Making the self disappear – is Mr Ego really all bad?

August 26, 2015

Yes….I don’t imagine this would be something like taking up a new hobby. Making oneself disappear! Why after would anyone even consider doing that at all? It’s utterly ridiculous…….isn’t it?

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‘When I ask myself honestly, what is the one aspect of my character that keeps getting me in trouble? It is always the same answer – my ego. That’s my kryptonite. My nemesis.

The ego is a very super sensitive fellow lah. He is like one of those old spinsters, when you accidentally bump into her in the train – she makes a big deal out of it….she even reads into things endlessly. You can tell from the way she growls at you…. . Slight him ever so gently and he would register it like a military spec radar – he’s quick off the mark usually headed towards the edge of a cliff at full throttle. Sometimes he even imagines things that are not there or really only exist in the realm of imagination. The ego is all about me….me…me. That’s the story of his whole life….me…..me…me.

But let me speak plainly and honesty….there is also a certain je ne ces quo quality about Mr Ego as well – he’s like the archetypal heroic, yet tragic main protagonist in every great movie. There’s a swagger about him. He even exudes a charm. He’s the maverick climber who decides to make a rush up the summit one hour before the sun curls over the mountain ranges with only half a rank of oxygen. The debonair explorer who goes where no mind dares to go…deeper…and deeper. So deep sometimes that all time ceases completely and the only thing that truly exist is the aching and terrifying silence and desolation that seems to stretch beyond the infinite ocean of time…reminding you…you are the only human being who has made it this far. Other men watch and read about it. But only you have done it!

It takes a certain arrogance with plenty of lashings to believe one is larger than life itself to do all these things. So to me, the very prospects of saying – Mr Ego is all bad is not entirely true or honest. Not at all….he certainly has many endearing qualities.

There are definitely admirable qualities about him….his daring…appetite for risk….seeming confidence even when the ringgit is free falling against the sing $. He’s cool lah. Not too bothered. That’s Mr Ego. Because he has wordsmithed his own mythology, he believes in himself absolutely and completely…even when all the facts suggest he’s delusional.

At times that’s not a bad thing. As hope is the only thing that keeps you going…hope is what makes possible the idea that providing one turns the wheel of life…everything will just come around…hope to believe in yourself even when everything tells you it is all sacked.

To know in your heart that if you dare to make that epic jump..to soar momentarily like a bird across the time and space….that long impossible jump that seems to go right on forever…even should you fall, you wouldn’t just keel over and die…to even harbor the supernatural belief that if your grip loosens and you fall…something miraculous will catch you in mid air…and that thing is what I define as the ego.

It is what makes a man do great things as well as destroy himself. A life force that powers human will and also consumes a man like slow acting poison.

My point is, it’s not entirely true to believe in the idea one’s ego doesn’t produce anything of value besides grief.

That’s the black and white…zero or nothing story about one’s ego that’s so often marketed by new age guru’s. But they are all wrong….I don’t believe it’s necessarily true or even good for one to set aside one’s ego. Not completely at least. Not without deliberating at lenght about how much of what defines us as human beings is constructed on the bed rock of one’s ego. Not even if it’s inflated…. I am reminded nature isn’t frivolous, if she provisioned for you and I to go thru life with an ego, the chances are, it was meant to serve and not hold you or I back. It’s a tool…a necessary life force that can be harnessed to produce good thoughts and sound actions. The very idea that the ego is perdition and not salvation has always been a subject that has always vexed me no end.

Perhaps one way of living in peace with our ego even if it happens to be delusionally inflated one such as the one I have…lies in cultivating the life skills to know which aspect of our ego takes us closer or further away from our goals?

To be able to winnow the good from bad like how road rage ego is no good for anything except maybe supplying a sad impression of a man with a hole in his head and to just chuck it away. And to keep only the good ego like the sort that competes and strives to go further to improve one’ lot.

I mean if a group of thugs decide to mug me in a back alley. If I walked into that kind of hairy situation. Without my ego, I would probably give them everything without a fight…the problem is in certain cases in the plantation business, you can never ever do that, because all you are doing is broadcasting like a distress fish for every mugger to hit on you. You will be swarmed!

But if I had my ego right there in that back alley. He would be scaling the odds, making mental calculations of who and how to take out. That’s the nature of Mr Ego, he realizes at three against one, the odds are stacked against him, but because he’s so invested in only himself and even harbors the infantile belief bullets can have no dominion over HIS flesh that Lady Luck the great keeper of providence…that female repository of the Hollywood ending laced with the sappy promise of redemption and good triumphing over evil can always be counted to protect him. As since she loves him and since love can always be reliably trusted to find a way…He will always win…On account of all that grand bullshit narrative that renders the post LKY narrative, ‘you wouldn’t be where you are today…had it not been for me!’

Mr Ego will let it all rip! You will never get any money out of him with a switch blade in a dark alley. It’s never going to happen.

And you know what the funny thing is? He walks right out of that alley…whole and intact with that, ‘you should see the other guy if you think I took a licking!’ The only compelling reason why Mr Ego can pull even the impossible off is because He’s the sole author of his own narrative as well as reality. It’s a miss mash, all in a confused melange of movies….books….make belief and what I can only describe as pulp fiction. He’s the quiessential, as long as I can believe it, then it has to be true!

So there is definitely a veni, Vedi, Vinci quality about it all.

And precisely because of that – Mr Ego is the man who usually beats the odds. He’s the expert practitioner in pulling off the long shots. Or so he makes himself to be lah by eventually mythologizing his own rags to riches narrative. Of course lah, he will never tell people on a scale to one to ten, maybe he had it a decent seven. In the self aggrandizing mega ego stroking narrative of starring, me….me…only me….nope there is no one else. The main prologue is always the same, it’s about a man. A simple man. A man maybe like you or him…ozzing ordinariness…simple weekend Kistch japanese sushi in Safra ordinariness lah.

This simple man who suddenly becomes the accident hero only to eventually triumph over evil…crush the serpents had and deliver us all from doom and gloom.

That’s how the hero narrative plays out and to a large extent much of what comprises the raw material that makes up Mr Ego’s persona and mindset is fashioned from this fairytale stuff.

So there are good aspects in Mr Ego. As there are maybe bad aspects as well, one would do well to know which is which.’

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