In the Cybermorphic Chaosphere system the sun corresponds to Ego. It has been something I always had a hard time comprehending. I grew up studying Kaballah and to me Sun=Tipharet=heart. Ego in my perception would be based ‘lower down’ on the Tree perhaps in Yesod (Purple). I was heavily influenced by the study of Eastern mysticism, predominantly Daoism and Buddhism in which I took deep interest early in my puberty. My understanding of Ego was that it was an obstacle on the path of illumination, a constant challenge. The notion of ego as negative has been widespread in the West but fundamentally it is based on a misunderstanding of the Eastern thought. I realized this when studying the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
The Sutras describe ego as the tool of the the divine, as an embodiment of the individuality through which the universal consciousness realizes and recreates itself. However this is only the case in a spiritually mature person. The immature personality has no awareness of their ego and fully identifies with it giving it an illusion of absolute power. Doing so creates what C.G. Jung would describe as neurotic disassociation. The average modern westerner is supposed to live their whole lives in this dissociated state.
As I moved on to embrace different philosophies and occult systems I ended up strongly influenced by Chaos Magic. When I first discovered it I still considered myself a noobie, but in truth I had years of study behind me. I read a lot of Crowley, Robert Anton Wilson, existential philosophy and psychology amongst many other related subjects. All of these systems focus heavily on personal transformation. I was very surprised to discover that for many practising Chaoties, the idea of ego sacrifice has a religious association and they prefer to leave it untouched. I found it baffling since the philosophies I studied saw it at the centre of occult practices, an absolutely necessary prerequisite to becoming a magician. Why would anyone willingly abandon this in favour of casting countless sigils?
When I was preparing for my Abramelin Operation last autumn I came cross an interesting perspective presented by Aaron Leitch who said that Abramelin is a system best performed by those who have nothing to loose. My initial response was to laugh at it but from the perspective of completing the rite I tend to agree with him. If we spend our lives reaffirming and strengthening our Ego by climbing the social ladder and building ourselves into successful individuals, suddenly having to restructure ourselves might disrupt just about everything we stand for. The inevitable results of performing this kind of work is being confronted with oneself on a very deep and fundamental level. You not only question everything about yourself but you also begin to truly understand forces that shape you into being. What made you who you are.
To see and understand that our ontological perspective has been imposed on us can cause an existential crisis. All we stand for has nothing to do with us as individuals. Our ego acts like a mirror to reflect the external world we live in. It is in this mirror that we scry the faces and names of the demons that imprison us. Unless one decides to undergo personal transformation ego will be nothing more than that. Deterministic belief says that we are a child of circumstance having no free will we are for ever bound by natural and social laws. We simply fulfil our role and die. The main issue with this perspective centres on a lack of personal responsibility and also lack of true achievement. If I have no free will then how can anyone hold me accountable for acting cruel, mean and aggressive towards others but also how can I take credit for any of my accomplishments?
It seems to me that many magicians faced with this realisation adopt pretty much the deterministic view. Since you can not help but be the reflection of your circumstances you may as well make the best out of it and nudge the reality in your favour by working with its laws. Many magicians treat reality mechanistically. The demons/spirits seem to them like slave robots. Many consider getting personally involved with them as dangerous and/or undesirable. We can see how this reflects our society with its social casts of working class and the elites. The Ego of the magician considers itself the master sometimes given authority by some greater god, sometimes by simple virtue of belief in their own superiority and most often by birth to a wealthy state or family. We build inner hierarchies with our ego at the top but if we are nothing but a reflection the game is but an illusion. We end up being controlled by the forces we seek to control. The difficulty lies in realising it.
The issue boils down to the question if you are willing to risk giving up your accumulated wealth, prestige etc to reorient yourself and in the case of ‘successful’ individuals the answer will most likely be no. A well fed and well groomed cat would not see the point in escaping their owners either and who can blame them for that? It seems that in such circumstances, a simple sigil here and there might be enough to keep the owner feeding and grooming us and making us feel like we trained them to serve us. This will last as long as the wheel of fortune keeps us afloat. Should it turn and knock us down we would be in for a nasty surprise.
The Ego as the Sun to me stands for something wilder and more elusive. It has nothing to do with personal gain. It seems to be a manifestation of consciousness, the invisible made visible. Not a reaction but the creation, not a mirror but a prism. Individualism means going inwards, finding the subjective truth and coming back to transform the world to match it. In the mature/transformed individual, Ego manifests the inner truth and by doing so creates a new reality. The Great Work in this sense means bringing your ego closer and closer to the divine image of the Self that lives within you.