The ego is seeing the world only from your viewpoint. The ego says, you are not me therefore I will try to make you into me as much as possible. I will try to control how you talk, what you think, how you act, how you dress etc. If you do not conform, then I will punish you for not being the way I think you should be.
We are programmed for self preservation so we always view things from our own perspective first and foremost and act from that standpoint. That is built into us as a form of self-preservation. We come into the world as selfish children who only think about ourselves. This guarantees that we will be taken care of by the adults in our lives. We need that selfishness so that people will do all the things for us that we can’t do for ourselves. As children get older they learn how to share things with others, how to think of other people besides themselves. Our egos don’t go away, we just learn how to shift our focus from me, me, me to us.
The ego makes us want to be like a god. This means we try to make everyone and everything into our image. We want to make the rules for their lives. Be the colour I want you to be. Have the hair I want you to have. Weigh what I think you should weigh. We do this for everything. When we look at animals we compare them to ourselves. We rate their intelligence against our own based on the things we think are important. We don’t think they have the same rights as us. We claim their habitat for our buildings because we think what we want is more important than what they want.
Most people think the ego is bad. They think it’s something we have to get rid of. The ego isn’t all bad. We need it, we just don’t need as much of it as we think we do. We have to be conscious of wanting people to conform to our beliefs, our way of life, our needs.
The ego makes us feel safe. The more like us other people are, the safer we feel. If people are like us, we can predict how they will act and we won’t have to be on the alert all the time. The more control we have over others the safer it makes us feel.
The opposite of the ego is freedom. It means giving people the freedom to be who they are. It means being able to see things not just from our point of view but from theirs as well. It means not punishing people for not obeying the rules we have in our head on how people should be.
The first sin is ego because when people do not control their need to make people be like them we end up with a dystopian society where freedom is lost. A society in which everyone is unhappy. Those who don’t conform to rigid rules are locked away or killed. A society where everyone lives in constant fear. A society where those in charge put their needs before everyone elses. Beware the ego which makes you say, me, me, me.
|The Twelve Sins <-||-> The Second Sin|