EGO And we said to Him, have you an ego?…………………………………………….No! No! Who, then?……………………………………………………………………………………Men! The cry rose high over the din of the woods:” ME! ME! ME! ” Men were lose on Earth. That was long ago; long, long ago. So they say who know by hearsay. Indeed, a meticulous study was made. The compilation of evidence almost reaches the sky. Nevertheless, we know by hearsay, or book-say, or professor say. What a day! Men were lose on Earth. The cry “ME! ME! ME!” in whichever language said inaugurated the beginning of mankind. Ah, me! Ah,me! And still he says “Me, no.” How is that? If You are mankind, how come no Ego in You? “Me” is not Mankind. “Us” is Mankind. When Me beheld many not-Me’s, the outgoing attachment US began its earthly career. At that moment I appeared; that is, mankind appeared and the building of mankind became the first covert and later the avowed purpose of human experience. Us? Did You say “US”?……………………………………………………We, not one or two;Many.
Does 1 know 2? Does 2 know 3? One hundred numbers are here; do they know each other? A million numbers? Do they know each other? How can they? Numbers are not self -aware. Only men know about each other in a clear way. Their self-awareness distinguishes between one man, ten men, one hundred men, one thousand men, one million men. What is more, they can be consciously interested and attached to each other; theoretically, up to seven billion or more, the number of human beings living on Earth at present. That is us in the fullest sense. Think about it. Seven billion like yourself on Earth now. Start where you are and go imaginatively to the people in the next town or city, and then go to the people in the next one, until you have reached all the towns and cities on Earth; seven billion, speaking different languages, following different customs, and adhering to different faiths. Seven billion; that is, Us in flux, because we move and because some are born and some die. Seven billion, that is the size of our family at present. Can you feel attached to all of them; vaguely, of course, to those whom you have not and will not meet? If you can, he will draw you away from the narrow ways of the Ego…..
An egotist burrows a way through his own body. That is a narrow path to follow. Mercy! An egotist sings a song to his own throat. That is cheap music to live by. Mercy! An egotist thinks in a frying pan by candlelight. That is a dark light by which to learn about a world. Sky and Sun are needed for that; but an egotist uses a frying pan and a candle. Mercy! Mercy! Mercy! For Whom? For all who feel and act and think from within the compounds of their skin. How else, you ask? Evidently a biologist questions our assertion. Indeed, the self looks at its body from eyes in it. It feels the body by nerves in it. It thinks about the body by a brain in it. Simultaneously, it looks at the world, feels it and thinks about it in the same way-from within the compounds of the skin. A man who conceives himself in this fashion has taken a good position from which to understand himself. But he disregards something of importance. What does he disregard? He disregards the immediate quality of his experience and the truth it reveals. In experience the self does not perceive itself as a brain looking out of eye windows, feeling by nerve antennae or thinking by word arrangements. When the self turns its attention on itself, it finds consciousness and identity reacting to the world from the features and qualities which it is. Self-hood has become sufficiently dominant to stand out as a distinct, conscious unit. The question to ask now is: “How engrossed is the self in its own importance?” It was natural in the beginning that a self-aware animal would become at least somewhat obsessed with itself as an individual. What happened as time passed? The obsession should have eventually lessened. Interest should have moved from the body, from possessions, from personal status; past the skin, over to other men and far places; and simultaneously inward into an enlarged self-hood, able to embrace mankind, the world and the stars… What, specifically, are the narrow ways of ego? In good living, Take and Give go together. Men give to others and they receive from others; and they enjoy both. This establishes a relation of mutual dependence and regard… This relation weakens and breaks when men imagine they do not need others as much as others need them; or that mutual regard among a limited few suffices. Now, Take gains a dominance over Give which may reach the extreme of taking as much as custom and law permit, and give niggardly except where it enhances the position of the giver. This attitude defines an egotist. An extreme egotist is a human animal who seeks in all feasible ways to enhance his own position with little or no regard for the detrimental effects his act has on others. In the egotist, one world becomes a reality, or a near reality; one world as small, inhumane and stupid as a few individuals. This world of the egotist must not be confused with the one world sought by Him in which the regard of all men for each other creates a bond of oneness. Take, in front, and Give, back there someplace, in service to Take, produce the narrow ways of the ego. When an instance of existence draws back from from surrounding existence, it narrows it’s scope to little more than nothing. That, Mr. Egotist, is you; little more than nothing, regardless of how loud the band plays your tune. No one is important by himself. He needs to mingle freely with other existences to gain importance. But how is he to mingle freely with other existences when he must preserve a grand image of himself as King, near-king, or should be king? The following offenses are charged against egotists: First, egotists lose the full significance of social problems by concentrating on their personal implications. When the full significance’s are lost, minor significance’s usurp their place. Superficial, inhumane attitudes result from this. Second, egotists have lopsided intelligence’s, which lean toward them at the expense of truth. Self-deception and misrepresentation cannot be avoided here. Thus a world already false through thru ignorance becomes falser by the distortions of vanity. Third, egotists are oversensitive to damage done to them and insufficiently sensitive to damage done to others. Justice cannot function while this attitude prevails. Because of this, human relations become unjust personally, socially, nationally, and internationally. In short, the self-love of the egotist fills the world with discord and hatred. An egotist, no matter how grandly proportioned in his own eyes, has to admit that the Sun is larger and brighter than he. If after making this sobering admission he can at times feel smaller than the Sun, there is hope. He will not have to pass the rest of his life falling into booby traps set by his own vanity. The booby traps prepared by ego ensnare their victim with high promises. Unfortunately, after initial bounces the egotist finds himself at rest in low significance. His worldly rise was accompanied by existential decline. A man has some sixty years to live. Not long, when one notices the quick demise of a year. Should the span contain seventy or eighty years, it is still a short time. With this in mind, the self may seek to aggrandize itself as an individual while it can. That only makes life shorter. Egotistic demands reduce the area of mingling. Self and world become less, and the time span is reduced by being limited to a content which pleases the ego… Do you want a short life? Obey your ego. The booby traps it sets will guarantee a short life, regardless of the years you live. An egotist needs a cleanser to clear away the corrosion consequent to narrow sentiment, abetted by narrow thinking leading to narrow values. He cannot, unfortunately, procure the cleanser at the supermarket, regardless of how super it may be. However there is help for him if he has conceded that the Sun is somewhat larger than he. Let him petition the Sun. He can do this by singing Hallelujah to it. He will then be singing to something big instead of something small, something outside of him instead of something in him, something lasting instead of something temporal… After he has earnestly placed the Sun above him in it’s rightful position, he will be able to sing Hallelujah to smaller existences; and it may be that eventually he will sing Hallelujah to blades of grass or crests of waves. From there to the acceptance of most, and later to the acceptance of all men, is two small steps. Men, after all, are one in being men; fortunate or unfortunate, accomplished or unskilled, wise or ignorant, in health or sickness, kind or cruel, egotistic or humble; one family sharing the exhilaration and distress of human existence… Are you ample in affection and compassion? Do you think and act so as to assist the advancement of people? Do you celebrate achievements which free the people from the oppression of exploiters? Are your heart and mind with mankind in its struggle to rise out of ignorance and the failings of incompleteness? If you do not excel in these, you are undeveloped where development is most needed. If you have these attainments, you will not place yourself high above others, an untouchable in reverse; your action will not be controlled by notions of great superiority and importance; great masses of people will not seem to be intolerable and unworthy of esteem… The sea engages our imagination, the sky challenges it….. The standing animal surveys his kingdom. “The Earth,” he says “Is ours. We the species of man are the first animals able to think and say that. No animal will rise above us in time ahead as we rose above our predecessors in life, for in us the animal denies himself.” Enough of animal. Something more, now. No higher animal will emerge out of men. It will be something different or nothing. The outcome depends on us… They amble along and forget. They worry and talk and forget. They speak beautifully about grand spectacles and they forget. What is it they forget? They forget they are the last animal and the first instance of conscious existence. Intestines, a blood pump, air sponges, nerve slime and brain pulp have summoned a ghost; more exactly, seven billion ghosts, making the Earth the ghost planet… Instances of existence had to announce themselves to other instances of existence. They had to shout “I am.” Existence not imbued with “I am” or an equivalent to it? Stay with the idea for awhile. Billions of Suns and planets; on Earth, billions of simple and complex organisms, and nor a single “I am” in the whole of it? The idea will not stay with you. It can’t. Your presence refutes it. When “I am” sounded in the Earth’s air, it proclaimed a new world for animals which would be superseded gradually by non-animal worlds of consciousness… Now the animal world weakens all around and in us, as ghostly selves seek to find a meaning in existence for ghostly selves. The dying is sad despite laughter, pomp, ornamentation, civility and make believe. An end is the saddest occurrence, unbearably sad when the end does not release a new beginning. Thus it is that the end of animals and plants and all the beauty they embodied had to and did inaugurate the beginning of identity and self-hood… Salute all animals and plants near you. They achieved your birth. Soon they will decline. Their drama comes to an end as ours continues. Raise memorials to them in your sensitivity. Remain true to them and to yourself as one of them, even as you leave their world into the self-worlds of consciousness… Some rise on extended wings and circle in the air. Others remain quiet and impassive in the Sun on the shore. Many centuries taught them their patience. The rumble of waves, the sweep of winds, day-breaks and night-falls, seasons, tides, fog, rain pertain to them as their plumage does. The world outside blends intimately with the world inside… When gulls and their brethren in life became men, the balance tipped. Inside assumed an importance it did not have. The magnification of “Me” came naturally as a consequence of consciousness located in an organism. The weak flicker of identity had to concentrate on it’s self in order to preserve itself. It thus converted “Mine” into the most meaningful aspect of existence; my body, my world, my children, my money, my position, my success, my sickness, my suffering, my mistakes, my misfortune. These “My’s” weakened the relation of inner experience to outer existence. They created separate inner worlds not much interested in the great outside. Men presently bogged down in egotistic pleasures have a way out. They can perceive the way and follow it when their perception is clear. Non-human animals lack this perceptory assistance because they lack the consciousness required for it. Men know! Not inwardly and without awareness of it! They know sufficiently well to talk about their knowledge and act on it. They say “Do this,” “Don’t do that,” and they learn how to do as they say… That makes an oceanic difference. Men may not be able always to follow the directive. A well prepared dinner can mean more than an eternity of stars when the dinner is on the table and the stars are in the sky. Nevertheless, a course can be charted and returned to when custom, momentary satisfactions and personal gain block the way out… Tell us about the course that annuls ego when the egotists are dissatisfied with their type of experience… The egotist now seeks to love more extensively, love for self expands into love for existence. When a man loves existence as existence, he loves men as men and he has ceased to be an egotist… Men can enjoy the sky because it is a sky; the ground because it is ground; mankind because it is mankind; ideas because they are ideas; love because it is love; sharing because it is sharing; that is the new experience which redeems the egotist… A pendulum swings to one side before swinging to the other. After that it swings in both directions. The self goes in, so that it may know and enjoy its small personal world. After that it goes out, so that it may know and enjoy mankind and the universe. When it succeeds in this, inner and outer existence blend as they do in gulls on the shore, but with a knowledge they lack… An acorn takes moisture and light and sends a sprout through the Earth up into the sky. Why does it do it? So that it may say “I am a beautiful oak”? It cannot be for that. The acorn does not know about itself. It does it in acorn fashion, for the sake of existence. It proclaims the motto “Unfoldment for the sake of Unfoldment.” The seed of a man evolves in a womb, in time, it is pushed into an environment, later to be known as the Earth. There it continues its development and learns about itself and the place of its existence… What for? So that a man may strut about like a monarch, or long to do it when circumstance prevents it? Not at all. Existence did not reveal a universe to men for them to ignore it. The inheritance makes demands. Existence revealed a universe to men for them to claim it. “How wonderful I am,” though permissible as an episode, must change into “How wonderful the Universe is.” The ultimate enjoyment of men cannot be less than mankind and the portion of the Universe open to mankind. When personal existence enjoys existence impersonally, it does not say “My sky.” It says “Sky.” It does not say “My friends.” It says “Fellow-men.” It does not say “My words.” It says “Our conversation.” The prophetic sky waits. The Oceanic cradle waits. Existence waits for itself everywhere, as it surveys itself. Men wait and strive, as time pushes them on to themselves. The beginning has been made. The advance continues. The culmination comes. The House of Mankind rises on itself to assume it’s sky-place………… ” Congratulations if you read this whole missive, there is still hope for you and for mankind. The reason I am quoting Mr. Esteve is because he says what I want to say only hundreds of times better than I could in my wildest dreams…I hope people realize what a real danger our Egotist in Chief poses to this planet Earth…..