Richard Oxenberg
Emory University (PhD)
This is the first chapter of a projected book to be entitled, The Ego and the Spirit. This book will endeavor to examine what lies at the heart of human spiritual aspiration from a psychological, philosophical, and religious perspective. In this first chapter, I discuss the predicament of the human ego, charged with a task that it cannot fulfill: To establish itself securely within being. The ego's efforts to fulfill this task through its dealings with the things and people of the material world lead to distortions in its self-experience, its relations with others, and its involvement in life in general. The world's spiritual traditions have long recognized the predicament of the ego and present themselves as a means to its resolution. In this first chapter, though, the focus is on the ego and its predicament.
Keywords Spirituality  Ego  Faith  God  Buddhism  Religion  Existentialism  Christianity  Death
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