Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On self-importance, part II: all wolfish men

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

...The servant [Suso] wanted to know two things of him; the first was, how those persons stand in God who strove to attain the highest truth by self-abandonment without any falsehood. 
Then it was shown to him that the absorption of these men into the formless abyss cannot be expressed in words by anyone. 

Then he asked further, what was the most profitable exercise for a man who would fain achieve this. 
The master replied, "He should sink away from himself, according to his selfhood, in profound abandonment [gelassenheit], and accept all things from God and not from creatures, and establish himself in quiet endurance in the face of all wolfish men . 

Meister Eckhart, The Complete Mystical Works, p. 17

 This advice came in a vision from one of Meister Eckhart's disciples, Heinrich Suso, when he appeared to him in a dream at the time Eckhart died. 

 The master referred to wolfish men, that is, men who will devour the flesh of others in order to gain what they want for themselves.

By this, he meant the spiritual flesh: for what such men want to feed on, in the end, isn't the things other people have, but their souls.

It's important to carefully watch and judge not only our own character, but that of others, because we must choose carefully who we associate with. Those whose sense of self-importance is exaggerated often have powerful charisma that makes anyone in their presence feel good when they are around them; and this is an extraordinarily dangerous kind of poison. It takes a powerful soul to resistant. 

Individuals of this kind feed on others like parasites; and their charisma serves as a kind of venom that paralyzes the people around them while they feed on them. The phenomenon that Gurdjieff describes in the link is a very real one, but generally speaking, people are much too asleep to see how these people feed on them. It is all too common; and it is a subtle thing. One can vow, knowing another is like this, that one will not fall under their influence, and yet the instant one is within range of their numbing emanations, one tends to succumb.

Watch these things well in your life, my readers. My teacher Betty Brown used to warn me that people easily fall under influences; and how many objectively bad ones there are. I have seen so many fall under them. 

Resist, resist, resist.

Self-importance is one of the chief factors that causes a human being to behave as a parasite. And it isn't the parasitism of external things, of money, and food, and so on, that matter — they are just adjunct matters and auxiliary manifestations. The  parasitism, the vampirism, that truly does damage is the feeding off of other people's emotions, their goodwill, their honesty, their sincerity: in other words, feeding off all the good things in people in order to nourish something that is inherently selfish and even evil.

We live in an age where this kind of behavior is seen, by some, as justifiable.  The poisonous influence of egoists such as Ayn Rand, a Hasnamuss individual if ever there was one, and others of this type has caused us to be quite comfortable with the rationalization of self-importance. And, in our hypnotism in our sleep, all of us fall prey to this at one point or another.

 It is only the objective nature of our sensation that—if it awakens and helps us to know that we are alive... and dying—can provide a counterweight to go against this kind of nonsense.


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