The Zen versus The Men

Krishnamurthy says we all are second-hand human beings. Hence, the second sentence too, is a quote from a rather popular TV show which in turn had been allegedly plagiarised from elsewhere:

“I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in human evolution. We became too self aware; nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself. We are creatures that should not exist by natural law. The only way now is to stop reproducing and walking hand in hand into extinction”.

The Hindi word for inner conflict has a better ring to it – “antar-dwan-dwa”

The Darwinian concepts of natural selection and the survival of the fittest which are actually and physically played out in the animal world, have been internalised by the humans. These struggles to survive that are played every day and every moment in today’s world are played inside the head at the level of the subconscious level and probably is one of the causal factors that give birth to the Ego or the self.

This ego or the self or this human consciousness has been called by different names by numerous philosophies and personalities. The first to recognise this pattern was the Buddha, followed by several other men. They argue that the whole idea of what you think you are is the biggest lie, a huge illusion that has cast a spell on the modern man.

(By modern man , I mean the human of past 3,000 to perhaps 5,000 years. I date him predicated on the fact that Buddha lived 3,000 years ago and he found this issue to be a pervasive perpetual human problem. So add a couple of thousand years more and you get to 5,000 years.)

If you enquire into this, you find it accurate at so many levels. The realisation brings about a cool breeze blowing in your head because there is really no phantom left that you have to take care of and make him feel special, or make him feel “fit to survive” like Darwin says. It’s the aura of freedom you experience when you read Henry Miller and get immersed in his world of fictional biography. Its the same pleasant breeze that makes waves in Dostoevsky’s “Notes from the Underground”

And then a few moments later, appears the villain – the ego. The little “mini me” inside your head that you have been harbouring ever since you gained consciousness. The parents sow the seeds of this mini me and the society keeps conditioning him. The idiotic inferno of endless competition with your neighbour, friends and schoolmates keep feeding him.

Finally when one arrives at this arbitrary age of 18 and calls himself a man/woman (sorry about the pronouns skewed heavily towards the masculine gender – another example of conditioning), you have at the world’s disposal, another fine monster who will compete and bring about misery not only to himself, but to the entire world in the form of odious capitalism and pestilent wars.

The moment you try to steer away from him (the mini me), he burns you with a million questions?
You want to be a bum?
Will there be any progress without the desire, without the will to improve?
Can you picture yourself as a hippy?

Has this “mini me” outlived its utility? – Answer intellectually is YES. Any man who can reside in a shelter and is assured enough food has no use for the ego. The proof lies in the momentary burst of joy when one imagines a universe with no past or no future.

The stranglehold of this ego is so strong that you can’t even write without thinking about either impressing someone or making a complete fool out of “yourself”. Mini-me is fed by failures and successes alike. Can one write only to see the beauty of the words and the magic of translating pure human emotions into readable records without the risk of failure or anticipation of reward?

And so I stop feeding the monstrous ego at least for now and STFU with Queen’s song:

“It’s the terror of knowing what this world is about
Watching some good friends screaming, let me out”