When I was thinking about a title for this Woo For Thought essay, I just could not figure one out that would reflect exactly the thoughts I wanted us to look at. What I came up with after going back and forth a few times, was, “Talk About You, Let’s Talk About Us”, which is a bit clickbaity but accurate.
Lifechanging article here. Has summed up many things apparent to me, like that most people think almost all the time about themselves, and love the consideration of the "Us" paradigm instead of service to others or service to self. Very interesting perspective, being able to hear people's thoughts all your life.
“The mighty phrase of Heraclitus, εν διαϕερον εαυτω (the One differentiated in itself), could have been arrived at only by a Greek, for it is the essence of beauty and before that was found, there was no philosophy.” (Friedrich Hölderlin, Hyperion, 1797)
Thank you for pointing out our uniqueness resulting in the individual nature of our relationship with the One, that cannot be discussed or explained by language. It just is. A most magnificent experience of Love. There is no separation.
I Love You, We Love Us.
Here is some data
I wanted to thank you for breaking down the mechanism of martyrdom into little piece of Legos so that it could be understood and desolved and I looked at the amount of gratitude for an appropriate thank you... I found myself in the ocean of gratitude and I became it... The everlasting vast ocean of gratitude that has no ends or borders it is expressing without saying a word... Endless creatures within all singing the same song... How beautiful
That's very interesting that you bring up the "i" and ego issue, since i have recently also been considering exactly this, and how it might be the problem with humanity at our current state of evolution (spiritual evolution, not Darwinian). According to Rudolf Steiner, who at the turn of the last century wrote and lectured about some amazing things no one else seems to have touched on -- our sense of the "i" comes from our blood, which is hard to understand even if you read his explanation. It makes more sense that he said early humans had a different consciousness, one where they did not exercise a sense of being a singular Self, but participated together with the voices of their ancestors w/in their greater sense of Self. This was a dreamy sort of consciousness, but one where these earlier humans could still function adequately to support themselves in their environment, and it may even have been that these voices of the ancestors helped them through a sort of guidance.
But Steiner wasn't the only one who proposed that earlier humans had a different consciousness -- one that was not so ego-centric. In the 1970s, brain researcher, Julian Jaynes, also came up with something quite similar -- and for which he offered scientific proof. In his book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, he postulated that earlier in humanity's development, one hemisphere of the brain would 'speak' to the other and appear as hallucinations (as he termed them) of gods and other parts of Self having a separate and autonomous existence from the ego. As a primary support for his theory, Jaynes referred to some of the earliest known writings, e.g. the Iliad by the ancient Greek poet, Homer. Indeed, if one reads the Iliad, gods and parts of the Self of the character speaking, i.e. the person's Thumos (justice or self-pride), do often take hold of the narrative. The real character may be admonished by these gods apparently no one else around them can see, or the person's Thumos may demand they take some action. Something like this today would immediately be considered an unmistakable mark of insanity.
The "i" and the Self are by no means the same, even though through our sloppy language and loose intending, we may sometimes use them interchangeably. The "i" is the true singularity, with its absolute free will nature, existing as a point in greater reality, but with no substance, the "i" is the essence of formlessness. The "i" is consciousness -- the for-itself to the in-itself of the existentialists. From the other end of the "i" it is pure awareness -- looking out from its own nothingness, at the realm of form or sometimes even completely embracing its own formlessness with no need of an object. The Rastafarians even doubled the "i" and ensconced the "i and i" in their culture, giving equal recognition every time a person is referenced -- as being a consciousness-bearing "i", rather than an objective 2nd or 3rd person "he, him, she, her." Rastas say "i and i are going to town" rather than "Jack and i are going to town."
On the other hand, the Self is form in its fullness, with little free will of its own, only a façade like a shadow seeming to move autonomously. Although the Self is often taken as the physical body, the body is dead weight without the vital life essence proffered to it by the Self. Metaphysically the Self is an Elemental being called the Body Elemental.
We often digress to using the terms "soul" or "spirit" to try to simplify the issue behind the apparent necessity of defining and locating a singular essence of a person, rather than dealing with a duality, but on the Earth plane this is best seen as a dialectic between 2 different, but equal terms. The ancient Egyptians recognized this with their terms "Ba" and "Ka" which had a dialectic relationship with each other, and only in their ideal situation, would the Pharaoh's Ba and Ka merge, after his or her death, into the singular Akh. The Akh could then assume any form it chose, to visit the Earth plane (where form is required).
To me, it is best to see the term "soul" (which came about only after the advent of monotheism) as the essence behind the Higher Self, which like the Akh, can assume any form to come in to the Earth plane to advise the person, but the Higher Self still always remains completely One with the person, in identity. It's just that the person may chose at some level, to avoid recognition of that identity. The soul itself is formless and has no earthly qualities, yet it is valuable to apply the soul concept, as in "My soul had a past life", rather than "i had a past life," since our "i" has a nasty habit of equating its native, formless identity, with its current life's personality.
Anyway, now that all that has been straightened out (as i and all my Selves, see it), how can we use it to sort the "i, me and myself" obsession problem ? There's another term we need for that -- this being "personal power" which is different than 'power to get things done in our world,' and which is always stymied by illusions. These illusions are connected to dark spirits always looking out to steal our real personal power, which is essential nourishment for them. But to cut to the chase, one understanding i've come across that is very valuable in this pursuit (referenced both by the Pathwork, and also by some of Carlos Castaneda's clan) -- is that we continually lose almost all of our personal power through "defending the Self" and as a result we are in a continual state of running on empty. Watch yourself when you engage in personal conflicts, and you may get it. Whenever you get immensely upset when someone is rattling your "inalienable" rights, or your self-pride at what you believe defines you on the world stage is being picked apart -- what's really happening is that your personal power is being surreptitiously siphoned off . . . The loss is real, but 'the what' you believe you are defending, as though your life itself was on the block -- is an illusion. Also the ego, the "i", is not the problem; it is only your pure consciousness, and you need it. It is your false belief in the identity your Self holds and which feel you must retain at all costs (some call this the False Self) -- that's where your attention should be, to get a handle on the situation. Clearing these 'hooks' you hold out to the world in a desperate attempt, or a foolhardy, vain attempt, is paramount -- ones intended at gaining worldly power, clout, praise, support, recognition, revenge, status, justice, or external happiness from the world.
There are many ways to forestall your obsessive need to defend the Self, and build your personal power; seeking the goal of Jungian analysis – individuation – through psychodynamics and alchemical imagery – is one. It is what i'm utilizing.