Ego and Truth

Been doing a lot of studying and thinking these days and I ran across yet another quote that simply stunned me. But, before I give it to you, let me set the stage.

How many of us, before we met or trained with Tony or really began dissecting his material used to say, "Oh, yeah. We do that."

How many of us, despite jumping in and swallowing the bitter truth pill, went back to our old ponds simply because the water felt comfortable and the other fish weren't too intimidating?

How many of us denied our own intuitions for years, listened to subject matter experts, and became "really good at the wrong thing?"

OK, all warmed up?

Just remember, Tony's been preaching this same message for years - Many of us just took our own sweet time giving up our illusions for a clearer look at the truth.

Remember "Red pill or blue pill?"

"Man has such a predilection for systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to distort the truth intentionally, he is ready to deny the evidence of his senses only to justify his logic."

- Dostoevsky

There you have it. The thought that just came to me as I was typing this was a question I once asked myself, "So, do you want to be good or feel good? Truth or Ego - your choice."

Stay Safe,


Good post Eric. Very thought inspiring!!

I'd like to add one more thought as a follow up. If you swallow the "truth" pill, you don't necessarily have to SACRIFICE ego totally...... you just have to DISCARD the old one and REBUILD a new one! Many people's egos are based on their confidence at being "really good at the wrong thing" as you said. However, if they study hard and practice hard, there is no reason that IN TIME they can't get really good at the "right" things, thereby regaining their "ego" in a newly-acquired comfort zone based in the TRUTH.

So perhaps the true choice is this:

Ego BEFORE truth..... staying where you are at


TRUTH before EGO..... expanding and seeking the truth first, and leaving your ego behind until you have achieved a new level of skill and ability from embracing the truth. Then you may take confidence in yourself and your efforts once again.

I think there are several members of the PDR team, yourself included, who are acquiring a new level of understanding of the "substance matter" of Tony's teachings. It is obvious to me (and I'm sure others) that you guys are gaining/regaining confidence from knowing the TRUTH. It is not a "cocky" ego by any means, but it certainly is a much higher level of confidence from what was evident a couple years ago. Those who have the pleasure and opportunity of training with you, are inspired by your growth, as well as your humility along the path.


Adam LaClair


Thanks for the kind words. This post was about me, and not about me - it's about all of us and how sometimes we have to give up who we are for who we could become. You are right, of course, in your re-phrasing of Truth Before Ego - and that was the whole point of the post.

For many of us - most of us - because we are hard-wired the way we are, getting out of our own way is often the most difficult part of the process. I spent many years and literally hundreds of thousands of dollars building a very visually outstanding resume - professionally, martially, educationally, etc.

However, it took me a long time, and a lot of patience and coaching on Tony's part before I realized that it was that very resume that was preventing me from going where I intended to go in the first place! It was my ego's demand to substitute subject matter expertise for substance matter expertise - to look good at the expense of being really good (because being really good is hard work!)

Thankfully, new paths emerge for us all the time. Built inside all of Tony's material is this simple fact - if you build the tools and yourself - do the drills - spend the time - then good things will happen. This post was really meant to do nothing more than inspire some introspection on all of our parts - where do we come from? Where are we going? There will always be hurdles and roadblocks to overcome, but that is what we do as warriors.

I just find it more and more interesting that the greatest roadblocks, the biggest enemies all live inside me.


"So, do you want to be good or feel good?"


Thanks, Eric. I'll quote you on that.

Eric ,

Thanks for that thought provoking quote ; and for pointing me towards 'Notes From The Underground' . A challenging , but inspiring read . I was hoping to flesh out the meaning behind that quote a little . It did that of course , but I am still left interested in hearing more about your own experiences with this . In particular 'subject matter expertise VS substance matter expertise' , and how you made that transition in different aspects of your life . I am certain there is much to be learned from your own example ... but if this is not the time or place , or if the subject matter is a little personal , I will fully understand Eric .

Sincerely ,


There is nothing so sweet and dear to each and every human as "being right".

Awsome find Eric.


Very Cool Eric!

I find myself in this very spot right now.

Truth before Ego. . . Beautiful!




Thaks Eric and what a provocative quote from Mr.


Awesome thread Eric.

Every single one of us in life has masked the truth due to our egos not allowing us to see reality. In essense our egos become our truth centres.

I for one never looked beyond something that was troubling me if involved exploring unchartered territory. I would automatically default to what my ego WANTED and NEEDED to see.

I can remember a few times where I would demonstrate some Jujutsu to some friends and the techniques did not work like they did in the dojo. My ego would not allow me to ask "why did that not work?", it would would just justify the failure of the move to my friends' lack of skill and knowledge in the martial arts. I let my ego and ignorance move me further away from the truth.

Like Eric, I had the sudden realization of all this when I started training with Tony Blauer in 1996. It was a good thing that I did, because it not long after I started training in TCMS, I found myself being mugged at knife point. If I had soley trained to satisfy my ego, I may not have survived that night.

It takes effort to be able to re-invent oneself, but the rewards both personally and professionally are priceless.
I remember