Breaking the Chains of Arrogance



I have just finished reading the heartfelt plea of Paul Eisen inviting his fellow Jews to abandon their “supremacist inclinations” (which I content is a result of long-term ideological indoctrination with concepts such “chosen-ness” in which 67% of “Israeli” Jews believe) and to embark on a journey of self-reflection, and to ask themselves some tough questions for once, rather than continuing to blame the entire world and accusing the entire humanity of harbouring intrinsic, inexplicable and incurable feelings of “hatred towards Jews”, which erupts randomly and violently around the globe for no particular reason.

Eisen’s genuine plea inspired me to myself to rethink and reflect.

It has been said that we are not bodies with souls, but rather souls which are given physical bodies temporarily, through which we can come to learn and expand if we choose to.

We make our journeys through life independently yet our paths cross, and our experiences are interconnected by communication, exchange of feelings, actions, reactions and interactions.

All our options remain open, if we comprehend the simple reality of our humble existence: we humans (Jews or non) are NOT the “masters of the universe”, we are NOT Gods, neither are we “Gods in the making” for that matter, and from this elementary perspective, our human reality appears humble.

So, by simply accepting that viewpoints appear different when approached from different angles, and by keeping our hearts and minds open to the fallibility and the limitation of our own singular conclusions, then our various understanding of the same information is facilitated, better comprehension emerges when viewed from different sides. Thus correct, just and innovative path toward understanding the mysterious “other”, and towards the realization of infantility of ideas like superiority of self or inferiority of “others” become self-evident, which in turn enables us to explore ways of solving discord without the “need” to destroy the “other”.

Accepting the fact that we stand on equal footing in our quest for answers, and that non of us has more claim to truth than the other by virtue of “birth”, and as we climb up the mountain of self discovery leaving our ego behind, we learn to see multiple perspectives , we grow spiritually and our horizon expands. By realizing how microscopic, thus vulnerable we are in relation to the infinite, and by accepting the relativity of our perspective and the deficiency of our restricted paradigm, we come to our senses and allow the very feelings of modesty and humbleness which are basic prerequisites for individual compassion and the emergence of sustainable, cohesive societies

However, IF we choose NOT to take that inner path of self-discovery, self-check and self-realization, if we deprive ourselves the ability to see the others’ view point, we restrict our views into a one-point linear-perspective, which in turn results in a stunted growth condition.

As it has been emphasized by many insightful prophets and inspired teachers, arrogance is one of the most poisonous traits in human character. It is one of the most dangerous obstacles that blocks our ability to learn and expand.

An arrogant soul, person or group would struggle to accept that there might be a perspective that differs from his/ her own, thus their ability to learn is significantly reduced, so they keep doing the same mistakes over and over and over again… quite sad really, when we think about it.

Unfortunately, no one can help people with such attitude except themselves, because their overgrown ego and their uncontrollable arrogance would always stand in the way, separating them from the rest of humanity. By their refusal to accept the multiplicity of perspectives, they fail to comprehend that outside their own little bubble things might be viewed differently. So when an exchange of opinions occurs or when they are invited to do some self-reflection, instead of appreciating the sincerity of heart in which the advice is given, they perceive such differences of opinion and criticism as an existential threat.

The problem remains, as long as arrogance is kept unchecked, or fostered to become a prominent feature in our souls, we won’t be able to accept the concept of the fallibility of our opinion, the vulnerability of our existence, the limitation of our comprehension and the imperfection of our beings.Therefore, self-reflection and looking at the self with a critical eye becomes almost an impossibility, which in turn disables us from learning and spiraling upwards, and like a child who keeps putting his finger in the fire and getting burned each time, and as long as we fail to make the link between acts and consequences, we would get stuck in a never-ending perpetual vicious circle of mistakes and pain, and so it goes . . .

The problem remains as long as arrogance is kept unchecked, or even fostered to become a prominent feature in our souls, thus rendering us incapable to accept the concept of the fallibility of our opinion, the vulnerability of our existence, the limitation of our comprehension and the imperfection of our beings. Therefore, critical introspection rendered impossible, we remain incapable to learn and to spiral upwards, and remain like a child who keeps putting his finger in the fire and getting burned each time. Whomever fails ore refuses to recognize the direct link between acts and consequences, is stuck in a never-ending perpetual vicious circle of mistakes, destruction, and pain… and so it goes .

 

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