The ego is sustained through its attachment to paradigms. The ego is a habitual bugger that deeply desires finding consistency in a virtual sea of change. It strives to attach and firmly anchor to thought-systems, or paradigms, that it believes will advance its cause which is nothing more than self-assertion against other egos.
The ego constructed a time/space continuum (called a ‘world’) within consciousness through which to ground itself in the desire for consistent self-assertion or existence. The ego expects the world to consistently maintain its desire to be REAL and thus, the 'world' has no other purpose. Ironically, inherent to the ‘world’ is a persistent inconsistency, since consistency for the ego equates with a sense of perfection. This poses a conflict as the ego seeks to perfect itself in a an ever-changing, imperfect world.
Thus, ego initiates “practices” and habits as well as defining itself through concepts that promise to provide it a sense of perfect consistency through various paradigms or thought-systems. However, as each paradigm fails to provide perfect consistency or ego salvation, this merely provokes the ego’s search for other paradigms to serve its purpose of perfect self-assertion. Because the world has so many different paradigms or thought systems, the search seems endless.
Nevertheless, all paradigms support one goal, reinforcing the existence of the ego. Otherwise, they would not have been constructed by the ego in the first place. Yet, ego cannot take ownership of the world's paradigms, as this would be tantamount to nullifying ego's existence and ego MUST exist.
THE MONETARY VALUE SYSTEM
Ego creates belief systems, within the changing reality, that serve to accentuate itself. The monetary value paradigm is no different from the “enlightenment” or “awakening” paradigm in that it promises a sense of consistency as long as the paradigm or thought-system is idolized as salvation (or the road to an ideal of perfection).
The monetary value paradigm tends to nest itself within the ego self-development paradigm or, what we colloquially refer to as, the “pursuit of happiness." These are beliefs or thought-systems that provide the ego a reason to assert itself and act against the world (essentially a purpose or reason for living). Although the monetary value paradigm is housed within the self-development paradigm, a well-developed self is defined as a self that has taken full advantage of monetary values thereby reinforcing its existence within consciousness.
Here is a disturbing story regarding the dissolution of the monetary-value paradigm as an ego purpose or anchor for existence (read the full article for a larger sense of what is beginning to occur globally):
“In December, coroner's investigators in Kern County, California, revealed that they were "seeing a wave of people committing suicide because of financial stress," a 5-10% increase over 2007.” (Financial Armageddon)What is occurring around the world is symbolic of the impending (distinctly in the past few months) dissolution of the monetary paradigm. An egoic consciousness that has based its entire existence on the monetary-value system must suffer acutely when that value system becomes unstable. Yet, when it becomes clear that the system is no longer relevant or consciously sustainable, the ego will experience existential desperation (as the full article linked above illustrates).
If the ego has relied on one primary thought-system as superior to all others (as most egos do), then intense suffering based on its loss may drive an ego to consider physical death as the only alternative for relief from that suffering. This is gradually becoming apparent, as many developed nations have relied exclusively on the monetary-value paradigm for which to anchor the collective ego in a sense of consistency.
Now that this consistency is threatened, many egos will experience a period of insanity (since suicide is indicative of ego-disorganization or insanity), when really it is nothing more than an extremely heightened sense of fear based on an interpretation of “no where to turn.” The ego fails to recognize that it was actually the paradigm itself that was INSANE TO BEGIN WITH.
The world is experiencing a paradigm shift as the collective begins to recognize it has no choice but to seek sustenance and sustainability elsewhere. But where to look? Within any shift of consciousness there is often great resistance to such a massive change and this is referred to as “paradigm paralysis.”
“Perhaps the greatest barrier to a paradigm shift, in some cases, is the reality of paradigm paralysis, the inability or refusal to see beyond the current models of thinking.” (Wikipedia)This resistance is readily evident in the individual ego’s consideration of self-destruction as more advantageous to the suffering involved in radical changes to any value system that the ego has thrived on for so very long (in denial that it created the system).
THE STOCK MARKET
We can see this ego paralysis in the stock market, which is up some days but mostly, since October 08, has been down or in “negative territory” (as of today, 1/29/09 the market closed down 226 pts, while yesterday, 1/28/09, it closed up 200 pts). These swings in market valuation signify paradigm paralysis as individual ego’s that have made millions (if not billions) through this tool, developed exclusively for the monetary-value paradigm, now refuse to discard the paradigm and demand the tool remain consistent. In fact, they demand that the tool continue to provide the same consistency, even though economic indicators and a majority of academic economists have essentially concluded that the market is dead and can no longer sustain the riches that it previously provided.
Yet, they simply refuse to let it die!
Of course, the stock market is only one tool among many. Nevertheless, it is a heavily utilized tool within the monetary-value paradigm, which seeks to consistently amass personal wealth to serve as the chief measure of ego value in the ego’s need to assert itself against a world of other egos. It clearly exposes the nature of the monetary-value paradigm and what happens to the ego in realizing that the paradigm is shifting and is no longer sustainable.
When it comes to major paradigm shifts, resistance is futile. Unfortunately, many will not realize this until everything is lost and the ego has entered a state of paralytic fear.
Many would contend that we are more than any conceptual paradigm or value system could define. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. We are only what our value systems determine us to be and nothing more. The 'self' and 'world' are nothing more than conceptual constructions in a sea of consciousness. Therefore, feel free to make of it what you will.
The ego demands purpose and value systems are constructed (essentially out of thin air) in order to establish and assert ego purpose. Many advocate seeking sustenance from a religious value system or even a spiritual value system as anchor, since egos require anchor or reference points. However, there are many who do attach to religious or spiritual paradigms. Unfortunately, this attachment occurs primarily on the surface and this means there is a paradigmatic hierarchy in which the ego has attached to some other paradigm above all others. Look around you and it is clear to see that for most it is the monetary-value system which predominates and fills consciousness.
Because of this hierarchy, the ego is stabilized as long as the primary value system is stable and sustained. Thus, “you” are free to engage with other paradigms, including spiritual/religious value systems. Yet, clearly, this is a recipe for disaster, because if and when the primary monetary-value system erodes, other subordinate value systems may suffer or be ignored entirely.
Most likely, as in the article referenced above, many of these individual egos believed themselves to be deeply religious or spiritual. Sadly, for many this turned out not to be the case, resulting in acute suffering so intense that the ego chose annihilation as opposed to as sense of endurance or survival through other value systems.
Know what concepts you idolize, and essentially worship, in your own consciousness and don't deny the real purpose you follow.
A DEEP SPIRIT PARADIGM
This is why I, and many others, have frequently referred to an alternate primary paradigm as Deep Spirit. Deep Spirit does not reject other paradigms or though-systems and can confidently play any games within the consciousness of a 'world.' Yet, it does subordinate all other paradigms as below itself, in terms of controlling interests. Deep Spirit becomes the foundation for all other paradigms thereby reducing the degree of ego suffering, as other paradigms eventually become displaced, diminished or completely annihilated.
I suppose we could say that Deep Spirit is a form of Higher Thinking because it tends to raise the ego, rather than attempt to transcend it, as many "awakening" paradigms advocate. It is impossible for an ego to transcend itself. The transformative ascension of Deep Spirit is based on deeper values that have long lain dormant to become subordinate to the modern monetary-value system distraction. Deep Spirit ascends simply because it has been repressed into the recesses of consciousness.
Deep Spirit is not necessarily ideological as it can include all religious/spiritual paradigms, but it tends to demand depth and rejects surface ideologies. Seeking depth from religious and spiritual ideologies demands a unending persistent questioning that may eventually reduce the attraction of other religions and spiritual paths requiring that you actually CREATE YOUR OWN (fancy that!). This can have similarities to other paths, but is essentially developed within your consciousness, requiring that YOU take responsibility for the world you have constructed.
From Deep Spirit the ego accepts no finite paradigm or value system in the understanding that ego is ineffective in determining value and must sift through all value systems in a never-ending attempt to define itself. This is the infinite game that has only one rule; that you keep the game in play. If there appears an outcome signifying end of play, then the rules must change. This can be difficult for the ego demanding greater assertion against the world by the rules the world has established as "true."
Yet, there is an inherent, intrinsic joy in playing a game in which the rules must change so as to avoid winning. In fact, when the rules are guaranteed to change (the only rule) then even suffering must be redefined because the game of suffering has very specific rules (as illustrated above).
When you are free to change the rules, and need not be confined to limitations established by the world's "conventional wisdom," very interesting things begin to happen to your individual ego as well as the collective. I believe this is the actual origin of the “awakening” paradigm.
Rules tend to channel thought and behavior down predetermined pathways. Unfortunately, over the past few centuries, spiritual games accumulated too many rules and guidelines signifying that an outcome was sought. Therefore, winners were identified as those who attained the agreed upon outcome based on the rules. It is very important to note that once we identify winners, losers must materialize as well and this can only perpetuate suffering.
Games based on A Deep Spirit paradigm have no losers because there is no agreed on outcome for which winners can be identified. Once we anticipate a winner, the rules change to reflect a different outcome. This can be exhilarating or extremely frightening depending on ego-self attachments. In seeking to experience the world from a Deep Spirit paradigm, the ego remains engaged only with an ever deepening correspondence with Deep Spirit at all times, in the recognition that this paradigm is infinite and does not reduce itself to one perspective or one set of rules. This is the difference between playing a finite or an infinite game.
Obviously, all finite games end with death. But the infinite game is not defined through those parameters and has no such ending (saving this for another post). Therefore, the only question is, which game will you choose to play, since the end of all egoic suffering is contingent on that choice.
So choose wisely….
ADDENDUM to original post: Report on World Economic Forum - Davos
"Mr Ryder issued a blunt assessment of this year’s World Economic Forum. “The certainties that have defined Davos for the past ten years have collapsed,” he said. “We are witnessing the collapse of an entire system of ideas.”