The ego hides a vast web of possibilities in nature.
The nature of ego
Through ego I invent a sense of time, space, boundaries, the idea of me as separate from you. When the crowd praises the naked king for his new clothes, ego blesses me the ability to say “you are all mad, that is a naked king.” Ego offers me the survival advantage to see and create new patterns that other animals lack. Whereas the cow will either fight or flee the predator, my ego offers me alternative solutions such as feeding the predator an alternative food.
Ego as a tool
Ego is conscious imagination, it perceives the patterns and creates new patterns. My sense of I is my imagination of I, my empathy of you is my imagination of you. The tool is only as good as the user.
Ego is easily blinded by delusion, to see or believe ideas about nature or self that is false. If I believe I am worthless, or nature is controllable, these are delusions that trap, that enslaves me to ignorance. Through the wrong application of ego ignorance, control and hubris arise, and through these states the woes of human society.
Schizophrenia, where mind lacks ego, thus the self is unable to filter the internal and external experiences it encounters, chaos reigns, and self identifies with all it encounters without discrimination. No ego results in an unending disordered sensory hell.
The obvious relief to schizophrenia is nature, it is slower, concrete and stable. Those with no ego have no survival possibilities in human society with its abstractions and two-faced manipulations, for instance the cult that love bombs hides the sinister nature of the spider entrapping a fly. In nature the schizophrenic, or anyone with a mental health condition can heal, rebuilding their shattered ego.
A dog has no ego, it takes its reality from the moment it is born from its environment and an inbuilt operating system of “doggyness” we call instinct. The dog does not think it is a dog, rather it experiences it is a dog, the doggyness wells up inside it from its genes, modified by its environmental encounters. Ubuntu applies to the dog, “I am because we are”, for the dog experiences itself from the twin inputs of doggy instinct and its community, the pack, or its human owners. If you are unhappy, your dog will be unhappy, since there is no ego separating your dog from you, both you and dog are one.
The step beyond
A small step but one of profound change, to step outside of the box. To see the ego for what it is, the user becomes the master rather than the slave of the ego, to step outside of the box of separation that ego has created. The paradox of a step across an invisible pin-head veil that is like a ten-mile wide abyss. To see from the point of view of a cow, or a long dead ancestor I have to step outside of the box, to see with another’s eyes, I have to suspend my ego temporarily, to become the thread in a vast spider web of nature. Such moments, which for me are hit-and-miss, are liberating, insightful, but dangerous as I face the task of extracting my “thread” from the “web” and regaining my sense of “I”. For those that can step outside of the box of ego a vast web of possibilities hides behind a thin veil of the ego.