Posts Tagged ‘arrogance’

Logical psychology: Recovering from the terrified arrogance of mainstream hysterias

September 6, 2014

Logical psychology: Recovering from the terrified arrogance of mainstream hysterias

Have you ever noticed that a sequence of words was intriguing to you? Maybe they were moderately unfamiliar (as in notably different what you would expect).

Sometimes we may notice that most of our interactions and conversations seem very predictable (even boring). We form expectations based on noticing consistent patterns. We develop a set of expectations and then presume that life is going to continue to operate according to whatever patterns that we have learned to expect. However, we may not even be aware of our presumptions.

If you can drive a car, then you can imagine approaching a busy intersection with a red traffic light. Imagine that you are heading north. As you get close to the intersection and slow down, you notice that there is very heavy traffic flowing across the 4-way intersection (from the right and left along the lanes going east and west).

As you are almost to the intersection, you were already expecting the light to change from red to green soon and finally it does. If there are no vehicles ahead of you in your lane, then you can expect to safely enter the intersection since the light is green, right?

You expect the flow of cross-traffic to stop, right? However, do you presume that it has stopped just because you are facing a green light? Or, do you look to check before you proceed in to the intersection?

Did I mention that as you approached the intersection, you heard a bunch of loud sirens and saw flashing lights? The heavy flow of traffic so far has included two huge firetrucks and four police cars, plus now that you look you can see an ambulance coming. It does not look like the driver is planning to stop even though the traffic light in their direction is apparently red.

Again, the traffic light right ahead of you is clearly green. You expected it to turn green and it did. You may have expected the flow of cross-traffic to stop by the time you saw the green traffic signal.

However, you can see the ambulance speeding toward the intersection from the east (from your right). You can also see that the ambulance has crossed over now out of the normal east-bound lanes in to an empty west-bound lane (the lane you would be in if you turned right).

So, since your traffic light is green, you can expect it to be safe to go ahead and turn right in to the lane with the speeding ambulance, right?

You can safely presume that whatever you expect is always what will happen, right? Even though you see the ambulance, you could go ahead and turn now with plans to later use the excuse that you had expected that lane to be empty, right? After all, what could be safer than turning now when not only do you clearly have a green light, but there is also an ambulance nearby in case of any unexpected collisions?

In you case you did not notice, I was demonstrating the difference between expectations and presumptions. Having an expectation does not require making a presumption. You can expect the traffic intersection to be empty and safe, but still know that it is just an expectation, so you actually verify your expectation. You could make the presumption that your expectation is accurate without checking, but you could also check the actual traffic.

In both cases you have an expectation. In one case you could make a presumption and act on it without verifying it.

With presumptions, you may not even know that you have an expectation. You may just presume that the current situation is bascially identical to all previous situations and so you take action presumptively. That can be a source of problems.

For instance, you could get in to a head-on collision with a speeding ambulance and then suffer serious injuries or even instant death. Or, you could barely avoid a collision, get embarrassed, and then yell at the stupid driver for doing something that you did not expect (driving in to the intersection in disregard of the traffic light).

That other driver violated not just your expectation but also your presumption. They revealed your lack of attentiveness to the actual flow of traffic.

You may tell the story for weeks of the stupid punk driving the ambulance without regard for the red traffic light plus going in the wrong direction and surprising you. You do not like surprises.

You tell the story over and over to the other inmates in the county jail. Eveentually, you go to court and tell the story again to explain why you were justified in doing what you did.

When the prosecutor refers to your behavior as a crime, you could be offended and yell threats of violence. You could demand that the bailiff arrest the prosecutor for what you call their “presumptuous and rude display of insanity, contempt, mental illness, and total ignorance of right and wrong.”

As you finally get to tell your story, you anticipate the sympathy of the judge and the jury and even the prosecutor. All of these errors are going to be corrected once you tell people what really happened.

They just do not understand yet how you were doing the right thing and the idiot driving the ambulance is the one who deserves to be in jail. You are just going to tell them and straighten out this whole little misunderstanding of theirs.

Your only friend in jail even said that you should expect an apology letter and probably a few thousands dollars to be awarded to you for the emotional distress that this injustice to you has caused. All of the other inmates laughed when you told your story, which is obviously evidence that they are intellectually inferior to you. Who wants to be friends with people as dumb as them, right?

You think of your one friend who agreed with all of your presumptions and of course you consider their agreement to be a sign of intelligence. Why? Because finally someone undertsands you.

What do I mean by “understands you?” I mean that they acted in conformity to your expectations and preferences.

So, I began by saying “have you ever noticed that a sequence of words was intriguing to you?” By now, you may be wondering what I meant by “terrified arrogance.” Or, perhaps it is already quite clear.

When someone has naive expectations and presumes that reality will always conform to their expectations, then that can lead to an exposure of the naive expectations as being naive expectations. When the expectations are revealed as only expectations, then people can feel confusion, terror and panic.


They can be worried that others will recognize that their expectations were actually just expectations, not reliable principles for how life actually goes. They can be scared of criticism and punishment. They can be scared of being recognized as confused or scared. They may shout that “I am not scared!”

So, in a terrified hysteria, they can condemn whatever event violated their expectations. They can arrogantly threaten those who do not operate according to their expectations (like the ambulance driver, the prosecutor, and all those stupid, law-breaking inmates who laughed at your story of how the people who made the traffic light victimized you).

Don’t these people realize that you were sincere in your expectations? You did not drive in to the intersection by accident. You drove in to the intersection on purpose because the light was clearly green!

You did the right thing. Other people were wrong. You were right. You are still right. The other people are still wrong.

If there is a condemnation made of some past event because of terror, could that be arrogance? If there is an acceptance of a past event as surprising and even frightening or confusing (because it exceeded your expectations), then that would be respect and humility rather than arrogance and contempt, right?

If there is a condemnation made of some specific indivudal or group because of terror, could that also be arrogance? If there is an acceptance of their past action (or inaction) as surprising and even frightening or confusing (because it exceeded your expectations), then that would still be respect and humility rather than arrogance and contempt, right?

Now, perhaps you are sufficiently clear about what I meant by terrified arrogance. Note that I am not asserting that there is any other kind of arrogance except for terrified arrogance.

Arrogance is a pattern of behavior to hide a lack of confidence. There is a background of private terror that someone’s lack of confidence will be recognized, so arrogant boasting is emphasized socially. The perceived threat presented by possible skeptics and critics can be targeted for ridicule and abuse. Others can be repulsed or pushed away by the harshness, aggression, bullying, and coercion of the arrogance.

Those who dared to display skepticism in regard to your sacred expectations and idolatries can be systematically targeted for defamation and sabotage. Your resentment of them is deemed by you to be justified, certainly not a sign of insecurity. Don’t be insulting!

You are not jealous of them. That is silly.

You are not over-reacting. That is hysterical.

You are not upset. You are just standing up for what is right. It is also quite pathetic that so many other people are so complacent and naive, unlike you.

Now, so far we have been using an example about driving in to an intersection and nearly colliding (or actually colliding) with a speeding ambulance. That was an example that I just made up for educational purposes.

Next, we’ll talk about a few actual cases in which I have been arrogant. Let’s also talk about mainstream hysterias, how they form, and how they relax.

Let’s see if we can even produce a fully recovery from any terrified arrogance that I might still have… because I certainly would not want to imply that someone as mature as you could still have naything left to you learn ever. That would be simply hysterical, right?

Arrogance is the opposite of pride. The opposite of genius is what?

July 31, 2014

Arrogance is the opposite of pride. The opposite of genius is what?

What is arrogance and what is pride? Which one is loud and which is relaxed?

Let’s consider a famous example. Was Galileo arrogant?

Galileo was one of many astronomers to conclude that the earth orbits around the sun (along with the other planets of our “solar system”). Others (including Copernicus) reached the same conclusion long before him. Why is he famous? His fame resulted from boldly publicizing his findings (and then being punished for it).

If the popular version of the story is true, then Galileo received multiple direct warnings against widely publishing his conclusions, yet he repeatedly showed disregard for explicit threats. So, was Galileo arrogant to intentionally provoke the wrath of the Pope?

Was he relaxed, confident, and uninterested in confrontation… or was he reactive and compulsively drawing attention to himself, desperately yearning for pity and admiration? Why did Galileo even risk publicizing his findings to a mainstream audience? Did he think that fame was the ultimate victory? Was he seeking to perform some act of heroism to compensate for some hidden shame and earn his way in to heaven? Was he simply pursuing a grievance against the Holy Roman Empire?

Did he chase martyrdom in an effort to “reform” the Empire or “save the world” from false presumptions? Was he in a panic to obtain “personal salvation” through being glorified as courageous and intelligent?

For that time in Europe, Galileo received a rather mild punishment for his display of contempt for the ruling authority. Even today, displaying contempt for the ruling authority may result in no more than a rather small fine or brief jail term. However, in some places, even slight hints of contempt and arrogance may be punished with a penalty of death (through a variety of methods).

Throughout history, many people may be trained to glorify or worship rebellion. In the US, the founding fathers are celebrated for their acts of rebellion. In the civil war era, abolitionists and slaves who rebelled were celebrated by their allies. Other famous rebels include Moses, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther, and in modern times, MLK Jr., Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela.

Of course, the label of rebel can be used in many ways. In some cases, non-compliance is labeled as a rebellion. Or, any verbal questioning of a sacred principle can be labeled rebellion. Or, someone can be labeled a rebel simply as a way of discrediting them (even if they act with total complacency).

I find it notable that in my past when I was least confident and least secure, I was most arrogant. I celebrated rebellion with the most extreme fanaticism and idealism. I was outraged by many forms of institutional programming. I condemned conformity (and isolated myself in to social groups composed of other perfectionists who also condemned conformity).

We competed for who was the biggest martyr (in the sacred quest to save the world from our chosen enemy). We also competed for who was the most victimized in their personal life.

We were creating social repulsion to isolate ourselves from the terrified loyalists of blind complacency. However, there was certainly an element of blindness (and distress) to our patterns of condemnation.

There was still arrogance and contempt and resentment. We were terrified of innocent questions and responded to them rudely. We were even more terrified of intelligent questions, so we responded to them with panics of ridicule.

Even if we were accurate in some perception, we yearned for the social validation of other people telling us that our perception was important to them. We did not just want their agreement, but their glorification.

We were still terrified of the existence of contrary perceptions and interpretations. So, in our heroic battle against conformity, we promoted conformity.

One who is simply proud of something (like a favorable result or useful skill) has no craving for validation. Others may recognize it or not. Others may appreciate it or not.

Pride is not tender. Arrogance is extremely tender.

If a grandparent is proud of a grandchild, that pride is independent of other people (like other people congratulating them or challenging them). The grandparent is simply proud. There is delight, love, and pride. There is an enthusiasm for future progress and continuing well-being.

Those who are arrogant may invest a lot of energy in shaming others. They may condemn pride as repulsive.

To them, nothing is as repulsive as pride. The calm confidence of pride is the most terrifying thing in the world to someone who is arrogant. There is nothing so threatening to a charlatan as an expert.

A proud genius has no contempt for the arrogance of charlatans. They expect persecution and challenges from those who are tender and insecure. They know that the terror of the arrogant is nothing personal. The arrogant are simply jealous of a proud genius.

It is only natural. Anyone who has matured through the stage of arrogance can easily recognize it.

“Deal with it” (Part 2) A courageous woman responds to JR

June 19, 2014
  • She wrote:

    Hello. I read what you wrote and agree with you. There are elements and varying degrees of what you describe that i am very present to. They are attributes that come and go and are more pronounced when I’m triggered and reacting from my wounded child ego state. I am developing a muscle around not being reactionary when triggered. I am, as you said, committed to connection, partnership, creation, love, joy, fun, adventure, discovery….

    really appreciate the time and energy you took to give me feedback. I think my “wildness” was lingering from a guy i dated 7 months, where all our time together was based in self indulgence …. He was wealthy and could afford to indulge in anything he wanted. When we broke up, i experienced what felt like withdrawls… It was interesting.

    Since last summer, i have settled down a bit, but still like to laugh my face off and play. Lol. I learned to be around others who like that too and who won’t judge me for being silly….

    I have never intentionally tried to exude sexuality. I like to look attractive…

    There was a time, 8 years, where i dressed androgenous … Plain… Frumpy. A guy i dated encouraged me to “look nicer”…. So i did. Lol.

    I know I’m not out looking for sex. I’m insulted when men and women judge me as that. Yet, i take responsibility for creating that [impression].

    Again, thank you for your feedback. You are very detailed and accurate. I wish you the best.

  • Wednesday
  • J R Fibonacci Hunn
    J R Fibonacci Hunn

    Cool. here is an analogy. I have never intentionally tried to exude the ability to speak English. I would generally never think about the ability to speak English as notable. I just speak it. I do not intend to emphasize that I can speak it.

    As for sexuality, it can be very powerful. In our culture, females are given mixed messages about exuding sexuality. It is highly encouraged , like in women’s magazines or TV, but also considered very disruptive in some subcultures [or at the typical job interview].

    First of all, if you think of an extreme example like a radical Muslim culture, the people are concerned with women exuding too much sexuality by showing their face. The women did not plan to have beautiful eyes or lips. They do not even use cosmetics. They do not think “I am intentionally exuding my face.”

    However, for some people, an unveiled face is considered “too sexual.” In the case of catholic nuns, they expose their face, but cover their hair. Why? Hair exudes “too much” sexuality.

    So, be aware of the reaction of “their judgment of me is insulting.” That is what I mean by immodesty. When you are Being respectful of other people’s experience, then you can be curious rather than [defensive:] “yeah, but [the result that I produced] was not *intentional*!?!?”

  • She replied:
    6/18, 5:10pm

     Why does the responsibility of “being respectful” of their judgment of Me fall on me, rather than them acknowledging their own insecurity (women)? Or in the case of men, u make it sound like men are not to be held responsible for their hormones.. Which is behind the rape mentality…My point is, men and women need to be responsible for the filter they listen to attractive people through. I even had a landmark grad, say to me at the forum review a month ago, she thought i was a ditz until she heard me speak. That’s what’s insulting. Yes, I’m responsible for the listening i create of me and they are responsible for their “already listening,” rackets and context.
  • People judge just based on my appearance and silly playfulness…. I know some women who in my past judged me …. But they are so sexually repressed and obese and unhappy… It occurs to me they hate me for being fit and happy and free.

    Like your Muslim example… Or nun…. If I’m free and self expressed and others who are held back for whatever reason judge me… Its a Reflection on them more than me.

  • 6/18, 8:10pm

    Never the less, i will be responsible for how i present myself and the listening i create. I hear my thoughts, at times jealous of beautiful women, or judging out of shape people etc. but i hear the thoughts then ponder what that says about me?
    I want to be beautiful and don’t think i am. I want to be in better shape. I want to be loved. Etc. so rather than condemn them for being beautiful or married… Loved ..etc i go to work creating what i want….

  • Today
  • J R Fibonacci Hunn
    J R Fibonacci Hunn

    One can be sincerely jealous of other people without condemning them. The ideal of “you should never be jealous” is missing the point. It can be dangerous to display jealousy openly or to trigger other people so that they perceive you to be a threat.

    As for “being respectful,” that can be an opportunity or that can be an ideal of how you should be, like an imposed obligation. [If it seems to be a burden, then either put it down or get help carrying it.]

    Anyway, I think of “ditz” as a very adaptive “act” [persona/ role/ presentation] It works to display ditz sometimes. If you do not see “ditz” as a skill, consider that you could think of it that way.

    If you go to a job interview and the interviewer is a woman and she is “insecure” because she is jealous of your figure or whatever, you can either condemn her or you can be powerful about your “power over her.” When someone gives you power, what do you do?

    People evaluate based on their [pre-existing] values, their interpretations, and their perceptions. The ideal that “People should not judge” is ironic. [It is even arrogant.]

    “Other people need to be more responsible” is typically an ideal that leads to frustration. If you can accurately perceive how responsible someone is (like exactly how they are responsible snd how they are not), then that can be useful to know.

    Arrogance is the idea (or the hysterical delusion) that other people SHOULD naturally have as much interest in my opinions (or my experience) as I do. That orientation could also lead to frustration.
    Stay courageous. It can be a very useful quality. 😉

paranoia, arrogance, salvation, etc

February 15, 2014
  • Thursday
  • Shelly Barineau

    Excellent speaking with you today. I forgot to ask you what you think may improve my paranoia. Me specifically based on what you know abt me. DF said you mentioned that some of his frustration may be due to looking for specific types of conversations rather than being open to another person’s interest.

    J R Fibonacci Hunn
    J R Fibonacci Hunn

    I told DF that if he values fun and he does not find certain conversations fun, then pretending otherwise can lead to frustration. The solution to that is to respect one’s own disappointment an either withdraw or initiate fun conversations (with those same people who have been having less interesting conversations- or not talking at all out of shyness, etc).

  • Shelly Barineau
    2/13, 10:22pm

     SB: I know you told some things I should be aware of… And to alter my response accordingly… Like withdraw if necessary (without shame). But I guess I was wondering if you notice a trap in my behavior.
  • J R Fibonacci Hunn
    J R Fibonacci Hunn

    As for you withdrawing, when you are repulsed by something, one solution is to withdraw with shame or without shame. Shame is just an adaption.

    The only two general forms of action are to approach (initiate) or to retreat/ withdraw. Shame is a signal to withdraw, but shame also corresponds to the experience of terror without any recognition of a viable method of withdrawing.

  • J R Fibonacci Hunn
    J R Fibonacci Hunn

    It is the freeze response from fight, flight, freeze or fake. It is a form of paralysis.

    It is internal withdrawal (like shyness) rather than a physical retreat.

  • J R Fibonacci Hunn
    J R Fibonacci Hunn

    So, respect is a core issue. When a child is terrified and craving social attention (nourishment, protection, etc), then they target “I want to be liked.” That is a basic tension. They learn what not to do and what to do, then what to say or not say, and so on. That fear leads to pretense and faking as in “say the thing people will like.”

  • J R Fibonacci Hunn
    J R Fibonacci Hunn

    Eventually, a child may learn not only to hide experiences like disappointment and frustration (withhold them), but to cut off their own perception of them (denial).


  • J R Fibonacci Hunn
    J R Fibonacci Hunn

    An example of denial is “I desire social connection but I should not.” Specifically, “but I should not” is the denying or rejecting or disrespecting of the attraction. We also learn to deny repulsions: “oh no, of course I like ____. Everyone does and I fit in with everyone one because I (pretend to) like ____.”

  • J R Fibonacci Hunn
    J R Fibonacci Hunn


    Arrogance arises when one of my shames are challenged, like “I do not think that you really like math class.” I say in outrage: “what?!?! Math is awesome. I am so good at math that I can multiply 3 grade levels above my age. I do NOT hate it. You SUCK! I am telling on you for sucking. In fact, I bet you suck at math, don’t you?” All of that is terrified pretense.

    Regarding the “accusation” of “you do not like math class,” a curious response would be “oh, really? Why do you say that?”

    An uninterested response would be “ok- I do not know why you would care, but I am busy so thanks for sharing. Bye.” (The “gratitude” could be pretentious, as in “subtly” repulsive.)

    The defensive, arrogant, aggressive response (“you suck”) is neither uninterested or curious. It is ashamed, terrified, even paralyzed.

    “You should respect me because I am good at math” is arrogant. “You should care how good I am at math like my mom does!”

    Another reply to the accusation: “well, sometimes that class can be boring. What do you think of it.”

    That is called “starting a conversation.”

    “I think third period is fun though. What is your favorite class?”

  • J R Fibonacci Hunn
    J R Fibonacci Hunn

    Arrogant animosities are the branches on the limb of shame. No shameful pretenses mean no projecting of shameful pretenses.

  • J R Fibonacci Hunn
    J R Fibonacci Hunn

    Can someone return to self-respect by shaming others? No.

    Respect them. Withdraw condemnation. The relief from the tension shaming (called salvation) comes from discontinuing the behavior of shaming. Repent. Notice. Relax. Be mindful. Catch your breath. Go sit under a remote tree until “the devil’s temptations” no longer disturb you. Hum a mantra. Practice a ritual of distraction, such as baptism.

  • J R Fibonacci Hunn
    J R Fibonacci Hunn

    Also, it is not arrogant shaming when someone intentionally disturbs someone with words of shaming. That is real aggression with insincere, fake shaming. They are not upset. They are testing. Some women often will attempt to shame someone just to test confidence. They are joking, but there is real aggression in their *intentional* creative pretenses.

  • J R Fibonacci Hunn
    J R Fibonacci Hunn

    “John, you know you can’t take out the garbage now because you are too weak to go outside in this weather and carry that heavy of a load. Maybe you should go play some video games.”

    That gets in to reverse psychology, etc

  • Of course, the aggression could even be faked.

    So, arrogance is a form of tantrum. It is a call for validation and approval.

    So, a powerful response to arrogance could be a compliment.

the common roots of anguish, angst, anxiety, anger, and arrogance

May 8, 2012
An anxious person

An anxious person (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I am an expert on both bitterness and arrogance. My extensive first-hand experience with those patterns of experience makes me an authority on those subjects… and, by the way, I am not just being arrogant when I claim this distinction.”

In fact, I have had at least a few people repeatedly tell me that I was arrogant. Without being told, I already knew when I was bitter, but arrogance is one of those things that people may be hesitant about claiming for themselves. People who are being arrogant may prefer other terms such as “justified” or “right” or “righteous,” which reminds me of the term “self-righteous,” which reminds me of the terms “antagonistic” and “arrogant” and “rude” and “jerk.” (As for those who are thinking of the term “righteous” as in spiritual purity, note that I prefer the term “spiritual purity.”)

Notice how rare it is that someone would say,” Of course I am being a jerk, but it is entirely justified!” People tend to just skip the middle part and focus on “I AM…JUSTIFIED!”

When I have been arrogant, I always had excellent rationalizations for being arrogant. “I am only being an arrogant, self-righteous jerk because of the following excellent justifications. I’d like to tell you about them now and I’d like to be very loud as I do so. Are you ready? No? Well, that is your problem, not mine. Here I go….”

Once a Jerk, Always a Jerk

Once a Jerk, Always a Jerk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being arrogant can be an interesting way to invite attention to one’s self. It is an advertisement of a dominant concern with being the deliverer of some particular communication, typically a criticism that includes a condemnation.

By the way, criticism does not require condemnation. Criticism can simply identify anything that might be missing as well as anything that might be excessive or less than the best possible, according to whatever perspective or interpretative system.

So, when I am being arrogant, I want someone to listen to me. I want someone to understand me. I want sympathy. I want someone to help me deal with an underlying issue or anxiety or fear. I am testing to identify someone who can assist me in  handling my distress, for arrogance (AKA “righteousness“) is fundamentally an indicator signaling distress.

I recently wrote to someone these words: “You are not just bitter. You have also been arrogant.”

“When I was arrogant, you have even been bitter that I was arrogant, rather than just noticing the arrogance. Are you offended when a frightened idiot displays arrogance, or do you just notice it?”

“Arrogance is a lot of fear covered with a brief [sudden] surfacing of anger… whenever the fear is recognized. When the arrogant anger subsides, the basic anxiety and paranoia is still present- the fear of fear itself.”

Notice that the words “anguish, anxiety, angst, and anger” all have many letters in common.


1175–1225; Middle English anguisse  < Old French  < Latin angustia tight place, equivalent to angust ( us ) narrow + -ia -ia; compare anxious;  akin to anger


early 13c., “acute bodily or mental suffering,” from O.Fr.anguisse, angoisse “choking sensation, distress, anxiety, rage,”from L. angustia “tightness, distress,” from ang(u)ere “to throttle, torment” (see anger).
[C13: from Old French angoisse  a strangling, from Latin angustia narrowness, from angustus  narrow]


1520s, from L. anxietatem (nom. anxietas), noun of quality fromanxius (see anxious).


1620s, from L. anxius “solicitous, uneasy, troubled in mind,” fromang(u)ere “choke, cause distress” (see anger). The same image isin Serbo-Croatian tjeskoba “anxiety,” lit. “tightness, narrowness.”
[C17: from Latin anxius;  related to Latin angere  to torment; see anger , anguish ]
1840–50;  < German Angst  fear, anxiety, Old High German angust (cognate with Middle Low German angest, Middle Dutch anxt ),equivalent to ang-  (akin to eng  narrow, constricted) + -st (suffix)


1944, from Ger. Angst “neurotic fear, anxiety, guilt, remorse” fromO.H.G. angust, from the root of anger (q.v.). George Eliot used it(in Ger.) in 1849, and it was popularized in Eng. by translation of Freud’s work, but as a foreign word until 1940s.
1150–1200; Middle English  < Scandinavian;  compare Old Norseangr  sorrow, grief, akin to Old High German angust  ( German Angst fear), Latin angor  anguish
[C12: from Old Norse angr  grief; related to Old English enge,  OldHigh German engi  narrow, Latin angere  to strangle]


c.1200, from O.N. angra “to grieve, vex;” the noun is mid-13c.,from O.N. angr “distress, grief, affliction,” from P.Gmc. *angus (cf. O.E. enge “narrow, painful,” M.Du. enghe, Goth. aggwus”narrow”), from PIE base *angh- “stretch round, tight, painfully constricted, painful” (cf. Skt. amhu- “narrow,” amhah “anguish;” Armenian anjuk “narrow;” Lith. ankstas”narrow;” Gk. ankhein “to squeeze,” ankhone “a strangling;” L.angere “to throttle, torment;” O.Ir. cum-ang “straitness, want”).

Anxiety (Photo credit: Rima Xaros)

All of those words are related to exasperation, like being out of breath or having trouble breathing, being exhausted, desperation, despair, and terror. Rage is like being squeezed tight. The tension can be… suffocating, similar to a panic attack of asthma.
Here is what Jesus said about anger and the raging fires of the hell of rage:

20For I say to you, that unless your goodness will exceed that of the Scribes and the Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 21You have heard that it was said to the ancients, “Do not murder, and whoever murders is condemned to judgment.” 22But I am saying to you, that everyone who will be angry against his brother without cause is condemned before the judge, and everyone who will say to his brother, ‘I spit on you’, is condemned before the assembly, and whoever will say ‘You fool.’ is condemned to the Gehenna of fire.

Note that I think that a better translation might be “contempt.” The issue is not just the natural spontaneous anger that is normal for any child, but the danger of blame, animosity, resentment, contempt, rage, and hatred.
James 3:6 “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (From a letter written by one of the disciples of Jesus).

Anxiety (Photo credit: Alaina Abplanalp Photography)

Arrogance has a function. So does anxiety. It may not be most functional to “avoid” them (as in totally repress or deny them).
The old Biblical saying “turn away from evil” implies to withdraw from what is terrifying or disturbing, but not to condemn it or judge against it, but to complete the disturbance and experience peace and even courage and appreciation.
Avoiding arrogance and anxiety could keep you stuck in them. Until you get firmly planted in admitting your own arrogance, you cannot step beyond it.
It is like being in Oregon and trying to cross the border in to Colorado. There is a problem with that idea. Oregon does not border Colorado. One can go through Idaho and Utah to get from Oregon to Colorado, though.
So, when you step in to arrogance fully (and humbly!), then you will have the opportunity to experience anxiety directly and learn its value. Until then, anxiety may remain something for you to avoid and deny.
There may also be a sense that other people should never be anxious, like even children: “why are they so anxious sometimes!?!?!” That is an instance of arrogance.
You cannot have a sense of humor about anxiety until you can admit arrogance without needing to fall back in to bitterness, which is a wonderful thing to experience until you are ready to openly enter anxiety. If you ever master anxiety, then your experience of living may dramatically shift, like stepping out of hell in to heaven- which allegedly is similar to stepping out of Utah in to Oregon, but not quite the same.
Remember that the one who enjoys life the most loses the game of hell. Beware of enjoying hell or it may turn out to be  a dream from which no one can escape without sacrificing bitterness, arrogance, and even anxiety, angst, anguish, and anger.
Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

on the authority of direct experience as distinct from institutional power

March 27, 2012

In the midst of a variety of ideas about authority, I claim that ideas about authority are all categorically distinct from authority itself, like shadows are distinct from light. While people may follow one who displays confidence, mere confidence is also distinct from authority.

For instance, a child may be confident merely for lack of experience with the present task. “No, I have never done it, but I did read a book about it, or at least part of the book.”

However, there may be times of desperation when a display of confidence is relevant to gather a group and launch a new initiative. In other words, there are times when seeking the wisdom of someone with the authority of experience is a priority and times of emergency when experimenting even ignorantly is essential.

Mere confidence is no match for the authority of experience. For instance, one who has done something even only once has more authority through direct experience than someone who has read a book about it even many times.

Many are encouraged in their confidence because of institutions which reward them for agreeing with the institution’s ideology. Agreeing with ideology leads to an excessive confidence called arrogance.

In fascist cultures, agreement with popular ideology is essential to institutional inclusion. A child is trained as a priority to act in conformity with the ideology of popular institutions.

One must conform at least minimally to avoid persecution. One must recognize the functional authority of the fascist institution, such as the public school system, even when a child is being trained to provide answers that do not conform to reality, but do conform to the ideology of the institution. The trainee learns the distinction between a display of conformity (ideological correctness AKA political correctness) and the direct recognition of the reality.

Further, the child may learn that displaying arrogance is essential to conforming to the standards of a fascist institution or a fascist society. One pretends that institutional conformity is the highest form of authority, when in fact that is not actually authority at all, but only an arrogant conformity.

Arrogance is presented as equivalent to authority. Mere confidence without arrogance is presented as indicative of slightly less authority. Direct experience is discarded as completely irrelevant to authority or even a sign of insanity or at least foolishness.

For instance, if the approved diagnostic code of the official medical authorities dictates that certain medical conditions are incurable, that is the default official position of all agents of that institution. Direct evidence to the contrary may be dismissed, ridiculed, and even criminalized.

Of course it is possible for a licensed agent of a fascist institution to privately recognize the ultimate authority of direct experience, yet to publicly display arrogance or at least a general conformity to the institutional ideology. Outside of their official capacity as agent of the fascist institution, one may privately and discretely practice in conformity not to institutional ideology but in conformity to the authority of direct experience.

Institutional authority is a type of authority, but it is only a social authority. In fact, it is not really authority at all, but only social

Fascist symbol and date "9th year of the ...

Fascist symbol and date "9th year of the fascist era" (1931) on the facade of the Central train station in Milan, Italy. Picture by Giovanni Dall'Orto, december 28 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

power. Of course, the term authority may be so often associated with other patterns like confidence or power that the unique meaning of authority is not recognized.

Authority is the natural consequence of the clarity of personal recognition that only comes from direct experience. Institutions cannot confer authority because they cannot transmit direct experience. Institutions can concentrate political power and then delegate or distribute that power, but that institutional power is not authority.

Further, those with authority in matters that do not conform to institutional ideology may accumulate direct experience in interacting with the agents of institutional ideology. First, contact with institutional agents may be kept to a minimum.

Avoid arguing with them. Avoid drawing attention to yourself. Do not seek their approval. Do not seek to correct them or educate them or govern them.

What is the social and evolutionary value of fascist institutions? They promote arrogance by training people to be arrogantly confident by adhering to the official ideologies of the institutions, then they punish those naive enough to take their personal arrogance to an extreme by attempting to protest or correct the fascist institutions for their fascism.

Fascists cultures present the arrogance of righteousness (ideologically-based confidence) as the highest virtue. In promoting foolishness, fascist cultures serve to sort the naive from the intelligent and adaptive, like a fisherman baits fish with a lure.

The least adaptive in a fascist culture will internalize the basic values of the culture, such as self-righteousness and arrogance, then hypocritically claim to reject the very fascism which is the foundation of their behavior and psychological identity, even protesting self-righteously against self-righteous fascism. The next least adaptive will never call the fascist system fascist, but will gather in to groups and compete against each other for power using the official channels of marginalizing the influence of the masses, such as the democratic elections that are so favored in fascist cultures.

Those moderately adaptive will directly promote their personal administrative power through participating in the fascist institution. Those most adaptive will publicly condemn fascism while privately promoting it, also encouraging the masses to voluntarily marginalize themselves by gathering together to compete with other special interest groups, such as gays vs disabled vs veterans vs gay disabled veterans.

They may assert that all power is derived from rightful institutional power, then condemn all specific instances of institutional power as less than rightful. They may entirely ignore the subject of the authority of direct experience, to the extent that there is any such thing.

Above: the fascist symbol, a fasces, on the city hall of Norrköping, Sweden.

In this famous sculpture of George Washington by Houdon (in the Virginia Capitol in Richmond), the General and first President of the United States rests his left hand on the fasces, symbol of Roman republican power. Fasces were composed of a bundle of rods around an axe.

Even the columns of the great holy temples of Western Political Empires are “fluted” so as to resemble the Roman fasces:

the rebirth of God

December 25, 2011
the core of all gospels
Have you met different individuals of different sizes and ages? Do you know different creatures including various kinds of animals and plants? Have you learned different words and do you even know of languages foreign to you? You can identify many different perceptions, right? So, could it be that all identifying and all perceiving have a single source?
First, consider that there is only one ultimate authority or power, and one word to label it is God. However, beware of worshiping the label and missing what is symbolized by the label. Note that many labels have been used in many languages for the ultimate authority, which is the source of all of those languages and all of those labels. With caution, use the labels. However, do not make any labels or any symbol in to an idol. That would be an error or mistake or sin or foolishness.
Further, turn away from whatever is troubling to you. Let it be. Choose grace and calm.
Leave your troubles to God. Do not leave God for your troubles, making an excuse of them. That is also idolatry.
If your cleverness is useful when you are relaxed, be grateful. However, if you are troubled and then still presume to rely on your cleverness, you may be humbled. Repent from arrogance. Arrogance is the root of antagonism, arguing, resentment and animosity.
Abandon your troubles while they are still small. Direct your attention away from your troubles toward God.
The ultimate authority organizes the capacity for sensations such as seeing and hearing, plus the capacity for language. God is the source of the interactions and interpretations which lead to perception.
If someone else has a different perception from you, that is natural. Different creatures have different capacities for sensation. A hawk sees better than a human. A dog can smell better than a human. A person who is blind may be able to hear better than most other humans.
Further, one who looks from the peak of a hill has a different view than one who looks from the bottom of a hill. The one on the hilltop can see many distant things which appear small, while the other may study something very close that appears huge. If most everyone has the same perception of something, then a new perspective could be of great benefit and advantage.
Differences in interpretation are the most subtle. When a logger and a squirrel look at the same tree, do they experience the same thing? An squirrel may be looking at the tree for nuts or for a place to rest safely. A logger may be thinking of the value of the wood and of the process of cutting and hauling that tree.
Beware of those who would argue over interpretation. They may not yet recognize the authority of God. They may worship their own conclusions, perceptions, interpretations, and linguistic labels, which is idolatry.
However, it is only natural to have interpretations, perceptions, and conclusions. Hell is the developmental stage of experiencing alternative conclusions as a threat to your arrogance. Of course, alternative conclusions in fact are a threat to your arrogance, but perhaps arrogance is not the most valuable quality you could develop or experience. That may be why God has exposed you to alternative conclusions which you rightly perceive as threats to your arrogance: in order to reveal to you your arrogance and turn your attention toward repenting and to God.
“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:22

I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.”  Isaiah 43:11 

So, if some use repetition of words and songs to turn from whatever troubles them, could that be God’s Will? If some use rituals or scriptures to turn from whatever troubles them, could that also be God’s Will? If some argue with each other and quarrel, leading to the experience of loss and regret and then repent, could that also be God’s Will?

Which of God’s creations is not God’s Will? Which of God’s creation is not the creation of God?

God forms individuals and words and languages. God forms groups and traditions and rituals and songs and oral teachings that may be written and translated and interpreted and argued about and defended with fences and weapons and wars.

So, you may have been taught that God has created you. But have you been taught what God is?

“Timeless truth, I tell you: ‘whoever believes in me, those works which I have done he will also do, and he will do greater works than these, because I am going to the presence of my Father.’ “ John 14:12

What is the source of works greater than the works of a Prophet of God? Further, which of God’s Prophets is not the prophet of God? Indeed, which of God’s religions is not the religion of God? In fact, do all religions point to a few  consistent principles?

“I am conscious of this, and am certain in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is corrupt in itself; but for the man in whose opinion it is unclean, for him it is corrupt.” Romans 14:14 

“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and without faith, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.” Titus 1:15

“It’s not what goes into your mouth that corrupts you; you are corrupted by the [harsh, arrogant] words that come out of your mouth…. The [harsh, arrogant] words you speak come from the heart—that’s what corrupts you [and disturbs you].” Matthew 15:11, 18
Turn away from whatever troubles you. Turn away from whatever disturbs you. Turn away from evil. Turn away from blame, condemnation, animosity, and arrogance. 

Let attention rest at the source of perception and interpretation and the capacity to create. What is the capacity to create? 

Yeshua said, “Those things which are impossible for people are possible with God.”
Mark 10:27  & Matthew 19:26 & Luke 18:27 & Luke 1:37
The same idea is also in the Old Testament. See
What is a single word for the capacity to create? What is a word for the source of all words, all labels, all conclusions in language, and all formations in language, including this sequence of words and every other sequence of words? What is a word for that which anything is possible?

Beyond the cult of heroic martyrs

October 16, 2011

Who is remembered fondly for dying for the cause of a rebellion, like for the rejection of a particular idea or phrase in language? What popular fictional characters? How about the founding fathers of US Tea Party movement heroes like Patrick Henry (who said “give me liberty or give me death!”) or even the once-violent Malcolm X?

Malcolm X may have felt guilty about his prior advocacy of violence. So, he acted to compensate for his guilt- speaking out against the advocacy of “political violence” – as in the phrase “by any means necessary”- and soon he was killed and many have glorified him as a hero or martyr.

So many of the heroes of our culture have been martyrs who lived (and often were killed) for some rebellion against some conformity: Jesus, JFK, Martin Luther King Jr. (who was named after the man who inspired the first seven letters of the word Protestant: Martin Luther), as well as Gandhi, former “terrorist leader” Nelson Mandela, a protesting Chinese college student in Tiananmen Square who stood in the path of a tank, the Vietnamese monk who burned himself alive in protest to warfare, and so on. Do these heroes actually serve as models of our behavior or do they mostly just remind us of the possible consequences of non-conformity?

Given that virtually none of the people who glorify the heroism of Jesus follow his actual life choices to become a wandering ascetic, consider that these heroes are not so much models of behavior as reminders and warnings. We may use these martyrs to produce guilt within ourselves, with the idea being that we should not conform as we actually have been, but that we should become a wandering ascetic like Jesus or the Buddha and so on.

Focusing on that ideal perhaps creates and sustains the experience of tension and guilt and shame, if believed.

Jesus, according to popular versions of his life story, publicly rebuked the religious leaders of his day as hypocrites, apparently resulting in his death. That pattern of action is actually rather distinct from simply developing inner peace and promoting a spirit of cooperativeness. 

Was the story of Jesus the first ever story of the rebuking of hypocrisy? Even Moses is well known for condemning the behavioral traditions of “his people,” though he was not killed for it by the people he rebuked. Further, Jesus frequently quoted the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, dramatically referencing the distinction between the activity of simply using words such as “peace” and “respect” as distinct from an actual experience of peace and respect.

Can one be peaceful and respectful while rebuking someone? Does rebuking imply animosity and resentment and antagonism and aggressiveness?

Also, should people experience shame for behavior patterns that could be labeled as selfish? Should people keep certain behaviors secret, at least from inquisitors who threaten torture and execution? Should people lie about selfish behaviors and rationalize them as actually having been unselfish? 

Should people always conform? Should people always condemn conformity? Should people always condemn hypocrisy? Should people discontinue the condemning of other people? Should people condemn condemnation?

My experience has been that I have repeatedly condemned other people (whether particular people that I personally know or remote groups even from distant times), and further that I have eventually noticed that I have sometimes done very similar things to much of what I have condemned. I can accept that the intensity of my condemnation of something may be proportionate to the extent of my own practice of that thing. I can also accept that the intensity of my glorifying of something may be proportionate to the extent that I avoid practicing that thing.

“Wouldn’t it be great if people completely stopped being involved in commercial activities and just donated all their wealth and all their time to other people?” I may say things like that, implying that such a pattern of action might be great or greater than some other pattern, but I might not really know if it would be great or not because I may not have actually done it and I may not ever, even though I may talk a lot about how great it allegedly would be.

What if what I really meant was this: “wouldn’t if be great if EVERYONE ELSE EXCEPT ME simply donated all their wealth and time TO ME?” I might experience that the competitiveness in the commercial economy in my midst is challenging for me. I might really like the idea of government benefits received by me that are derived from the collection activities of governments that result in me effortlessly having what used to be other people’s wealth or productivity.

“Government mercenaries, please go and find some rationalization to condemn or criminalize some behavior of other people and bring me the spoils of the conquest. Please hurry!”

“If the spoils come from a distant nation or from traffic tickets and confiscations from convicted local drug dealers, just keep these roads well-maintained and these medical services free. Do not betray me by leaving it to me to be responsible for my own finances, my own welfare, my own health, my own family, and my own experience of inner peace and respect.”

“If people insult us and disrespect us and threaten us, punish them. If people refuse to do business with us at the prices we consider fair, conquer them. If they have values and cultures distinct from ours, like if they decline to commit to pacifism (as in us having a monopoly on nuclear weapons), then give them an ultimatum between unconditional surrender and us bombing them to ashes, but please do not enlist me to be directly involved in the bombing, because that sounds rather dangerous… plus, military drafts are undemocratic, and our militant, imperialist bombings are the most democratic in human history so far, though we only bomb civilians when we are absolutely forced to do so by the majority voting for it and only in order to promote and demonstrate loving-kindness, peace, the combined compassion of Christ and Buddha, and of course the inalienable right to life of all people everywhere, except of course for those who do not recognize and worship the ideal of the inalienable right to life.”

So, do these words sound like the jokes of Charlie Chaplin or the ramblings of a mental patient or the typical statements of politicians and religious leaders throughout history? How about all of the above?

Remember, a martyr is someone who dies for identifying with a cause. Identifying with something involves language. Martyrs die for their language.

Should all people everywhere glorify the ideal of dying for a particular linguistic ideal? Uh, well, if that appeals to you, then you can go right ahead and “march on the Vatican to protest the inquisition” or “occupy wall street” or “march on the pentagon to protest bombs and propaganda and imperialism.” 

By the way, consider that no one is going to march on the pentagon because, for one thing, there is no open physical space there to make that convenient. Further, the popular conception that the US is a democracy does not fit with the idea of marching on the pentagon (or on to a military base or occupying a federal courthouse). Those who believe that a particular government is a democracy are more likely to march on the great temple of the elected senators (and the lobbyists who fund them).

If you think that you can go conduct a public demonstration on a military base or at the pentagon or in a federal courthouse (or a police station or fire station) simply because you live “in a democracy,” you may soon find that you are conducting demonstrations in a jail cell… if you are that fortunate.

Democracy is a component of many political processes. So is organized coercion. That is not a contradiction. Not every government in human history has involved any democratic procedures, from the governing of a household to an empire. However, has any government failed to use the procedure of organized coercion?

Should we be ashamed about a particular government’s use of organized coercion? Should we keep it a secret? Is there a general pattern of punishing with organized coercion those who directly reference organized coercion? 

Or, is there only a specific pattern of the punishing of those who directly antagonize the agents of organized coercion? Wouldn’t you be wary of populist campaigns to occupy the pentagon or even occupy to an airport in China? Your coercion is probably not even close to organized enough to successfully accomplish that kind of result!

Be realistic. In other words, if you like, for an interesting afternoon, go ahead and gather up a few thousand friends to occupy wall street. 

Further, if being a martyr especially appeals to your pride, then identify some linguistic ideal and commit to dying for it. If your idealistic sacrifice attracts enough publicity, then you may even be remembered fondly as one of a rather long list of trailblazers in the promoting of other people’s right to make themselves in to martyrs, too.

Of course, such a path of drama, pride and possible fame may not be the path of inner peace. If inner peace appeals to you, then dying for a linguistic ideal may not be of any relevance to you. You may find it more inspiring to question the nature of all linguistic ideals, including the ideal of the heroic martyr.

As-Salamu Alaykum. Aleichem Shalom.

stages of adaptive appreciation

October 14, 2011

The above audio contains a lot more clarification and information than the text below.

First, people begin innocent. Then, they are trained in how things should be and so become naively presumptive, though that is adaptive relative to the first stage.

Then, if the presumptive way does not work very well, some slight revisions are made in regard to the updated idealism of how things really should be, and now the reformed and refined presumptiveness becomes arrogance (as in self-righteousness). Again, that may be adaptive relative to the prior stage- using a more adapted model of presumptiveness.
Next, after perhaps a few distinct idealisms have been tried and have all failed to correspond to reality, a cynical perfectionism may develop. This is a reaction against all forms of presumptiveness, all models. This is a criticism against all forms of what allegedly should be. This can be called hypocrisy, for it is presuming that presumptiveness about how things should be is what should not be, which implicitly presumes that an innocent naivete is all that should ever be. Again, that may still be more adaptive than prior stages.
However, once that does not work well either, then humility and grace may eventually develop. Then there is an appreciation possible for every stage: naive innocence, naive presumptiveness, arrogant presumptiveness, arrogant cynicism, and humility.
These stages of adaption can be regrouped in to three distinctions: innocence, perfectionism, and humility. Perfectionism includes naive presumptiveness, arrogant presumptiveness, and arrogant cynicism.
We can even look at these as stages of appreciation. Initially, everything is equal. Then, various priorities and values are identified, learned and refined. Then, there is an appreciation for all models and all values and all priorities- just one at a time.
In other words, all of the models and presumptions are recognized as similar in that they are just models and presumptions. In any particular case, one or more models may be most relevant or useful. There can be an appreciation for each model as unique and for all models as only being models. There can be an appreciation for the creation of new models and discarding of old ones and naively or arrogantly clinging to certain ones or rejecting certain others.
Humility and appreciation may be two words for a single adaption. We might even call it “maturity.”

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