Dancing with Clay Feet
TIME and time again one can see a man lose what pride he has, only to become a far nobler soul because of pride's defeat. Whether it is because the pride is disproportionate to gratitude or unkind to others, or unreal in its whole evaluation, pride is quite detrimental to the individual consciousness and unproductive. So very quickly vanity would allow us to become both smug and slothful should we believe ourselves to be already quite perfect and spiritually virulent beings.
Eagerness to believe in ourselves pridefully comes without a doubt, from the great truths uncovered about ourselves. These great truths are of course very real, and are commensurate with our origins and Maker. However, in practical terms all folk present here today in the world, without fear or favor, are diminished; diminished temporarily, out from that former godly likeness explicit to them.
It would then be yet another flaw to hold a perception that this wonderfulness (which spiritually is all long-term) carries through to every breath and action as we live and conduct our lives today. By the very currency that is the world, even the great Masters themselves are habitually flawed- not to any huge distraction, but even in possibility and measure enough to have to believe themselves at all times vulnerable to the complexities this reality involves.
Also, if we look carefully at what pride and false pride conjure within the personality, we find that all too soon a person who has been indulgent in this will take on a harsh ugliness, an unempathetic demeanor and an arrogant air. These attributes do not savor the world or its fellows. They are restricting to the healthy soul within, that by contrast is still relatively free of the superficiality pride recommends and promises.
One principle is very certain across the globe, and that is that folk do suffer all kinds of dereliction and deposition that invariably brings all pride to a halt. Spiritually this is a kind gift to everyone. As terrible it may seem, it truly saves the individual from a much more frightening consequence of becoming.
Now all of this is not to say that we should not value ourselves in the true sense of what value means. Taking care of the inner life and identity is respectful to the world, to our beloved Christ, and to those we know. Having an attitude of fortitude and thankfulness for the things we cherish within our own talents, and also therefore of others, is vitally important for their continuance.
Yet pride of itself is a different matter when it comes to tell us that we are secure, or special. This is and isn't a supreme nonsense in relation to ourselves. We are secure in our Father, we are special to Him entirely, but we are not secure in those things that do not offer security in the first place. Those things which will be given to change and desistence - wealth and beauty, social status and even mental agility, these things will come and go and do not even offer a secure housing for the spirit in the first place. Nor do they indicate how special we are, of course.
Now it can be observed that when it comes to addiction, a contributing element within the addicted is that of pride infesting their being overtly. Not only was pride the originator to the problem, but it is also given further exaggeration because of the addiction. It is the being of Pride manifesting in the fellow, there at the very base root of the compulsion.
Watching the drug addict or the alcoholic, you will find that although they may appear to have problems quite obvious on the outside, it is not apparent enough to themselves, in that they are so prideful that their attitude of self is very demanding. Characterized by acting out kingly or queenly imaginings of superiority, these poor folk are so deeply infested with this pride, that their very doors to self-improvement are completely blocked by it.
After death, the astrality of a person who has died because of their addiction will still maintain their arrogance and supposition of superiority. Even when the body has long decayed and the ghost is naught more than a mumble, it will not concede that their 'superior' self was actually wrong in choosing the path that it took.
Simply and humbly wrong. This statement is a very healthy beginning to making change within the poor form which exudes addiction. It is a fine statement, but often overlooked for the more preferred and protracted statements of excuse or whimsical reason, which just color the story and adds more to the pride than to the reality of change that we seek.
We say this in kindness, to urge one to carefully prise apart the story of one's life in a way that is candid, and not more of the same. It is dangerous for a man to believe he was ever a 'good gambler' (an oxymoron in itself in regards to a game of chance) or that their spiritual journey was in any way improved because of the internment given to some narcotic stupor. If addiction is to end, it is to end. The very thoughts which praise it are continuing to it and therefore hazardous in the extreme.
Saying ultimately that we have been completely mistaken, completely wrong about something we have done, about who we have chosen to be and become, is the one and only way we can change. If you have pride infiltrating your recall of that past person, if you have one particle of self-congratulation where it is not due, then you will find it impossible to throw off those characteristics that contribute also to the very clear review needed for ongoing assessment down the track.
Here we can find one of the blessings of old age. Many dear people are thoroughly prepared to pass into the spiritual worlds and become anew, after they have lost their sense of pride, competitiveness and superiority. For those who depart their lives still in this bind, it does clearly travel into the subsequent life and manifest very obviously.
Pride is not to be confused with an egoic strength. The individual who is strong in their selfhood knows that our true being lives in the future and that we must make ourselves daily into what we are. We can hope and pray that our Father will be proud of us, but even in this, it is something which is not merely a given, but a striven; and that our own true holy splendor is shared with the family of Man, so that every step to self-betterment brings glory to all as well as ourselves- both lasting and slight, in the eyes of the Eternal winnings.