Updated: Sep 20
Transcending the Ego
It feels as though we as a society have reduced our ability to see the layers of reality beyond our immediate sensory experiences as we used to. In my exploration of various philosophers and their ideas through the ages, I find understanding of ourselves, our minds and our place in the universe as a whole seems to have degraded progressively while we prize the ingenuity of the tools we use to accurately validate and study the material world, seemingly at the expense of our evolved cognitive dexterity. Being able to perceive the layers of reality, the emergent properties from the sum of our senses and it's symbiotic interaction with the external world, does not require the renunciation of our basal needs and instincts either, but instead allow us to understand the nature of all things through these fundamental machinations.
As we move further into a technologically augmented future, we eagerly sacrifice our unique transcendent qualities on the altar of materialism. In this journey, we have dug ourselves deeper into being obsessed with our own prideful identities. We reduce ourselves to a point of parody, and have become lost souls in the delusion that we are free spirits while pretending we are completely rational. The irony of it all, is when I see us identifying and labelling ourselves as various things before we have even performed the duties of our existing identities.
Perhaps I was misinformed in my previous article about the meaning of life being unknowable at best, as you easily and readily derive your own meaning in life through the fulfilment of the various identities we assume throughout our lives. A husband, a brother, a son, a father, a friend are all identities that fulfil the inherent duty you have the free will to accomplish, while also giving meaning to what it is to be a Man. Same could be said about a Woman. Then, there are identities and duties that aren't axiomatically linked to nature and biology, such as a job, as a student, a business owner and so on, followed by tertiary identities that we create for ourselves within various communities where most ego-traps and social contagions exists. Could it not be the case that as conscious beings capable of unveiling the spiritual nature of our existence is a metaphysical phenomena from the physical? Understanding the laws of nature that you can perceive as consequences to one's actions is one step into such a realm of perception.
Transcending the ego is a fundamental requirement for the liberation of one's mind and truly actualising ourselves by not being burdened by it, but misguided attempts to renounce it before fulfilling relevant duties we are born with leaves a large inescapable hole within ourselves. A hole that we try to fill with artificial things we create in the delusion that natural laws of consciousness does not apply to us. That we are greater than our basic needs, that we are better than gods without rigorously earning our place among the gods.
Perils of self-labelling, labels are for products.
Self-labeling in the inflation of one's ego keeps us away from seeing the truth of our existence and adequately interface with it. While I don't hold any dominion over any truth, neither do I have to identify as something meant for your expressed judgments and assumptions that follow. To the Theist, I am an atheist. To the atheist, I am a theist. To the agnostic, I am a walking paradox. We have reduced ourselves to see ourselves in such simplistic terms despite every phenomena in life positing a piece of truth of our existence. The story of genesis in the Bible as a parable to the actual phenomena of our consciousness is largely understated while the story of Krishna's revelation in the Bhagavad Gita of our own divinity gets brushed aside for our personal need for piety and worship. They all address the same problem, and neither is meant to give a solution other than to give a view of actions, consequences and experiences to uncover.
The more you box yourself in, the safer you are. As a result, the more fragile you are to experiences outside of that box. Whether you like it or not, we are governed by our own divinity and demons alike, which has a much greater grasp of nature than our waking, thinking minds. No matter what elaborate stories we tell ourselves, we behave according to the whims of our competing natures when unaware. We allow our egos to rule without checking it. Thus, going further away from the divine aspects of our consciousness, eternally trapped within the hell we create for ourselves.
We are paradoxical by nature, and in exploration of these ideas, it becomes apparent that two opposing truths do not negate each other, they instead create the whole. It's impossible for the rational mind to reconcile such paradoxes, and rationality is a carefully laid train track for an airplane. That's not to say that rationality as a tool is not important, as it's deeply important in the understanding of our material world, but it serves limited purpose when shoehorned into explaining things we aren't already capable of understanding.
Intellectual vampires and distracting voices
It's a pity when so-called rational thinkers and materialists in disguise subvert our ability to see reality for what it is. They pick a lane, be it secularism or spirituality, and proselytise for one position or the other, leading you down a predefined path in the guise of learned and evolved thinking. Whitewashing contrived delusions into "legitimate" philosophies worthy of inspection and adoption. For example; I have met a variety of anti-natalists who claim to care about life, often citing ill-consieved empathy for life with a subconscious belief that we are better than the animals we profess to care for. Often, what I have witnessed is the hatred for humanity is often rooted in a profound hatred from themselves. Figures such as the self proclaimed "four horsemen of new atheism", deconstructed important virtues, values and understanding of our deeper selves to the young impressionable minds and sold us down a path of absolute lunacy. I should know, as I was brainwashed into being an acolyte, enamored by the prospect of intellectual superiority it gave me to combat all those who belittled me growing up. Enamored by the vengeful resentment I harboured against spiritual phonies that sold me down the opposite river that a God would gouge my eyes out if I did the wrong thing. Little did I know I was just another fool, about to enter a deep downfall of the madness such an inflation of ego would cause. The tragedy of this, is that I was not the only one.
The real tragedy of course, is that we allowed ourselves down that path, and our environment was perfectly primed to do so. Trusting 'expertise' without verification, and without such valuable lessons in life we would not be the people we are today. We shouldn't necessarily fault or antogonise anyone for this, as they too are in the same boat as everyone else. Only human. Recognising this, it is immensely important in developing a strong sense of epistemic humility. Only then we are truly free, not only in freedom of thought, but being free in spirit. Freedom can only be achieved through observation of duty, and it begins with duty to self.