Monday, September 20, 2004


I look around, and take account of all the people in my circle, some close to the center, and some passing the circumference. I read a lot too, from the fictional to the historical, dramas of life. What drives this drama? What makes folks so mad, both crazy mad and angry?

I talk below of eliminating self-importance. But why?

We have been conditioned against our grain for, oh, at least 2000 years, to separate the physical from the metaphysical. Orthodoxy and Priesthoods warned us away from looking at the metaphysical for ourselves, and the Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution were reactions to Orthodoxy and Priesthoods, culminating in the Scientific Century. The horrors of dis-em-spiritual life, and the orthodoxy of the State have led us back around to gnostic spirituality. Yet, we still can’t SEE. We are blind men speaking to deaf wives, and disinterested kids.

When I said, "dis-em-spiritual" I was making a pun related to disembowelment, because, that's what we've done, disemboweled our spirit. We've taken the guts out of life. We've substituted that with the enormous bellies of the "Obese Man" and the raging tempers of "PMS Woman". My theory is a person’s belly size or hot temperament is directly proportional to their self-importance, all other things being equal. The way we've done that is we've substituted awareness for using tools. Everything is a tool. As such it is a layer between us and reality. Words are where it started. A good thing to have when you need to act as a team to kill the mammoth or collect as many berries as you can. But, they are tools, and get in the way of seeing things as they are, sometimes.

Now, everything and everyone is a tool for us. We spend eight to twelve ours a day looking at the world through TV screens and computer monitors. The most damaging thing is we see each other for tools: Tools for making money; tools for our genetic lineage; tools for our vicarious living; tools to get even with our spouses; and, tools for our self-importance. Self-importance is the over-riding concept, because money, aggrandizement, child custody disputes, little league sports, domestic relations and disputes, spilled coffee, defrauded companies, office politics, anger at the person cutting in line in front of us, debasing and beheading prisoners of war, political lies and dissembling–all of this is to increase our self-importance. And, self-importance is nothing more than having a personal stake in everything that goes on around us, as if the deeds and misdeeds of the world, much less our fellow wo/man actually mean a bit to us, really. And which, if you think about it, is even more stupid since it’s totally unreasonable to have a stake in the light from a TV screen. As result, we can’t be aware of what’s truly going on around us, we can’t regain that connection to Spirit, we can’t truly love ourselves and others, if we are constantly filtering our perceptions through–"What’s in it for me? Why did he do this to me? Why did this happen to me? I will look bad if this does or doesn’t happen. My soul will burn in hell if I tolerate some other person’s view of the world and the after life. How many more babies can I stuff into this world?" All of this is because we look at other people as our tools and imagine that some malfunction in them or some lack in the number or quality of them is the source of our problems.

I am not saying that reducing and eliminating our self-importance is going to be easy, after all, we’ve been trained since infancy that the world is ours for the demanding. But because of our own damn self-importance, we don't see anything for what it is, but just as tools. We don’t see the damage that we do to what we say we value. And therefore we have no connection to Spirit, which is what everything is.


Lisa said...

Question: What is the difference between reducing self-importance and poor self-esteem? Just curious because an argument could be made that if a person has low self-esteem or has had a hard life that's left them feeling 'like nothing' that they have no 'self importance’ or am I missing the entire point??

The Crazy Shaman said...

Hmmm. My words may not be exact. But here goes...

Self-esteem is the value we put on ourselves as worthy of living just because we live. If we have high self esteem, we do the things we need to do to keep that self esteem, ie., our self-worth.

Self-importance is the filter through which we view the world that puts ourselves in an objective sense as more important than the object, people, or activity that we are perceiving. Objectively, they are of equal importance, or, they are of equal importance. If nothing really matters, than nothing is important.

It's necessary to understand that self-worth, our value to ourselves, is different than filtering out all of the other qualities of the objects of perception except how those objects affect who we are, or not, which is self-importance.

If a lover is lavishing over us, does that really make a difference in Who We Are? If a Petty Tyrant is plaguing us, again, does it make a difference in Who We Are? It may make a difference in who we think we are, by the inflation of our self-perceived ego, or the anger, defensiveness and self-pity we may have. But, that's how we perceive ourselves in relation to the lover or petty tyrant. Neither of them really matter a hill of beans, though, as to who we really are.

That help?

Wolfee said...

Come on Todd, do you really think belly size visually shows the level of someones self importance. Maybe for different reasons some might have larger bellies because they feel so bad about themselves that they eat to 'feel' better. But the most self important people I know of do not have fat belly problems, Ashcroft, Bush, and crew for example.

Self importance is really just self pity in disguise. Meditate on it and you will see how it flows as one stream. But this self pity manifests in people differently, some get big bellies, some starve to death, some go out and kill others, some kill themselves, there are as many outward differences as there are self pitying people.

The Crazy Shaman said...

In deed, belly size is just one manifestation. Other folks use other methods to compensate.