Will you tell us what’s going on? Are we fighting for “WE” or for “ME”? Should we work on the separation or the unification concept?
Peter Ouspensky, this great esotericist, in his poetic reference to the Tarot cards, when referring to the Devil’s card, says that it represents the “lie” because his very existence is the greatest lie of all. Well, what I am about to say is way worse than that, because at least this gentleman is a well-known troublemaker and everyone is taking all necessary precautions against him. So our discussion will not be about a man but an idea that literally misleads us. And this is the idea of “We!” Yes, and do not rush to tell me off.
I remember the time when my teacher and initiator to the world of esoterism, spoke to me about the idea of “we” as a way of action and of the downfall that this concept has now acquired as a search for consciousness. Finally, what is right, and what is wrong?
Let’s take one step at a time.
“Me” and “egoism” is the same side of the coin. The human being from his early steps in life tries to realize his Ego, and that is why one of the first qualities he develops is selfishness. Do you think that mankind would exist without egoism? The essential qualities of man develop not to send him to paradise but to establish him on Earth. Do not forget that. If our friends from the east had an extremely passive attitude for life from their birth, today they simply would not exist. Egoism is an essential element of life. End of story. And like each other quality, it has a scope to apply. And that’s the critical point in handling it. A lot or too little of it is not suitable for you, even more than smoking.
The other side of the coin now is the flattening of the “we” idea. Who “we?” We against all of you or “we” as an inseparable whole expressed as a single being?
Do not jump to conclusions. There is a trap in what I said. These two concepts are NOT the two sides of a coin, but the two ends of a line that expresses our individuality. In one end stands extreme egoism, on the other, the flattening “we.” And the poor man not knowing where to go! I would easily say, “That’s his problem,” but things are far more severe than they look in a first glance.
“We” against “Me”!
The answer is one and only: Both “We” and “Me.”
I have to preserve my Ego, enrich it with those qualities that will lead me to the path of perfection, feel its importance in my life and literally allow it to give me a complete composition of my being.
I also have to participate in “We,” in the joint action, without self-proclaiming, without the excesses of selfishness and certainly without thinking that an elitist view can lead me wherever I want. But if you are careful, you will notice that we identify this “we” in terms of “not-me,” something wrong, but unfortunately, there is no other way.
So, where lies the lie in the idea above? It’s in the way we define our consciousness. The “I” is different when used as identity and different as conscience. The “we” is different when used as identity and different as conscience.
‘I” is knowledge, and it should be experienced as such. We are born and walk in the path of existence to understand this “I.” We do not have to look much to find what it is that we have to take with us when the time comes to close our eyes forever. The Orthodox churches write it (thank God) in big letters: I AM! This is our only dowry for the beyond. This is the only thing we are allowed to carry.
And the “We”? The “We” is a MEMORY of the status we come from. It is not an achievement of consciousness. As diving sparks, we started from there, and there we shall return. But the memory of this way of existence will show us the way we have to act “Here” and “Now.” The “We” must characterize our action, not the course of our consciousness.
And we have to be extra careful because if we leave all these flattening slogans to dominate our way of existence, we are in danger. Let us leave aside the belief that the good God will take us from the hand, and after he offers us total forgiveness, he will throw us into a nirvana of completion. These scenarios are not good enough even for movies, and of course, they are not what Eastern philosophies stand for. These are words coming from those who refuse to think. Life is not a game that you can stop and start according to your will. Life is a journey from ONE to ONE. And for sure, there must be a difference between “before ONE” and “after ONE.”
I said I wouldn’t use in my articles extracts from people I appreciate, which I have studied from time to time; never the less, I can’t help but make an exception today. Dimitrios Semelas, a great scholar, who lived in the early years of the last century, wrote something relevant to our topic. I quote it as he said it and leave it to you to comment.
“To live for oneself is like living in denial of one’s existence. If you wish to live for others is incarnated Vanity. Two extremes never meet. To live for thyself and for others, is Wisdom, the real purpose of everyone who seeks perfection”.