My cultural background is such that I do not understand cosmetic …anything.
Looking at it this way, according to this model, which is rather Nietzschean, there is an authentic SELF, and this lies behind and under the EGO. I am merely talking structurally here, as I always do, and this has nothing to do with moral insinuation or connotation of meaning.
The ego is a later development, sprouting out of the self, but is it not the self. The self is the self. The ego is the means by which we compete. Ego is therefore a truncated representation of the self that is not the self. It thrives on superficialities because it is by its nature superficial. Some people put all their investment into this superficial development and often reap a lot in terms of material rewards, but their real self shrinks and becomes attenuated. (This behavior, by the way, is what I came to identity as “Western” for want of any other word).
The Rhodesian Christian simply did not allow an ego to sprout (once again speaking purely in engineering terms and in a morally-neutral manner).
All that was allowed to develop was the SELF, but this is not a sparring or hostile self but a very diffused self – very, very diffused into the natural environment above all.
And this is why I do not UNDERSTAND cosmetic…anything. I understand THE SELF. I understand the engineered structure of the ego, but the weight of my being has never been in ego but in the self.
Once again, and perhaps this cannot be emphasized enough, I am not making any claims to moral superiority. In fact, when I noticed I was deficient in ego, I once made great strides to try to claim an ego and to gain a competitive identity. But really it was too late for me because I had already grown up according to another model.