- between fetish and devotion;
- between obstinacy and compliance to the Law;
- between humility and downheartedness;
- between forthrightness and self-determination;
- between conviction and dogmatism;
- between consistency and 'staidness';
- betwixt indignation and anger;
- separating alarm from fear with due consideration;
- level, rational thinking from mechanical intercourse;
- true compassion from self-indulgence;
- ego-identity from egotism and self-love
What are the gradients which distinguish one from the other?
It is the individual who determines thus. How quickly we view the soul of another and in judgment perceive the first within ourselves and the second within the other. Conceit is the divider to the extreme - always first and last. Conceit and the amount thereof, shall make for the distinguishing marks upon attitude of mind, soul and subsequent action.
Oh precious man! - To whom much glory is afforded. The truth is ever the accelerator and the provision for this our humble plight! How does one drive out such conceit, and with constancy and vigilant enterprise, deny his return and his whisperings?
We need not be uncertain in order to be curious or open-minded, and yet the paradox of separating knowledge and doubt from each other shall prove that further knowledge does illumine one; whereas doubts shall only bring chaos. Certain chaos may be afforded at intervals which in time bring new order, bring new offerings.
Do we doubt with validity or do we doubt because we fear to be wrong? Do we doubt because we do doubt but ourselves? Such considerations require some stable premise from which to work from.
If we can but separate self-interest from that which we set out to develop - i.e. for the sake of the good and the glorious - then we shall mark such divisions with according intent.
It is instinctive to man to be without conceit, yet the older one gets the more pivotal, the more remedial, the question becomes. One may deny the self by the adoption of conceit. The most unsure, unconfident man, may be enveloped quite grossly in Conceit's hesitations, because all is taken to self without release: release into the world, release into simply being, and release into the love of God.
Just as surely as true self-denial is the withholding of those Heavenly attributes, so also is conceit the carrier and vehicle for the intimidation of soul. As much as there are diseases of body and subsequent disturbances, there are too, maladies of spirit.
Interestingly enough, for those who are so taken with fixations about 'galactic wars and battles', it is usually because of inner tensions and conflicts that they associate with such concepts and queerly find them pleasing to consider. If there is something to be certain about, it is the importance of being certain that the prospects of Beauty, of Grace and of Divine love shall find expression, no matter how long the winter or heavy the snowfall! That Heaven herself shall and does prevail. That Creation has provided for decay and decease by Her terms and none other; for such elements would not be if it were not by Her design. And that Creation outlives all destruction because of this.
So by this broader approach, which may not be deemed optimism but rather happy fact, we may establish a point of view which is harmoniously strong; and whilst strengthens the self, is not of the self.
On the other hand, we may find that opponents are many who devise considerations which are negligent or remiss, in thus accepting the Holy Cosmos. For there is strife - as has been for a very long episode - strife which is born again from this conceit which believes that the outer and inner spheres may be reflected within the personal arena. However, all that which is attributable in Man is to be found in actuality, tangibly without. That which is elemental to the good and the glorious is manifested not only in realms of spiritual conjecture. Lo! Think only of those images produced today purporting trillions of galaxies, profoundly beautiful even to the uninspired! Beauty is a fact: undeniable, unpronounceable.
Here we may stop to consider what beauty exactly may be; or more properly the nature of Beauty in all of her manifestations. One will feel accordingly that beauty is an example of that which appeals to us as being right: as it should be, an inspiring design, an example of perfection. The hillocks may be ill-defined and the curves of the sea change with rapidity, but overall that natural world and those expressions of Creation that hold beauty within which we marvel at - all feel correct and are pleasing because they feel right.
If something is out of place on a picture or a face, then we immediately become disconcerted, and we may not feel inspired to beauty. Rather and interestingly, beauty is intrinsic to Creation, and this is known by us. But deviations and mixes which are inharmonious denote a sinister deformation of what was once or should be, beautiful.
These are high and lofty concepts and are not to be confused with mere insults or judgments as to the lot of many and their current habitat. But most assuredly, one cannot gauge the spiritual implications and prospects of men simply by the world today and the images cast within. However, if we can arrive at this simple truth, we shall find that many are out of touch with the concept of beauty actually being hand in hand with the true and glorious order of being- to know beauty and come to recognize it.
We find that when a soul is exalted by wondrous inspirations - whether they be colored by: compassion, by striving, by compunction, by illumination and so forth - there is an ineffable beauty so known, that infills he who does receive. So often we recoil from that which is unsightly in the world and know not of certain hideous sins that we support unseen, but in scowl, in attitude, go with us.
Here we find that Conceit has the remarkable ability to reassure us that ugliness is in fact, acceptable. For Conceit is verily the half-brother to Beauty, and steps in afore Beauty may be realized. One does inhibit the other in both force and in manifestation. For Conceit is content and relatively inactive in inspiration. Beauty - essential to Creation - is constantly active, motivating and producing.
Originally the ascetics meant well by full believing that Beauty could not be made manifest by man, as well as in God or secondly within Creation. So the world was to be discarded and the life a simple one. Then concurrently, those who were empowered to be artists or afford the artists, lived too for a beauty and strove to embellish the world or their homes with creations of such.
Today the emphasis is on essentialism, whereby the common thought discards a striving towards beauty and replaces much consideration to functionalism first. This is making people ill. It really makes a difference. Not even that men must dwell amongst unsightly creations of uninspired men, but that rarely do men strive for beauty itself. The children are affected thereby, as are the resounding thoughts of men. They are discontent, they are suicidal to the extreme - because, they know that Beauty is not being entertained and so drawn into the earthly sphere. They long for her.
Most people will find agreement on true beauty. And here to interject - it is important to say, that were one to set about creating a public venue, do not (not even just for the sake of good taste) make it gimmicky and try to attract folk so. People need beauty, even outstanding beauty. How wondrous it should be, if a group of individuals set about - as has been in the past - creating a public place of truly remarkable beauty. Mr. Disney definitely got it all wrong, and yet you must realize, people still go there in search of such inspiration and wonderment and come away sorely disappointed- quite deformed characteristics, etc. On the other hand, the original efforts did do very well by nature and characteristic in some of the effects.
Particular countries today do radiate an illumined sense of the richness of color, of curve, of creation. These are of the old-world, rather than of newer trends.
The perception of true beauty answers all conceit. This we may marvel at and give praise accordingly to a marvelous design with a wondrous intent. Let us not doubt, nor dismay, nor self-indulge, but come to know that the larger scheme is pleasing, infilling, true and correct . . . and most beautiful.