We are not free of darker feelings and views just because we espouse a spiritual view or lifestyle.
I would like to start by asking you a couple of questions. Have you ever met someone you truly and powerfully admired? If you did, did you feel a sense of kinship with them?
Yes and no. Ah, thank you for your honesty. In what way no?
Though I could relate to their ideas, I felt inferior for not living up to their standards. Ah, I see. Well, you show an ability right here that I admire friend. That comparison. We do it all the time in our casual thinking. Does it ever come up positive? Even if you judge yourself superior doesn’t that make you have to ask “Why did I even have to go there”?
Yes. Pondering the exercise opens up a view of its futility. It is futile.
Isn’t it the pecking order? Well, yes and no. Pecking orders aren’t inherently bad, but that comparison is something we don’t often look into deeply. It’s envy. Envy is a pervasive poison, and it’s always disempowering. It has ruined families, and tribes, and countries. Pecking orders aren’t inherently evil, and this is why envy often goes unnoticed.
You are granting that “other” an energy that is unwarranted. That is true, and that is part of the error. In a pecking order the strong and the smart are seen as such, but here is the thing. The strong kill for the pack. When the strong get a kill they all eat. If they don’t all eat, the strong ones may kill again. The same should apply to the smart. It’s not wrong to see someone as strong, or smart, or having some quality you admire. This doesn’t make you lesser, and failing to realize this is envy. We are clever creatures, and to date often too clever for our own good. The pecking order gets twisted into something that does not serve us, but instead oppresses us.
Then there is the envy that is directed at us. Ah, indeed, and envy directed at you is hurtful. If someone says “I envy you”, they aren’t praising you. They may not mean to, but they are insulting you.
It presents a blockage to harmony between you, and the other, and themselves. Oh, indeed, and what you declare you envy, you also declare you cannot be.
How can wanting to be like you be an insult? Wanting to be like someone is fine. If you admire them, then you will see how they are as they are. But you have to be yourself first, and admiration is not envy. The person who can’t list one hero they have is not better than others. They are in no way richer. They are poorer.
Envy can also make you strive harder? No. Envy can’t, but admiration can.
Envy makes you want what they have, and not strive for your own? It actually distracts. Whatever you admire in that person came by virtue. There is something they do right, and just as they do it right so can you. You don’t have to “get it different”. Envy arises not from wanting good. It’s an idea that because you have something good, others must not also have it. It’s ego. You have to be special. This is why in Buddhism it’s often said you are the Buddha. If you envy the Buddha his enlightenment, you won’t be paying attention to his teachings or his life’s purpose. The person you envy you set apart from you.
There is a principle in metaphysics called the law of sympathy. It’s so common that people observe it even outside of mystical teachings. Like affects like. If you admire something, you admire it because it’s in you too. If you admire a beautiful view, the beauty isn’t just out in the world, it’s in you also.
I like to look at others like they are copies of myself. Variations perhaps. If you envy, you say that’s not me. Envy, very simply, is just a vicious lie.
The common saying is that you rise or fall to the level of the company you keep. Who do you admire? Keep their company. They are likely much more approachable than you might fear. There is a reason you admire them, but it is the law of sympathy. Like affects like. Like attracts like. Like recognizes like.
I’m pleased to hear people you admire come so readily to mind. It gives me hope. Just don’t forget your part in the equation. You need envy nothing, but admire things freely. It’s merely opening the windows of your soul and letting the sunshine in.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.