Monday, September 14, 2009

Amir Hafizi and His Ego

I have one of the biggest egos in the universe.

And that's my ego talking.

At any point in time, you might see me talking to myself. Yes, I have sunk to that level. It would be some number of years before I put on transparent plastic bags as a costume and start fighting crime on Bangsar's rooftops.

There is so much...noise... inside my head. And that noise, is the ego. It is telling me that I am him. Like in the kabbalah.

Let me backtrack a bit, so that the white ambulances don't come to the office tomorrow. I won't be there anyway. Got an assignment.

We all accumulate labels and roles, over the years. I have.

The Bottomless Pit of Despair. The Angel of Death. The Lord of Destruction. The Idea Man. The Writer. The Journalist. The Malay Male. The Malay. The Male. The Philosopher. The Fucker. Man. Machine.

And yet all of it, are merely labels. Roles I assigned myself. Aspects. Functions. A costume, a mask to wear. This image we have of ourselves, manifests as the ego. All the time, every time.

When you meet somebody, you are not meeting him or her. You are meeting a representative of that someone. You are meeting their ego.

Egos love drama. Egos love pain. Egos love reacting to everything, so they can get more pain and more drama.

Not that it wasn't useful. At times, playing the roles got me through things. It is neither good, nor bad. It just is.

I was taught, very early on, that even while you do things, or when you write, you can project an image that you desire. I write, with a targeted thought in the readers' brain. I want you to think or feel something.

It is my ego communicating with your ego.

For example: a rabbit.

A rabbit, its fur as white as snow. Its throat slit with a razor and rivulets of crimson red blood running down its pelt. Fear. Horror. Gore.

All this facade.

The ego seeks to define itself as higher, better, smarter, faster. The best way is to diminish the perceived - your perception - standings of other people. You push people down, so you would look taller. Like Sarkozy. Bada-bing!

The ego is always insecure, and always, always, wants things. Desires things. Hence, the ego can never be happy, which is a state without any desire. When you want nothing, know that you are truly happy. When you want people to know you are happy, you are no longer happy.

Therefore, if you want to be happy, don't want to be happy. How do you achieve this? By being is. By being completely in the now. Your thoughts may be in Second Quarter projections, but you are here, right now.

Consider this: What was the most wonderful orgasm you have ever had?

Mine was when everything turned white. There was a ringing in my ears, and I smelled nothing. I began to realise, faintly, that my body did not itch. Know that in a normal state, your body itches. A lot. And I'm not talking about genital warts or herpes. Even right now, your body itches. A lot. Everywhere. Now you are aware of it.

Cool huh? I got that - the itching part - from a Robert J Sawyer book.

So total, absolute bliss, was pure silence. A complete halt to the thinking process. Because incessant thinking, created the ego in the first place.

Now, as soon as I got out of that wonderful zone, my only quest was how to simulate it, in a real world environment. How do you simulate that effect in an office full of people? How do you attain that in the middle of a particularly dreadful situation?

Because there have been times when I simply wanted to run away and jack-off in a toilet so I could achieve that state again.

The method that worked, after many trials and errors, was being aware of living in the exact moment you are in.

It means a world without chatter. Without clutter. Everything was white. Like in a hospital ward for the criminally insane. White, padded walls. SOmething like that.

Fighting my ego only made it bigger, stronger, which was what it wanted. Resisting any type of emotion would also cause it to grow.

The only strategy that worked, was to accept it. Accept and know that I am feeling bad, angry, sad, spiteful, and I began to notice the ego getting smaller. Acknowledging what you feel at that very moment, focusing on that instance, prevents your 'self' - the true self - from putting meaning into it. Putting your emotions into context, creating meaning into it, makes the emotion and the ego bigger.

For example, somebody said something hurtful to you. You experience pain. And then, your ego starts to tell you, "He/She has been like this before. Remember that time in July?" Or, "Oooohhh...when the time comes, I'm going to slit his/her throat!"

These things, these thoughts, bring you somewhere else in time. To something which does not, at the moment, at that exact and precise moment, exist.

So, one careless word becomes a reason for war. Divorces. Hatred.

Somebody tell you you are wrong.

"Ooooohhhh...I was right before! Remember that time when...?"


"Wait. Just wait. I'll be proven right! I will be RIGHT!"

You actually did something wrong.

"Oh no! Why didn't I do this or that? I could have done this or that."


"This person will remember this, and one day, exact revenge on me! And I will FEEL bad!"

The ego loves drama and pain. And drama and pain, only works either in the past or the future.

Acknowledging the present, acknowledging the emotions and the circumstances - acknowledging the ego - actually diminishes its presence.

Fight or flight? There is a third option. Stay. And use your superpowers to become one with the universe.

Must admit that it is not a complete process. But when it works, it's fucking sweet. When you know that any kind of instinctive reaction, wrapped in contextual emotion, you can pause for a split second, between instances, and live in the now.

That pause, is very important. SOme very successful people, they do not react to a situation. Their responses are no less slower than anyone else, but they have less - not the absence of - instictive reactions. And that, my friends, separates us from animals.

That small moment, took us to where we are, tens of thousands of years after we decided to put on a loincloth.

The underlying philosophy for all this is taken directly from Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth. As seen on Oprah.

I shall continue to explore the methods, and share my findings here. The hypothesis is that one can be in control of one's actions, 100%. And that happiness can be found, not in being right or in victory, but in living life, purely in the moment.

That, or a straightjacket.