Understanding the ego is the key to human happiness. Indeed, once you comprehend the ego, the term “happiness” itself takes on a new meaning – and, even, loses its meaning.
The ego is our sense of ourselves. It’s our identity, what we think about ourselves – and this includes, believe it or not, what we believe about others and about the world, how it works. Basically, everything we think we know we can say is the ego.
It is an inevitable aspect of our nature as self-aware beings. And it’s a essential part of who and what we are. But it must be understood. Otherwise, it can cause many problems, the record of which comprises the whole of human history and misery.
It is important to understand ourselves, as individuals and as a species. More than ever in our interconnected world of terrorists and nuclear materials, we must all come to understand why we hate, why we fear, why we desire, why we hope. Most of these fears, hopes, desires, and hatreds arise only as a result of our egos, our sense of what is and how things should be.
For example, a man might imagine himself a great lover of women. He might justify hedonistic dalliances with any number of theories, including the one that claims he needs no justification as it’s a natural desire. But are such desires truly natural, and are they entirely inevitable if so?
What such a person may not realize is that his ego is conflating the sexual urge with a pleasing self-identity as God’s Gift to Women, say. What might really be involved is not a voracious sexual appetite so much as an empty hole in his soul for which the solution is intimacy, not profligacy.
There is much, much more to say on this important topic – arguably the most important subject in the whole catalog of human discourse – but this small beginning should suffice in the meantime to get some thoughts going!
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