Gurmat Therapy: Challenging Ego-Centricity (Ego-fixing) in Western Psychology

Ego-Fixing vs. Understanding the Nature of the Mind: Embracing a Consciousness-Based Perspective in Psychology

Western psychology has historically placed significant emphasis on the concept of "ego-fixing" or ego-centricity, which refers to the individual's preoccupation with the self and the need to protect and maintain a strong ego identity. This ego-centric perspective has influenced various psychological theories and therapeutic approaches, often focusing on helping individuals build a strong and stable sense of self and navigate challenges related to self-esteem and self-worth.

One of the primary objectives of many Western psychological interventions is to address and repair issues related to the individual's ego or self-concept. Therapies often aim to improve self-esteem, self-image, and self-confidence, with the belief that a stronger and healthier ego will lead to improved mental well-being and functioning.

Gurmat clearly identfies the Egoic-complex, Haumai as the disease and the source of suffering, i.,e "mental health" -

ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਕਉ ਦੀਨਾ ॥
Haumai rog mānukẖ kao ḏīnā.
Mankind is afflicted with the disease of egotism. Guru Arjan Dev

While ego-fixing may be helpful in certain contexts, according to Gurmat, the egoic complex is the source of suffering as thus can not be fixed as its inherently unhealthy in its self-centred obsession. In addition to understanding the deeper nature of the mind and the complexities of human consciousness. Western psychology ignores or underemphasizes the transcendent and transpersonal aspects of human experience, including the exploration of higher states of consciousness, interconnectedness, and spiritual growth.

In contrast to ego-fixing, Eastern and consciousness-based approaches emphasize self-awareness, self-transcendence, and the recognition of the ego as a construct that can be transcended.
ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਵਡਾ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ॥
Haumai rog vadā sansār.
The world is suffering from the terrible disease of egotism.
Guru Amar Das

These traditions explore the nature of the mind beyond the limited egoic perspective, opening the door to deeper self-understanding, spiritual growth, and interconnectedness with others and the world.

ਹਉਮੈ ਦੀਰਘ ਰੋਗੁ ਹੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਭੀ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਹਿ ॥
Haumai ḏīragẖ rog hai ḏārū bẖī is māhi.
Ego is a chronic disease, but it contains its own cure as well.
Guru Angad Dev

By shifting the focus from ego-fixing to understanding the nature of the mind and its egoic-complex, mental health professionals can foster a more comprehensive and transformative approach to therapy and counseling. Recognizing the limitations of ego-centricity allows for the exploration of Symran or mindfulness, frequency based meditation (Mantra) , and other practices that encourage individuals to step beyond the confines of the ego and embrace a broader sense of self and consciousness. This broader perspective can lead to greater insights, resilience, and emotional well-being, enriching the therapeutic process and promoting holistic mental health.