Hell and the sin of jealousy


Jealousy (Photo credit: williamshannon)

I’ve been jealous of you. I’ll give some examples below.
A really simple one would be that you are on the phone and laughing for quite a while while I am feeling lonely or bored. Another would be that I find out that you have gone to a beach in California on vacation (if that sounds attractive to me).
Of course, jealousy can have many forms. I could just say to you (or someone else) “That vacation sounds awesome! I’m so jealous. Tell me about it.” In that case, jealousy can be only momentary- over after being openly expressed. However, repressed jealousy can build up as ill will (“dislike”) and then explode later as a jealous rage (a blind rage).
“Damn it: what the hell have you been doing in California? I thought you said you had a bunch of preparation that you needed to do before next week. Don’t you realize that you being at the beach is probably going to result in a sun burn? I have told you a hundred times not to get a sun burn, and then what do you do but you go right out to the beach! Oh my god, seriously, you just do not have any common sense, do you? I just can’t take this stress anymore. Do you see what you are doing to me? Is this what you wanted? Huh, is it? You probably did not even take your toothbrush with you. Who is going to feed the dog while you are away? What is the temperature there anyway? How are the waves? Wait- stop trying to change the subject on me!”
A blind rage can involve agonizing, shaming others, condemning them, projecting one’s own sense of worry and guilt toward them. Guilt is related to a surge of pleasure and excitement that is so powerful that the person gets disoriented, perhaps even scared to talk about it. I will come back to the topic of guilt later.
"Jealousy and Flirtation" depicts a ...

“Jealousy and Flirtation” depicts a woman jealous of the attention given to another woman by a man. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Because a huge outpouring of jealous rage can arise so suddenly, we may be blind to the jealousy until we receive some news and then the latent jealousy comes to the surface and explodes in to rage. Also, the rage can be very intense and consuming, so our perception can be filled with the target of the rage, blinding us to any other perceptions or sensations.
I may be so busy complaining to myself about how cloudy it is today that I do not notice that the sunshine has just burst through the clouds– or I tightly shut my eyes (or cover my eyes with my hand) and do not even look to see the sunlight, for I am so consumed by a raging jealousy. But why would it be such a big deal if it is cloudy? When there is an underlying sense of jealousy or ill will or distress or dis-ease, then any number of details such as a cloudy sky can trigger an explosion of frustration and rage. In that case, there may be no specific person or group involved as the targets of blame for making the sky cloudy, but if I am complaining bitterly about the cloudy sky, that is because I have already been bitter (jealous!).
Obviously, the clouds themselves did not make me bitter. I was bitter first and my way of relating to the clouds revealed the latent bitterness. (In other words, my way of relating to the clouds revealed my latent way of relating: bitterness.)
So, if I am already bitter about some issues in my personal life, then I am much more liable to be outraged about some remote development, such as a political controversy or a questionable ruling by an official in a sporting event. Different people will relate to the same event differently not because of the event itself, but because of their different patterns of relating.
The Douglas Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii) ...

The Douglas Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii) is an example of wildlife. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Imagine three people who are all watching a cat chase a squirrel. One of them gleefully cheers for the cat (without animosity for the squirrel). One of them simply watches without any particular interest (without any partisan interest, without any partiality). The last one is outraged that the cat is willing to be so selfish and violent (“it’s immoral!”) by “taking advantage” of the squirrel’s small size for the personal economic gain of the cat. Then later the anti-cat observer also states their new anti-squirrel criticism: “however, that squirrel is a thief for taking seeds from out of the clearly-marked bird feeder. Karma is a bitch, isn’t it, Mr. Squirrel?”

There was only one cat chasing only one squirrel. However, there were a wide variety of stories and interpretations about the chase.
Why do the different people have such different experiences and commentaries and interpretations and emotions arise about the cat chasing a squirrel? Their way of relating to the chase reveals their latent emotions, such as latent aggression or latent guilt. One who is speaking about the guilt of others (blaming them or shaming them), if doing so passionately and sincerely, may have some suppressed guilt which they have the opportunity to release as they comment on the chase. While there may be a temporary exhaustion (after passionately ranting about how unfair it is for tyrannical, smelly cats to chase after innocent little cute squirrely squirrels), the energy of the rant was already within the ranter. The rant is actually a release of pressure or energy and can be favorable in the maturing of the one who has been ranting or protesting or whining or seething.
Jealousy Curve Press

Jealousy Curve Press (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is like having a balloon that is just about to totally explode, but then letting out a little bit of the pressure. The release of pressure (through the hysterical rant or tantrum) was not the source of the pressure. After the excitement, the person may calm down and feel much more relaxed than they did before the rant. They may not have even realized that they were so stressed or tense until the releasing of the physical tension. Again, rage is not only blinding, but rage is blindness already.

So what exactly is jealousy? How does it ever arise? What leads to it and what results can it have?

[ Jealousy ]

[ Jealousy ] (Photo credit: αвву (definiytely NOT HERE ANYMORE, ya know?))

Jealousy is always connected to a root impulse or desire that is unfulfilled, then a disappointment and frustration about that lack of fulfillment, then a personal blame about the frustration. One can be jealous toward an individual or a group, but there is always some target for blame, like even just a cat.
If I label you as “preventing me from” having what I do not have but am attracted to having, that is blaming, with or without jealousy. If I perceive you as actually having what I am attracted to having, or that you are even perceived as a threat to me accessing it or maintaining access to it, then that would be full-on jealousy, not just blame.

Jealousy implies fixation, resentment, contempt, and vilification. Once someone is targeted for blame, that does not require any additional criticism. With simple blame, there can even be a direct request made for some compensation or reparations. However, once the blame is made in to a jealous vilification of character assassination, then a long list of other patterns or events can be referenced as evidence of not just blame, but of villainy or evil. The perceived villainy of the enemy (the target of jealousy) can be used to justify a variety of forms of revenge or punishment. Punishment is distinct from compensation, which involves a transfer of value. Punishment may be the inflicting of physical pain or the destruction of property.


CLOUDS OVER OKINAWA (Photo credit: Okinawa Soba)

I have not mentioned this yet, so I will also note here that jealous bitterness is also the source of ridicule and arguing. To anxiously argue against an idea or to ridicule it is an expression of a latent bitterness, just like complaining about the evil cat chasing the victimized squirrel or whining about the annoying clouds “ruining my plans.” Are the clouds annoying or was I already irritable and annoyed?

Here is a long sequence of how jealousy can arise and resolve:
innocence -> attraction
-> hope
-> reflexive presumption
-> action based on presumption
-> confusion (based on a lack of awareness about which presumption was inaccurate)
-> disappointment
-> desperation
-> frustration (continued attempts to operate based on an inaccurate presumption)
-> blame
-> worry (once someone else is blamed as responsible, then worry about possible future disappointment is inevitable)
-> jealousy (“they have or might have what I value”)
-> rage
-> contempt
-> shame (“my life should not even be like this!”)
-> denial (“Excuse me, but I am a very positive person, okay? That is why I hate people who are so freaking negative that I just want to strangle them!”)
-> repulsion (“I simply cannot stand to be around them. I just dislike them. It is common sense!”
-> humility (“Wait, I still have not produced the experience that I am still attracted to. And about all these people who call themselves positive- like I have been calling myself- why are they so focused on what other people are doing or not doing or how things should be? What is the presumption that we have been insisting MUST be accurate?”)
-> maturity (“Maybe I made an error in perception somewhere which led to my past confusion. Maybe the people I vilified were never the core issue.”)
-> forgiveness “I’m really sorry that you did such horrible things to me and were such an evil person. No, just kidding. I apologize for blaming you for my disappointment with the results that my behaviors produced.”
-> clarity (“Wow- so that was the inaccurate presumption. That’s it? That’s all? That is it! That is just so ridiculously simple. I can totally understand how that presumption led naturally to everything else. You know, it’s kind of amazing that I did not notice that before, huh?”)
-> gratitude
-> innocence (recognition of an inherent, eternal innocence)
Here is the much shorter version, which has much less precision by clumping a huge sequence of patterns together, but vastly simplifies the sequence:
innocence -> … suffering (sin) …  -> humility -> maturity -> forgiveness -> clarity -> gratitude -> innocence
You may also notice that while jealous blame and rage notably lack empathy for others (“look at what a victim I am here!”), humility includes empathy. What actually interrupts one’s own pre-occupation with blaming is to notice the pre-occupied blaming by vast numbers of other people. I see their suffering and I recognize the innocence that is present through entire sequence of reflexes: the innocently reflexive disappointment, blame, denial, and so on. I see the fundamental innocence of the sinning and the sinner.
Cat bliss

Cat bliss (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.” Titus 1:15 (from the New Testament of the Christian branch of Monotheistic Spirituality)
English: Dead squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), Tus...

English: Dead squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), Tuscany, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, as a final note, I mentioned guilt before. What is guilt? Guilt is when I relate to something as if there is something fundamentally disturbing about it, like some action I took or some result that was produced. Guilt is a disturbance, a dis-ease or anxiety or self-directed ill will. That self-directed ill will often gets projected on to others. Before I can select someone to blame for anything, I must have a sense of frustration and desperation about that thing. Desperation is another word for panic. Panic implies disturbance. Guilt is that disturbance.
Guilt is the fear of revealing some underlying attraction or impulse (of fully experiencing some pleasure). Guilt is always about pleasure. Guilt is being terrified of pleasure.
In the midst of a culture of people who are already guilty about their own attractions to pleasure, any innocent arrival in to that culture will be programmed with a terror for pleasure, a lasting panic, a disturbance, a reflexive guilt. We could call that hell: “I am such a victim here you know because seriously I would be in heaven if it just were not for _____, who is totally ruining my perfect life forever by that one thing they did a long time ago that is blocking me now from the thing that I am really attracted to but I am terrified of actually experiencing or even admitting.”
Guilt is hell. Guilt is temporary. Guilt is a natural, reflexive process that does nothing to alter the fundamental innocence of all creations of God.
Matthew 5:48 “Be perfect, just as your Source in Heaven is perfect.”
Allegory of Jealousy

Allegory of Jealousy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stop blaming God for ruining your life. God is not ruining your life. That is like saying that a tree is ruining a branch of the tree. The branch is the tree. The tree abides in the branch and the branch abides the tree.
If you stop condemning some aspect of your life (your finances, your appearance, your government, your neighbor), then you can simply recognize with humility whatever God is creating, rather than making a terrified, arrogant attack on some branch of God’s creation (on God). Do not argue with God (unless you are attracted to the experience of humility, because that is what arguing with God will always produce).

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