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    Default The ego, for what it is worth?

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    The ego, for what itís worth?

    Thereís probably no word in the entirety of religious teachings or spiritual literature which is more looked down upon, considered base or reviled than the word Ďegoí. Very quickly we learn that itís the principle cause of all suffering, the fount of human frailty and pride and something that stifles any move towards greater worth. The ego prophesies negative futures, the ego wants to feel superior and special, the ego has to be right all the time and, whatís more, the reason itís a continuous hindrance to any spiritual development is because it obscures the true quality of consciousness like a veil. Even evil seems to pale in front of it. How difficult is it to see then that the ego has to be done away with and demolished as soon as possible?

    The overwhelming majority of animals, however, have no such problems to contend with because thereís no awareness in them of any distinct self; an ĎIí that resides and operates independently from somewhere inside . And although a lot of them possess a fair amount of brain, thereís little evidence of a mind there thatís capable of differentiating one brain from another to cause any particular animal to believe itís unique and separate from another of the same kind. In fact, we like to think they canít even think of such things. Are they the lucky ones who are already on the road to self-salvation?

    On the other hand, it has come to light in recent times that there are some species such as bottle nosed dolphins, apes, elephants and the European magpie that also possess a sense of personal identity like we do; who are aware of themselves as separate and exclusive beings . For, unlike other animals who, when confronted by a mirror image, believe the reflection is another animal and become hostile, affectionate or indifferent, these animals start preening and grooming themselves. So, should we think the dolphin, for instance , to be also on the road to perdition unless it starts undertaking the long and arduous process of getting rid of its nascent self ó itís emergent ego?

    Perhaps we need to revisit the ego and find out how it came to be and what its purpose is, if any. If life is existentially meaningless then this quest is obviously meaningless too but if our being in the world is a directed instance then something must have a reason for allowing such a seriously flawed attribute to permeate us with the potential to impede any self-enhancement.

    ...being a human...



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