Who Wants to be a Saint?

The lynchpin of the human ego system is the Diva, a sense of specialness, even superiority, over everyone who isn’t me. If not the master of the universe, I am at least the centre. Narcissism, whether overt or covert, is inevitably baked into the fabric of the human ego.

Babylon is what you get when you have a family, tribe, village, city, nation, world of egos living together. To accommodate each other, and co-exist with some degree of stability, however, people must take different roles. Obviously, not everyone can be a Diva all the time. The cat fights would be spectacular.

So we end up with all sorts of ego contortionists rubbing up against each other. Somehow, the wheel keeps on turning. It’s not ideal of course. People suffer from all sorts of physical, mental and emotional abuse and neglect, from other egos as well as their own. We put a brave face on it all, but are dimly aware that our self-centredness poisons everything, including our so-called happiness.

Is it possible to start again and establish society on a different basis, as the Israelites tried to do when they fled from Egypt and followed Moses into the wilderness in search of the Promised Land? As Buddha’s followers tried to do when they fled Samsara in search of Nirvana and the Pure Land? As Christ’s followers tried to do in search of the Kingdom of God? Is it possible to base your life, not on ego, but on no-ego?

Just as the Diva archetype is the lynchpin of the human ego, so is the Mystic archetype the lynchpin of the human no-ego. The very definition of a mystic is someone who has transcended their ego. Nobody has a monopoly on egolessness, and nobody has a monopoly on mysticism. As soon as you claim it as “yours”, the ego has slipped back in and you’ve lost it.

The egoless state can be expressed in different ways, whether theistically or non-theistically. The God Idea is very useful, but not essential. You can say “let go and let God” but you can equally say “let go and let Be”. If you insist on one or the other, you’ve lost it. Egolessness transcends all ideas and concepts.

To be a mystic, the important thing is not what you say, or even what you do, but what you are, which is nothing. To “be nothing” is to be a soul rather than an ego. The Soul Idea is very useful, but again, not essential. Buddhists prefer to stick with the idea of no-ego, anatta.

All the qualities and archetypes of the human soul system flow from this mystical state of no-ego. If they are well developed enough to outweigh their ego counterparts, so that the Mystic is stronger than the Diva, the Shaman stronger than the Demon, the Warrior stronger than the Victim, the Monk/Nun stronger than the Addict, the Philosopher stronger than the Muppet and the King/Queen stronger than the Muggle, you are technically a saint.

Sanctity must start with ego-dissolution. Some achieve this through prayer and meditation, spiritual practices and religious faith. Others need a little help from our mushroom friends. Either way, it’s not easy. You have to want it, for a start. But in peak Babylon, who wants to be a saint?