Monday, 25 November 2013

Prejudice and Self Deception

It has been opined on a number of occasions that the ego, that sense of I-ness, has a function; it has a task to fulfil. What that task is, I must confess, no longer bothers or even interests me very much. What does interest me, however, is the study of the energies that seem to drive the forces for ego-manifestation. Counter or circumvent those energies, and the ego is brought under some measure of control. I am in no doubt about the strength of the force that the ego can exert in its drive towards some kind of manifestation. Indeed, it is so powerful that I feel helpless against it. Unable to watch the process of manifestation when it is taking place, because it happens in an instant, it is only when I am released from the grip of my ego that the awareness dawns that I have been some place else.

One particular form of energy onto which the ego latches its hooks is the energy involved in the maintaining of prejudice and self deception. All too often, and without realising it, a mode of mental and emotional behaviour has been adopted that may be at complete variance to anything approaching reality. Only later, or sometimes but dimly whilst it is happening, is it seen how easily we have been hijacked by our egos. There was a time when I simply wrote off these descents into unreality as a passing phase of some ill-conceived fantasy. It'll pass, I thought; it's not that important. But it was important, because every time it happened the descent became easier until eventually it became habitual.   

It was as if I were walking the circumference of a sphere, taking a great circle route that made, from long usage, an ever-deepening trench. So long as I stayed in the safe trap that was the trench, I continued to react unthinkingly. I needed to climb out of that trench, push my head above the parapet so to speak, before I could thoughtfully respond. And for every prejudice, there was yet another trench. Far beneath my feet, inside the sphere, turned the clockwork mechanism of my ego.

The problem with habitual behaviours, whatever their kind, deemed good or bad, is that they appear to arrogate to themselves their own, semi-independent personalities. They cling to life even when they may have outgrown their original validity and usefulness. I said above, whatever their kind, deemed good or bad, because it seems to me that prejudices 'in favour' are just as suspect as those 'against'. If I unwisely choose to allow a shell of prejudice to grow, then I build a bar to the experience of truth and, even further, an obstacle to union with the divine Ground of my Being. But removing that shell is far from easy. Self deception can be very subtle and difficult to detect. However, the consequences of rooting out that deception, and its associated denial, is an unimaginable, uplifting relief, and an ascent to a new sense of Beingness. 


  1. you paint a vivid picture, but the effort required to climb out of that trench seems so very overwhelming. why is it that the important things are never easy?

  2. I'm in complete agreement with you, Tom, on the way that self-deception and prejudice can sneak into our consciousness so quietly that it's only by finely sharpening our awareness that we can realise this virus-like activity is taking place.

    It's only your interpretation of the concept 'ego' that I find myself questioning. I wonder if we mean the same thing by that word? As I see it, the collaboration of my 'ego' is essential in order to begin and continue any kind of creative work at all. I (the essential "I") may be the driver but it (the ego) is the engine I need to get from A to B. But I think that our definitions may be in different'languages'. What do you think?

  3. Agnieszka; It is indeed an effort, sometimes a great deal of strength, courage and perseverance is required. And it is all too easy to slip back. Part of the problem I think is the sense of vulnerability and 'lost-ness' that climbing out of the groove, the trench, gives us. And indeed, why are the important things never easy?

  4. Natalie; I am in two minds as to how to respond to your comment. Not wishing to give a glib or fluffy response, I think I will attempt to write a follow-up post which will answer your points.

  5. I will state what seems obvious thanks to this and your post that follows this.

    It is impossible to know any other "reality" than the one we have while trapped in this animal. 'We' must function through a physical device, and that device, no matter how sophisticated it has become (able to contemplate its own workings) still uses movement (our most basic requirement of a brain) as it's template for all other accomplishments.
    We rely on analogy, for all our higher thought must come from those lower activities.
    the way that can be spoken of is not the eternal way

  6. Halle; I think your point that 'it is impossible to know any other reality...' etc. must be open to doubt. Of course it does depend on how you define 'know' and 'reality'. Having said that, your comment is well taken. Obvious or not, it is still worthwhile being reminded. Thank you.