Mind WorX – Pride
INSTRUCTIONS were given to mankind way back in antiquity as to what not to do if we wished to continue to evolve both spiritually and as a species. They include among many others, the Seven Deadly Sins which are those transgressions that are fatal to our spiritual progress.
These instructions are not exactly as described by religious doctrine today, for their true significance has been lessened somewhat by the adulteration of the church’s early scribes and the unfounded threat of God’s punishment in hell if we fall prey to such vices.
In their original form, they are simply helpful guide posts that have been passed down to us over the eons, that we can either choose to follow – or not – on our evolutionary journey towards conscious awareness.
One of these sins is avarice or greed that was described in the chapter ‘Need.’ It showed how mankind is kept in the egos intricate web of deception. Another one is pride which is just as debilitating to our evolvement, both spiritually and physically.
Pride is excessive belief in one’s own physical self and attributes that we believe is just a bit better than those of others – which consequently interferes with our recognition of the oneness of life. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as vanity and is a proud possession of the ego.
Pride appears to be a good trait to possess but is it really? Being quietly aware that we are worthy beings, that we are doing the best that we know how, that we are an integral part of this wonderful world is sometimes called pride. But there is no judgment of others or self, so that is not really pride in its true meaning – just a quiet appreciation of self and everything else.
The problem arises when the ego grabs hold of it. Maybe we were told as children to, ‘believe in yourself.’ That seems quite a legitimate goal, but it depends on which self is listening.
If the ego takes notice it immediately creates a folder in its library with a label something like, ‘I am special’. It then continually creates images about self and our ‘specialness’ and adds them to that folder. The accumulation of self appraisal images grows from childhood, each one getting more and more inflated as time goes by.
Pride relies on the past and future and others to be better than. Some sports people play the game for the sheer enjoyment of it, win or lose – but to some it’s a war, a competition that must be won at all costs. If they are not winning, it’s the opponents fault or the umpires – sometimes even themselves.
They throw temper tantrums and scream obscenities at whoever impedes them from winning – their self included if they feel they are not good enough – or they are a failure, or they are unworthy etc.
What is happening is that they are falling short of the expectations put on them by the egos ‘how special I am’ images – stored in memory. Those images record wins that the sportsperson has had in the past, in which they take a lot of pride. This then is projected forward into the future with the expected pride in the wins to come.
The losses are quietly relegated to the back of the folder and virtually ignored. When reality goes against what the images foretell, the anger and frustration begins. An enjoyable recreation becomes a battle.
Sports people are not the only ones that suffer from the sin of pride, we all do, in everyday life. You can see it in other people and yourself, if you look. Most people are friendly, but if you threaten their self pride, they can sometimes become affronted and turn argumentative or even hostile. So can you!
[*There are many different subtle forms of ego pride that you may observe in other people and, more importantly, in yourself. For example, you are about to tell someone the news of what happened. “Guess what? You don’t know yet? Let me tell you”.
If you are alert enough, you may be able to detect a momentary sense of smug satisfaction within yourself, a puffing up of pride, just before imparting the news – even if it is bad news. It is due to the fact that for a brief moment there is an imbalance in your favor between you and the other person.
For a brief moment, you know more than them. The satisfaction you feel is pride, or to be more exact, the ego feels pride. Even if the other person is the president or the pope, you feel superior in that moment because you know more than they.]
It is impossible for pride to exist in the present moment. It can only exist in the past – and the past belongs to the ego.
When you are present in the now, there is only the quiet awareness that you are a worthy being. You have a right to be here, as does everyone and everything. And that is a moment to moment thing.
[*] Based on a paragraph in ‘A New Earth” – Eckhart Tolle
Dan’s Quote: “Anger is the enemy of non-violence….
_____________and pride is a monster that swallows it up.”- Mohandas Gandhi