Lest We Be Ignorant / 1. Self and Society
idiot - someone controlled by id (base drives)
egotist - someone controlled by ego (see below)
ignorant - someone who ignores (arguably also who rants)
We live in a culture (the cult-you-are) ...
(a culture is a bacterially stagnated product; yoghurt, cheese, kephir, kombucha, etc)
... in which people do not know what the id actually is, are taught to resent everyone else for being egotistic yet at the same time you will not get anywhere other than exploited without using your ego, and are encouraged to ignore our own instincts: because cultural programming is controlling social progress.
We can easily make an immediate comparison between the bacteria involved with transforming liquid cultures and the social memes used to socially engineer human social cultures.
Who is controlling the cultural programming?
Freuds definitions (see wikipedia link) of what id, ego and super-ego are differ from Jung's use of the same terms. Today people use these words for entirely different things than what Freud and Jung used them for, usually without knowing exactly what they are actually talking about. Basically people very often mistake the concept of the ego and the id. This is itself a social problem. Non-educated people are ignorant of the facts: improper use of language makes that evident.
My 5 year old defined it such:
id (what i really am) - the self
ego (who i am for other people) - the compromise
super-ego (who i have to be to figure it out) - the programming
Cultural indoctrination that we must resent the ego, both our own and other people, is dualistic. We need to be the ego because it gives us a social identity. It is the dance moves as we integrate with others. It is a persona worn as a cloak so that others may orient around us. It is a shield to protect us and achieve social goals.
Ego is a tool although when we identify completely with it, we become the tool of the ego. It is used as a tool by both the id (emotions and urges, the wild self) and the super-ego (the robot which external culture has indoctrinated us into being).
"It could mean one’s self-esteem; an inflated sense of self-worth; the conscious-thinking self; or in philosophical terms, one’s self." wikipedia
We need self-esteem. We need a conscious-thinking self. We need to be the Self. On this basis we need the ego. It is only problematic when it becomes inflated, as with all things when it becomes out of balance.
Thus, the ego is a majorly important feature of all individuals. To hate it, in ourselves or others, is ridiculous. Cultural prejudice against the ego is cultural prejudice against the tool we require so as to function in society. Disabling the ego disables the individual.
We live in a "culture of rejecting the ego" as a counter to recognizing that we live in a "culture of the ego". And yet what is being rejected is not the ego but the inflated ego. This is never explained and never understood - doing so is the core purpose of this text.
We live in a "culture of the ego" however the image, the media stars, popular personalities, those are not real people at all. Those are not the self. They are icons - not of the actual ego although we call them the ego which confuses the picture completely. They are icons which are external to us and yet they fulfill the same function as the ego in balancing the relationship between the wild id and the programmed super-ego.
In Buddhism the concept of ego and the concept of super-ego are both assigned to the same principle for which the word 'sansara' which means both 'the conditioned mind' and 'the confused mind' - the programmed self which is distracted from observing purely. Sansara is not truth. Liberation from this is to observe purely, to know truth.
Today we use the word sheeple to describe human nature as both obstinate and easily-led. At face value obstinacy and being easily-led are polarized opposites. The antidote to obstinacy is an open-mind while the antidote to being easily-led is obstinacy. Obstinacy results in dogma.
Society is a combination of dogmatic progress which involves rejection of the open-mind, which in our analogy is 'sheeple leading sheeple' contrasted with the open-minded form of progress, 'seeking to cease being sheeple'. Both groups resent each other. This model can be applied to almost all situations of social contrast and affect all cultural development.
What people become when they cease being sheeple is independent individuals. What people become when they are led by sheeple is slaves. It is more preferable to have independent individuals leading sheeple toward becoming independent individuals than it is to have a situation where slaves are leading slaves to become slaves. This is common-sense based objective progress.