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The Arrogance Feature

BY PHILLIP WITTMEYER

People with this chief feature, from the time they are young, are likely to believe they are destined for greatness. They feel they are not just another ordinary person: they think they are extraordinary. They tend to think they are a superior breed of human, not subject to the same imperfections as other "common" people. They may believe they are blessed with good luck. They have an exaggerated sense of their own importance, perceiving themselves as noble and grand, and feeling they are beyond and above the normal and average. They fancy that they will make a significant contribution to the world, and they have an unrealistic evaluation of their abilities, talents, intelligence, and other gifts they see themselves as better than they really are. They have a desire to excel at whatever they do. They can be pretentious, haughty, snobbish, pompous, lofty, and conceited. This shows even in the way they carry themselves with an upright posture, and in the way they walk with a swagger. 

The fear that drives Arrogance is the fear of vulnerability. Arrogant people do not want to admit to themselves that they are imperfect, nor do they want others to discover it. Rarely do they apologize for their mistakes. They have a need to avoid embarrassment and humiliation, because these things obviously show their faults. This is the reason the Arrogant are shy. Arrogant people avoid situations where they know they cannot excel. They are reluctant to try things that they know they will not do well. They perfect their stuff in private before they do it in public. They stick to the things they do well, and continue to perfect them.

In the Positive Pole of +Pride, there is pride in themselves, in what they do, and in what they think. They dress and groom well. They do good work. They have a high opinion of themselves. In this there is no comparison with others, just a feeling that they are good people, and they want others to praise them as being good people. They see themselves as virtuous, but others see them as self-righteous. They expect a lot of themselves, and try to live up to their self-image of greatness, perfection, and righteousness. If it should be pointed out that there is some imperfection in them, they will find a justification or excuse for it.

In the Negative Pole of -Vanity, there is a feeling of superiority over others. They automatically assume that others are lesser beings than themselves. Everything they do is to prove their superiority. They brag on themselves, and they belittle others and treat them as inferiors. Others around the vain person need not expect any compliments or praise. To do so would acknowledge them as equals or superiors. Because they expect so much of themselves, they expect so much of others also, to be worthy of praise. They have a highhanded way they treat other people that says "I'm better than you". Their actions say, "I know what is for your own good more than you do". This is presumptuousness. They automatically think their opinions are better than others, that they are smarter, stronger, more accurate, more knowledgeable than others, and so on better in every way. The way to overcome -Vanity is to contemplate and apply the Positive Pole of the Complementary Feature, +Humility. Realize that we are all just struggling human beings, and none of us deserves to feel superior. Vain people try to "outshine" others. If someone tells a joke, they want to tell a better joke. If someone has a fast car, they want a faster car.

Arrogance is the counterpart of the Priest Role, so Arrogant people see themselves as Priests: interpreters and conveyors of divinity. They feel that they are in an exalted state of consciousness. They feel it is their mission to extend forgiveness to the wretched sinners all around them. They feel they are enlightened and inspired to preach on righteousness. They view themselves as godlike. Arrogant people always want to be admired. In the most extreme form, the Arrogant one wants to be worshipped.

Arrogant people are not interested in ordinary things. They prefer great and grand issues things of cosmic significance. Petty and common things are beneath their dignity, too insignificant for them to be concerned with. They resent it when the little problems of daily life take away their attention from their grandiose projects. They feel they are above the problems that beset others. They feel bad things cannot happen to them. Sometimes they feel that they are not subject even to the laws of nature. They feel that the needs which drive ordinary people have no pull on them.

Arrogance is the Complementary opposite of the Self Deprecation Feature. Arrogant people lack +Humility and -Abasement. Rarely do they feel sorry for themselves. They are not apologetic about anything. In fact, they may be pitiless toward the suffering of others, because they are not attuned to their own suffering like Lowly people. Where Self-Deprecating  people express their mediocrity and disgrace, Arrogant people brag on their great accomplishments.

Both Self-Deprecation and Arrogance make a person very status-conscious. Both types of people are concerned with where they rank compared to others. "What is my elevation am I high or low? What is my scale am I big or small. What is my value am I quality or not? What is my grade am I fine or coarse?" The lesson to be learned from this is that we are neither better nor worse than others, neither higher nor lower, neither richer nor poorer, neither more righteous nor more wicked. We are all equal.

 Next page | Self-Destruction

 

 
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Phil Wittmeyer is a longtime Michael student and scholar of the teachings.  He can be reached at: wittmeyer@hotmail.com

 



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