Our egos can be likened to our personal citadel, and the standard instructions are that it is to be defended to the death, at all costs. It might be imagined that, as it is OUR citadel, that we have some choice about how this might be done, and how much bystanders might get hurt, but I’m afraid that the truth is that until we become very aware of how our ego workss, the detailed plans of our citadel, if you like, and the way it was built, we don’t. In fact, at the beginning of our journeys we don’t even realise the citadel exists.
Each citadel is very much strengthened around it’s biggest cracks. Let us contemplate that for a moment. If you injure an oak tree, it lays down immensely strong tissue around the injury site. We are like that. And our defence of our citadel is particularly intense around these fault lines, to the extent that even the existance of these fault lines are completely and aggressively denied.
An example may suffice. Early experiences caused my developing body/brain to feel insecure. My citadel, then, was built to protect itself, but was built particularly strongly around inner fears of insecurity. Most of life, then, became biased towards providing the body/brain with greater and greater feelings of security. This was uncovered – along with some useful coping strategies – during years of therapy, and self-enquiry using the Enneagram. Whenever anyone appeared to threaten David’s security – people rarely got that close, of course – then the defences were really alerted. No-one (especially David) was allowed to even suspect that insecurity was the weak spot in the citadel.
Our own citadels were, without exception, developed so that neither we nor – hopefully – others would be aware of the weakness in it’s foundations. And without a knowledge of that weakness, we have no real control over it’s defences when it feels under attack.