A single consciousness exists outside of space-time.
To exist within space-time it must be broken up to inhabit forms.
These forms (in the case of humans) possess an ego as a survival function that scans the landscape and organizes sensory input in order to inform physical responses to threats and opportunities in the environment. The ‘I’, the ‘ego’, the ‘self’, the ‘me, was not initially perceived to be the totality of consciousness. Rather it was the speedometer of the car… the fuel gauge — not the motor and the drive train it is thought to be now.
Upon discovering that humans, in whom this scanning-functionality eclipses endemic mystical awareness become unfulfilled, regretful, hopeless, pathetic and needy, the elite ruling class begins to order social institutions in a way that prioritizes development of the favorable trait (from their perspective) of identity-construction over the political and economic liability associated with allowing mystical awareness to persist in the population. The sense of fulfillment and belonging so prevalent in Eden does not a worker/soldier/voter/shopper make!
The mystical awareness (and sense of connectedness with nature, reality, and one another) that was once our natural state and divine right, having become counter to the interests of the few at the top is reimagined as ‘arcane’, ‘occult’, ‘witchcraft’, ‘evil’, or merely just ‘woo-woo’, hokum, and ‘mumbo-jumbo’.
Fast-forward to, “you are special and unique, now go get a job and show everyone just how special and unique by owning newest phone/video game/sports car/brand of jeans… — or, more recently — by posting pictures of your avocado toast on Instagram or showing how outraged you are by issue X on Twitter. With everyone now on the treadmill of perpetual dissatisfaction with their made-up ‘me’, identity-construction becomes the raison d’etre in our culture: the ultimate fuel for a consumption driven economic growth paradigm.
Desperate to end the hollowness and dissatisfaction inherent in trying to make their imaginary notion of self a real thing, things like indentured servitude, championing false-choice political parties, participating in false-choice elections, and dying in wars for other made-up things like countries (imaginary lines represented on maps) and religions (reverence for giant, invisible, sky-people), become the norm. Why? Because CEASING TO BE A NOBODY AND BECOMING A SOMEBODY is the only thing to care about (despite it being an ultimately futile exercise given the natural, mystical fabric of consciousness and reality). And all the way to the bank, the people who benefit from the mass proliferation of the delusion of the distinct self, the people who — either intentionally or through institutional social Darwinism — have facilitated the evolution of the perfect mechanism for exploitation and oppression of billions, laugh and laugh, despite, probably at this point, now being victims as well to the fruit of Eden they wrought.
Read (and please share) The Andy Crowley Saga.