William James, Aldous Huxley, and the functions of religion
I would consider Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson to display the ego-maximization of Scientism. Their epistemological trespassing is pretty gratuitous. What is holding Scientism back is the other part of our culture that is anti-intellectual and already regards Science as the direct opposite of Religion, and is therefore an enemy.
I'd say you were exactly right, and Carl Sagan himself warned about science/scientism becoming a religion and just how damaging that is to democracy.
Max, great read! I read this the other day, but I wanted to come back and put thoughts on this:
I agree with your analysis of the word ego and how it is viewed narcissistically. It shouldn’t be viewed negatively, as we have been doing for a while. It simply is a part of who we are, and it’s helped us see the world (it can be “tainted” or “programmed”) but that’s just the nature of it’s journey.
Also, love the fact that we can also “change” our ego as well. It is not fixed. Its simply “somewhat a program that we develop as we experience “reality” (our journey).
I wholeheardted agree with your overall point on “religion as a an ego modulator” and I have been thinking on writing a paper on how religion can negatively impact your ego/program. From a psychological perspective, religion can actually be damaging to anyone as it may at times conflict with your ego.
I’ve been through all three of the case studies (Religion, Eastern Studies, Science) and, yes they are tainted, but they do contain a wealth of information. I think the one thing that really ties them together is esoteric philosophy. I think Carl Jung’s idea of the super-ego is what we should all try to be. Instead of lowering the ego, we should rather be raising the ego to the level of “The Self” (Nietzsche “Superman”).
Looking forward to more work and here are some links I’ve wrote on ego and the esoteric if interested:
If you believe that God is Father, what does that mean? Some evangelical Christians think of God as "daddy", (my interpretation:) like he comes home from work being ruler of the universe and spends time with his children. God can be close and familiar, rather than transcendent and awe-inspiring, and this closeness and familiarity with a loved person (notably in everyday life, an evangelical thing) can be religious/spiritual by contrast with things like psychedelic/mystic experiences. What the best close and familiar relationships do is render the people involved statusless, or maybe even "sizeless", neither big nor small ego-wise, in some sense.
If you want an easy to understand manual on how to most effectively employ this ego modulation read Neville Goddards „Feeling is the secret“ this ties in very well with your recent post on active dreaming as stronger than meditation and psychedelics for psychological function. Maybe LoA is a good candidate for minus the nonsense :)
Could it be argued that leading any sufficiently large group of people is an ego maximizer? Whether you are a priest or a senior manager in Tesla, I think there’s a co-efficient between the number of people you have control over and the size of your ego. Possibly as some kind of psychological protection mechanism - when you take risks on behalf of a large number of others in the chance that you fail accepting the burden of that responsibility psychologically must be quite a challenge to deal with.
Entirely too kind on scientism. See the last two years and the believers' cultish belief in Experts™.
Though I guess it's arguable that people turning into ostracizing monsters is more of an outburst of safetyist managerial leftism. In any case, the secular expert is definitely a modern priest, and they definitely have their cultists. Not just in the obnoxious iamverysmart feeling r/atheism types, but just genuine, hideous dogmatism, utter certainty at their priests' truths and complete willingness to severe personal relationships for lack of cult membership and cast the heretics out of society.
An Islamic perspective/definition of ego. I am not objective while posting this but it could increase your perspective too while I reading this post http://www.erisale.com/index.jsp?locale=en#content.en.201.557.