“To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible god.” ~Jorge Luis Borges
“Trickster god is god’s God,” Crow says, peering from behind The Branches of Lost Time. These branches are a metaphor for our misremembered synapses. They symbolize our having lost touch with both our own nature and with wild Nature, our forgotten link between cosmos and psyche, our misunderstanding of how we-the-microcosm makes up a vital aspect of We-the-macrocosm.
Crow is here to remind us. But Crow’s medicine is harsh. It is ruthless: a tearing apart, a torn off Band-Aid. For Crow is between worlds like no other creature. His moon-eye sees the light. His sun-eye sees the dark. And his shadow is the grayest thing in the universe: The Middle-gray, the Middle Way, casting itself over and above all things. Smearing out yin-yangs, he reveals how nothing is separate; how everything is connected to everything else in a glorious melting down of black and white, dark and light, life and death, finitude and infinity.
Crow is here to remind us that we need to get over ourselves. He is a black beacon in a room filled with blinding light. He’s the Dark Truth in the sugar-coated ointment. He is here to trick us out of unconsciousness. He is here to crucify the ego. But more importantly, he is here to resurrect it as a mighty tool for the self-actualized Soul.
“Buddha is dead. God is dead. The path is littered with insufferable egos. Even your own ego has an enlightened sword penetrating through its self-righteous heart, and your soul is all the stronger for it.” ~Seven Signs You May Be Unfuckwithable
Don’t worry so much. Ego death doesn’t hurt. What hurts is realizing that you’ve been, as they say in Zen, “tied to a post without a rope.” What hurts is admitting that your ego is nothing more than a front for your multilayered self. What hurts is letting go of your expectations. What hurts is letting go –full stop.
Crow is here to help you let go. Crow’s medicine has just the right amount of humor disguised as honor and compassion disguised as courage to fill up the humble pie disguised as a red pill needed to get you past the blue-pill addiction of your un-mighty ego. Sure, Crow shoves it down your unwilling and reluctant throat with a beak blacker than dark matter and harder than God’s Femur, but he gets the job done with a humor of the most-high.
He’s a necessary amoral agent: Zeno’s Compass, Ockham’s hellraiser. He’s here to flip your worldview on its head, to vivisect the animal of your knowledge, to cut what you think you know about the way the world works in half and pluck out the organs of all the things you take for granted. He’s neither gentle nor comforting, but he is sincere in his exact fierceness. He must be, in order to reveal yourself to yourself. In order to transform your whiny, woe-is-me placation into a mighty self-overcoming revelation.
No easy feat, dissolving egos. But Crow does so with pluck and aplomb, with molten mettle and mercurial moxie. The letting go process is easier if you just give your ego over to him to chew-up (courage), to digest (cocoon) and eventually shit-out (rebirth), but he doesn’t mind stealing it from you like a thief in the night either. Actually, he would prefer pulling it out of you kicking and screaming and begging the gods to save you. He would rather stamp out the little light that blinds you so that you can finally see the bigger light that awakens you.
Don’t worry. On the other side of this beautiful annihilation is a soulful illumination: A Three-eyed Raven. He has come to carry you to a terribly exquisite juxtaposition: the gloriously painful journey of self-overcoming.
“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” ~Anais Nin
At the fork of in the path, at the crossroads, where yesterday’s you meets today’s you in bardo-perfect juxtaposition, there is a psychosocial reckoning at hand. There is an existential decision to make: get busy adapting and overcoming, or get busy stagnating and succumbing. The cliché phrasing is ‘get busy living or get busy dying,’ but on the Path of the Three-eyed Raven there is room for dying (rebirth) as a steppingstone for growth toward living life more profoundly, adventurously, and on-purpose.
So here you are, in a state of in-between, unmolded clay. You’ve been rocked to your foundations with the realization that you are not your ego, that you’ve only ever been unmolded clay. You’re no longer that, and not yetthis. You’ve emerged from your ego’s death with your soul bloody from a thousand and one cutting questions. Your ego is now a pulsing blister inside you, oozing indifference and apathy even as it begins filling itself with interdependence and empathy. It leaps and bounds inside you, a terribly beautiful wound turned primordial womb that purges pettiness and superfluity even as it begins impregnating itself with the world.
Crow is satisfied, perched up high, licking his razor-sharp beak, filled to bursting with the rigid invulnerability of your ego bulging inside him. But the Three-eyed Raven is anything but satisfied. He sees the Infinite Game being played out. He sees how you are an integral catalyst for the progressive evolution of your species. He is a symbol for your ego’s rebirth. The most wide-awake aspect of you that invulnerably and soulfully flexes out; that individuates and self-actualizes as it perpetually overcomes the vicissitudes of self, and thus the vicissitudes of life.
With Crow’s medicine in one hand and your wide-awake ego in the other; with Crow on one shoulder and the Three-eyed Raven on the other, you are ready to self-overcome. You are ready to existentially crush out. You are ready to bridge the gap between man and overman.
Don’t be afraid of this vulnerable power, though it is both the scariest and most powerful thing in the universe, save for the power of a good sense of humor. Embrace it. Be fearless with it. Use it as a tool to leverage wonder and numinous experience into your life. Use it as medicine for a profoundly sick society. You –the you not drowning in ego pettiness and woe-is-me religious placation– are the one the world has been waiting for.
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.
This article (Crow’s God: Ego Dissolution and the Evolution of the Self) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Gary ‘Z’ McGee and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this statement of copyright.