In the movie, The Believers, members of an evil cult try to persuade someone to join them. “Of course I was unsure. Until I met him. Imagine, if you can, a life without uncertainty, freedom from doubt, the ability to chose; single mindedness.” They also get the ability to make the world over as they please. Unfortunately, magick in real life isn’t nearly as powerful as it is in the movies. But, in the allurement of the cult member, one sentence stands out. Imagine, if you can, a life without uncertainty, freedom from doubt, the ability to chose; single mindedness.
It sounds wonderful and it is. The moments when you know everything you do will be perfect. You are not just your self but you are your super self, your together self. Since there are no evil cults that I know of that can deliver such a reward (and would we be willing to pay their price if there were), no Felix Felicis potion, outside of Harry Potter, can we ever achieve our optimal selves completely and reliably?
The Narcissist gets it by means of the “false self” and “narcissistic supply,” according to Sam Vaknin. Is this the answer for everyone? How good a complement feels to me depends on what I think of the source. Achievement feeds my ego whether others recognize or not.
When I did speed, the drug gave me that feeling with no further effort on my part. When the drug wore off, all the other feelings, need for sleep and food and nurturing from others came back. I enjoyed crashing and giving in to my “weaker” self. Which one was I? A difficult question. They both seemed so real. If I had the chance to eliminate the needy, the “human” part of my nature and dwell with the gods on Mt. Olympus full time, would I accept the opportunity? In other words, would I sacrifice my full self, weak and strong, for my grandiose Self? I would certainly be tempted.
The Believers made a terrible demand on their new members. “One life from each of us. That’s all he demands and he rewards our loyalty.” But the life demanded is the recruit’s own son, still a child. Interesting that the child could represent one’s own “inner child” or dependent and helpless nature. The protagonist wants no part of it but he keeps being warned that his son is in danger. They want that sacrifice no matter what his father wishes.
The cult is obviously a form of Voodoo. They even worship the Seven Powers of Africa. But the remedy is another form of Voodoo, Santeria. It’s as if the disease and the cure are the same. That is driven in more forcefully at the end when the hero’s wife has set up an alter fully of dead animals and says, “Now we’ll be safe.” But are we really ever safe? And safe from what? The mass media is forever cranking out threats to our safety, what Charlie Manson calls, “Selling fear to the American public.” The mightier the American armed forces become, the more fearful, the average American. We are supposed to fear “terrorists.” But so much else, closer to home, poses a much more realistic threat. Crime? Your boss? Your wife? The Sociopath Next Door? Death? The absurdity of life?
It takes a lot to sustain my grandiose ego. I feed it on success. It can be a small thing, like a blog. But, if I’m happy with it, I call it success. I can’t avoid a challenge. That would tarnish my ego. I meet life head-on. Acting “as if” can sometimes get me through difficult moments. As can believing in my own magick.
I was just reminded by the Lucky Otter of the time I was hell bent on getting rid of my ego. I took LSD trips which I won’t bore you by describing. But I had a complete ego death and it was a beautiful experience. Of course, the ego comes back after the trip. Maybe that’s why spiritual types are so against it. But I never forgot my experience. I guess it’s dialectical, you know, thesis, antithesis, synthesis. This blog was very difficult to write as I had a hard time articulating what I wanted to say. Well, some famous person once said, “I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself.”