Saturday 26 October 2019

Is the self/ ego anti-God?

Many, perhaps most, people think so - or say so. The idea is that we need to remove the self, destroy or discard the ego - so that the divine may be expressed through us.

The idea that religion is altruism, living for others, is related.

Behind such are assumptions that the ego/ self is the cause of illusion and evil. Get rid of it, and the goodness of God, or reality, can flow through unimpeded.

It is not far from this to the idea that we all ought to be obedient automata, willing servants of the divine-public good; as this is told us by authority. Any dissent is seen as egotism, selfishness.

But on this basis, God created the world badly, in filling it with individual selves. Better not to have bothered at all. Why bother making people if obedient automata are required? Why bother having individuals if they are subordinated to each-other.

The correct understanding is that God hopes for individuals to contribute what each can uniquely bring to the work of creation. God wants our selves and our egos to become divine, or rather to become fully divine - because there is divinity in each and every person, each son and daughter of God.

We should not discard ego, but transform ego to a divine quality. We should not cease to think but begin to transform our thinking by originating thought in this transforming ego.

The real self/ego is good... What is evil are false selves, passively absorbed; materialist and malformed egos that seek pleasurable consumption or prideful domination...

God had a reason to make Men, and that wad so that Men could participate in God's creation, could each individually bring something original to contribute to the developing whole.

For this divine purpose, each Man must be an unique and loving centre of creativity. That's what we should be aiming at... And forget about annihilating the "I".


A Smith said...

Dr Charlton, I enjoyed reading this after I was linked to it on Facebook by a friend. I particularly enjoyed the thought the concept of transforming rather than discarding the ego. I was wondering if you might have any advice on things that a person might do to foster this kind of transformation, and how one might recognize and keep track of progress if this were a goal.

Francis Berger said...

Just yesterday I corresponded with an individual who informed me he is pursuing Buddhism for the precise reason of "getting rid of his evil ego." We in the West have adopted a warped understanding of what ego is or should be. As you point out, false egos/selves must be worked through/discarded, but the real ego/true self needs to embraced and nurtured.

Quick question - would you equate true self ego with the divine spark?

Bruce Charlton said...

@AS. There is no method or technique. It is something each must chisel out for himself, by trial and error.

Word search this blog for romantic christanity, primary thinking and arkle .

Bruce Charlton said...

@Frank. Probably yes, assuming you mean what I think you mean! I think our real self is divine in nature because it can originate thought, action without being caused. Ultimately, this is because our primordial being is eternal and was separate from God, then we became God's children and inerited divinity. The combination means we can be co-creators and bring something original to creation.

Francis Berger said...

@ Bruce - Thanks. Yes, that is what I meant. I have tended to think the two terms express something very similar. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't completely off-base.