I have heard many times from many sources, the phrase “More wars have been fought, and more people have died in the name of God than for any other reason.” Every time I heard this phrase (or one similar to it) it was meant to convey the message that religion is the cause for humanities self destructive nature. While I do believe the phrase to be true, I believe that it is because God’s name is being used in vain in the first place; because no matter what God one worships (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc), murder is not condoned by any of them …… for any reason. Make no mistake, God does not condone genocide for any reason. The very act of war in the name of God is blasphemy in the highest degree.
“So why do they do it? Why use Gods name to commit murder?”
To justify their actions of course. To convince the world (and them-self) that their actions are righteous. They get more support this way. It is easy to rally support if ones actions are justified by a higher authority. And there is no higher authority than God. Put simply, they use God as a scapegoat. This has been going on since the dawn of civilization.
“A scapegoat for what exactly?”
Ego, plain and simple. Since the dawn of civilization humanity has been building institutions around their egos. We have even come up with clever fictitious concepts and words built on the foundation of ego. Concepts people will die for, concepts people will kill for. Concepts like “Pride” and “Honor.” If we think long and hard about the root definition of these words, we will always come back to EGO.
But lets now take a moment and step away from the broad picture. Lets look at peoples struggles in everyday life. People have ego’s. All of us. This ego often causes us to build up our expectation of what our lives should be like, and how we expect our relationships to be, and so on. This expectation we interpret as our point of happiness (but we couldn’t be more wrong). In fact, with the way ego works, the moment our lives get close to meeting that expectation, suddenly the expectation becomes even higher. One can never get enough in life to satisfy that growing ego that has gnawed a hole right through the center of them. So the truth is that ego is in fact, the anti-happiness. I have determined that ego is the factor that causes the majority of couples to break up. Everyone has a certain expectation of what they want their lives to be like, but when they have to waver or compromise on that in order to find love, they always choose ego over love; and as a consequence, ego over happiness. I’ve heard people use the phrase “I’m not gonna give up ‘who I am’ for another person. They have to love me as is.” and it is usually for something as mundane as their cranky attitude in the morning (just picking one randomly here). “I told him I get cranky in the morning. If he can’t deal with that, he’s gotta go.” or “Thursday night is fantasy football night with me and the boys. She is just gonna have to deal with that.” or “I know she likes the theater. But she’s just gonna have to understand I don’t do plays.” C’mon guys really. Cut the morning bitchiness, do fantasy football another night or pick up a new hobby, and take your wife to see Les Mis you meat head. None of these things comprise “who you are” anyway, and you should be willing to change for love.
Side Note: In fact, to anyone who has ever said the phrase “I’m not gonna give up ‘who I am’ for another person. They have to love me as is.” take it from me, you are way too egotistical, and therefore not ready for marriage.
In this life, to grow and find happiness, we all need to make tremendous sacrifices. Sacrifices right down to the core of our being. This is the reason why the happiest people I’ve known are the people who are in a constant state of flux. Much of their interests and activities are completely different then they were five years ago. Ego is what prevents us from growing; prevents us from finding happiness. I am a firm believer that nature (or God) has a path for each of us, and that ego keeps us from the path. It clouds our minds.
Ego is the cause of most problems in peoples everyday lives. And so many of us are knowingly willing to sacrifice happiness to satisfy that ego. It’s why people are unwilling to be in love (pride), unwilling to accept help when they need it (pride), willing to kill in the name of democracy (honor). Well I have a message for all those who place their ego high, those who have tremendous pride, those who have honor. ……… nobody cares. Just others who share that delusional honor (and I won’t even give pride that much).
You see, in the big picture ego is irrelevant. Humanity has been in existence roughly 200,000 years. The earth has been in existence 4.5 billion years. Our species will rise and go extinct just like every other species on this planet, and the earth will hardly notice. And our individual lives (average 75 years in length) will matter even less. The Earth won’t be impacted, and the universe sure as hell won’t be impacted. Nothing we have accomplished to satisfy our ego will have mattered. With that being said, our EGO’s will have been for naught. They will only have been the thing that has kept us from being happy, nothing more. The only thing that will have mattered, is if we lived well, with love and joy in our hearts.