Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.
Source: The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 (Best Buddhist Writing), Pages: 165
One of the most remarkable fruits of Hegel's work is his insight into the primal types of powers definitive of the different strata and modes of human subjectivity: (1) the self-cohesion of immediacy in its basal and passive ineptitude to objectify, define, conceptualize, or criticize anything (Ansichsein or being-in-itself); (2) the objectifying and alienative powers of conscious ego (Fursichsein or being-for-itself); and (3) the extraordinary powers of spirit to reconcile or synthesize modes (1) and (2) into a higher-order union (An-und-Fursichsein). You can readily see that this is a schema I make repeated use of, for its illuminating division of powers; but it implies of course also that, in circumstances where spirit is not feasible or active to mediate the lower-order modes, then immediacy and alienative consciousness are going to be repeatedly cycling through forms of warfarewith one another. Personalities and cultures in the absence of mediational spirit are wracked by the abysmal and nearly ineffable violent intolerance that immediacy (naivete, faith, the differenceless resolution of all things into a lukewarm bath of unthinking subjective plasm) has for conscious ego (articulation, logic, formulated theories/concepts/ideologies), and vice versa: this Kulturkampf makes the whole society like a patient suffering from autoimmune conditions, one system in him having reacted biochemically with another (antigens generating antibodies). But all immediacy or soulish psyche is laced with the predisposition to develop into conscious ego regardless of also being liable to react against its fully formed character.
Spirit's fundamental "activity" or "masculinity" is profoundly different from the activity or masculinity of merely finite individuals, because this activity must be infinite, overreaching and incorporating what is other than it: spirit from its side is not an "other" to ego, regardless of how ego may see or react to it. Spirit's activity has to be understood as always-absorptive, always-open to what is less active (unlike the masculinity and activity of mere conscious ego, which is finite or finitizing and thus bound to repel what is other than itself). Self-enclosing or self-hardening spirit is finitizing "spirit," i.e. ego somehow masked or mistaken for spirit.
In matters of soul as also of spirit, we lapse into a domain where the mathematical and proprietary laws of non-contradiction and exact arithmetic units do not apply so simply: friends or families or lovers may undergo a pathos of mutual alienation (a pathos that is most often a direct function of ego's unknowing or witless conscious self-assertions) that results in them becoming "isolated atoms" or "monads" once again, but that is not an argument that this reductivist state is somehow "more real" or "more ultimate" than their union was. Disjunction is not "reality" and union mere "illusion." The state of mutual repellency is just as much a product of subjective forces (modulations in soul and spirit that throw ego into a position of prominence or authority) as was the state of mutual tangency, diffusion or interpenetration. Atomism or isolationism or alienation is an effect of the projective modalities of conscious ego, the way it "objectifies" something or someone to become "other" over against it (compare Hegel, the "awesome/awful power of the Negative" in ego). Modern order, with its epidemic alienation, does not rest on a "real" or "natural" foundation of factual and objective concepts of human personality and acts of will; rather it enforces an obligatory normative regime of generalized and ambient negativity, like unleashed "electric" energy all having the negative charge intrinsic to the electron.
Kafka's writings often display an insidious power to describe a wholly secular and "factical" world in which the eerie or "unheimlich" elements gang up behind or beneath the ego's awareness and immerse it in a waking dream of something Other, an alien world-order similar to ancient irrationalist cultures (in transition from primitivism to civilized mythos-culture). This plays out as a viscous pitched battle of forms within oneself, a struggle of soul (as one's sense of a more encompassing order, an Infinite within which finite divisions are liquified and dissolved) wrestling with ego (self-defined as having its rights, identity, purposes, etc. entirely within the domain of the finitized and "rationalized" world-order), thus for one of them to become the overarching power within the psyche. In modernity the language and culture and worldview of ego (abysmally banausified and "secularized" as bourgeois ordinariness) are coterminous with "reality" itself, and reality cannot be understood or experienced any way other than egologically (so soulishness has to be gratified or nourished by horror films, mass-rock concerts, mega-churches, if not by alcoholic or narcotic stupors).
The crisis, as well as the opportunity, of our time is to surrender our ego and conditioned fear mechanisms to the primary torsion energy of unconditional love that is seeking to evolve us and is calling us as a species home.
Source: Conscious Healing: Book One on the Regenetics Method, Pages: 103
In all technai or arts (medicine perhaps most of all), there is a self-exhilaration on the part of the practitioner (the intoxication of the ego with its own potency) which is infectious: the patient enjoys a placebo-effect which redounds to the ego of the "artist."
What passes for education, culture or maturity in most minds is merely how individuals want to think of themselves, a contrived egocentric self-concept, not actual and effective principles and values. This is what is known in the cliche as the "veneer" of civilization.