The completed Man has no identity.
None know who he is.
He left who he was,
at the gates of heaven.
Thatâ€™s pretty lofty stuff, and probably not what you might expect to find on a site like this.
But it is all background for the Main Event.
And what might that be?
Ah, I donâ€™t know yet, which is often the case. I rarely know anything until I need to know it.
Anyway; where were we? Letâ€™s see.
We are not our names. An identifying label does not accurately identify us.
If it did, we would be cardboard cutouts of real people. As, in fact, many of us are. And those are the ones weâ€™ll take a look at, now…
In the raw, humans must deal with reality. Plains Indians, as an example, would not have lasted long had they spent all their time at the disco, or watching television. There were bellies to be filled and buffalo to pursue. Tipis to be fashioned from hides and poles, and winter to prepare for. Enemies to guard against and babies to be raised to carry on the tribe.
These pursuits were non-negotiable, and resulted in a better chance of survival. Neglect the necessary and you donâ€™t keep waking up in the morning, for very long.
They had names that reflected their characteristics and achievements: Ten Bears, Dances with Wolves, Walks with a limp…
None had names like Bill Jones.
â€œCivilizedâ€ man, on the other hand, has lost his connection with what enables him to survive, and even with why he would want to. Life, for him, can become so tiresome and depressing he can even consider ending it. And all too often, he does. So what is the point, then, of “Civilization”?
Well. There really isn’t a very compelling one, for the individual. A Civilization is what a very large number of people need, in order to co-exist with each other. It is a way that leaders have, of harnessing manpower to achieve diverse goals that often hold little interest for the ones carrying out the goal-achieving maneuvers.
Still, after a hard day’s work, maneuvering towards a distant goal, the individual gets to have a beer, watch some television and play around with his wife. For a long time, that was enough, and seemed to work out reasonably well.
It all worked, because Mr. Ordinary had a place, that was his very own, in a hierarchy. He knew where he stood, and where everyone else stood in relation to him. He had responsibilities that were clear-cut and inescapable. Indeed, it was a matter of honour, to carry them out, to the best of his ability.
Religion played a substantial part in all of this, whether or not one was actively religious. Everybody subscribed to the same set of rules, and the same set of taboos. Life lumbered on: in a not particularly exciting way, perhaps, but a workable way. There was a longevity to it all, that allowed plans to be made for a forseeable future. Until…
A whole new idea began to spread, among the formerly predictable, reliable Mr. Ordinaries.
Mr. Ordinary began to imagine he was more important than he had previously been. And this idea began to get promoted, since the more important a man feels he is, the more stuff he needs to acquire, in order to show off his new station in life. There was money to be made in the self-importance field.
There were many reasons, of course, for this turn of events, and all of them have been covered before.
But the idea of self-importance has been curiously absent from discussion. Because it makes almost everyone uncomfortable. Why? Because almost everyone has become self-important. And this self-importance is known as ego.
The ego is an identity-based phantom that has no basis whatsoever, in reality.
A mental virus, you might say, always present to some degree, but like a yeast-infection: once conditions are just so, it explodes into relentless growth and self-replication…
Ego is hard to stop. There is really no cure for it. Like yeast: it can only be managed and controlled.
A little ego is probably healthy. A confidence-boost for those ratty days when you know damned well you are a worthless cretin. Then, the next day, when you feel inexplicably great, the ego can go back to bed and snooze.
Ego can not expand without an identity. But in this day and age, in this modern West, you can not exist without an identity, either. So what to do? Is there a need to do anything? Do you care about any of this?
The ills of the West revolve like a cyclone around the Ego Explosion that typifies Western life. It’s all about ego. To see oneself as less means that one requires less. One needs display less, consume less, be held hostage to income, less.
If you’re prone to think in terms of Green: clean up your ego. Save the planet, without boasting, even once.
But seriously: think it over. Ghandi famously said: We must be the change we wish to see in the world.
It does little good demanding everyone else be as we think they should be. Look where it has gotten us. Each of us needs, really needs, to re-evaluate our own position, here on our planet, and start behaving in a more reasonable way.
Don’t wait for the revolution: Be The Revolution!
You can not change the world. But you can change yourself.
You are a part of the world.
Change yourself, and the world is changed.