“Thank you God” (ii)

24Nov09

However, from ego’s perspective, these ideas are definitely radical. “I am ego, I’m cool; I just want the best and furthermore have always only wanted the best for my man here. I dig democratic ideas. Why are you threatening to force some sort of theocracy onto this poor guy??”

Dualistic projections, dualistic projections, dualistic projections. Conceptual fixations, conceptual fixations, conceptual fixations. We’ve got this tendency born of habit, this particular activity of thought, “ego”, which (at least in instances when it is convenient for extending the illusion of its perpetuation) claims to speak for us, to represent us, to be the real “me”. One problem with this setup is, no such entity actually exists in any solid, reliable form, and so this ego is forever engaged in a desperate attempt to secure its existence. It may do this through self-aggrandizing or self-condemnation or any combinations thereof or shades in-between; it doesn’t really matter—- to the ego it’s all the same, as long as there seems to be some feedback confirming that it is real.

Through the apparent situation of dualism, and these shaky, insecure, unreliable representations of how things are, how we are, how others are, we have the notion of “me”, which must constantly be perpetuated at all costs—- hence bringing into being the sense of a constant need to defend itself from the “not-me”, the “other”. No wonder, then, that ideas of “God” are viewed with such suspicion and fear. If one cannot even rely on one’s own representation of one’s self, or definitely confirm one’s sense of the solidity of one’s existence once and for all, then how is one to trust one’s perception of the other, and especially the ultimate other, God?

Instead of being recognized as the ultimate ground of reality and hence of our own very Being, God becomes in our minds a separate entity to whom we constantly relate to as a threat. On good days, the threat is apparently minimized and we seem to find some temporary respite in relating to God in ways that we think will find favor with him. On bad days, the sense of “me” vs. God becomes so strong that we feel ourselves threatened with total extinction or eternal condemnation. It’s really not much fun, even on the good days.

The situation is the same with any of the Other. On good days, you are my friend, you are a standup guy, the best. On bad days, you are a jerk, an asshole, a creep. Of course, the “you” that I am celebrating or condemning in my mind doesn’t really exist. In some sense, my railings against you are like shadow boxing, as they are directed at an essentially unreal, imaginary target. By the same token, my passionate good feelings for you are a form of masturbation, directed as they are towards my projection of you, as opposed to the reality of your Being. Due to shaky egoic confusion, my insecurity is so profound that I cannot accept the fluid nature of your being. Rather, I feel that I am only safe when I relate to some stale conception that I have of you in my mind, the parameters of which (said conception) I have created. I define you, therefore you exist. In relating to myself, the situation is no better; I only feel safe when I know that I am such-and-such a person. “I am a good person!” “I am a baaad person, shame on me!” I am a smart person. I am a spiritual person. I am a success. I am a loser. Etc.

oh god

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