Ego is as ego does.
The course spends a lot of time revealing the ego’s mechanics and strategies so we can reject it as a guide. “Know your enemy”. Since the ego is not real, it can’t be attacked, only dismissed as such. Don’t anthropomorphize ego. Mythology, which needs a good story, has developed devils and demons. Here’s a little story about that. After a wind storm a black garbage bag was stuck on a bush across the road from a yard full of dogs. These dogs seemed to enjoy barking at anyone or anything that went by. Well, every time the wind made the bag move they would happily bark at it. It moved, but had no life force in it. The bark of warning was pointless. It was animated but not alive. So too with ego, it seems to have a personality, but it is no more alive than a computer program.
I am not an animal
Well, actually I am. Seeing animal drives for what they are helps detach from them. As an animal, we are designed to survive. Even paramecium become agitated when over stimulated, or threatened. Without the survival instinct, a species would fail. What percentage of our behavior is basic animal instinct? As spirit, survival is a given, not something to strive for or protect.
As a social animal, we have a strong desire to belong to a group, pack, tribe, class. It is instinct that we need the group to survive. So, we don’t want to get kicked out. But to strengthen the herd or just survive, we compete for food and sex, and status. We have an ingrained urge to be an alpha, to top the pecking order. What percentage of our behavior is pack mentality?
Like the hundredth monkey, we are influenced telepathically by the whole. Archetypes and symbols are universally experienced and culturally reinforced. What percentage of our behavior is influenced by the collective consciousness? JC brought us the Holy Spirit with the help of the disciples. He needed a quorum to kick start an archetype that made Holy Spirit accessible to everyone.
Nurture or nature?
The correct answer is “yes”. Abnormal psychology is the study of not-nurture. Our conditioned responses make us robots. With genetic predispositions combined with our indoctrination into our family, species, has a huge impact on our experience. All the trauma, the decisions we made about what is important, from before birth even, mold our personalities. We are not our personalities. Infants are sponges, completely naive. We adapt to the environment and like a a kidnap victim with the Stockholm syndrome, we think it is right and true. Actually, we do what we ‘feel’ like, as in express our programming, and then justify it like we did it on purpose. What percentage of our behavior is influenced by genetic and conditioned urges? The conditioned urges are the easiest to purify, they come first. But, with the Holy Spirit’s help, all influences, including the most primal, will fall away. No order of difficulty rules.