An Uneasy Ego

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dear Maud,

Into bondage we are born – this much is known. But whom do we serve?

‘It may be the devil,’ Bob Dylan intoned, ‘or it may be the Lord.’ True, I suppose, but not true enough. For, in reality, we have a second master: damnable Self.


Why, mine or thine own. For years, Maud, I have sought to serve the former – myself. Alas, I have failed to do so well, and my higher needs remain unmet.


This is a sharp question, and it needles me. Am I, perhaps, a poor servant? Nay, I think not; for, at times, I have served with success – this Christmas, for instance. Am I, then, a poor master? Yes, almost certainly so.

Any man who would be master must dominate and control his menials. I do neither for long; my thoughts are unruly and my passions headstrong. In short, I lack self-control. Also, I do not dominate my selves, of which I, like you, have many. In short, I am rarely myself.

The rub, Maud? That an uneasy ego makes a good servant but a deplorable master.

Now, shall I pose another question?

Yours etc.