So… let’s say we are an assembly of molecules and vibrations that come together temporaily. These molecules and vibrations pre-existed us (‘us’ being the configuration we each call ‘me’, ‘I’) and will continue to exist long after they have dispersed from this temporary arrangement. They will, in fact become parts of other temporary assemblies, as they were before they were ‘us’.
Parts of us were once… oh, I don’t know… trees, frogs, air breathed by queens, water sweated by warriors… you know… anything you could imagine… on earth or anywhere else in the universe.
And we experience a conscious awareness of the existence of this physical and metaphysical entity. Me. I. And what do we do with this consciousness? Sweat. Stew. Live the way we believe we ought to. Suffer.
We search for solutions, as if our existence were a problem to be solved rather than an adventure to be enjoyed. Some of us search for ‘enlightenment’… even though we’re confused about what that actually means… and are told it’s unattainable, anyway, unless we’re Jesus or Buddha.
Does anyone know what enlightenment actually is? Probably not, because, like every idea, it’s just a concept invented by the human mind that is subject to individualized, subjective and relative definition. It might be just another non-existent, unattainable goal we can feel inadequate about failing to achieve.
A popular belief among spiritual and psychology thinkers is that the soul is subjugated by the ego and that enlightenment means death of the ego and that the ego will fight tooth and nail to avoid this fate and that the ego’s struggle for survival is a hindrance to enlightenment and that enlightenement is about us revealing, or realising the existence of, our soul… or some other part of us that has been ‘lost’ to our conscious awareness, relegated to the shadows of the subconscious.
Rather than the soul awakening to its subjugation by ego, might it be that it’s the ego waking up to itself? As in: “This is who I have become.” “This is what I have allowed to happen to me.”
For “I” read: the whole psychic organism with ‘soul’ and ‘ego’ being parts of that whole, separate only in an imaginary sense. Actually, they only really exist as imaginary concepts in the first place. So, one part doesn’t subjugate another part, but the One Part – The Whole of Me and I – simply pretends to be something else, something it is not.
So, maybe it’s not so much that our ego speaks while our soul hides, but that we always act through our soul… and our ego… and whoever else is in there… because it’s all one. So, ‘ego’ is just a label ‘experts’ have given to describe the aspect of ourself who is acting out the pretence: the ‘pretender’, the ‘actor’, the ‘avatar’ who represents the entire psychic organism to the world.
And, I mean the word ‘soul’ in the loosest of terms – too loose for me to even construct a definition – believe me, I tried!
The ego / pretender is a defence mechanism created by our mind to protect us against what we perceive as the tyranny of society… the tyranny of social interaction with people with the power to hurt us. So, ego is friend, not foe. Its dysfunctionality is not evidence of its evil; it’s evidence of its confusion and agony.
But here’s a rub: how can we be anyone other than ourself? How can anything that eminates from us be anything other than us? So, the pretender is still ‘me’. We create this aspect of ourself of our own will. We are the author of it. We create it because we need to in order to survive. So, rather than the soul being relegated to the back room by a tyrannical ego as is popularly thought, maybe the soul creates the ego and then pushes it out there instead of speaking for itself. It’s our attempt at surviving the nonsense.
And that’s what the belief systems of Civilization – The Matrix – are… nonsense.
But there’s another way of living. Freely. Not by pretending to be someone we believe others will deem acceptable and getting ourselves into a stew trying to work out what that is.
We can decide to stop putting up with the nonsense.
I know this is easier said than done. Believe me, I know that.
To do such an unusual thing, we first have to believe the idea that society’s morals are a nonsense and that we have become nonsensical creatures in our attempts to live up to them. Most people take things very seriously and get themselves into a boiling stew of suffering trying to fit into it, to be ‘good’, to do ‘right’. Most people believe this code of correct behaviour (even though it’s full of contradictions and no one can figure it out or agree on what it is) exists objectively, outside themself, even that it came from – Ta Da – ‘God’.
But it’s the work of Man. Not God. It’s a figment of the collective imagination of human consciousness.
And we can decide that it’s bollocks. It’s that simple, in the end. We can decide to disregard it.
Second, we can cease being afraid of the consequences of freely expressing ourself. We can cease fearing the censure of others. We can cease feeling guilty about going against the grain. We can cease living our life through our imaginary self… our ‘ego’.
I don’t think the ego ‘dies’ in the process. I think it kind of dissolves in our realisation of its non-existence, that is: the realisation that it is imaginary, that we constructed it ourself. That we don’t need it any more.
I’ll repeat that: I reckon the ego fades away when we realise we don’t need it anymore.
It’s an example of us putting away childish things so we can be self-determining adults rather than terrified children pretending to be a version of adulthood while recreating our experiences of navigating our relationship with our parents.
The gist of what I’m saying is that all belief systems – including the beliefs we have about ourselves – are imaginary. They have no existence outside human consciousness.
Understanding this gives one a choice that was not previously apparent: the choice to disregard the nonsense of the culture one finds oneself inhabiting. To free one’s mind from the shackles of dogma. To free oneself from the burden of constructing their existence in order to fit a prescribed model, especially when that model is clearly (to me, anyway) not fit for purpose.
This means – essentially – living outside the constraints of cultural morality. It means freeing oneself from The Matrix.
We could say to the world: “World, I will not submit to your demands because they are unreasonable. I am a mere mortal mammal and cannot manage it. Not only will I not comply, but I won’t feel guilty about it. So there.”
Amorality is the only true freedom.