As people, we are obsessed with equality. You can clearly see this obsession on an individual and a social level. After all, the vast majority of social rights movements are about this. Equality is a value we hold as dear as freedom. But what if it is only our ego that is concerned with equality? More than that, what if equality is a complete illusion?
Your ego is essentially your sense of self. It is your self-concept separate from others. It is I, me, mine. Anything you identify with becomes part of your ego. The process of socialization teaches you that some things are good to be and some things are bad to be. And there are consequences for badness. Therefore, you strive to only have parts of your ego that are good. This is where your bind spots come in. You will tend to hide parts of yourself that you have been taught to see as bad from your own awareness. Because Ego is a differentiation between self and other, it can only exist in a state of comparison. We have learned that to be less than others in any way is bad. We have learned it leads to things that threaten not only our self-esteem, but also our wellbeing and ability to get what we desire. It makes our self-concept negative and makes us feel prevented from what we want.
For example, if we want to get a job as a model and we perceive ourselves to be less attractive to another model or receive the message that the company hiring perceives us to be less attractive, we will not feel equal to the other model. Our self concept relative to our attractiveness will decrease negatively and we will perceive ourselves to be prevented from what we want. The amount of pain this kind of experience creates makes it obvious why we then begin to fight for equality and even more than that, superiority.
The human ego cannot handle perceiving itself to be less than. It is a threat. It begins a very subconscious mission to try to gain equality and more than that, to become better than the person it currently feels inferior to. You will find any way you can to knock them off of that pedestal or try to get on a bigger pedestal yourself. The entire multi billion dollar tabloid industry thrives primarily because of this dynamic within the human ego. It makes us feel equal to or better than the stars that because of their significance, fame, money or looks, we feel unequal to.
One thing we have to see is that we only care about equality when we are feeling less than. We don’t really care about equality when we feel equal and we don’t care about equality when we are superior. In most cases, we are fine with inequality when we are the one on top. In fact, we have to identify in some way with a demographic that is being treated as inferior in order to care if someone or something else is being treated that way. You only care about equality because you don’t want anyone to be higher than you or anything you identify with.
So often you will see people fight for equality for those who are seen as inferior but this is because doing so makes them feel morally superior. For example, so many people fight for equality for people who are poor. But in actuality, they don’t see poor people as equal. After all, they are not the sort of people who would ever clean those toilets or clean those floors.
One of the hardest things about being a spiritual teacher is that teaching about the universe entails teaching contradictory truths. This is because we live in a multidimensional universe. At the highest dimensional level of existence, a table and a person and a plant and a dog are all made up of the same energy and the same consciousness. All is one. This is a kind of ultimate equality. But as this consciousness becomes a part of the physical dimension, this consciousness chooses to become separated and defined and polarized. Because of this, as much as our ego does not like it, the reality of physical life is that we are not all equal.
The thing we are most concerned with when it comes to equality is value. We want to be valued equally. In this physical dimension however, this is impossible. It is impossible because value is determined by needs, perspective and preferences. For example, in a time of war, a diamond or ruby has no value whatsoever. A bottle of alcohol on the other hand has tons of value. If a woman wants to be financially taken care of, and a rich man and the most emotionally available man in the world walks through the door, the woman will value the rich man. An employee’s needs will not be treated as equal to the needs of a CEO because a company can afford to lose and replace a worker. They cannot afford to lose and replace a CEO. You want your perspective to matter as much as anyone else’s in any given circumstance. But it doesn’t. If someone meditated on a mountain for 20 years, your opinion about meditation would not matter as much as theirs. It would be inferior. In my line of work, the best engineer would be useless. In an engineering project, I would be useless.
For thousands of years, women could not hold property. Therefore, if both society and therefore a man and wife were concerned with successors and heirs, a boy would have more value than a girl because a girl did not meet that need. This spelled out superiority for boys and inferiority for girls.
The perception of inequality can and does lead to many, many horrible things. Whites saw blacks as unequal and therefore, blacks were kept as slaves and hung from trees. The figure skater Tonya Harding saw Nancy Kerrigan as superior and therefore initiated an incident where Nancy was hit in the leg with a pipe before Us Nationals. But it is not equality we need to be fighting for. Equality is not a reality in the realm of physicality, where needs and personal preference exist. What we need to be fighting for is three things:
- Love. To love is to take something as part of yourself. For example, if whites took blacks to be a part of themselves, they could not have enslaved them without feeling the negative impact of doing so themselves. Slavery would not have happened. When we love something, we root FOR that thing to get what it wants instead of prevent it from getting what it wants.
- Awareness. Question everything and consider every perspective so as to become aware of everything and arrive at a higher truth. If we could do this, we would transcend our prejudices and ignorance. For example, women are still paid less than men by a shocking percentage around the world. Instead of focusing on this being a matter of fighting for women to be equal to men, we need to collectively question WHY this is the case. We need to become aware of all the perspectives and angles so as to arrive at what inevitable changes need to take place within our minds and within society.
- For each individual to stop focusing on where he/she or others is inferior and start to recognize his /her or their unique intrinsic value that for the sake of this conversation we could call superiorities.
If we could do these three things, the negative manifestations that arise out of the reality of inequality would not occur. It may sound strange for someone like myself, who teaches that the perception of inferiority and superiority is a function of the ego, to encourage people to discover their superiorities instead of to dis-identify. But this is why I am encouraging it. You cannot ‘get rid of’ the ego. You will always have a self-concept as long as you possess and individual perspective. That concept could be its own episode. And the more intrinsic value you see in yourself for your own unique superiorities, the less you will care about your deficiencies. The less you care about your deficiencies, the more secure you are in terms of self-concept. The more secure you are in terms of self concept, the less you will create the incredible manifestations of suffering that arise from insecurity relative to inequality. When you are willing to live your life according to your unique intrinsic value (gifts), your purpose falls in your lap. When you can see the intrinsic value in others, you can lead them to their purpose instead of forcing them to try to improve their deficiencies so as to suit your needs.
We believe inequality is wrong. We believe everyone and everything should be equal. It doesn’t matter if we believe inequality shouldn’t exist. It does. Equality is a judgment based on perceptual reality. And therefore, equality does not exist. In a world of differentiation, sameness does not exist. Men do not give birth to children. If a man were expected to nurse, he would find himself to be inferior. Men have profound physical advantages. If a woman were expected to compete against men in the sports where these physical advantages make a difference, she would find herself to be inferior. One person may suck at math. But be amazing at writing. One person may have had every advantage in terms of education and finances in life but be terrible at forming relationships.
We need to be brave enough to accept that inequality is the reality of life. We need to accept that our inequalities point to our unique life purpose. We need to accept that because feeling inferior embarrasses us, we don’t admit to ourselves consciously who we feel inferior to or what things about people we feel inferior to. We need to accept that because being superior and inequality is considered morally wrong in society now, it is not politically correct to admit that we feel superior to certain people and things. Ask yourself and honestly admit to where you feel superior and where you feel inferior. Feel how much this topic and episode triggers you. Ask yourself why does it trigger you so much? If I am inferior to this person or thing, why would that be so bad?
We need to stop fighting for equality and fight for love, awareness and intrinsic value instead.