Chapters in the Story of Consciousness – Lecture Series, Vol 6 . read
Survival and the ego
The ego is subconscious programming that is there to keep the body safe, healthy, and alive. It is the co-pilot of our waking state consciousness but has control power over all decisions if it is activated by fear or even simple body sensors like feeling pain, hunger, cold etc. Its ultimate response mechanism is the fight or flight response which activates chemical and other biological responses to elevate the heart rate, close off circulation to some body parts and prepare us physiologically to stand our ground against a predator or get out of harm’s way quickly. While its ancient, mechanized auto response features are located in the subconscious another control center for the ego has morphed to the intellect with the evolution of our modern brains and hair trigger emotions.
Throughout the day the fight or flight response can be activated by something like encountering someone we dislike even though our lives are not threatened. This triggering can be activated in the body relative to fears imagined and real, that our occurring now, have happened in the past or may happen in the future. Triggering events are often uncalled for and over time can cause stress, anxiety, exhaust us and put our health at risk.
Survival relates to food, shelter, procreation, and tribal socialization/protection as its core features. Modern man has expanded this programming beyond his needs to include the acquisition of excessive wealth, position power, status symbols and ever larger offensive measures (armies and weapons) to protect or acquire power and stuff. It is characterized by an insatiable desire for wanting more.
The intellect by projecting countless possible fears into our minds has hijacked our ability to live in the moment in peace and serene pleasantness. The most insidious yet rationale answer seems to be the acquisition of more stuff will protect us against shortages of things we need to live or help us live better and thus will make us happy.
Modern man has bought into this game of more, that has no happy ending, because more can never be an end to anything. We are on a perpetual treadmill. We get the thing we were seeking and the moment that happens we are planning a new goal or target to increase our power or wealth or just have more money in our bank account to pay our monthly bills. Greed and dominance over others is the path many take to the detriment of both the acquirer and their subject targets.
Judgment of others because they are different and threaten some aspect of our lives or culture is an example of the fears that are stirred up. When fears are propagated through targeted messaging to the masses, blood and treasure can be committed to appease the egos in power, up to and including going to war to defend invalid ideas, think Iraq war.
We have painted a pretty ugly picture of the ego, but it is not to blame. The problem is one of balance, we have bought into a physical wealth creation model in societies around the globe. There is nothing wrong with technology driving efficient change and life improvement for the benefit of all and allowing those that are creators of new things to become wealthy.
What is wrong is that many of us are ignorant relative to knowing our true selves and what makes us happy versus just believing what others tell us. The acquisition of stuff concept is indicative of a busy populace trying to survive and finding someone else or a government and its propaganda messages appealing to their survival instincts. I am not talking about defending ourselves here as there are times when we are on the receiving end of an aggressor.
We are constantly living in the future in our minds where our survival is in question rather than living in a future where we question the greater merits of existence and the quality we can bring to our lives with a different approach.
This is not a near term discussion that can be had by governments to change things because it is a basic issue, we have within ourselves. The issue is can we change on an individual basis in large enough numbers to influence society to change.
Can we move away from a highly efficient intellect/ego in favor of a more loving, kind, be of service to others model? Organized religion has done some good work over the long haul but it to is has its weaknesses. Religions today are losing congregants as seekers want direct access to spirituality,
I will cut to the chase, to live in harmony with one another and the world it falls to each of us to take responsibility, it is an inside job. We must come to know ourselves and place others before us. That is a big ask in a world filled with unchecked egos…but it is not impossible.
The story of the hundredth monkey originated in the 1970s when scientists studying a group of monkeys on an island off Japanese coast observed them learning to wash sweet potatoes. One day when roughly 100 of the monkeys learned to do it, suddenly the researchers found that all the monkeys in the region learned to do it, even those on the next island over that had no exposure to seeing how it was done! This number of monkeys represented a very small percentage of the entire group. If enough of us could awaken to the idea of living in harmony with one another in the world perhaps we could change the rest of the monkey minds in government and elsewhere.
The story illustrates the connected nature of ideas and knowledge. When great ideas surface, they have a way of organically spreading through an entire species. It would seem that consciousness’ in some way informs other things that are connected to it, and an awakens something that will inform, evolve, or fundamentally change others in that society or species and ends by finding its way into reality. Maybe this this is the underlying idea in the evolution of the body that Darwin was observing that took place over a much longer timeline. The evolution of the mind and its ideas can move at the speed of thought compared to the evolution of the body.
Many visionaries feel that way about their ability to generate new ideas. Thomas Edison, Inventor: “People say I have created things. I have never created anything. I get impressions from the Universe at large and work them out. Thoughts are really impressions that we get from outside.”
It is not unusual for inventors and entrepreneurs to attribute their success to something well beyond themselves, as Edison does when he credits the universe for his achievements.
If you look back over the recent 300 years or so of the industrial age you will see the development of countless new ideas that seem to surface at the same time by different groups that were unaware of one another. For example, others around the world were getting close to creating a flying machine about the time the Wright brothers got their first airplane off the ground. Coincidence, maybe but most likely it is consciousness’ informing a system of logged on players there is a new idea whose time has come.
The gating issue to creativity is logging onto EC with a mind in point consciousness that has an intention to explore and be open to that the small hints or as Edison calls them “impressions” the universe will give you. If you are open and have no judgement or resistance it will continue to expand your awareness and begin to give you information. This can be done in meditation whereby the ego is stilled and the MUOEC can work directly with the intellect. This is the same process that occurs on the spiritual side of your practice when your marching toward enlightenment.
Imagine enough people keeping themselves open to have this flow of energy and knowledge from within, which is where it resides, not sullied by fear or an agitated ego. The ego could begin to subside and cooperation and participation of a society where everyone shares, and wins could become reality.
Each of my blogs and podcasts are designed to further your spiritual worldview. Meditate on each one or at least focus you attention and examine how you feel about what I am saying. It is not my agenda to convince you of anything, but it is my agenda to give you the tools to advance your practice.
A worldview gives you a high-level road map for fitting newfound experiences or knowledge into some area of your practice. If you have not formed one it is really quite easy. Start by asking yourself these four basic question and then answer them to the best of your ability: Who Am I, What is my purpose, What will happen after my death, What do I want. If you have a Spiritual worldview, I suggest you may be stimulated to accept at least some part of what I give you. The most important thing is that you reflect and consider the points and then take what is useful to you. Upgrade your worldview with any new information you like and read my forthcoming blogs and repeat the process.