Egomania

Ampersand Daily2I have been asked many times, “If there was one thing in the world that you could get rid of what would it be?” For me, it’s not a physical object that you can have destroyed. It’s something intangible that branches out into so many areas of our lives and affects everything we do as individuals. That is of course, the human ego. Popular responses to that question are typically war, poverty, disease, and bigotry. Perhaps other than disease, the other three can be removed from the world by crucifying the ego. If people were not so desperate to please this part of themselves instead of focusing on what they truly want and who they truly are, perhaps we would not be so misunderstood with one another and violent reactions to debates and political discourse wouldn’t evolve into war. Perhaps if we were more willing to take care of ourselves and share with one another freely, no one would ever live in shortage. Maybe, if we realized there is no excuse to imagine ourselves being superior simply by proclamation no one would ever feel singled out for being different. Human beings who are given power to rule over others must be insane with ego. Who would actually want to force others to their views and tell others how to live? Does war simply come from the ego being threatened? Does the suggestion of letting go of your greed and arrogance cause you to have a violent reaction towards me? How many wars could have been averted simply by admitting to our flaws as individuals and sharing that experience with our supposed enemies by offering peace instead of war? I believe it is our ego which causes fear in our minds. Fear of the unknown and misunderstood leads to arguments and those arguments eventually lead to physical violence from domestic disputes at home to large-scale wars funded by tax dollars. I hear people making the excuse all the time for war, that is us versus them and it might as well be us who wins. Doesn’t that seem peculiar that people can acknowledge that war is wrong but at the same time be unwilling to put that into practical use in real life? To me, this is a mass scale delusional arrogance caused by the ego.   People cling to false identity all the time don’t they? They are Americans, they are black people, they are Mexicans  they are hippies, they are conservatives, atheist, Christians, white people, and any other label one can put on themselves in order to avoid being who they really are. Perhaps one might identify with some of the attributes of a particular label, but to me, no one label can define me for the simple fact that no one label is perfectly in tune with reality and good nature in human behavior. For years now, I have identified myself as a “libertarian” because I agree so whole heartily with the idea that human beings are best left to their own devices and should never use force or coercion when dealing with others around them.  I thought to myself, finally, a group of people who understand me and with whom I can identify with. I felt that strong sense of belonging and it was very dear to me. That sense is still dear to me, however it comes now to me with a greater sense of awareness. I do not agree with every last drop of what my libertarian friends have to say. Once again, I am met with this idea of collectivism and realize that it cannot define me as a complete person. Instead, I’ve learned to control my emotions and identify those emotions for what they really are, my true self trying to break through to the surface. The image below illustrates various degrees of similar emotions. When you look at it, try to think about the last discussion you had where you became agitated, where do you think your emotions land on the chart? In my opinion the closer to the middle you get, the closer to your ego’s desires you get. I believe the more intense emotions we feel in life spawn from an unhealthy amount of ego. It’s after you take a step back and identify how you would rather feel about things that you can begin to shed your ego.  Instead of feeling rage, why not take a step back and think about how that will affect not just yourself, but the people around you. The idea I’m attempting to get across is that as an individual, one can learn to control their emotions and identify when their ego is attempting to over take our true selves. I’m starting to realize that no matter how much I try to persuade, the almighty middle finger will endlessly trump any kind of polite and respectable discourse I had planned. I am so very close to forgetting about politics in general. All I see anymore is “I believe this!” “But I believe that!” and two middle fingers and two angry sour faces and further division of humanity into two completely compartmentalized groups of thought. We are being reduced to the lowest common denominator. The ego is being fed all the best parts of who and what we are as individuals and I am deeply saddened by this as I have to admit I am along for the ride as well. After 1000 death threats, personal attacks, and flat-out ignorant ravings towards me I’ve come to the conclusion that neither the left or the right has any validity what so ever if the best they can come up with in the end is forcing the other side to live how they see fit with violence and coercion. You deserve each other. I was called a coward earlier today for saying this and it really had me thinking about if I really am just afraid and yes, part of me really is afraid, afraid of losing myself in the chaos that is politics. Afraid of losing my identity as an individual because of labels. Afraid of losing my sanity because no one will listen to me….sure I am afraid, but how afraid will you be once you can’t remember who you were before? How afraid will you be once you realize your ego has finished taking you over? How brave will you be when trying to scratch and claw your way back into who you used to be? I have painted my own Mona Lisa folks, she is beautiful and puts a smile on my face and humbles me and would have me be myself and share the best parts of myself with others…not rant and rave like a lunatic and flip everyone off who disagrees with me. Instead, I’m going to focus on my self, how to control my emotions, improving myself, and leaving my ego behind when I can afford to do so.   Thank you for reading!   Scott D. Vogler

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