It describes the basic states out of which an individual, groups or organizations can operate. It is designed to support the comprehension of the various inner states we operate from and build personal, group and organizational awareness about them. Its down-to-earth language makes it easy to exchange and share insights about these states in a light and playful way with others.
The constitutive basic states are: Super-Ego, Ego, Being and the Space In Between.
These expressions have been used in different kinds of theories before and therefore need to be explained to understand the model. Please forget for a moment what you might associate with the terms and let us explain.
Looking at the figure above, you’ll find all the basic terms illustrated. Three bowls connected by a triangle on a liquid surface. The first of these bowls represents the Super-Ego, the second one the Ego and the third one the Being; the triangle in between the three bowls is called Space In-between and the liquid surface is the Field.
The Super-Ego-State is our moral authority, judge, sense of what is right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable etc. based on what we assimilate from the cultures we operate in, such as national, regional, professional, family and gender cultures.
The Super-Ego defines how things are done properly around here and what is or is not allowed.
Since we are exposed to different cultures and therefore to different Group-Super-Egos, our Super-Ego is like a patchwork of different beliefs we have collected in our life. Each of these Group-Super-Egos we are exposed to and identify with, become a bigger or smaller part of our Individual-Patchwork-Super-Ego.
In the Ego-State we deal with egoistic-drives in individuals, groups or organizations. Egoistic drives are thoughts and emotions that contain somehow “me”, “my”, “I” (or for groups and organizations “us”, “our”, “we”) inside. The Ego is the reacting, wanting, comparing, and competing part that in general:
- claims, wants, desires, needs, longs for, expects, grasps, attacks, blames or manipulates, etc. In order to gain recognition and power over others, to get the justice desired or simply to be right, etc.
- feels hurt, attacked, misunderstood, mistreated, guilty, shame, unworthy, insecure, anxious, threatened, alone, stressed …
- acts attached, envious, egoistic, fearful …
- The Ego calls the Super-Ego for back up when needed. This means it claims moral arguments to judge “inappropriate” behavior of others from its Super-Ego.
- Our Ego identifies with plenty of things: with our possessions, our family, our history, with our roles, our status, our peer group, our job, our background, our knowledge, etc. and of course whatever it is identified with, it compares with others and this makes it feel better or worse than others.
To get to know and better manage our Ego is highly relevant for our own stability, peace of mind and serenity. And it is even more important for developing positive and constructive interactions with our self and others. Managing our Ego is necessary if we wish to relinquish our unhealthy reactive patterns. It gives us the freedom to take appropriate choices that will give our future a healthy direction. Our Ego not only has a major influence on our mind and its thoughts, but also on our body.
It is a lifelong task to integrate our Ego’s functional parts while at the same time being aware its unhealthy patterns.
The Being is our HIGHEST POSSIBLE FUTURE (the true PURPOSE of our existence)
It is what we consciously or unconsciously dream, aim and long for as our highest truth.
The Being State is the blessed state that every religion in one or other way talks about. It is the here where we act from our divine Self. It is a state where we live and experiences all our human qualities while being connected with the whole, with the universe. We are at peace, radiant and pro-active.
As normal people, and not saints, we usually only have rare and short moments where we are connected and have access to our Being. This is what the Buddhists call Satori. We can work on having more of these moments of enlightenment but normally we will not stay in them for long. Unfortunately we are not Buddha, Jesus, Abraham or saints.
The path to the being is a personal spiritual or religious practice and not our competence.
In our development and learning practice, the core topic is to manage our Ego and Super-Ego states. First we learn to recognize our Ego and Super-Ego states, we become aware of them. Then we train when and how to exit them. When we release and let go of our conditional unhealthy states, habitual patterns and related thoughts, we enter our Space-in-Between.
The Space in-Between is the state from where we operate when we are outside of our Ego, Super-Ego and yet not in the Being. Sometimes we call the Space-in-Between the lobby of the Being.
It has a special quality of innocence, wonder, easiness, openness, trust, and honesty. It comes with a feeling of being in a state of flow and has an underlying field of peace. There is neither judging nor comparing in the Space-in-Between. We are interested and open to explore other views, we develop synergies with other ways of thinking, and we get truly connected to others, while at the same time we maintain awareness on our self. It is in this state where we can let go of our Ego concepts, fix beliefs and attitudes. It is a starting point for entering generative dialogue and deep listening. It is in the Space-in-Between were the NEW can emerge, where paradigm shifts and breakthroughs take place.
We can access this state through consciousness, developing our awareness and mindfulness. It can also happen by chance or we can find ourselves in it due to particular circumstances (place, task, people, work, etc.). The more we manage to get out of our Ego/Super-Ego states and rest in our Space-in-Between, the more we move towards our Being, the more its qualities are lived.
Operating from the Space-in-Between is very powerful; this is because we are operating from a deeper knowing. We are acting from our true source of wisdom, passion, commitment, integrity and an open heart, at the same time the functional part of our Ego is operational. We do not follow personal or hidden interests, we naturally serve the whole.
The Field is what surrounds us; like water we swim in or like air around us.
We are connected to the whole by the Field, through the flow and resonance of our deep intention. The field transports our emanations, created by our intention. We always create waves in the Field. Depending on our inner state, we create healthy or unhealthy emissions into the Field and therefore into our environment.
It is through the field that we get in subconscious resonance with the states others are in. As an example you might have experienced the following:
- If someone enters a room with a bad temper; the people around him will instantly perceive this and will be, depending on their sensitivity, more or less affected. In the worst case it can be felt as vampirizing ones energy.
- At the same time the Field makes us resonate with healthy and connected states as well. Often meeting people operating from their Space-in-Between, we can sense an underlying perception that lifts our mood and energy. The atmosphere around these people feels kind of light and peaceful.
Usually we are not aware of this underlying connectedness. We therefore act as if isolated, or we search for connection through our Super-Ego. We then empower our Ego by identifying with certain groups like our family, our profession, our friends and peers, etc.
SEB’s-Model™ by bridging postions (J. Geuder, V. Piattelli) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.