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Why do we recoil from things that threaten our egos?

Deepak Chopra
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
The need to protect myself from what I fear is part of who I am. Sanskrit's third klesha says that even with a healthy self-image, we recoil from things that threaten our egos. These threats exist everywhere. I am afraid of being poor, of losing my spouse, of breaking the law. I am afraid to shame myself in front of anyone whose respect I want to keep. For some people, the thought of their children turning out badly is a deep threat to their own sense of self. "We don't do that in this family" is usually code for "Your behavior threatens who I am." People don't recognize that they are speaking in code. Once I have identified with my self-image, the fear that it might break down is instinctive.

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