Peak Ego and the Ego Descent Planby Bob Banner
One day I was discussing peak oil to some folks and the notion of Peak Ego and an Ego Descent Plan suddenly emerged into my consciousness. I thought it funny. And when I mentioned it lightly to people at another gathering it brought forth a hefty amount of laughter. So, I decided to think more seriously about it and explore it.
When I primarily think about peak ego I immediately think of Rene Guenon’s work that I read passionately decades ago. He wrote some very heavy treatises concerning modernity and civilization. Such books as The Reign of Quantity, Crisis of the Modern World & the Signs of the Times and others turned me onto the Traditionalists. He left France and was initiated into Sufism in Egypt (Sheikh Abdul-Wahid Yahya) and also immersed himself in the Hindi Kali Yuga cosmology. His notion of the “reign of quantity” signifies peak “quantity” as compared to the “quality” of life. Of course there are many different paths that deeply criticize modernity using either Traditionalists or various Sacred lineages (or the many prophecies that speak of major planetary changes around 2012). I just happened to resonate with him and thanks to Gai Eaton who wrote a book called “King of the Castle” where he summarized and simplified the work of Rene Guenon. A google search will also give the reader ample material to look into, if you are interested. The point, funny as it may appear, is that we have reached a critical juncture, Peak Ego, a place where ego cannot go any further, if that’s possible. Some of this will be tongue in cheek but I think it’s a valuable exercise just to see where ego can be peaked in one’s life (and the culture) and how one can come down the mountaintop of Peak Ego to let the rest of us know that it aint that much fun at the Peak!
Basically modernity is part of a cosmic cycle and its about to crash. I believe Guenon was looking forward to the collapse and used his scholasticism to explore it and hopefully in some way for us to prepare for these urgent times. Others were in the same camp. They called themselves Traditionalists and it included such people as Jacob Needleman, Frithjof Schuon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, and others. My reading of those men, and they were mostly men, gave rise in me a disdain for modernity from a grand perspective. If not disdain then perhaps a healthy bout of skepticism of the modern world with its ugly industrialized foundation. Others came to this conclusion by reading the original environmentalists like Aldo Leopold. The Traditionalists would examine various native American cosmologies and eloquently revere earlier spiritual traditions. Perhaps peak everything is somewhat related to “peak quantity” and peak modernity. Whatever you may want to call it, the momentum is blindly moving us to a point of no return, especially when you add in the finite resources (or I should say “subtract” since most fundamental modernists still assume we have infinite resources to carry on this modernity stage forever; or to discover a new technology that will allow us to return to business as usual).
Peak Ego and the Ego Descent Plan
A wonderful, timely article by Bob Banner at HopeDance magazine. I hope you'll take the time to read and digest it.