href=”http://anewgaia.ning.com/group/advancedproblemsinenlightenmenttheoryandpractice/forum/topic/show?id=5269550%3ATopic%3A427152&xg_source=msg”>Advanced problems in enlightenment theory and practice
Overcoming Ego (My own observations)
Agree with the power for self enquiry and the power of uncovering self deception, and not with the rest of the explanatory framework offered.
It seems clear to me that we are very complex entities, and a simplistic concept like a “soul” cannot possibly encompass what is actually present.
We seem to be beings influenced by a genetic evolutionary lineage that carries information derived from billions of generations over billions of years, combined with cultural information evolved over the last million or so years, with exponential increases in that evolution over the last 10,000 years.
And on this base, we are each individuals, struggling to come to terms consciously with the vastness of our subconscious and historical reality, and the twin realities of our free will, and our existence in a reality to which we are subject.
It seems clear to me that many of the older interpretive schemas have some power and contain some distilled wisdom, and compared to modern understandings based in physics, mathematics, biochemistry and systems theory, they are severely limited.
Certainly all actions carry chains of consequence at many different levels.
Certainly also, our safety as individuals depends very much on how we treat each other. It is definitely in the long term interests of all of us to ensure the safety of all others, and to grant all others as much liberty and diversity as we can.
And there are many systemic structures that are working against our self interest, that few are aware of.
Our economic system is perhaps the prime example. Markets have two major factors that contribute to market value – supply and demand. The aspect of this that few are aware of, is that there is not any incentive within a market structure to deliver real abundance, as such abundance lowers market value to zero (if you doubt this, consider oxygen, vital importance, abundant supply, and zero market value). We have the technological ability to deliver an abundance of all necessities to every individual on the planet, yet our addiction to, and continued worship of, the myth of market value prevents it happening.
It is not selfishness that is the enemy. We need to be selfish, in the sense of ensuring our own survival. And if we can see our survival in the larger contexts, then it is clear that it is in our own long term selfish interests to ensure the freedom and prosperity and security of everyone else.
It is hard to make such a distinction (“selfishness is when you lie or do something bad to someone without even realizing it, because of the ego’s ability to mask itself behind your awareness”) in ordinary use of language, and I never have.
To me, it is all about the time-scale that one considers one’s actions on, and the discount rate one applies to future events and rewards.
If one applies a low discount rate, and uses a timescale of 1,000 years plus, then it becomes difficult to distinguish between selfishness (self interest) and altruism.
We all exist in a highly connected world, and our actions have long term consequences on many different levels.
It is never in one’s long term interests to cheat on self or another.
It may be in the long term interests of all to devote one’s time and energy into something with no monetary reward to anyone, yet with greatly enhanced probability of survival for all.