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Narcissus Does Not Think He is Narcissitic!
Get Over It
I Remember The Terrible Two's Times 4.
I have reared four children, so I speak from broad practical, nonscientific experiential, anecdotal places. My two year olds, were FULL OF THEMSELVES. I read the Proverbs about "every man being right in his own eyes", and I thought, my Lord, this must be the essential purpose of life. Dealing with the headstrong, listening to their speeches in a rudimentary and basic lingo. When you look down and see a two year old absolutely defy all of the plump, tall, powerful, "overwhelming" adults in their lives, you must let out a pure grin of appreciation for what LIFE CONFERS. A Grandmother was heard to say of her newly minted grandchild to her daughter/mother: "Honey, you are going to have to get over it. This is the way they get at two, and some of 'em never get over it."
"You Had Better Be Strong Because The World Will Eat You Alive"
A Drama Coach declared to a young actor one day, upon fearing going on stage one night. He was warning that fear was there as a natural thing, and the world was there as a natural thing, but most importantly your Powerful Sense of Yourself is there as your response to the World, and your abiding, free-floating Fear.
These humans down here that you are running around with are all your brothers and sisters. Our race is "full of itself", but it had better be. It is religion and bosses and enemies that wish you would be more humble. God could not believe how "stubborn and stiffnecked" the Israelites were. And yes, they were. But they were not really used to dealing with God (YHVH) and their style was a result of scrambling in the dust of Egypt.
Democracy and Politics - Get Over It. People Are Going To Differ and Be Proud Of It. - Read the Articles on the Internet. Listen at coffee shops. Just pause at the cafeteria at work. This species, our brotherhood and sisterhood is one Declarative, Opinionated, Group of Powerfully Unfolding Self Expression. Undeterred by anything short of a bloody nose, we are Expressions of an Inner Sense of Being Right. It Is Self Evident.
See the left and the right. See the democrats and the republicans. See how people differ over so many positions. Then see how outraged, overwhelmed and astounded that people are taking opposing positions. Go to the mountains of New Guinea or Nepal. Ask the locals what the people over the hill are like, and you will hear a charming cascading defense of their own village and a scornful tirade on why the people over the hill just aren't "right". Look at the Blue States and the Red States. Those colors are representations of collective individual point of view (POV).
The Amazing Thing: Not That We Are Hard Headed And Know It, But That We Know Our Opposing Neighbor is Hardheaded and WRONG, And We Are Surprised That Our Neighbor Doesn't Know It.
Let's take a look at 12 nuanced self proclamations. Several of which we might have uttered at various times.
Broad Spectrum Outlooks of Self Assertion:
I know I am right all the time, and here is my fist to prove it.
I know I am right all the time, so don't even speak to me about your Point of View.
I know I am right all the time, so just quietly listen, and you can learn from me.
I know I am right all the time, and even though you are wrongs, I actually care about you.
I know I am right all the time, how many times do I have to declare it?
I know I am right all the time. Can I point out something I have been wanting to tell you about the way you part your hair?
I know I am right all the time, your opinion won't change anything, so don't bother.
I know I am right all the time, and if you don't agree, I will drain you of all of your blood.
I know I am right all the time. And when I laugh at you, it's because you are wrong!
I know I am right all the time, and if you aren't in my club, you aren't even close!
I know I am right all the time, and I can't even figure out where it is that your opinion might come from.
I know I am right all the time, but it doesn't matter to me. It's the suffering that our arguments create.
From Gill's Commentary:
"Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,.... This is repeated, from Proverbs 16:2; for the confirmation of it; and that it might be observed and taken notice of, and men be brought under a conviction of it; which is not easily done, it being what affects all men: every man is conceited of himself and his own way, and is not easily persuaded off of it; his sinful ways are agreeable to him promising him pleasure, profit, or honor; and his self-righteous ways suit with the vain opinion he has of himself, whereby he promises himself eternal life and happiness."
In his "to be, or not to be" speech In Hamlet, Shakespeare pondered his fellows. He decided very positively that we are "noble in reason", "infinite in faculty" in "moving how express and admirable". You are a member of this Race. The clashing of differences that seems to get noisier as election time comes, and the clamoring of potential war seems to rattle louder. Violence rises up and down in various parts of the world. Still, man, the individual represents us all. When we arise each day and rub the sleep from our eyes, you have to smile at our little selves and ask "Why do we get so up in arms over the issues we have with one another?" Maybe a key phrase is "in apprehension how like a god". When we are done thumping our chests and realizing, when we become more essentially quiet within, that we truly are in the same boat; that in our calm, we are all in need of grace and the mutual help and assistance of each other. Maybe, like Shakespeare said, we are the "paragon of animals", and hopefully we can also be "the beauty of the world".
The Eye of the Hurricane
"What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable!
in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world!
the paragon of animals!"
William Shakespeare, from Hamlet Act ii Scene II, might have been using Psalm 8 as inspiration for this immortal bit of dialogue. Read Psalm 8 and see from whence his inspiration probably came.
The dichotomies and contradictions we find all about this are common to our Dualistic World. We struggle for our Dignity as we try to maintain our Strength. We try to build our Defenses as we confront potential Offenses. There is a place in this maelstrom called "the Eye of the Hurricane". And it is appropriately poetic. The eye of the hurricane is a place you can create around all the time; it's just that WHERE it is makes the challenge continuously offputting. It is a state we can attain with consciousness. As we deal with everyone's "Rightness" all about us, the inner challenge is to simply be Silent, Composed and Diplomatic.
Civilization and Diplomacy
What is the Point of this article? That we should acknowledge the mountainous evidence of prideful self proclamation and stop being appalled, outraged and dismayed by the differences that we find on our planet, every day, all day long, and forever and forever through a thousand tomorrows. Be proud, but stop being outraged that other people are also proud. If you insist on taking inimical positions against your opponents, at least do not under estimate them. In this world, throughout its history, one of the most common errors is to dismiss your enemy and not respect him, because they are looked down upon. This is the first step to losing out to your enemy. Underneath this simple "strategic advice", I really only have simple advice.
If you pretend to be civilized, be civilized. Within that framework we have these common standards: 1) Diplomacy 2) Politeness 3) Self Restraint 4) Simple Non Responsiveness 5) Respond Through Indirection. 6) Act LIke You Don't Care 7) Finally Just Smile.
Christofer French is an author of two books, the Founder of SignofAstrology.com.; an ordained minister since the early 70's, a 2003 Psy.D. from California Coast University, and an Adherent of Syncretism, a New Way of Looking at Old Traditions.