Sunday, December 28, 2008

Are you an arrogant asshole (Find Out)? Pt. 1

What is arrogance?

The arrogant assumes his views and opinions are The Truth. In arrogance, natural confidence becomes perverted. Rather than the self-assurance born of knowing his own strengths and limitations, arrogance admits no limits.

The arrogant admits no weakness and may even secretly rejoice to find flaws in others. But imperfections are inherent in being human. Thus fearing exposure, the arrogance forms a hard shell masking the inner emptiness.

The arrogant sees himself first. Rather than offering respect to all, arrogance demands respect from all. Dismissive, arrogance poisons all relationships by worshipping the grand but empty edifice of the ego, the self-important sees others as less human, as cardboard cutouts.

Like so many self-centered traits, arrogance in others activates the arrogance in us, or its opposite of timidity and self-doubt. Confronted with arrogance, we might erupt indignantly or we might lapse into dwelling piteously on our own limitations. We then infect others and the vicious cycle continues.

What is Spiritual Arrogance

This form of arrogance takes at least two forms. In the first, the victim concludes that he has made progress, perhaps due to having a few deep experiences. Or he prides himself for being part of the in-crowd, or for being friendly with the teacher, or for being the teacher.

Whatever the reason, the spiritually arrogant mistakenly determines that he or she is special and then vaunts that assumed eminence over other people. This may be explicit in his outward behavior or implicit in his inward self-image.

In another form of spiritual arrogance, the true believer aggressively preaches, pushing his own path as the one and only way, downing others by claiming that they will not be saved without the chosen path.

In reality, there are many valid and effective paths. The appropriate path for any particular person is a highly individual discovery, and cannot be decided by anyone else. It sometimes happens that when people first enter a path, an obsessive infatuation sets in. They may see their path as the one true way and attempt to convert others, even over protests of disinterest.

Freedom from arrogance begins with a deeper and more accurate understanding that we are on the same level of importance as others: not higher, despite our gifts, and not lower, despite our defects.

In part 2 of this article I will explore in greater depth some of the causes of arrogance. I will also explore some solutions to help liberate one from arrogance.


Leon Basin said...

Hey, how are you doing?

Brandon Gilbert said...

im doing well leon, how are you?

Anonymous said...

This is not only true, but it is true lol..! :p

Brandon Gilbert said...

Yeah especially the part about religious arrogance. Its so fitting.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever read Peter Ragnar's book "Zen, Christianity, and a lot of BULL?" Reminds me of his book.. He's quite humorous of his past experiences with arrogant pastors & preachers!

Anonymous said...

"Religion is training, spirituality is attaining."

Brandon Gilbert said...

I havent read those books, but i can easily see where he is coming from.

I like that quote a lot too...
thank you for sharing!