Fatal Ideas of the Mind

Philosophers of several traditions often made the attempt to kill God. But what implications has the concept of God being pure presence and actually not being some person or substance that can be killed?

In case God would be pure presence it would be certainly a very bad idea to develop, through the concept of the ego, a feeling of self-awareness. It can only create unhappiness. If God would be pure presence, consequently mankind – like everything else – is a part of God. So developing an illusion of self-awareness in that case could be compared with cutting off certain parts of your own body. Some act of self-mutilation, which potentially could turn life into a permanent source of misery and unhappiness.

For a huge part people turn unhappy through thoughts being developed by the conscious mind. Because of the ego it is expected that something big has to happen in life. This something that has to happen often can be reduced to the creation of the feeling – or shall I say illusion? – of being better off than their direct environment. Humans often try to express and confirm this desire by status symbols. The big expensive car on the driveway should tell the neighbor: ‘hey dude, I have achieved more in life than you did’.

Unfortunately these ‘factors of success’ are nothing but transient material things. If you remove them all, there is only emptiness, dull empty life. It is the loneliness of this emptiness people are afraid of.

But the darkness created by the ego is actually much bigger and much more harmful. The competition initiated by the ego is going on everywhere. People try to identify themselves by outdoing others. Culture and society teach people to be this way: competitive. The ambition taught by the culture, in which we are growing up, is one of the root causes of all violence and inhumanity in this world.

Ego is nothing but an idea. When we are born we are given a name. People start calling us by this name. We start to identify with this name. The beginning of ego, a non-existential substitute for the real self that is unknown to us. Ego, just like our name, is also an idea.

The ego creates an impression to the individual that it is an unfinished product. Unfortunately it is a mechanism of the ego to attempt constructing a complete product by adding – empty – material phenomena. A process that enlarges the emptiness the ego is actually trying to escape from.

The ironical thing is that in the perspective of God being pure presence, it is actually the ego, producing all the emptiness in its attempts to finish the product of itself, is the real factor preventing the individual from becoming a finished product: the ego preventing the unknown – the real self – of becoming known.

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