Dear GUD 4 Trickster Ego

Chapter 4 – the fourth letter


So lets put our detective hats on. The first thing a good investigator does is explore the bigger picture and check out the available evidence.
Perhaps we can create a composite picture of each of the two voices – a bit like police detectives do with identikits. They display photos of a variety of hair styles, nose shapes, eyes, mouths, etc and ask witnesses to choose the photos that most look like the features of a person they saw at the crime scene.
Perhaps we can do the same with the two voices? Instead of composing a picture of a human body from its parts, we will try to illustrate the personalities of the two voices using line drawings.

⇓ Two

Do you recognize these qualities in people you know? Are they in you? You can sure find them all in me to various degrees. That’s OK. They are all elements of the human psyche. All these properties make me a human being. Maybe other creatures share these qualities too?
You are probably familiar with the meaning of words like honest, fearful, selfish, trusting and generous. Maybe you are wondering what the meaning of inclusive and exclusive is here?
The inclusive part of us includes a wide range of possibilities. For instance, it is aware that what we choose to do can increase or decrease the suffering of many creatures, including our great, great grandchildren.
By contrast, the exclusive part of us does not care much for others. The ego tends to be greedy and excludes most possibilities. It tends to be only concerned with short-term, selfish gain.
Do you spot something fascinating in this drawing of paradox?

⇓ Three

Remember how we had some fun with drawing paradox in letter no 2? In particular, I drew a Mobius Strip – its named after the man who first described it in a mathematical way. Remember how I drew the form to show how the inside and the outside are the same? The above Mobius Strip illustrates how our inclusive and exclusive elements are different and yet are each other. Likewise our qualities of selfishness and generosity arise from each other. So do our properties of truth and deceit, greed and sharing, fear and trust etc. These pairs are all paradox – different yet the same.
We adults become super experts at not sensing paradox even though all life is paradox. It hurts our brain to think about them. So we just say paradox don’t exist and we end up all conflicted about life.

⇓ Four

What is going on with us adults? We are funny old beings, as you can see in the above picture. It seems we have forgotten how to listen, see and ask questions about everything. How come? Remember the qualities of the ego? It seems this self-aware, thinking part of us gets to control what we hear, see and feel. The ego gets to decide overly much how we behave. In other words, we becom every “ego-driven”.
Remember the list of properties of the ego in the Identikit cartoon? Well, these qualities tended to prevail in our culture. We adults grew up surrounded by a lot of greed and envy, very clever deceit, arrogance, fear and exclusiveness. We became more ego-driven and less compassionate as we grew up and became adults.

⇓ Five

Do these drawings of paradox seem real to you? When I draw them, they seem as real as night and day, as real as anything . However, as soon as I start thinking about these drawings of paradox, the ego immediately finds super clever ways to say they are not real.
When I was young I found them amazing, exciting, intriguing and a whole lot of fun. Now part of me realizes that my responses changed as I became an adult. The ego, the thinking self-aware part of me, became more and more clever at convincing me that paradox does not exist.

⇓ Six

How come the ego can be so tricky? Remember paradox involves two things that are very different even as they are the same. The ego is part of both  our self-aware part and the part that is not self-aware even as it is neither part. That is super tricky to think about – in fact I find it unthinkable.
And the ego can be much, much more tricky still because it can manipulate the vast range of emotions, feelings and information of our being that we are not self-aware of.
Perhaps a drawing can illustrate the activity of the ego better than words can?
My school teachers taught me I am not an “artist”. So I was over 25 years old before someone explained to me how anyone can learn to draw. This news inspired me to start going to a drawing class. One day our drawing teacher told us to draw the “negative space” of a chair. At first it seem weird to be drawing the spaces around the chair and between the legs and the rungs and not be looking at the chair. Then something amazing happened….

⇓ Seven

Yes, to our amazement everyone of us in the drawing class discovered we had just done our best and truest drawing ever. The chair just sort of popped out of the space in and around it. It was like magic. Our teacher explained it was because we had properly looked at what we were drawing and had not drawn what we thought was there.
Woh. Wow. The chair is what it is not. It is paradox. Life is paradox. The universe is paradox. All existence is paradox.
Now my “Science” and “Physics” teachers had failed to explain paradox.
A whole lot of stuff I could never understand at school now suddenly made wonderful sense. The universe sparkled bright with meaning in ways I had not experienced since I was a child.

⇓ Eight

People ask me, “Where do you get your ideas and beliefs from? What inspires your question?” I used to reply. “I don’t know.” Nowadays, aftera lot of reflection I might add, “When I was a boy my favourite play was experimenting all day long in Wairongomai Creek – a stream by our home. It taught me far more about the principles of physics and the nature of energy than my “Science” and “Physics” teachers ever did.
And drawing a chair taught me far more about human beings than my “Psychology” and “Education” professors ever did.”
Sometimes I even say, “I give much of my time these days to unlearning all the unhelpful stuff they taught me.” That’s OK. We live to learn.

 Next – Dear GUD Letter 5 -Actual Reality

Dear GUD Letter 1 – The Beginning of All?

Dear GUD Letter 2 – Paradox Fun

Dear GUD Letter 3 –  Human Consciousness

14 April 2018 First draft completed