HOW DOES ONE GIVE UP THE DESIRE FOR A POWERFUL SELF AND HAVE NO SUCH SELF?
This essay is subsequent to the essay I wrote this morning in response to Ursula Akwara’s observation that people feel inferior and seek compensatory superiority.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
As I look at all my earthly issues they boil down to my desire for a powerful, important, significant, and worthwhile self in body, a self that does well in the world and a self that other selves respect. That desired powerful self does not want to make mistakes lest other people see it as not that powerful and perfect after all and laugh at it. It does not want to be slighted and laughed at. It wants to be exalted, placed on a pedestal, and seen as the number one person on planet earth and in the universe; it does not want anyone else to stand behead of it.
If there is God (God is a concept), it does not want God to have created it and is more powerful than it. It must be the most powerful self in the universe, the self that tells all other selves, animals, plants, the entire universe what to do.
Of course, one does not have these powers but desire to have them. Only mentally ill persons, deluded persons have belief that they have powers that neurotic human beings merely desire but do not have.
What is desired is not what one has; if one has something one would no longer desire it; if I have power and importance, I will no longer desire them.
DESIRE FOR A POWERFUL SELF LEADS TO ANXIETY, FEAR AND ANGER
If I have the desire for a powerful self, I must be prone to anxiety and fear for one now fears not getting what one desires, power.
The desired powerful self-fears death: all it does is try to remove what makes it seem going to die in the future.
If I have desire for powerful ego, I will be prone to anger and other emotional upsets. Without the desire for a powerful, separated self-one would not feel fear, anxiety, anger, depression, delusion, paranoia, mania, guilt and shame and other negative affects.
A SENSE OF INFERIORITY AND COMPENSATORY DESIRE FOR SUPERIORITY
Alfred Adler (1870-1937) said that the desired powerful self, in varying degrees, is in all people; he posited that those he called neurotics first feel inferior and then seek compensatory feeling of superiority; he saw the etiology of inferiority feeling in inherited problematic, inferior organs in one’s body and or birth in a lower class status in society; these deficits make one feel inferior and one feels an obsessive- compulsive desire to feel superior to the entirety of the world that one believes makes one feel inferior.
Adler sees inferiority and compensatory superiority as phenomenological and existential, as part of human experience and existence on planet earth; It cannot be eliminated from the individual but redirected; he wants to redirect it; he asks such persons to use their pursuit of restitutory superiority to serve other people, make their egos the ego of service.
The ego of service may be useful, but it is still ego because if pushed it erupts in anger, fear, and anxiety.
Christianity asks folks to use their separated selves, egos to love God and to love all people. However, even if one loves God and people, one still has an ego, and it is likely to erupt in fear, anxiety, and anger.
No one can serve other people more than he serves himself; no one can give to other people what he does not give to himself. There is no logical reason why other people are better than oneself hence to be served and not one.
All religious and moral injunctions do not solve the problem of the self.
A course in miracles says that the ego, separated self-desires power and superiority and that that desire is what led to the formation of this physical universe; it says that one must die to that desire and self; the death of that self leads to the resurrection of one’s real self in one’s awareness.
One’s real self, it says, is the son of God and says that God is love (love defined as the union of all selves as one shared self).
In eternity, God and his sons are the same and coequal but on earth, our bodies are designed to make us feel disconnected from other selves, see other selves attack us and we defend our special, separated selves.
THE GUIDANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
In as much as one still lives in the ego and its body and on earth, A course in miracles ask one to give one’s life to the Holy Spirit, the representative of God and his son in the world to guide one. Thus, you now ask the Holy Spirit to tell you what to do before you do anything and if you do not hear his voice, you do not do anything, because your self-directed action is likely to be of the ego.
To behave from the ego is to declare war on your real self, other people’s real selves and on God hence live at war and not know peace and joy.
Now you must not desire anything of the ego and stay quiet until the voice for God, the Holy Spirit, tells you what to do.
Your real voice, the son of God, is now submerged in your unconscious mind, and you cannot hear him.
All these sound like nice poetry but they have not eliminated the troublesome ego self in me. How do I remove the ego that seeks power; I want to get rid of it altogether from my awareness, it has given me only pain (fear of failing, fear of embarrassing me in society, anxiety, anger when it feels slighted and self-consciousness etc.).
I would like only life, light and love to operate in me. I do not like to feel belittled, humiliated, and slighted or demeaned for all those indicate a desire for a false big self; I simply do not desire a big self at all.
How do I accomplish this goal? Its accomplishment would lead me to been born again, this time reborn in Unified Self, in God, in spirit, the self that God created me as, one with him and all selves, not the earthly birth of separated self, the ego and body; this would mean peace and joy.
ASIAN RELIGIONS AIM AT ELIMINATING THE EGO SEPARATED SELF AND ENABLE ONE TO LIVE FROM THE BUDDHA SELF
Asian religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Zen and Greek Gnosticism teach that the ego separated self must die in one for one to regain the awareness of one’s true self, Atman, who is one with Brahman (son of God who is one with God). Enlightenment ala oriental religions is giving up the ego separated self and living from the Buddha, Krishna (Christ) unified self; this is characterized by peace and joy.
I choose to talk about me; however, let it be said that I am really talking about all people; what are white Americans but infantile narcissistic personality disordered people seeking admiration and attention from every person, and fancying themselves superior to black folks (all people are the same and coequal), as symbolized by their narcissistic leader, the infantile Narcissistic King called Donald Trump (Trump is emotionally no more than nine years old).
What are Africans but infantile men and women who take their egos and bodies as real and seek attention for them and admire them and insist on robbing their continent down to get the money with which to make sure that their ego, false selves live well.
Listen, to be human is to be neurotic, in varying degrees, and be in ego, separated self hence live in existential anxiety.
We must figure out a way to eliminate our desire to live as prideful egos that are ashamed of something and feel guilty for something we did but do not remember doing it (such as separating from God, separating from the whole self to live as separated selves housed in bodies on earth).
In the meantime, I devote my entire existence to seeking a way to eliminating my desire for a powerful and important ego so that I am peaceful and happy and no longer feel amenable to feeling slighted by other people’s behaviors that do not affirm and validate my desired big ego.
As the Roman Stoic philosopher, Epictetus, said, if one does not desire a powerful self-other people can negate one all they like, and one would not feel demeaned or feel one’s peace disturbed.
Gautama Buddha, 2500 years ago, said that the desire for the ego is the cause of our suffering and that the solution is to stop desiring the ego; if we succeed, we live in peace and joy, live from our real self, one unified self.
The purpose of Asian meditations is to sit quietly and stop one’s ego mind from thinking, get it to be quiet; it is said that in a silent mind reality dawns on by itself; it is further said that nothing we think with our ego separated minds is reality; reality is beyond ego conceptions because the ego is predicated on a separated hence a false mind and its world; the real self and its world is said to be non-material and unified and can only be attained by a silent mind.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
August 22, 2022