Meditation for January 9th, 2017
For most of the life of religion and spiritual practices has been the reduction of the human ego so that one may be humbled in the face of the gods.
Christians have used self flaggelation to punish oneself for even daring to think about sin (I would like to have sexual intercourse with that person). Christians even fully believed in the torture and ego banishing of others who dared to worship the wrong god or the right god wrong -see Spanish Inquisition.
The Shi’a Muslims march around while hitting themselves to commemorate a sacrifice and martyrdom of the Imam Hussein. Other sects of Islam believe in martyring themselves for their religion as a whole, and one would need to banish all ego to achieve that kind of sacrifice.
The entire teaching of Buddhism is the banishment of ego. One must get rid of identity, personality, and ego to achieve enlightenment. Some take it to the point that only physical death can rid a man of his ego.
Hinduism also have many cases where humiliation and self-harm is used to try and reduce the ego. Fasting, walking backwards for miles, cutting off ones limbs are all methods used.
Other religions use hard rituals, lifestyle sacrifices, and adherences to religious law to keep the ego in check.
Even in the 20th century people have tried to find ways to rid self of ego by adapting ancient rites, hallucigenics, and modern psychology therapies.
Now this need to rid self of ego is disappearing. Modern Christianity has become a prosperity church where god supposedly wants to bless those who worship him with wealth and power.
Social media is a platform that is all me, me, me, me, me, me, me, and here are some pictures of me. Getting a like on one of your posts stirs up dopamine, the same brain chemical that comes up in alcohol consumption, cocaine, gambling, and sex. Ego is getting us high.
Most of the message we receive as children are that we are special and unique. We are having our egos inflated. We need to be told good job at work, even if we are just doing our job. We want A grade comments for a C grade performance.
When people reach out for ancient religions, they are finding ways to make themselves more unique and therefore keep more ego. No one is willing to undergo the ego-deflating sacrifices that most of these old practices require. Yoga has just become an exercise practice and the ‘spiritual’ feeling is just endorphins.
Ego is everything that has made Culture bland and mediocre. Capitalism is making thee masses narrowolly define themselves, requiring a lot of ego, so that the system can sell to you.
We have made an ego stroking media, even if that stroking is negative, so that all people do is love or hate a thing. Ego can grow from negativity too.
We have created a caste system based on ego. We have created recipes for what gets you into different caste levels. You hav those that you can egotistically look down on, and there will always be those that have more than you. You are always climbing or giving up.
If you want truth, freedom, and peace; give up everything you have including your identity and flog yourself silly for a god.