W got me thinking: the ego is a driver of evolution — and war
"Not to do a Mel Gibson, but most wars today are among peoples influenced by the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). What they have in common is a belief in a personal soul that survives death."
BY DAVID RICKEY — George Bush's November media blitz to promote his new autobiography, Decision Points, got me thinking about the distinction between the mindless ego and the mindful one, which W lacks. His new book is as myopic and self-servingly spun as his presidency: Even after public testimony before the 9/11 Commission and Congress proving that the CIA had warned the president of an al Qaeda offensive inside the U.S. a month before the World Trade Center attack, Bush deludedly declares that he had no clues that it was coming.
But while Bush's personality is an exhibit on public display of the ego at its worst — for its self-deception, narcissism and so many other reasons — the ego at its most elemental is a necessary virtue.
To the ears of many Soul's Code readers and practitioners defending the ego is the spiritual equivalent of saying, "greed is good." In mystical traditions, the ego is officially verbotten — an entity that needs to be nuked in the name of knowing and liberation.
But I could not be writing this, and you could not be reading it, without an ego. The problem isn't the existence of the ego per se but its quality, its self-concept — or to turn Milan Kundera's phrase, it's lightness of being.
What distinguishes the human species from other forms of life is the degree of that self-reflection. Human beings can think of "I" and "mine" in ways that are far more developed than other animals.
And, as evolution goes, this is a good thing for three reasons…
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