57. A QUESTION

shhh

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6 comments

    1. When we live a life of selfishness and self-centeredness, the final destination is massive self-destruction. The ego finds its greatest fertilizer in the mouth of the carrier. It uses this source to feed its growth; an act we can observe happening to others (and occasionally to ourselves) on a daily basis. IF the ego is the opposite of spirit (and I think it is) then what feeds the spirit if noise feeds the ego? Herman Melville said “God’s one and only voice is silence.” Is ego a disease?….yes, it can take over a life and destroy it as surely as cancer. The good news is we already own the cure.

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      1. I can understand your perspective if you define the ego as being the opposite of spirit. I suppose I don’t view the world so much as “opposite,” as I view it as “complementary.” I know I prattled on about the view in another comment under another entry when I discussed the concept of yin-yang.

        Because I view the ego as complementary to the spirit (and not a polar opposite), I don’t view it as a disease. The ego, from my understanding of it, is nothing more than the “I” experience – the “self” experience. The spirit, from my understanding of it, is the “we” experience – the “transcendental/eternal” experience. From this perspective…. I versus we…. or temporary versus eternal….. or physical versus ethereal…… I don’t view ego as “opposite,” as much as I view it as a complementary experience.

        If we define the ego as the “I,” or the self, or the physical part of our experience, then we are stating that the ego is an essential part of THE human experience. The ego is what makes a human, human. The ego is “human nature.” The ego is the self-preservation instinct. The ego’s function, by design, is to keep You alive in this physical incarnation, in this physical environment. Because I view Spirit as synonymous with Love, I then do NOT view Ego as synonymous with hate… or the proverbial “devil on your shoulder.” I instead view the ego as the survival mechanism – even if that happens to translate into the mentality of “kill or be killed.” Without the ego, humans would not live very long, and thus would gain little expansion from our incarnations.

        By THIS definition, to view the ego as disease is to view being human as being disease. It is a perspective… an experience…. but not the enemy.

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        1. It’s all about balance. I agree that ego has it’s designated function, but if we live solely for a “material” purpose, pleasure, or gain, then therein lies a very slippery slope. Histories’ greatest spiritual leaders are obviously in the same boat when it comes to worshiping the physical world. Me…….I still want my big TV and a nice car as well as a pretty girl, so I have a ways to go yet.
          When I say “opposite” it’s only to illustrate the other side of the same equation. Most can equate quicker with this analogy and therefore make faster connections to understanding because of it.

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          1. I just now saw that you responded to this! Oopsie!!

            All I really want to say is that I DO understand where you’re coming from here. I can understand the idea of balance. That ties directly into the yin-yang concept. I agree that to be “overly preoccupied” with ANYTHING is to flirt with the line of “dysfunction.”

            In psychology, you hear people all the time say, “If someone is doing something that “looks crazy,” you don’t need to panic and report it to the police. Some people are weird, or eccentric. However, someone doing something that “looks normal” can actually be MUCH closer to the diagnostic criteria of mental illness, if that behavior disturbs their natural life function.” <—— This is where the idea of "balance" really comes into play.

            I have a quick example that I always thought was fun (and I realize this is LESS a discussion of ego versus soul, and MORE a discussion of boundary lines). There was a woman who was almost admitted into our psychiatric facilities, because she wore a hat that she made out of tin foil EVERYWHERE she went, and she lined all of her house windows in tin foil too. When people asked her, "What's with all the tin foil?" She explained that it kept the aliens AND bad people from reading her thoughts or transmitting their own into her head. Sounds sci-fi, right? (In reality, perhaps she was right, hahaha, but I digress…. won't put ANYTHING past the people in our world power seats right now…). Well, people tried to have her admitted into our facility, because it looked crazy. The bottom line was: is she harming others? No. Is she truly harming herself? No. In this case, she had a job, house, monies, family…… and lots of tin foil. So, she was FINE!!!! It's just that, as a society, we're not used to that behavior as being the "normal," typical behavior. It's eccentric, but for her, it was still IN BALANCE with her functioning life.

            Now, we have another case study: a middle-aged male who works extremely long hours, drinks alcohol every night to deal with the long day of stressful deadlines and the push to work up the corporate ladder. He's removed from his wife and kids. He's too exhausted to be a family man, too drunk to overcome apathy, and during the day, he's too focused on the fact that he ISN'T at the top to realize that he is STILL making a lot of money for his family. So… this man DOES have a home and a job…… but he barely has a family. This is something that A LOT of families can easily recognize as being "normal"….. the workaholic/alcoholic/depressed father and husband. This is something that our society, at this juncture, actually VALUES. We VALUE productivity. We VALUE commercial output. We VALUE the "success-driven" male, however it is that you have to make it happen. But the bottom line again: is he harming himself? Yes. He's one work week away from a stroke or a bullet to the head… if the alcohol doesn't disrupt his bodily functions first. Is he harming others? From a bio-psycho-social standpoint, yes he is. Would someone matching this description get admitted into our facilities? Maybe, maybe not. Though they could USE treatment, because society views this as "normal" and "valued," there's not as large of an impetus to have him admitted. (Treatment is still stigmatized too. Only useless retarded nasty people need psychiatric treatment, right? Not a hard-working, successful, rich father and husband!)

            Anyway, I only told those stories, because I literally have watched those exact stories, and a few others similar to it………… and it really makes you question the world…….. and question what "balance" really is. Obviously, it's a very subjective term!

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