XYZ

Stage Red Ego: Afraid to stop being self-centered.

21 posts in this topic

My entire outlook on life which has emerged over the past 5 years is based upon the idea of self-exceptionalism, prioritizing concern for my own self above all else. This is the ultimate coping strategy I've developed for facing the reality of existence, and it feels almost necessary in order to function, otherwise everything would completely fall apart, and there would be no reason to do anything ever. I never chose to be born, this life was forced upon me having no say in the matter, and it's irrelevant whether or not I even exist in the metaphysical sense. But since I am stuck in the realm of living as the human body, my way of coping with existence has been evolving psychological mechanisms to prioritize my own well being above everything and everyone else, even if that means living directly at the expense of others, or distorting reality to make it more tolerable.

This has become much more clear over the last few months while learning about spiral dynamics, watching actualized.org videos, practicing abstinence from sexual release and increasing my time spent on breath and mantra meditation. Believe what you want about no-fap, but that is been a crucial factor in personal development; doing that constantly had dulled my senses and clouded my thoughts. Once cutting that out, over time everything I had been avoiding and repressing, every fear and self-delusion will come to the surface to be dealt with, there is no escape now. It is a process of continued opening, realizing how strong, resilient and creative I can be, and also seeing how fucked up the whole situation is, finding more and more blocks to overcome. This is a big one here.

Beforehand I had assumed I had gotten rid of my ego and wasn't afraid of death, but that was based on a misunderstanding of what is actually the ego. Ego is the sense of separateness that fights to keep up the illusion of me as an individual entity, and it will spin whatever narratives are necessary to maintain a sense of self, and a will to live. When I first watched the spiral dynamics mini-series, I related mostly to stage yellow for all except one area, which was self-centeredness. I suspect that many parts of my personality have actually reached that stage of development, particularly my view of what I perceive as things outside of me, but fundamentally I am still at stage red when it comes to personal things and how I interact with the world. More recently when I watched the video about Trump on Leos blog, recognized how my "reality distortion field" is constantly working to keep of this illusion of separateness, and maintain an attitude of self-exceptionalism. It want me to keep seeing myself as a self, of there being a me that is this mind and body, and because I'm this physical human being on this physical plane, all that matters to me is having my own needs and wants met any any cost.

Now here is what I am afraid of: If I were to let go of the ego, really transcend the false division between "myself" and everything else, I would wake up the next day, and there would be no reason to get out of bed. Nothing exists, nothing matters, the illusion of this body could just lie there until it died. Why bother doing anything if there is nothing to do and nobody to do it? Is ego actually a necessity for life to continue at all, and by contrast, true ego death would mean actual death? Where is the sweet spot between purposefulness and beingness?

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Why do you think you are red and not orange?

Orange is extremely self centered too.

What is making you red?

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I've been been described by others on the forum as stage Red because of the myopic circle of (self) concern, that lacks the pragmatism of stage Orange, and most of the things Leo has said about Donald Trump hit very close to home. My perspective of self-excpetionalism came about as a reaction to depressive realism and facing my own incompetence. Basically it was the ultimate coping narrative and victim mentality: 'I never chose to be born, I have no say in my existence, I am a cause, not an effect, I am highly disadvantaged... but I still want it all, health, wealth, power, freedom, me me me, forget everyone else, take whatever you can from them if they will let you, you don't owe anyone anything, and you don't have to do anything except exist and enjoy life.'

If I was stage Orange I might have started a business, made a successful youtube channel, or been an early adopter of cryptocurrency. Instead I leeched off family for as long as possible, gambled on stocks and lottery tickets, and would be fine getting into a relationship with a wealthy woman who is ok with being the sole financial provider. Stage Blue I imagine would be a normal careerperson content with working full time for 40 years. So I guess Orange is good at creating value, Blue conforms to an established value system, Red only leeches value. I am now becoming more aware that this is the mentality I've held onto for around 5 years, it's like all of my stage yellow knowledge is purely theoretical, I understand the concept of no self and it makes perfect sense to me, but at the same time, I am all ego, it's pretty evident just by how often I noticed myself using words like me, I and myself when writing.

So ideally I want to evolve, but am scared to let go of this strong sense of self exceptionalism. I hope those who read this post can see how fundamental this is, rather than focus on me personally. This is coming up against the [imaginary] barrier between self and no-self. Leo was right, to learn something from books and videos is not at all the same as embodying it, I thought I had dissolved the ego, but that was the ego telling me that to distract me from how big the ego is, it's all encompassing, it's my very survival.

I really need to learn more about SD since it could be very useful in this process. But I do clearly remember it being said that different aspects of the psyche can be at different stages. So it could very well be that some things are stuck at Red while most others have advanced far beyond. I was raised stage blue by stage blue religious parents, and though I've long since moved on to atheism, 'post-atheism,' ecocentrism and universal oneness, right now "we are one" is something I accept as a concept-in-truth, but can't get past what I see as the physical reality, which is being this body. So I'm primarily concerned with attending to the wants and needs of my mind-body, and from this perspective tend to view other things and people only in terms of their usefulness to me. Of course I understand logically that other people have subjective experiences as real to them as my own, and that others also have intrinsic worth, but nevertheless, I default to solipsism 99% of the time, unaware that I look at others mostly as NPCs.

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BTW I don't have any access to psychedelics, since I'm sure some might suggest a 5-meo-DMT trip to surrender to ego-death.

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Maybe the SD references were too distracting.

 

More concisely: Why do anything ever when there is no self? Is it possible to let go of ego without losing your will to live?

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10 minutes ago, XYZ said:

Why do anything ever when there is no self?

Doing everything and nothing is already happening right now. There is no such thing as choosing to do nothing or choosing to do something.

Edited by Psyche_92

Everything is an assumption.

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16 minutes ago, XYZ said:

@Psyche_92

Realizing this only leads to feeling more passive and indecisive

Why is it bad to be passive/indecisive? What could possibly happen?


Everything is an assumption.

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On 9/27/2018 at 11:36 PM, Barry J said:

You are stuck in Spiral Dynamics dreamworld. Wake up :)

It's easy to snipe from the sidelines without fully understanding what's being discussed.  Anybody can say "is not" or "is too".   You provide no reason for your conclusory statement whatsoever.  So, what do you want us to make of your response?  Are we supposed to take your word for it?  You better have a valuable word then.

Edited by Joseph Maynor

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Stage Red is concerned with people laughing at it:

 


"It’s a good one, it just isn’t real.” — Byron Katie

 

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@How to be wise

You're so right.  Trump is Red pretending to be Blue and Orange, depending on who he's trying to manipulate.  Trump is too manipulative to be at Orange.  Orange is manipulative, but within guidelines.  Red has no guidelines, and that's how you can spot Red from Orange.  At the end of the day, Red respects truth less than Orange.  The higher you go up the Spiral, the more truth is respected.

Edited by Joseph Maynor

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@Joseph Maynor I think it’s because Trump hasn’t integrated blue properly. He jumped from school bully to business man too quickly.


"It’s a good one, it just isn’t real.” — Byron Katie

 

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On 9/27/2018 at 7:21 PM, XYZ said:

Now here is what I am afraid of: If I were to let go of the ego, really transcend the false division between "myself" and everything else, I would wake up the next day, and there would be no reason to get out of bed. Nothing exists, nothing matters, the illusion of this body could just lie there until it died. Why bother doing anything if there is nothing to do and nobody to do it? Is ego actually a necessity for life to continue at all, and by contrast, true ego death would mean actual death? Where is the sweet spot between purposefulness and beingness?

There was never a reason to begin with.

One of the things you actually seem to be doing is tying a negative meaning to nihilism.

Why bother doing anything? The only answer to that is because you want to.

Keep your mind on the stars but your eyes to your feet. 

At the end of the day meaning is self created from your own desires.

Realizing that I am more than my ego allows me to see everything as myself, all there is is me. And this is a influencing factor that drives my desires. God (or you/me/all) created this and its exactly why we are caught up in our own creation.

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36 minutes ago, How to be wise said:

@Joseph Maynor I think it’s because Trump hasn’t integrated blue properly. He jumped from school bully to business man too quickly.

I think what Trump really wanted to integrate was Orange, but the problem is Orange plays by the rules much more so than he wanted to do.  Trump is a mover and a shaker.  He sees Orange as not having the balls to win no matter what.  Red is all about manipulating Experience to get the results they want.  Red is almost exclusively focused "out there" rather than "in here".   Red is totally encapsulated by Ego.  That's why they call Red "Power God".  Red is an aping of Coral: Red is trying to become God "out there" instead of realizing they're already God "In here".  

Edited by Joseph Maynor

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@Psyche_92

Worst that could happen is nothing, back to the original conundrum, which is why even get out of bed, except for concerns of the body or ego. Yes, I really do wonder why, there is no point, why not just do nothing, it doesn't matter, there is no self. Usually something like, well I can't sleep anymore at this point, lying here is boring, might as well get up and do something, or feeling hungry, needing to urinate, needing to work or go to an appointment, wanting to check emails, watch videos, read books, go outside. But all that is rudimentary self-preservation and ego gratification. 

Fundamental concern, maybe, is to reconcile the idea of choosing a life purpose, engaging in purpose directed action, while at the same time realizing no-self, letting go of attachments, need for comfort, sense of separation, etc. Why is this important, well to have responsibility, initiative, agency over the course of live instead of being a passive victim drifting through it haphazardly. Unifying high consciousness mind-body experiences with actual high consciousness living of everyday life. Have I fallen into the trap of becoming a 'zen hedonist' taking self-acceptance to such an extreme that I've become idly complacent and indecisive?

 

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@How to be wise

How might one integrate Blue, if this is the missing link to evolve out or Red? Feels like I, and most others on the forum would be past the point where we can earnestly engage with dogma as if it were absolute, too open minded to go back. 

Most of the examples of stage Blue seem to be centered around adhering to religion or respecting authority figures, being subsumed by ideology. I was more observant of religion as a child, and obeyed/respected authority more, but never completely. I always questioned ideology, doubted the validity of teachings, and had a self-centered perspective all throughout. Perhaps it will be helpful to mention that my parents were very stage blue, while as a child and teen I would often say things like "fuck you, I hate you!" to them whenever they tried to impose their moral values upon me. More generally, I had a persistent fear of authority figures of any type, be they teachers, police, parents, or even store employees. Now maybe that's just normal childhood and teenage experience I'm describing, or I had an all out rebellion against stage blue, which is why I have so much red still.

 

 

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@XYZ That’s not an accurate description of blue. I think that Leo’s video was focusing too much on right-wing, dogmatic religion. Stage blue is about stage red realising that it can’t just do whatever it wants, because of present ‘realities’. Although those ‘realities’ could be anything, but that’s why you don’t see stage orange people just doing whatever the hell they want to other people. They have stage blue morality within them that will let them act decently. Without it, could you imagine the world today.


"It’s a good one, it just isn’t real.” — Byron Katie

 

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You are not Ego; however, increased awareness has a non-linear affect on Ego.  In other words, paradoxically, the more you let Ego die the more your Egoic-self actually flourishes.  But the flourishing is not a Stage Orange kind of flourishing.  It's a Stage Coral "getting all your authentic needs met" kind of flourishing.  This is what Stage Coral is all about -- but, here's the kicker, you can't cling to Ego because you realize it's a total illusion.  But, paradoxically, the illusion improves as your Awareness improves in a Stage Coral 'monkish' kind of way, not a Stage Orange 'success' kind of way.  God Awareness is not clinging to Ego, but Ego gives God Awareness everything He needs too.  That's the paradox.  And notice that needs are not wants.  Only a subset of your wants are your authentic needs.  Stage Coral is all about needs.  Stage Orange is all about wants.  The distinction between your authentic needs and your wants span a gulf.  And you need to know what that gulf is for you.  You can discover that.  I did it for myself so I have first-hand proof that it's possible.

Edited by Joseph Maynor

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Self-centering is the key to empathy. 


... 7 rabbits will live forever.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 

 

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