Posts Tagged ‘pride’

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.


the ugliest duckling- on language and the reality of labels

April 1, 2012

Once upon a time there was a young goose who had been trained to be a duck. The goose was trained to be a duck by a bunch of other geese who believed that they were not geese, but ducks. So, it was natural for them to tell any other goose that it was also a duck just like they believed they were.

“First of all, your feathers should be black like ours, because you are a duck,” they said. Of course, none of them had black feathers, though.

“Should I say anything,” the young goose wondered, hoping that no one could hear it talking to itself. After thinking silently for a while, the young goose said to one other goose “what color are your feathers?”

“Oh, I do not have any feathers,” said that other goose, sounding rather annoyed. “I used to have white feathers, but since my feathers should have been black like any good duck’s, all of my white feathers were pulled out and no feathers have grown back since then.”

The young goose could clearly see the white feathers on that goose, so the goose thought that perhaps being annoyed is a sign of being presented with a possibility that does not fit with one’s presumptions or experience. Maybe annoyance is a way of defending against a lesson for which one is not currently ripe to learn.

“Isn’t it great to be a duck,” someone else said proudly to the young goose. “I sure am glad that I am not a cloud or a rock or a tree or a goose, aren’t you?”

“Uh,” said the young goose, thinking for a moment of what to do or say next, “yes, I am also very grateful for what I am. Thank you for reminding me.”

The young goose thought quietly that perhaps pride is also a way of announcing that a particular subject is not currently one about which one is ripe to learn. Indeed, the same things that geese may be proud about can be things that some geese are annoyed about. If one goose is proud of it’s allegedly black feathers, then that goose might be very annoyed by mirrors that reveal that one’s black feathers are unusually white, considering that they have been publicized as being black feathers.

“Well, I am really sad for geese,” said another goose to the young goose. “Can you even imagine what it must be like to be so amazingly ugly? And those geese are also not just ugly but unbelievably naive, truly. I simply can’t believe how naive they are! I mean, many of them do not even seem to know that they are geese. Plus, they can get so annoyed when people call them geese. Isn’t that annoying? Plus, some of them are so proud of being birds when being a bird is obviously nothing special. After all, you and I are birds, too!”

The young goose stared blankly at the goose who had just explained how it could be sad. Perhaps being sad or annoyed or proud requires a good explanation, an entire story, an attachment to some particular language for interpreting reality in a way that then produces sadness or annoyance or pride. In other words, perhaps being sad is a behavior that takes practice and discipline.

Certainly, being proud involves telling stories about which one gets to be proud. Could being annoyed also be a behavior that one cannot do without language? Is language the source of emotional states like sadness and pride and annoyance, wondered the young goose?

For no reason in particular, the young goose then said to the sad goose, “I am so sad about you being so sad.” To proud goose, the young goose said, “I am so proud of you being so proud.” “Finally, I am so annoyed, too, that you are so annoyed,” said the young goose to the annoyed goose. “Really, it is just mind-boggling, isn’t it, that anyone could focus on anything else besides the one thing that is so annoying that I keep focusing on it over and over and over, you know what I mean? How is it that anyone could miss the obviousness of the importance of that one particular annoying thing, huh, why, like can anyone give me even just one good reason, PLEASE?”

The other geese stared blankly at the young goose, blinking like they had just woke up from a dream, momentarily astonished. Finally, one of the geese said, “Thank you for opening my eyes. I don’t really know how it is that I am here talking with you, because you obviously you are just some crazy duck! How would you know anything about what it is like for me to be a goose? Plus, everyone knows that ducks can’t talk.”

Then, the other geese began talking with themselves, apparently about the weather. Soon, they turned south and flew away.

Now, which is an excellent time for something very interesting to either actually happen or to almost happen, the young goose suddenly noticed that it was looking at a flat surface, scanning across it noticing a sequence of shapes, (or maybe listening to some sounds) and making sense of them into words and phrases and a ridiculous story about an ugly duckling. Of course, this is not that story. This is a different story. That one is that one and this one is this one.

See, obviously those two stories must be entirely different. Which one this one is exactly… well that would probably depend on whether you are producing sadness or pride or annoyance or perhaps something else, if it could be a lie that those are the only three types of consciousness and there just cannot be another other type of consciousness, no matter what.

Anyway, in conclusion, I’d like to review the main points of this story. First, all geese are sad. Next, all ducks are annoyed. Finally, all birds are proud. However, all words are not really words at all, but are in fact reality.

Of course, all of this is something that you absolutely must keep completely secret, or else you would have to tell other people about it, and that could be very dangerous, right? Also, since no one already knows exactly how much fun that could be, and uncertainty is clearly the most frightening thing in the world, well, I think it might be at least- okay actually I admit that I do not really know as much about uncertainty as I used to pretend to know, but, anyway, wait, what were you saying the other day about how the only thing we are afraid to fear is fear itself?

That was just about the most hilarious thing I have ever heard. Tell it to me again, okay?

While the ugliest duckling is based on a true story, any resemblance to any other story, fictitious or factual, is clearly due to an entirely random series of keystrokes pounded by an entirely random primate on an entirely random device called a computer which just accidentally appeared out of nowhere for no particular reason. By the way, did I mention yet that I invented the internet, you know, quite accidentally?

Copyright 2010 by Jeffrey Robert Hunn

Published on: Jun 20, 2010

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the foolish worship of shame (and the idea of demonic possession by a “dis-ease”)

March 23, 2012
Cross section of a human liver, taken at autop...

Cross section of a human liver, taken at autopsy examination, showing multiple large pale tumor deposits. The tumor is an adenocarcinoma derived from a primary lesion in the body of the pancreas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I do not believe in diseases like cancer as many others do. I believe having cancer is like having a scab or having a scar maybe. It just means a certain kind of an accumulation of waste material.

The cancer is not really very important, nor is it especially mysterious or interesting- though probably at least a little interesting. It may mean that more vitamin B-17 in particular and better nourishing of the organs in general would help the overall well-being by cleaning out some waste material that is currently beyond the capacity of the eliminative systems to remove quickly. As demonstrated for thousands of years, adapting the diet, adapting the breathing, and adapting the language all produce clear distinct results in the well-being of the organism. The laws of nature (including physiology) may actually be very simple, even in the intricacy of their genius.

Same thing for “having diabetes.” There is really no such substance as a diabetes to have. You cannot cut someone open and remove the diabetes, just as cutting someone open and removing a tumor does not “remove cancer,” given that malignant tumors can re-appear right after any old ones are cut out.
People do not really have diabetes. However, people do actually have a pancreas. It works however well it does. If the pancreas is not working well, we can say they “have diabetes,” which just means that the pancreas is not functioning well. “Having incurable diabetes” is entirely an activity of diagnostic labeling, an instance of black magic from the high priests of modern “scientific” witch doctoring.
It is like saying that someone without eyes has a blindness. They do not have a blindness. They have lots of thing, but maybe no eyes, so they do not have the capacity to see. That does not mean that they have a blindness or a diabetes or a cancer. They may have blood sugar levels and tumors, but maybe the issue is that they have identified with a curse.
If someone does have eyes, but the eyes and brain do not neurological function to perform the operation of sight, then someone has eyes but not sight. They still do not have a blindness. If they had a physical presence of a blindness, they could cut it out and remove it like it was a physical pancreas.
Proud and foolish idealists may think that cancer or diabetes is a bigger problem than pride and foolishness and idealism (which means ignorance to me). That is also a rather simple relationship to clarify. Within the context of being cursed, having cancer or diabetes is a curse, but one must be vulnerable to medical voodoo (ignorant) for one to identify with having such a curse as cancer or diabetes.
Anyway, I insist that scurvy is incurable and that humans must avoid putting their faces underwater because we cannot breath underwater and going underwater thus will result in death by drowning. Many worship cancer like that: “It is incurable! No, of course, I am sure. Someone who obviously doesn’t understand cancer told me that they understand that it is fatal. God damn it, why are you so stubborn in questioning my worship of the incurable fatality of scurvy, having your face underwater, or cancer? These things are obviously DEADLY and very very serious, while ignorance is bliss yet intelligence and grace have no value whatsoever, mostly because if I admit that that they might have value, then the hypnotic spell that I am worshipping about such things as cancer might come in to question, and I would be ASHAMED, which is the one thing to never ever be. I am proud. I am not ashamed. I am even proud of my cancer and how it victimizes me and makes me helpless- not just anyone that I know who has been diagnosed with having a cancerous tumor– but makes me helpless. Life itself makes me helpless and you too. It is just like sticking your face underwater. It is absolutely fatal!”
Is autism incurable? If there is no such thing as autism, then there is no such thing as curing it.
There is no curing blindness either. Blindness does not exist as a physical presence. It is just a label in language to contrast with the capacity for sight. So while blindness does exist to be cured, there is the possibility of restoring sight to relatively healthy eyes (like an operation to remove the internal scar tissue of glaucoma) as well as the possibility of developing eye organs and neurological networks that allow for sight.
First published on May 29, 2011

Underwater Fishes 4
Underwater Fishes 4 (Photo credit: Mr.Thomas)
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