"Everything in Moderation", the Boastful Average

one_raven said:
In the matter of making a difference in the way individuals in your immediate sphere of influence think, for example, you can have a direct and immediate impact.
Your impact, however, on how the people of the world think, is genrally not as significant (though, of course, like anything else, there are exceptions).
One indivudual has little effect on world hunger, stemming human suffering, combating widespread violence and wars, stopping the locusts from devouring crops in Africa etc.
Your influence over an asteroid on a collision course with earth is even less significant.

Take another perspective, for example...
100,000 people are killed by a nuclear bomb and on the same day one person is killed by a heart attack.
The 100,000 people are likely to have a greater impact on the world and humanity in general.

The greater the scope the lesser your significance.


So? What makes you think that comparing a human and the universe is a ~meaningful comparison~?

I honestly cannot find any justified reason for why I would compare myself and the impact I can have, to the universe and what impact it can have.
 
I am not comparing a human and the universe, I am looking at humans role, impact and place in the universe.
Many (if not most) people do this, and it is what I think causes man's recognition of his own relative insignificance IN the universe.
It is only natural for a sentient being to look at the universe and wonder about his/her place in it.
Man recognizes his own mortality and looks to the world, wonder what he can do with his limited time here. What differnece he can make. What he can leave behind when he dies. It is a bid for vicarious immortailty.
The way I see it, this recognition of man's mortality and relative insignificance in the grand scheme of his surroundings and life that makes him feel powerless and his ego wants to fight that feeling of powerlessness.
It is what drives man to want to drive toward progression... to want to find something more significant than him and eternal (God)... to live vicariously through his children... to build skyscrapers, bridges, statues and monuments... to look for idyllic heros to strive towards and put on pedestals.

Man knows he makes verey little difference in the world and will not live forever.
His ego wants to battle this.
 
one_raven said:
I am not comparing a human and the universe, I am looking at humans role, impact and place in the universe.

But in order to look at the human's role, impact and place in the universe, you first need to COMPARE the human to all those things; to find out where they differ and evaluate those differences.


Man knows he makes verey little difference in the world and will not live forever.
His ego wants to battle this.

Where does the ego come from?
 
water said:
But in order to look at the human's role, impact and place in the universe, you first need to COMPARE the human to all those things; to find out where they differ and evaluate those differences.
I don't think so.
If I want to ascertain my role in the town I live in, do I compare myself to the town itself and find out how I differ from it?
No.
I look at the town and consider my place in the whole of the scenario, what I do and do not like about it, what I can and can not change.
I compare the town to my own ideal image of what I want the town to be.

water said:
Where does the ego come from?
Damned good question!
I have swayed different ways over the years looking for the answer to that and have yet to settle anywhere.
What do you think?
 
i think the ego simply comes from intelligence, like a more evolved form of showng dominance, and letting people know whos who kinda thing,

ths just came off the top of my head, i havent thought it through atall just shooting fromt he hip.

peace,
 
"Life is a state of mind."

(with apologies to Chance the gardener)

Quote g:
“How much more invigorating, cathartic are the extremes and damn any writer who lacks them!”

* These dudes tend to die tragically and young. Is that OK?

Quote w:
“Where does the ego come from?”

* That is the one question, the next question is, “What is the point of the ego?” Is it essentially the ego that provoked the Maoris and Aboriginals to resist and attack Captain Cook all those years ago?
 
stretched said:
Quote w:
“Where does the ego come from?”

* That is the one question, the next question is, “What is the point of the ego?”
Well that's where the difficulty lies, isn't it?
How do you distinguish between cause and effect regarding the development of ego?
 
one_raven,



I don't think so.
If I want to ascertain my role in the town I live in, do I compare myself to the town itself and find out how I differ from it?
No.
I look at the town and consider my place in the whole of the scenario, what I do and do not like about it, what I can and can not change.
I compare the town to my own ideal image of what I want the town to be.

Even though you may not be aware that you are comparing, this doesn't mean that you are not comparing.
You *are* comparing. You don't have absolute, context-independent definitions and standards.
It is comparison, albeit implicit, that allows you to make any assessements at all, be it of yourself, or of the town you live in, for example.


Where does the ego come from?

Damned good question!
I have swayed different ways over the years looking for the answer to that and have yet to settle anywhere.
What do you think?

From my most recent stance, I say that the ego is a construct, a particular perception of our existence, whereas this perception is based on a materialistic understanding of desire.

I like what this man says about the ego or personality:
The problem of personality: http://www.abhayagiri.org/index.php/main/article_print/593/

Creating yourself: http://www.dhammatalks.org.uk/sumed.htm


* * *


EmptyForceOfChi,


i think the ego simply comes from intelligence, like a more evolved form of showng dominance, and letting people know whos who kinda thing,

I agree.



* * *


stretched,


the soft parade has now begun

What does this mean?


* That is the one question, the next question is, “What is the point of the ego?”

To make us feel spueashal and less afraid?


Is it essentially the ego that provoked the Maoris and Aboriginals to resist and attack Captain Cook all those years ago?

It could be said so, yes.

It seems absurd to compare the ego of an Aborigin and the ego of a Donald Trump -- yet I don't think they are all that different in their make-up, except in their power.


* * *

one_raven,


Well that's where the difficulty lies, isn't it?
How do you distinguish between cause and effect regarding the development of ego?

One version could be that we simply socially inherit (ie., we are conditioned into thinking this way of ourselves and others) to view ourselves and others in terms of the ego. "I have an ego, you have an ego, and these egos then tend to fight".

This explanation runs the danger of infinite regress, of course. But I think it is safe to say that as society progressed, highly praising materialistic prowess, the idea of the ego progressed along with it.

Say, an Aborigin has ego version 1.2, while a Donald Trump has ego version 7.8.
 
Quote one raven:
“How do you distinguish between cause and effect regarding the development of ego?”

* When one is born, is it conceivable that your very first expression of consciousness would be the realisation of self? Or rather would your very first realisation be of the first thing you see, like your mother? As the baby grows older at some stage he may realise that he is the centre of his mothers love and care. That he/she is special. Perhaps at this point the glimmer of an ego is born. To take this glimmer a giant step forward, is the ego not perhaps then simply a reflection of what others think of you? Thus perhaps the point of the ego is a tool of comparison to find your (significant/insignificant) place, in life and in the world around you?

Quote water:
“To make us feel spueashal and less afraid?”

* As above, to inject self significance?
“Ego is a need; it is a social need, it is a social by-product.” (Osho)

Quote water:
“It seems absurd to compare the ego of an Aborigin and the ego of a Donald Trump -- yet I don't think they are all that different in their make-up, except in their power.”

* But the Aboriginal had no point of comparison regarding his “power”. We are making the comparison.

Quote water:
“the soft parade has now begun” - What does this mean?

* “Can you give me sanctuary, I must find a place to hide, a place for me to hide
Can you find me soft asylum, I can’t make it anymore, the man is at the door”
:)
 
stretched,


* When one is born, is it conceivable that your very first expression of consciousness would be the realisation of self?

As far as I know developmental psychology, newborn babies are conscious, but it is hard to say that they are conscious of themselves. It takes them a while to recognize their body as their own. Now, whether recognizing one's body as one's own is a prerequisite for being self-conscious ...


I am quite sure that going into the causes and effects that lead to the development of the ego is is eventually a pointless task, as we can never have full, reliable insight into cause-effect relationships.


Or rather would your very first realisation be of the first thing you see, like your mother?

But how? If the baby is born a "tabula rasa", then he can't recognize the mother, he can only imprint her. But if the baby is already born with a certain preexisting knowledge, then what is this knowledge?
Ah. I'm out of developmental psychology. Don't comment.


As the baby grows older at some stage he may realise that he is the centre of his mothers love and care. That he/she is special. Perhaps at this point the glimmer of an ego is born.

To take this glimmer a giant step forward, is the ego not perhaps then simply a reflection of what others think of you?

Yes, very much so. Two observations:
People with a poor ego are usually those who grew up in low-nurture/high-stress families; people who were exposed to others thinking very little and bad of them tend to develop a poor ego.
People with a big ego can be those who grew up being thought very highly of, even when undeserved.
There seems to be a connection between the upbringing / what others think of the child, and the child's ego.

But I wouldn't go so far as to make exclusive generalizations, as it can also happen that what is displayed as a big ego, can also be a compensation phenomenon.
And then there is the whole problem of projected inferiority and superiority being two expressions of the same thing (inferiority).

But I am actually not going into this, as I'm not that advanced in psychology, plus the terminology differs, depending on the theory.


Thus perhaps the point of the ego is a tool of comparison to find your (significant/insignificant) place, in life and in the world around you?

I agree.



It seems absurd to compare the ego of an Aborigin and the ego of a Donald Trump -- yet I don't think they are all that different in their make-up, except in their power.

* But the Aboriginal had no point of comparison regarding his “power”. We are making the comparison.

Yeees. I meant that the things an Aborigin would do in the name of his ego are next to nothing compared to what a Donald Trump would do in the name of his ego.



* “Can you give me sanctuary, I must find a place to hide, a place for me to hide
Can you find me soft asylum, I can’t make it anymore, the man is at the door”

Uh.
 
Quote w:
"Uh."

* The soft parade is just a metaphor for where I am at on my journey. As was "sorrow floats".
 
Stretch-ed,


This "soft parade" thing -- that's just so gay. Blegh.
Tell me what's behind this "soft parade".
 
Meanwhile,


Please explain this to me:

hi-low.jpg
 
Can I help loving Jim Morrison?

I have no friggin idea what that image is about!
 
This image looks like a graph showing a time line from one type of thought or being to another. It could be the cycles of the moon also from a new moon to a full moon.
 
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Is Gendanken recalling The Steppenwolf? A marvelous read. I'll read the initial post more carefully tonight, I promise.
 
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