WHERE DID IT ALL DO WRONG?
What are the roots behind this veil of deceit within the human psyche?
Well let us start with the much misinterpreted “ego”, interpreting it in my way by describing it as the plight or battle of the mind/self.
For most historians, history begins with the civilisations of Egypt and Sumer, which emerged around 3500BCE. From that point on, until the present day, history is little more that a catalogue of endless wars, conflicts over boundaries, religion and invasions to win territory. These outward reasons for war aren’t as significant as one would first think, since the real cause of it all is the inner need which human beings have always had for conflict.
War, to the animal kingdom is an unknown concept. Violent behaviour of animals is mainly concentrated to changes in habitat or provocation by other primates. In the book, “The Egalitarians” by Margaret Power, primatologist, Jane Goodall, points out that in early studies of chimpanzees, they showed a general lack of violence until feeding patterns were disrupted, otherwise they were showed to be extremely peaceful.
Hypothetically, if we as a species were to be observed or studied by an intelligent entity outside of our existence (alien?), what would they think? They may ask (or be asking), why do humans find it so difficult to be happy? Depression, drug abuse, eating disorders – or else spending so much time oppressed by anxieties, worries or guilt?, or more pertinent, why we find it impossible to rest in a state of contentment. Our animal cousins don’t have this problem !
DISCONTENTMENT AND RESTLESSNESS
There seems to be a fundamental kind of relentlessness within us, which makes it difficult in situations where there isn’t something external for us to focus our attentions on. Think about your daily routine, most if not all of your productive day relies on your attention being focused outwardly. To the observer (alien) of us humans, they may well wonder why we go to such lengths to stay active and not give time to enjoy our inner selves. Even when our daily work is done, we still choose to relax by stimulating our need to look outward. A recent survey said that in the U.K we watch between 25-30 hours of T.V per week.
The French philosopher Pascal wrote, “The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to sit quietly in his room”, its as if we are afraid of ourselves.
Buddha once stated that “life is suffering” and in scripture states “an enemy can hurt an enemy, and a man who hates can harm another man, but a man’s mind, if wrongly directed, can do more him a far greater harm”.
In the current climate and since the industrial revolution, we have an insatiable thirst for material things, whether it be cars, houses, wealth or even sex. The idea that “things” can make us happy is quite literally absurd. We can all relate to this illusion, when we look at ourselves and our children, especially in the modern “civilised” western hemisphere, where this type of ” buy equals happy” is most visible. We purchase things which we falsely believe make us happy, but we all know from experience that, that feeling soon diminishes until the next “hit” at the shops. With this mind-set, materialism and consumerism prevails, only lining the pockets of the corporations who prey on the facets of the ego all to well.
This one quote always stuck with me…..”The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results”.
Letting go of our material objects, the gadgets, the fancy clothes and so on, will at first, be painful and equally liberating at the same time. Its this attachment to “things” that the ego craves, as it keeps us chained up in our lower, base desires. Letting go of these illusory attachments offends the ego, and you will feel it, as if it was “you”, but it isn’t, its a concept that’s been conditioning you since birth and left untreated or ignored, will condemn and control every aspect of your life without you even realising it.
I often wonder if the mainstream ideology’s of “normal” thought and behaviour are suffering from some kind of Stockholm syndrome type defect, a defect which keeps them so inured and dependant on the ego that its almost impossible to recognise who the enemy is. Non realisation of this wicked mental state keeps them in servitude and bound by the invisible tentacles of the ego.
Eckhart Tolle teaches to ” live in the now” and ” be the observer of your thoughts”, easier said than done unfortunately, but its a platform, a foundation at least. The inner workings of the ego are intricate and extensive, bearing difficult self awareness at every step.
Just as Satan is termed, the master deceiver, I’m sure that his story is metaphorical in many ways, but namely, can be superseded with the ego, which is also a master deceiver. He/it (ego) will tell you what to think, who to judge, tell you how special you are etc., he will stop at nothing to convince you that you are one and the same. DO NOT BE FOOLED.
MAN IN THE MIRROR
So if man’s plight in this world is to be changed, if the human mind needs a new operating system, then where do we start?
Well, awareness of the self and the collective is imperative. Start to look within yourself instead of nonchalantly outwards. The hardest thing a man will ever do is look within himself. The bible and other religious scripture talk about “the light within” and look within thyself”. Deep down we all know this because we can all feel it if we are true to ourselves.
The greatest battle man will ever face is the battle of the mind.
“Loosing an illusion is wiser than finding the truth”