.
Jalaja Bonheim’s website for his book, The Sacred Ego: Making Peace with Ourselves and the World, is sacredego.com.
On Amazon: The Sacred Ego: Making Peace with Ourselves and the World