In Latin, alter ego literally means a “second I”.
An alter ego can be thought of as a person’s clone or second self.
Once there was a boy who at the age of three was told he was Batman.
His parents had no doubt he was Batman and the three-year-old boy had no doubt they were telling the truth.
And so, each morning the young boy put on his Batman costume and went out to play and do what Batman was expected to do.
However, as the boy got older, it became very obvious that his ‘role’ as Batman was taking its toll on his health and on all his relationships. There were many days when he felt overwhelmed and exhausted and his only wish was to throw his costume away and just be himself.
But by now, everyone expected him to be Batman and the pressure to change this and be his natural self seemed impossible to do.
And then one day as the young man sat alone in the park feeling frustrated and isolated, an old man sat down next to him.
They sat together in silence for a few moments when the old man turned to him and said, ‘Why are you trying to be someone you are not.’
Shocked by his comment, the young man replied, ‘Because I have never known anything else.’
‘A person who knows who they are and discovers the unchanging natural state of being within can never be enslaved or imprisoned by the thoughts or the opinions of others and will live in harmony with all life,’ said the old man.
‘And how do I discover this natural state of being?’ asked the young man.
‘Let go of everything that is not this,’ said the old man.