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July 31, 2009


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Dear Brian,

Whatever little I understand is that our physical being ia a manifestation of "ego" only.

It dies with our body. Then our ego rests either beneath the earth goes in flames/ ashes.

with due regards,

Well I happen to one who does not think that a small ego (or no ego) is somehow desirable.

I happen to think that ego is simply a sense of self-worth and self-interest and a sense of differentaton from others humans. And thats a real good thing imo.

Also, I don't see this "ego" as an entity, but rather merely a process of identifcation and differentiation.

I've seen people who have little or no sense of self-worth and self-interest (what you might call 'no ego'). They are ususally either self-destructive and suicidal losers, or they are mentally ill. They generally have little or no appreciation for the wonder of life & existence.

Others wish to lose themselves, thinking that in doing so, they will somehow attain some supposed spiritual salvation. That is a delusion imo.

So I'm not trying to diminish or annilate my ego like some folks who subscribe to varous eastern philosophies. The ego is what makes human beings human.

I think like tAo that ego is healthy and not having one would be like denying our worth, even our own existence.

Brian, would you understand if someone expressed great sadness, even if you cannot measure the size of sadness? You point out, as have others, as an anti-religious attribute, great ego is compliment, yet you assume insult. Consider the implication of being blinded by self worth, your views are so strong as to overide those of others. Great for political leaders, dictators, heads of state etc. Not so good for a blog with spirit of open enquiry, but we know already, this is Brians blog, he can do as he damn well pleases !!!!

Walker, I guess I was mistaken. I did assume that you meant an insult by saying that I had an enormous ego. My bad.

So thank you for the compliment. With your support I'll keep on being the sort of Brian that I so enjoy. And you should keep on being the sort of Walker that you so enjoy.

Let's think like Sartre for a moment: I have desires; you have desires; everybody has desires. Ultimately, he says (to my understanding, at least) every desire is a sort of longing for Being-in-itself which can't ever be fulfilled.

It can't, because we are conscious beings, not Being-in-itself. This is the way things are. This is the way things have to be. If we weren't a conscious being, a For-itself, we would be nothing (or Being-in-itself, which amounts to the same thing, nothing, because it is unconscious).

You can judge others for seeming to have more desires, or stronger desires, or different desires, than you. But you also have desires. Such as a desire to leave comments on a churchless blog.

I can't be anyone other than who I am. Neither can you. Sartre, as an existentialist, preaches authenticity. We can't avoid our For-itself'ness. That's what I'm out to do -- be authentic. So are you.

Thus as I said before, we're brothers. Every human is -- brother or sister to every other human. Siblings argue, disagree, fight, make up, start over again. This is what they do. This is what we are.


I had mis-categorized this blog in my bookmarks under "philosophical debate", now corrected to "light entertainment".


You have totally misunderstood Sartre.
This is not fast-food philosophy where you can impose your own spin on what you think Sartre is saying.
Besides if you want to bang on about the ego, its Nietzche you want mein fuhrer.

Rather get back to the stuff u know something about than bastardizing the worlds great thinkers through american oversimplification.

walker, excellent news. As an admirer of Taoism, I'm all for philosophy being "light entertainment." If we can't laugh, we're probably not learning much.

Nancy, I just read the translator's introduction to Sartre's "Being and Nothingness." When I wrote the comment where I mention Sartre, I checked the translator's description of Being-in-itself and Being-for-itself. I'm quite sure what I said is how the translator of Sartre's work describes this aspect of Sartre's philosophy.

If you disagree with something I said, please cite it so we can discuss the subject. Simply saying "You have totally misunderstood Sartre" isn't helpful, especially since I just read the lengthy overview of Being and Nothingness written by Sartre's translator.

I don't know about this ego stuff but to take a screen shot on your iPhone hold down the home button and the power key at the same time.

Randy, thanks. This must be the key to non-dual enlightenment, being able to capture reality from within it.

Hold down the home button and power key at the same time. Got it. I heard a click. Where is the image, though? How do I access it and share it?

Also, where are the corresponding "capture reality from within it" gizmos in my own psyche that I can press?

It goes right to your photo file. Very cool.

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