The Ego is the Enemy

The legendary Arab poet and writer Khalil Gibran said: “Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.” Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.” For the soul walks upon all paths. The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.” Thus, as I mentioned before, true academic and journalistic work requires a certain level of selflessness and self-sacrifice that many people cannot really bear, in the sense that one must become void of both bias and opinion. Most people have an ego, and the fossilization of the ego stems from the tendency of people to cling onto their biases and opinions. But one of the reasons why a true academic and journalist has to be void of bias and opinion is because biases are tailored towards generalization – which is a logical fallacy – and thus biases can change with greater awareness of reality, while opinions are merely opinions. When circumstances and facts evolve, opinions can also evolve.

Another harbinger of the potential for the deterioration of minority rights and women’s rights in America is a comment recently made by the disgraced ex-military general Michael Flynn. Recently, Flynn said that Christianity is the only religion in America. What Flynn blatantly and insolently disregards is the fact that the First Amendment guarantees the free exercise of religion, but not the free exercise of a singular religion. Thus, the ‘Founding Fathers’ of the United States did not intend on establishing an official state religion. Moreover, many of the ‘Founding Fathers’ were “Deists,” in the sense that many of the ‘Founding Fathers’ did not subscribe to an organized religion. A copy of the Quran can be found in both George Washington’s personal library, as well as Thomas Jefferson’s personal library.

But the “Founding Fathers” did make a major concession to the right-wing of American society, namely, the ‘Second Amendment.” Perhaps many Americans as well as observers of America who are outside of the United States are unaware of the fact that the intent behind the creation of the ‘Second Amendment’ – which enshrines the right of private citizens to ‘bear arms’ – was to enable the overthrow of the federal government by the citizenry in the event that the federal government were to erode the ‘social contract’ established with the citizenry and thus lose credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of the American public. As a result, the one-third of Americans recently polled who say that political violence is sometimes justified actually have a legal basis for their argument. Because the ‘Bill of Rights’ in the U.S. Constitution consists of a medley of rights which tailors to both ends of the political spectrum, the plurality of Americans – including myself – have deemed themselves as “Independents.” As mentioned before, because the “truth” is complex, many individuals do not fit into a neat little box or category.

As I have mentioned before, the method which I have employed for my research and writing is “phenomenological” in nature. What this particular method entails is the “bracketing” of lived and personal experience in order to decipher and understand broader economic, political, and social phenomena. Thus, in addition to being emotionally and psychologically detached from objective reality, a person who employs the method I am employing for research and writing also has to be detached from one’s personal and subjective experiences. Because of the fact that I do not hold personal biases as well as the fact that I do not pass personal and subjective opinions on my own personal and subjective experiences, my hope is that others do not jump to conclusions about my character or what I stand for based on what I have written thus far. In the end, my expectation is that my readers take my work as a unified and interconnected whole rather than taking particular comments or pieces of my work out of context.

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