May 15, 2008, Volume 16 Nr.
10, Issue 241
The Ego Clamoring For Attention
- Jozef Hand-Boniakowski
musings and banter after a guest lecture by a local esteemed
colleague in higher education, I heard the statement, "When I
am on my deathbed I am going to pray". It came in
response to my comment that the mythology of god fuels the
creation of disciplines that are themselves myths. One can
study theology and even become an expert in the field but one
would be no closer to knowing God nor spirituality as neither
exist. Robert Fugate, writing in "Why
Should I Study Theology" in The Christian Statesmen states,
"Theology is the study of the personal, triune God--His
nature and His purposes, which He reveals through His words and
His deeds." Upon this mythical triangle stands the
ego atop its house of cards ever eager to maintain its
structure. The ego succeeds only because it is good at
building houses of cards and because we let it.
Nathaniel Brandon in
his book "The Psychology of Romantic Love" posits that
to participate in love as "passionate...and thoroughly
appropriate to our times and grounded in our nature as human
beings" that we must accept the fact of our ultimate
aloneness. No matter how big a family we may have, no
matter how many friends or colleagues, we will ultimately be
alone. Either our friends, etc., will die first or we
will. I would go one step further than Brandon: to live a
loving and peaceful life causing minimal damage to others we
must accept the fact of our ultimate non-existence. This
means that we must do what the ego is designed not to. We
must accept the reality that the ego will cease to be and along
with it, so will we.
- Since our demise is assured,
there is no point in carrying the infractions of others
and resentment of them with us throughout life. It
is not necessary to self-inflict the delusion that we are going to move spiritually forward into some realm or plane of
future existence. Such delusion becomes necessity
when the ego demands it!
There is, however, no need to embrace this
nebulous "spiritual " continuance except for the ego's gratification,
that it can somehow escape death. It cannot.
And neither can we.
The poet John Donne
(1572 - 1631) in his poem "Death Be Nor Proud", wrote,
- Death be
not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
Donne defeats death
by dying, yet he falls prey to the ego delusion that
"he" will continue "eternally" when the time
comes to take "one short sleepe past". On the
contrary, there is no short step to take. I modify
John Donne thusly, in my poem, "Ego Be Not Smug",
Ego be not smug,
though some have said you are
All powerful and mighty, for you are not,
For the one thing that you think you must control,
Is free, miserable ego, nor can you continue to delude.
From perpetual existence, which are but your delusions,
Much anxiety and fear, from you must come.
And our best and most powerful humans with you go,
Fighting in wars, and superior to others, better.
You are slave to what ultimately follows all men.
No matter how the physical body takes it final rest,
And better than anything you had to offer, one final step
Is all that forever more there is, and you
The ego shall be no more; you shall disappear.
If as Carl Jung put
it, the goal of life is to realize the self, then the goal of
the ego is to continue living forever. While nonsense, the
attraction to the delusion is the causes for the invention of
God, the soul and eternal life.
- Most people and their egos
operate under automatic pilot, but the ego only lets go of
constantly surveiling and assessing its (and our)
positions when we are asleep. Our predilection to
spirituality is a symptom of the ego's vigilance. And unconscious
attention to our spirituality is an indication of how
successful is the ego. Yet when we knowingly call
upon spirituality aware of the absurdity of our actions,
there comes into play the corruption of the ego and our
thought out willingness to partner with it for personal
gain and/or aggrandizement.
Obama: Ego On
Toward the end of
the Democratic Party 2008 presidential primary race candidate
Barak Obama made numerous declarations about his doing
"God's will". A Kentucky primary Obama campaign
flyer stated, "“My faith teaches me that I can sit in
church and pray all I want, but I won’t be fulfilling God’s
will unless I go out and do the Lord’s work.” There
are a few possible conclusions. Either Barak Obama talks
to the Lord and the headmaster of the universe has told him what
his will is, or Obama is manipulating the gullible for their
votes. Either way, the ego is busy at
- Obama, like most people,
suffers from the egotistical delusion that he knows the
will of God and is altering his behavior into meeting
God's expectations. Far from communing with God to
do "His" will, Obama is in collusion with his
ego to catapult his own will into being God's will.
Obama's goals become his egos projected goals upon the
concept of God so that a manufactured deistic mandate gets
handed down to him. Such circular shenanigans is the
only way Obama can get away with doing his ego-as-God's
bidding without the contradiction of self-recognizing the
insanity of it. The ego excels in slight-of-mind
being a master of conjuring and illusion to suit its
needs. Both the ego and God are three letter words
for the same thing.
Even worse, Obama
deliberately uses spirituality to manipulate the voting public's
similar ego delusions of it. There is dishonesty in
premeditatingly using spirituality to gain votes.
The ego continues the charade that Obama by virtue of his (ego)
relationship to God demands special attention and is worthy of
excessive, extraordinary or special attention. If
spirituality didn't exist then the ego would have to invent
it. And this is precisely the point. The ego does
invent it. Since all humans have egos, Obama included, we
have the same tendencies, the same delusion that spirituality is
anything other than the ego calling attention to itself.
- The ego is so sophisticated
that it easily masquerades as the self deciding to drop it
(the ego) in favor of spirituality. Ego, being a
self image of who we are, is anything and everything it
wants itself to be. The ego is formless but it
creates the form that it projects outward, the self that
it wants the world (and us) to perceive and accept.
Spirituality is but one such projection. It is the
noise of the ego covering up the process by which it
operates. Upon this noise are built the nonsense
constructs we call mysticism, God, religion, etc.
These identities of self-interest "justify" our
behavior. Ego-justification, or self-interest, is a
necessary component of survival. Survival entails
self-interest which entails the ego. As long as we
survive we will hear the clamoring noise of the ego and
spirituality is one of the noises the ego generates.
So then, on my death
bed I will not be praying. Given the ability to think
clearly I hope to be able to instead say,
"It's been one grand
ride. Thank you everybody." I plan to have in place, if I may borrow
the idea from the unwieldy tome, A Course in
Miracles, the forgiveness of everyone and anyone for
my false perceptions that they have aggrieved me in any
way. We humans, in living and dying, spend so much
time contemplating the so-called spiritual and the
mythology of God, both projections of the ego, that we
neglect the people around us. That is what the ego
always wants, however, that in the relationship between it
and everything else, it has center stage. Nothing
holds that center stage stronger than the concept that the
God has a special relationship with the ego in the
universe. Being chosen by God is the basis of many
world religions. The ego inventing spirituality is that
creates the basis. Spirituality, like God, are nonsense.
Into my life you staggered
like some teetering drunk in the night
I fed you, gave you a place to rest
Eventually we became friends, then lovers
I loved you, almost as much as
I love myself
This love’s ended, but you’re still here–
parading about naked in broad daylight
Even worse, lurking about as a ghost in my dreams
I built you up, you tore me
I gave you my best, always you demanded more
I drew up separation agreements, time and time again
You never signed any of them
Why are you still here?
There’s nothing left to give you, or myself
What can I give you
that will make you go away, forever?
Even your silence draws life
out of me
There is no peace as long as you’re here
No peace until I forget your name
No living until you’re dead
Not even death can extricate me
from your insatiable wantings
For somehow, you’ve embedded yourself
even in my own dark death wish
Beware, for I shall be watching
as I sit in motionless silence
Without thinking, without doing
Watching you pass away into emptiness