Turning Pride Into Wisdom
Pride is the wisdom of equality.
In the very first moment of recognition, each negative emotion has a quality of wisdom. This needs to be experienced through practice. Recognition comes from equanimity; a trained, clear mind notices an occurrence before it goes into its old routine. Wisdom returns to inner peace, and then we are able to deal with the situation in a more productive way.
Pride is thinking that we know more than others, and lording it over them; the spiritually and intellectually inclined are more susceptible to this emotion.
The wisdom lies in understanding that, as beings live an infinite number of lives, they will eventually realise what we know. This is why the enlightened left teachings to awaken us.
We should therefore respect all sentient beings’ potential. Empathy is knowing that once, we too did not know. Teachers are not entitled to be teachers: it is the student that gives them the authority because they recognise something within their own experience.
Pride is silly and restrictive as we become stuck within partial knowledge. Using what we know to gain admiration and power over others is an act of evil. To be honest, we do this all the time, trying to appear what we are not. This happens because, as a society, we are not contemplative.
Pride is the wisdom of equality, and entails a profound understanding of compassion. If we call ourselves ‘spiritual’, we should act like it, rather than thinking ourselves superior.
Proverbs 16.18 –
“The highway of the upright leads away from evil;
he who guards his way protects his life.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
It is better to be lowly in spirit among the humble
than to divide the spoil with the proud.…”
No one said cutting through our conditioning is easy.