Self-Aggrandizement -- Conning Ourselves


Even if every last person on the planet were to freely stop assuming there were people "out there" trying to get them, we would still have substantial conflict in the world because people would still set their respective thresholds for countering a threat very, very low. There are many contributing factors as to why we do this, but ultimately, it all starts with our habit of succumbing to fear and/or hubris.

Fear is the Mother of Necessity

They say, "Necessity is the mother of invention." What you never hear about is that which is NECESSARY because it is assumed, nearly instantaneously, the moment we sense pain - our survival. However, survival is not the mother of necessity, nor is it pain. It's fear of pain, and rarely is it fear of fatal pain. We create a shell of protection, a shell we call "myself," and regard everything in existence as separate from our "selves," until we can adequately assess the pain factor, although the damage has already been done in my book. Hubris assists us throughout as we eventually manage to experience more pleasure than pain, thus, never thinking twice about this process. We're happy, so why would we?

The Problem with Self-Aggrandizement

In order to maintain our pleasure centers, we subconsciously find we must harden our identities through self-aggrandizement; that is, exaggerating the threat of pain and exasperating our appetites for pleasure. In other words, we create opportunities for conflict and treat our desires as dire needs. We do this within all realms of life - body, heart, mind, and soul - in an effort to "find" and "know" ourselves. If others threaten, even in the slightest, who we have built ourselves up to be in any realm, we are all too often ready to defend ourselves. What's ridiculous is how we are willing to do so with the very lives we are protecting, but even more ludacris, at least to me, is how we think our struggles are utterly unique from everyone else's. Self-aggrandizement is very much about overestimating our value, partciularly when it comes to rarity, within the grand scheme of existence, society, even our small circles. I'm not saying you're not rare. I'm saying you're just not as rare as you think you are; or, your rarity adds very little to your value. I'll speak to value more on a later page, but first I must make my case for your, and my own, lack of rarity.

The Not So Harsh Truth

It’s simple science and math. There is a finite number of chromosomes, which are the basic building blocks of people; therefore, there are a finite number of combinations, which results in who you are at birth. The point is there are a number of people all over this planet with the condition of being "you," just like a certain chromosomal configuration results in down syndrome. Thus, you’re not the little snowflake you think you are. Surely you think the snowflake statement absurd, so I’ll go ahead and ground it in reality a bit more, but using an allegory. More than likely the plethora of experiences you’ve had over your life comes to mind when I made that statement. It’s true, everyone’s experiences in life are different, but it’s akin to how lightning can never strike in the same way twice. No matter where or how it strikes though, it’s still lightning. Unlike lightning, we aggrandize ourselves and our place in existence, just so we can stagnate in eddies of pleasure. Thankfully, this never lasts all that long. More.