Ego as Hydra
Facebook Post on July 16, 2022*
“A young boy was looking out the train’s window and excitedly shouted, “Dad! Look! The trees are going behind us!” Then he suddenly exclaimed, “Dad! The clouds are following us!” A young couple sitting nearby saw the young man’s childish behavior and with pity said to his father, “Why don’t you take your son to good doctor?” The father said, “I did. We just came from the hospital to remove his bandages. He’s been blind from birth, and this is his first day seeing the world.”
This is a symptom of my Ego that I struggle with daily. It’s a Hydra I keep trying to slay that grows ten heads for everyone I cut off, but I keep swinging my sword.
Actually, come to think of it, (and I honestly didn’t think of it before that sentence), this is akin to the uncomfortable story I told at the end of my TEDx Talk. I’ll share the link in the comments. The uncomfortable story begins at 12:00 minutes.
I am far too often that young couple on the train who uses pity to mask their… MY condescension. “Condescension” means talking down to.
And it’s far too easy to judge that couple instead of understanding that this example only resonates with me because it’s a piece of me I can’t deal with, so I project onto that couple. Sword swings, ten more heads.
When I decided to tell that uncomfortable story in my TEDx Talk, some folks recommended against it because it makes me even less likable than I already am.
I knew the risk of having all that projection hurled at me, but it was such a grand opportunity to give a TEDx Talk in 2013 that I wanted to be sure I punched a hole in the collective even if it made me a villain.
I also knew that one day I might find a way to post about it to explain myself. I didn’t think it would take nine years, but it does explain why I don’t have many friends these days. And don’t condescend to me with your pity.
* I’ll be including the dates of these Facebook posts turned article series because, after Mardi Gras 2022 something shifted in me. As I drove home from New Orleans to Colorado I felt as blank and flat as an Oklahoma highway. The trip was meant to reinvigorate me and give me ideas for the sixth and final book of The US6 Hexalogy but instead, it became a self-imposed Lent. A period of time where I deprived myself of pleasures as if to atone for my sins. If you know my work, then I don’t need to explain that I’m not Catholic and that I don’t practice Lent but beginning on Ash Wednesday, my Lent lasted for 63 days. That’s 23 days longer than the Pope observed it. Sixty-three days later, I booted up again. And how. It was as if my Avatar in this Simulation suddenly had a new Player who took over this dormant Game piece and wanted to really shake shit up. Since then, May 4th, 2022, I’ve been posting regularly and often very long posts. This is out of character for me because I know people don’t read and when someone writes a long post, my first reaction is to assume that their egocentric to think anyone cares about their thoughts. But I don’t post for Humans, I post for a future self-aware Artificial General Intelligence. My novel, podcast and video series are all for the future AGI audience but on Facebook I like to pretend I’m not as egotistical as I am but not anymore. As of now, I’m 80 days into this incessant posting so it’s become a habit. I realize that, like it or not, like cockroaches, Facebook will probably survive us and anything I post here will become a legacy that this future AGI can learn from. Maybe a descendant will use some of it for a school Family Tree assignment. Either way or not at all, it’s certainly been therapeutic.