The Ego and Separation

“Separation causes Alienation from Life Origination”

Steve Hyne

A child would say “what a big head” because of a person bragging about their accomplishments. In truth that would be true if their Ego was inflated in a literal fashion. We all need self esteem because it is crucial for a person survival mechanism and it can give an individual a purposeful life. BUT the problem of many modern societies encourages the self(The Ego) to separate to Me rather than We. The Ego in simple terms from my definition means “Part of a person mind who makes decisions based on previous knowledge either through life experience, academic or knowledge learnt from others”. 

The Ego has many masters from instinctual impulses , survival mechanisms , Psychological Precepts and much more. The problem of allowing the Ego taking total control will cause loss of identity as a human from its natural and true source. The pages of history will tell you this from religious ideology , scientific dogma and the tribal chief or masters.

Western civilisation promotes the illusion of you as a special and truly unique individual. That is true in a simplistic face value system but below all the camouflage the human species are all the same unless you are an alien from another planet in disguise(lol). The protocol of individuality is just a concept of capitalism for control to fool the masses into submission. For example the economy in modern societies is based on the consumption of products. Lets be honest and I include myself , how many products did we buy, not because of a need but because of greed. The propaganda of large cooperations is driven by share indexes not the consumer needs. I am not a communist or radical political insurgent. If you delve deeper below the surface of the obvious “The Promise of Individuality of You being different or special causing separation not unity in the common market.” The complexities of the economic systems has its benefits but it has caused a global separation of wealth of the human species as one example. Scientific data and historical references can be found in Karl Marx works. He has written much on the subject(warn you, it can be subjective to what you read and heavy going.)

A recent shooting in my hometown of Plymouth was a gunman murdering his close family members then finally himself. The tragic circumstances of all including the remaining family and friends will be impacted for a long time. It is very easy to make judgements on news events but that is often the Ego talking. I don’t agree of taking innocent lives but the response of the Emotional Ego comes to preconceived ideas of events. If we look closer at the awful event with open mind of compassion will help us to see another side of the story. If the man had the support he needed from mental , Psychological and emotional systems the probability that he wouldn’t of killed anyone.( At this juncture, sometimes with all the resources doesn’t stop tragic events unfolding sadly.) One reason why the gunman acted crazy from my perspective was because the social brain craves community and belonging. Humans are social creatures and need love to thrive and survive. The core foundation of human needs is love in all its different formats. The reports indicated that the man hate was fuelled by isolation and separation of his basic human need.

Sacred Texts of The Ego restricting Compassion

Through out history the sacred texts have highlighted the importance of compassion. A fundamental reason why religious ideologies have survived by the wonderful stories of love and empathy. In contrast the Ego is driven by reward and aversion principle of core beliefs in binary thinking. Sacred texts very often touch the heart of humanity essence of compassion and empathy. The religious gurus were not demonstrative of just Self they were focused on the community and others. The texts quoted just a sample of many instances emphasising the We not Me as the foundation of the true self.

The Master said,”In ancient times, people learned with a view toward themselves. Nowadays , people learn with a view toward others”

Confucuism: Analects X1V:25 Confucius

The Ego has less influence and control of the self by regular reflection in meditation practices. The Ego hates quietness it loves distraction because it is a biological mechanism not the real you. Confucius contrast learning from others as medium of knowledge. A child can teach its parents , even animals can teach us wisdom. Being present with others turning the Ego off or I imagine putting my little snappy Ego in the cage while listening. Others can teach us many wonderful things and this imbues a closeness and connection coming from the heart and not the head. One of my insights and sayings about compassion is ” Fill your cup first then you can pour compassion on others.

The ancients acted in Dao. Not to give the citizens knowledge, but to let them become simple.

Citizens are hard to govern when they have too much knowledge.

So, using knowledge to govern the nation is thievery. Not using knowledge to govern the nation is good fortune.

Understand these two and use them as principles. Always understand these principles, this is called Primal De. Primal De is deep and everlasting!

When creatures return, they reach their greatest harmony.

Taoism: Dao De Jing 65 Lao Tzu

The word Dao in simple terms is way of behaviour and actions throughout the universe. The word De in simple terms living in line with the laws of nature as results of our actions. It reminds me of being kind to everyone because one day we might need their kindness . The old english saying “what goes around comes around and you reap what you sow by Jesus. Did you notice that too much knowledge or rules causes problems in everyday life. Another saying I like . rules are made to be broken. Deep down humanity knows how to treat and respect life it is part of human nature. The Ego loves to implement a cascade of dos and don’t because of the premise of fear. The motivation in these passage highlighting come from the heart not the head of knowledge.

“He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.”

Hinduism: The Bhagavad Gita

The Gita is allegory of Ego(Self) fighting against the rest of the universe. This is my interpretation of reading the book in very basic terms (There are more significant details in the book but from a Westerner perspective I have put it in simple terms and I am not a Hindu Scholar). The quote is important from a humanist viewpoint because we are all the same in nature. A dog is a dog and a human is a human. The Ego loves to classify and label things because it makes its job easier to navigate the world especially in communication. Humans have all the same basic needs , water, food , sleep , sex and so on. The dictionary definition for impartial is : treating all rivals or disputants equally. When we look or observe everything with an impartial eye we don’t judge others with the Ego. Everyone in society are important, can you imagine a world without cleaners or conversely a world without scientist. Compassion moves humanity as a part of the whole as we not I. Thankful for the lowly keeping the earth clean and grateful for the scientist to save the lives of others and the planet.

17 ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you may most certainly rebuke your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take revenge nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor (acquaintance, associate, companion) as yourself; I am the Lord.

Jewish: Leviticus 19:17&18 Jewish Law ( Part of old Testament bible Amplified Bible version)

The Jewish separation as a nation was clearly set out in their way of worship compared to the alien residents( Non Jews) The verses emphasis on not acting from a place of hate towards those that are different. The Ego of a person mind constructs core values and beliefs of what it has learnt. This framework can supersede compassion of rules and regulations practiced by the Jewish nation as mandatory and formalistic. The verse reminded the reader to go beyond an Ego set of constraints from the head lead to the inner person of the heart. Concludes the verse of love your associate from compassion not by the Ego.

“There is nothing so disobedient as an undisciplined mind, and there is nothing so obedient as a disciplined mind.

Buddhism: Gautama Buddha

The Ego can control you or you can control the Ego reactions. American Psychological Association dictionary Ego control says: Personality characteristic consisting of the tendency to inhibit the expression of emotional and motivational impulses, ranging from under control to over control of such impulses. The experiences in history clearly left a legacy of individuals Egos become so inflated or out of control basically narcotic and narcissistic caused much suffering. Working with a group of people from small office to a large arena only takes one or two individuals to cause fractious environment by their undisciplined mind being overrun by alcohol. Buddha through his teachings emphasised the root of all suffering is attachments. That could be people , ideas , places etc. It is easy to say I am easy going but being present and letting go of precepts is a harder activity. The sacrifice of ones attachments to help others is no easy task. The Ego resists change and familiar lifestyles and patterns. If it was easy the equilibrium of wealth throughout the planet and wars would cease because Egos be disciplined put others first especially others needs despite the differences.

43 “There is a saying, ‘Love your friends and hate your enemies.’ 44 But I say: Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way you will be acting as true sons of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust too. 46 If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even scoundrels do that much. 47 If you are friendly only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even the heathen do that.

Christianity : Jesus Christ Matthew 5:43-47 (Part of the new testament of bible Living Bible version)

When a friend or close family member upsets us generally it is easy to forgive and move on. But if The Ego is in control it always wants to be right and first. Compromise isn’t in the Ego dictionary. Jesus encourages to end differences by praying for enemies. Praying for people who inflict pain is not easy because often the wounds are deep. The emotional barrier of separation of binary philosophy stops mankind seeing beautiful rainbow of diversity on earth. The verse says that even the Christian creator is benevolent to the pagans , it doesn’t judge or disregard as person status. Examine nature we don’t see animals being prejudice it is only instinct that they differentiate in their choices. Humanity have a higher consciousness than animals with a core strength of compassion.

“Have you then considered him who takes his low desire for his god, and Allah has made him err having knowledge and has set a seal upon his ear and his heart and put a covering upon his eye. Who can then guide him after Allah? Will you not then be mindful?”

Quran 45:23 ( Shakir )

Quran identifies the desire to a god. The Ego can act like a god. The Egyptian Pharaohs embody the idea of their position to be worshiped while on earth and preparing for next life. Their desires to take all their attachments including live individuals at their death into the next life. The rational mind knows it is impossible take anything into the next world. The Ego thinks its invincible and will never die and pursues that journey at all cost. The realty of life is transitory and the Quran reminds the reader that knowledge is the the problem. The Ego lifeblood is knowledge from its own perspective and storehouse of knowledge not from a higher source. From a Ego perspective desire of self is more important than others. This causes separation of We To Me that inhibits the the true self to give to others with unconditional love.

In conclusion from a limited human mind I have endeavoured to show through religious ideologies the key of knowledge scattered for our Ego to observe. The Ego induces separation then it causes alienation from the origin of life.

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