I could listen to Ego Blossoms all day.
The first time it happened I was in elementary school. I was sitting in class and there was a slight tickle near the top of my skull. Suddenly everything cut into halftime. I was looking at the teacher. Her voice was still making sounds in real time, but everything she did seemed to be slowed down. The sensual perspective was like an itch in my brain that I couldn’t scratch. Like if I could reach up and scratch my brain about two inches from the crown of my skull, everything would right itself. The mental equivalent of kicking the jukebox. After a few eternities, it went away, and as surely as I wanted the feeling to go away when it first occurred, I immediately wanted the sensation to return. I stared at the teacher trying to concentrate hard enough to make it happen again. I wonder what the expression on my face might have been and what she might have though of me had she noticed.
Throughout my life, this happens a couple times a year. Maybe it’s just a neat chemistry trick that my brain plays on me from time to time. I have conducted my own chemistry experiments to simulate the experience, but it never really comes close to the natural sensation. I have thousands of explanations involving a myriad of mystical variables that I like to try on as the truth. I suppose any one of them is true at any given time. It doesn’t really matter I guess. But my ego likes to latch onto experiences like this and create giant structures and ideals that I am universally responsible for. As I’ve gotten older, the sensation that I described becomes more of a burden as its familiarity signals new layers of responsibility that my consciousness will decide to take on.
Ego Blossoms is like standing on a street corner in Hong Kong and watching people for hours and wondering how all of this consciousness could exist simultaneously. Everything I think and do is a universe of conflicting desires and contradictory needs. I really never can tell what my true motivation is for anything. When I dream, the universes multiply and die. When I create things, I build a whole mythology around a thousand perspectives. There is so much input inside my own thought process that accounting for billions of other voices outside my own head is completely out of the question.
But sometimes I can block my own thoughts out long enough to contemplate throngs of people in a crowded metropolitan setting. Each person on each street, in every restaurant, in every office building and apartment building piled to the sky. Each of them has a consciousness filled with unfathomable depth. Each ego wants what it wants. Each blossom of consciousness is staggering in its complexity and contradiction. When each process decides what its motivation is, the carrier uses communication to add another layer of complexity to each consciousness that accepts its message. The message is construed by all those filters and the meaning is changed until it is unrecognizable to the originator of the thought.
I can’t imagine how the barrier of self could possibly be overcome to eliminate conflict in the world. The ego loves itself too much. Consciousness creates elaborate hoaxes to overcome widespread solidarity. There can no agreement with self, so there is definitely no way to even fabricate the appearance of agreement among large groups of people.
“Careful of the ego blossoms. They eat up everything in sight.”
About the best we can do is observe. To watch the ego grow itself into staggering structures that require resources and maintenance. There is no fighting this. It would be like trying to eliminate insects from the planet. The only outcome would be our own demise, and still, some insect would survive on some floating rock in the asteroid belt. The evidence of our ego would be all around. Marching constantly upward like the music. Plodding onward for the sake of self-perpetuation. You feel the music drop away from time to time but it’s just the blossoms building another plateau for their gardens.
“Nothing changes. Just another day.”
She visits this thought at the end of each chorus. And she whispers it at the end. You think the song is over and just fading out. But you listen and she just dropped a couple of layers and says in a whisper, “Just another day.” I immediately think of the underdogs from the beginning of the song. “They don’t show their face here anymore. I hear they’re doing fine. In the mountains drinking wine.” She wistfully repeats that too. I understand why. It sound so good in relation to the persistent manifestation of the ego blossoms. “Drinking wine.”
And there it is. I wish I could switch it off and on. I reach up and push my right index finger through the top of my skull and find the switch that manifests itself as an itch that slows everything down. I lightly scratch the place in my brain that complicates my life. I turn it off. And then I have a moment of peace “in the mountains drinking wine”. Doesn’t that sound nice. A season without ego blossoms eating “everything in sight”. A vacation from my self. I can feel the stress melting away.