“Hell is other people.” (Jean-Paul Sartre) Or, in the immortal words of Cheap Trick, “I want you to want me.”
A meditation on the ego–our egos–as a source of tyranny, or as a source of solidity, resiliency, solidarity, and strength. To be our true selves matters, for ourselves and for the world.
Offered on Sunday, September 3, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg, SC.
A recording of the reflection may be found here:
A transcript excerpt may be found here:
That is the divine “I”,
the divine self,
the beautiful ego
speaking its true being
and by the very light of its brilliant existence
awakening us to our true being,
calling us to our true selves.
We have seen this week how much we need one another.
We hear the beauty and possibility of desire,
of longing to connect with one another,
in our songs.
And we see in our families, in our work, in our leaders, in our history,
how distorted and ravenous
the ego can become,
what an all-consuming tyrant
we can be—
individually, and as a nation.
Thich Nhat Hanh
to call us to our true selves,
to manifest in this moment
the full beauty and wisdom
of just who we are.
And James Baldwin
who is just that beautiful, and wise, and brilliant
in the fullness of his being,
reveals the tyranny of our nation’s ravenous ego,
the endless and all-consuming narcissism of white supremacy,
“I am a man. I don’t exist for you.
What is it about your own narcissism
that you needed to imagine me as something different for yourself?”
Stand in the fullness of your being,
in the beauty and wisdom
of your “I am,”
of your divinity,
will illuminate the world
to who we truly