For example, I.
I do X, Y or Z because I will it.
What is I?
Or does I include something external, like rules and memorized definitions of words or values or perhaps social peer pressure convincing the ego to act against its own interests as is convenient for the herd?
Our sense of self can easily be adopted by external forces. The crowd urges us to implement its needs, under the guise of our own; “we’re all for one and one for all!” they say, omitting to mention that they’re only for you insofar as it is consistent with their aims.
Numerous parasites converge on our cerebral cortex. Some are biological; others are emotional, moral or attack our self-esteem. All of those others want a slice of control in exchange for promises that we will be judged OK by the rest.
In an age that unites consumerism with socialism, all is done for the individual, such that its whims triumph over reality. But even Satan can’t offer such a deal; clearly there will be a piper to be paid. What is that cost?
As far as we know, it will be nothing — for now. Over the years however, the penalty is codependency with the society that gives us self-esteem in exchange for our obedience. And of course the ultimate collapse of that society.
It’s no bargain. It appears to be the greatest deal on earth. But based on even a cursory knowledge of human affairs, such things don’t exist. Why then are we still chasing this ripoff of a fantasy carrot, even to our doom?