Humpty Dumpty



Its the egg’s turn for some close scrutiny.  The similarity of  egg and  ego could not have escaped Lewis Carroll. Giant egg or giant ego both perfectly describe Humpty Dumpty. High on his wall he is  always looking down  and  talking down to others.  I see him as the personification of arrogance or pride.

my name means the shape I am — and a good handsome shape it is, too.’

There he is, a giant egg, an inflated  ego  perched precariously on the wall.  His shell is both  imposing and fragile, like pride and insecurity which are just two sides of the same coin. Humpty sits on the wall, immobilised  for fear of  shattering his shell (pride) like sitting on the fence. His insecurity  keeps him  stuck on the wall, (in samsara)  to maintain his eggshell intact. He unlike Alice, who took a fall to break old preconceptions and move forward on her spiritual path, stays put and reassures himself, playing with words and logic to manipulate all he sees to fit his assumptions.

The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. ‘They’ve a temper, some of them — particularly verbs: they’re the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!’

Alice is on a spiritual journey through Wonderland. She courageously advances and  encounters characters that personify the  different disturbing emotions (fear, anger, jealousy, desire, depression, etc) that she must overcome to become enlightened. Each character shows her something about these  delusions, like holding up a mirror to her inner self. Alice is clearly searching, her fall down the rabbit hole, shrinking and then growing uncontrollably challenged her basic assumptions about herself. Her encounter with Humpty Dumpty shows her how limiting  her own painful habits of ego are.  She leaves Humpty, abandons her  pride and moves on.

‘of all the unsatisfactory people I ever met —’

quotes in blue from Lewis Carroll.

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