(Sequel to “Know Thyself X, XI”)
It is said that every virtuous act is inspired by a dark secret. The good we do drags behind it a shadow of dark motivation. When all the guilt and shame for the bad we’ve done have run their course, it’s the good we did that redeems us. Then, the secrets we kept and the motives we concealed creep up from their shadows to be dealt with within ourselves.
Thought-forms condition the personality in devious ways that cause suffering and abuse. In many cases the addiction and intensity are such that only extreme versions of itself can, eventually, bring respite. Therapy and chemicals barely assuage the darkness that clouds the conscious mind of the individual with weight and a sense of hopelessness. Every step forward is met with a reminder of what was lost; insight towards something constructive is missing. Unable to control itself, the person often chooses isolation, secret indulgence, or suicide as the only virtuous act possible. We all know what this feels like.
As we are able to switch from fear and a paranoid sense of loneliness to the courage of the heart, as we understand the route from deceit to inspiring examples of honesty and dedication, we now face the brute impulse of frustrated, angry perfectionism that underlies leadership. The leap from dark to light occurs as a shift from physical, materialistic considerations to the discovery of gentle murmurings in the innermost self. Only human example can induce this quantum leap that leads from the lowest spectrum to the highest voltages of neutral forces.
ANGER AND LEADERSHIP
All of us recognize anger in ourselves, whether we display it overtly or not. It ranges from mild irritation to seething rage.
The experience of personal injury provokes a survivalist impulse that makes us resemble the animal. An angry person finds fault everywhere. Whereas the animal does not think intricately in terms of revenge, the human being does. The amount of angry machination that goes through the mind of an average person, whether they act on it or not, whether it is addressed anywhere specific or not, is enough to launch a viperous spray of negative effects. Its waves color atmospheres, material objects, clothing, and food alike, lodging itself on bodies and auras that vibrate life.
Anger flares up instantly, infesting the blood and nervous system, the viscera, and the face, hands and mouth. It degrades the body’s harmony and overcharges the feelings, numbing the feeling-perceiving faculties. This only exacerbates the sense of latent guilt that produces anger to begin with.
Anger is addictive and it spreads into spiritual practice. The mind takes ahold of this complex of intensities and attempts to give it a context, excusing and further fixating on more targets. If anger is not recognized for the primal instinct that it is, the mind develops forms of vengeance, justification and self-punishment. Eventually the body ceases to respond to delicate subtleties and relies on grosser modes of stimulation and reaction. Thus the person becomes caught in automatic triggering mechanisms that offer no respite for victim or perpetrator.
Recalibration of any negative personality thought-form requires intelligent management of force through trained faculties and understanding. (see “Know Thyself II”) This may be supplemented by breathing practices that change the body’s vibratory rhythm and loosen the grip that justifications have over the negative thought-forms.
As fear leads to courage, and deceit to truth, anger is a clear manifestation of leadership gone wrong. A person who is prone to anger is used to handling powerful forces. When it becomes aware of trigger mechanisms and pulls through the alternate route beyond guilt, he or she is well on their way to self-mastery. This implies management of any and all kinds of voltages.
Acknowledging anger, even its slight ramifications in ourselves is an extremely important requirement for compassionate service. A person who has suppressed and denied the surge of anger that is experienced automatically within, cannot make a good leader. Such becomes the tool of belief, habit and other people’s agendas. A perfect automaton of what “should” be. This individual doesn’t have the force of character needed to withstand external influences or project its values in life. Furthermore, such a person doesn’t know how to hold itself together. It has not learned “resilience” as the power that builds virtue.
Our leaders today are, in part, “angry” persons who have learned anger-management, patience, and sustentation. They have learned to channel their impulse towards civic goals and to temper it with compassion.
It is difficult for an angry person to be compassionate with him or herself, but it is precisely this characteristic that leads such a person to successful leadership, through being an example. He or she becomes a teacher, as demanding as he or she is merciful. As the angry person knew imperfection, the spiritualized version of itself has a very clear sense of perfection and order.
Anger sprung from primitive, organic mechanisms of defense and attack. The force it generates is a most powerful force, one that is used in Taoist medicine to break through apathy. It compels all around one into activity, and provides strength to command a situation, or alter an environment for the good, fuelling it with the fire of vitality.
ENVY AND EQUANIMITY
Envy is a lot more commonplace than we realize, often disguised as innocuous wishful thinking. An envious person may not intend to rob the person it envies of what is rightly theirs, but somehow it contaminates its thoughts and feelings with a desire to steal and possess. Sensitive people feel this. Its invisible effect on children is corrosive.
The envious person always sees the grass as greener on the other side. Coveting what someone else has implies non-acceptance of what it does have. The apparently harmless desire generates a chain of unhealthy complaints and a rejection of the beauty and perfection in community life as the right to privacy and property. Envy fosters non-appreciativeness for just distribution and equality of difference. When one covets the daily bread of another the dough is soured for everyone.
We may argue that it’s not as bad as that, but envy cultivates self-torturing emotional intensity as a form of distorted pleasure, afflicting the body organism directly with augmented toxicity, accumulating in the bowels and around the eyes and heart. Hypersensitivity often degenerates into physical, muscular pain. The lack of gratitude and respect together with deviousness and ill will make the atmosphere untenable for anyone with a modicum of sensitivity.
An envious person has the experience of comparing and evaluating conditions. The very thinking that fed its addiction is the talent that leads out of it: an ability to project thoughts at a distance, including visualizing a desired object clearly when necessary, to bless and heal. When evolved, such an individual exhibits good memory for past events and for detail, preserving and imprinting through word and deed. Having learned to handle its own emotional rollercoaster, its spiritualized version leads it to develop an almost superhuman equanimity.
PRIDE AND HUMILITY
Of all the negative tendencies this may be the hardest to spot, particularly because we are all encouraged to take pride in ourselves, in our religion, and in our country. When children grow up in such environments, many become fanatics, egotistic examples of self-righteousness that is equally destructive to East, West, African, or Middle-Eastern humanity.
We may think that pride comes out of insecurity, but this is not always so. There is a certain maliciousness and superiority about it that, in the bible, qualifies it as the worst of sins.
The perceptive filter of pride is its need for self-gratification, bloating its image in order to attract unto itself. It is easily offended and is known to take things personally. What greed does with things, the proud person does with anything that may reflect its self image. It learns to unashamedly manipulate, cloaking and eventually impairing its perception of fact and the abilities of its reasoning intelligence.
A person prone to pride trusts no one, not even God. Declarations of imagined power and superior intelligence recall the thought process of Fallen Angels as they set themselves apart from divine brotherhood. Pride demands acknowledgement and hardens the heart.
By the same token, a proud person who embraces consciousness becomes generous. It knows how to handle large quantities of qualifying energies. It developed the ability to expand onto an environment and now uses it to give of itself. It knows personally how flattery works and is thus receptive to acknowledging genuine needs in another. Together with the spirit of largesse, the once proud person knows how to mobilize itself to inspire others, clearly distinguishing emotional undertones where another would sense none.
GREED AND CHARITY/TRUST
When we take more than what we need, we break the subtle harmony or equilibrium of Nature who distributes freely. That which we hoard does not return to the natural flow, depriving others of their share. The elemental forces in greed can distort perception to such a degree that the subject only sees its own needs. It is suspicious of anyone who comes too close. The world of greed is a literal shell-hell where everyone appears to want to gain advantage.
Universal principle calls for us to share whatever we have with others. The greedy one rejects the Creator for its creations. The idea of possessing is obsessional and leads it further and further away from reality. The mental process causes the body and feelings to contract, starving supple vitality and natural psychic fluids.
Greed implies the ability to attract and treasure creations, and when the person becomes aware of its distortion, its full attention is addressed to maintaining high levels of awareness and harmony. It knows how to sustain frequencies, qualities and characteristics, which make for true and loyal friendships.
Such persons make very good managers, having lived first-hand the law of supply and demand. They know the value of sharing and correct calculation and measurement relating material to divine qualities.
Published originally 5 August 2013. The final chapter on this sequence (fourth part) about management of elemental energies expressed through the personality continues as “Know Thyself XIII”.