Beneath the Ego
Once again I find myself here, in a state of mind that is eerily familiar, yet somehow as fresh and profound as the first time I discovered it. It’s as if all personal epiphanies are pointing towards the same realization, and that realization resides somewhere in the unwelcome feeling that I’m not entirely certain of who, or what I really am. By rediscovering this uncanny and strangely tranquil state of mind again and again, it becomes evident that the natural experience of life can only be felt beyond individual perspective. That is to say, we are happiest and most content when we are no longer thinking of our past, or anticipating our future; whenever we consciously drop all concepts of who we have been, who we are, and who we would like to become, our thoughts and emotions naturally enter a harmonious equilibrium that eludes us in everyday life. This equilibrium has an objective “feeling” about it that is independent of our individual personality, and it seems that our minds tendency to overthink acts as a filter which regulates how clearly we experience this equilibrium; The more an individual is overthinking, the less they experience mental peace and emotional clarity, and we all exist somewhere on the spectrum.
We are ceaselessly seeking meaning in life as it relates to us as individuals, but the real meaning to be found in life transcends personal identity; life is valuable in and of itself, and it needn’t be talked about, examined, or even defined in art for its sacredness to be realized. In fact, our over examining of life has cast a veil over our intuition and distorted just how we humans experience the potential serenity of life. The horror of the veil is as follows: Existence is far greater than we humans can understand; no words, nor our thoughts themselves can even procure a glimpse of understanding as to the total nature of just what is. And so, we unintentionally reduce reality down to concepts and symbols that our primate brains can map on to a limited conception of reality. Our entire experience of life becomes framed through symbolic abstractions such as religion, race, economic standing, and nationalism. However, in nature there are no religions, no countries, no economic hierarchy; and yet, these are exactly the aspects of life we identify with most, and consequently, these aspects of life hijack our sense of identity, and shape how we experience life to an alarming degree.
We must break reality down into segments to grasp a portion of it. You may understand what feeling like a member of a certain race or religion feels like, for that is a subjective and broken down aspect of consciousness. And by its very definition, our/that subjectivity distorts our perception of reality to a fragmented portion of what consciousness actually is. You label yourself as “black” or “Christian” as a means of breaking down what life feels like to something that can be understood. But raw consciousness is independent of race and religion, and if you feel like a Hispanic person or a Catholic, you are maintaining an illusion to find some stability in the void that is our consciousness. Any concept you have about yourself except for simply being alive is a departure from your true nature. We are ceaselessly identified by our concept of ourselves as tall/short, rich/poor, attractive/ugly, fat/skinny, etc. to the point that we don’t recognize that all humans operate out of the same identical mental foundation, which is essentially what we are. We are consciousness, whatever you feel when you say the word “I” is the same feeling every other human experiences as well, yet we don’t feel like consciousness, we feel like an individual.
We each harbor an identical human consciousness, yet we don’t feel identical to one another by any measure. This is because we define ourselves by how we are different from one another. You feel short because another is tall, you feel learned because of another’s ignorance, you feel ugly because of another’s beauty. This subconscious contrasting of other people’s features with our own effectively isolates us mentally, we no longer feel connected to others through our commonalties, and we learn to feel separate, and consequently become prone to tribalism, racism, and nationalism. We no longer see the entire human race as one family, but rather, see many different tribes, and our collective view of humanity transforms from a universal “us”, to “us and them”.
All humans are born with the same basic mental software, except of course where genetic deformities play a role. Essentially, we are all born with the same exact consciousness that has no initial identity besides simply being a living human being. A child born in Sub-Saharan Africa to impoverished Muslim parents has, at birth, the exact same mentality as a child born of wealthy Christian parents in a Western country. In this sense, and at that stage, there is truly one mind that both individuals are experiencing. There is no sense of self or other, there is only the conscious experience of raw humanity. However, we are constantly absorbing every iota of sensory stimuli, both consciously and subconsciously, and given the infinite number of variables that exist in life, each infant gets a different set of stimuli. Many share similarities and common stimuli, many, if not all, are raised to experience life from a specific religion, race, income level, etc. And it is from these stimuli that we get a sense of just who we are in the world. But it is possible to rewind the story of your life as far back as possible to strip yourself of the labels and beliefs you have conformed to.
There is a great abstract difficulty in doing this though, for we don’t feel like we have conformed to certain principles of identity; Christians don’t feel like they have been Christianized, but rather just feel as this is who they have always been. And the same goes with gender identification, physical identification with one’s beauty, or lack thereof, and so on. The identity that we are subconsciously coerced into creating is in direct contradiction to our natural egoless mindset that we are all born with. There really is one human mind which we all share; it just has been contorted in seven billion different ways, which give us our individual sense of self. Beyond our egos and cultural conditioning, we harbor the same intuitive morality and ideals. We instinctively know violence is terrible, stealing is wrong, and caring for others is admirable; and we needn’t assume our religions or cultures imbed these values in us. Only by disassociating with all past creeds and cultural memes that are currently ascribed to do we begin to deconstruct the illusion of identity, and then, individuals can tap into the one mind that all humans share beyond the ego complex.
How has it come to this? Where willful dissociation from the other is not only normalized, but expected. Modernity has brought forth great technological marvels, yet in its shadow we are left spiritually wanting. We crave answers to the questions that we never think to ask, we live with passive uncertainty as to our meaning in life, yet we never cultivate the courage to share such seemingly personal concepts aloud. And consequently, the deepest truths that we desire to know about ourselves fester in uncharted caverns of our minds. And as they fester, our minds become turbulent, we have copious amounts of undigested experiences, unfelt emotions, and unexplored ideas that nag at us to be understood, yet we haven't the faintest idea as how to even begin addressing them. And so, we resort to distraction. We have become so accustomed to distracting ourselves from realizing our deep seeded confusion that we have incorporated distraction into our daily routine. Television, social media, drugs, relationships, work........(benign on their own)...