Thursday, October 25, 2012
"I am Better" - The Root of Human Suffering. (Part 1)
Money has often been described as “the root of all evil.” But, if we really want to look deeply and seriously into the human condition to pinpoint the root cause of suffering that any and all of us can identify with and immediately begin to change – we have to go deeper than money and look into our own thinking.
Thought always precedes action. Whether that thought is conscious or unconscious – the thought is first produced in the mind and is then followed by a corresponding action in the physical world.
When we look at the many problems that we experience in relationships, in our families, on the streets, in our communities, between nations, and even between man and the environment – these problems can be traced back to a common thought that is truly the root of all inequity and the basis for the justification of the mistreatment of one human being by another.
Lets take a trip back in time to an event recorded in the scriptures that points to a problem that exists in the nature of human beings. It is wrapped up in a thought – an idea that – “I am better”.
Recorded in the scriptures in allegorical language is a conversation between God and an angel who is referred to in the Holy Quran as “Iblis”, and also in the Holy Bible as “Lucifer”. God is having a conversation with the angels, informing them of His intention to create man as a ruler in the Earth. God gives an instruction to the angels to give to man the respect and honor due to a superior – and the angels comply – except for one, named Iblis or Lucifer. When Lucifer fails to give the respect and honor requested of him, God asks, why did you not bow down when I commanded you? Lucifer’s response was – I am better than him! I am created of fire, Lucifer says, while this man is created of the lowly dust of the ground.
Whether you consider yourself spiritual, religious, atheist or other, it really does not matter. The basic truth presented here transcends any particular ideology and simply points to an inalienable fact that exists within the human condition.
This thought that “I am better” looks to find support in numbers and thus expands to “we are better” and becomes the root cause of racism, sexism, excessive nationalism, religious oppression, gang violence, war and most of our problems in family and inter-personal relationships. This thought that “I am better”, is not passive, it is extremely aggressive. The thought manifests itself by creating a false psychology and philosophy of superiority in one group, then manifests on the other side of the equation as the false psychology of inferiority in another individual or group.
I am better because I am a man. I am better because I am White. I am better because I am American. I am better because I am a Christian. I am better because I am from the west-side. I am better because I am blonde. I am better because my hair is straight. The list of meaningless distinctions used to justify this thought that “I” or “we” are better, goes on and on.
In the reverse, and equally as damaging is the psychology created on the other side of the equation that manifests a thought pattern that “I am less than”, I am inferior”, or “I am not worthy”. Because I am a woman; Because I am Black; Because I am poor; because my hair is short; because I am over weight – again, the list goes on and on.
This thought that manifests itself as “I am better” on the right hand and “I am less” on the left hand – this false sense of superiority and inferiority is at the root of human suffering. This delusion on both sides is actually a disconnection or the illusion of being disconnected and separated from God, our inner source of strength, and our connection to the all of creation.
Once we are disconnected, we become weak and this flaw in our nature is easily manipulated to divide us based upon meaningless distinctions. This flaw in our nature comes forcefully to the surface to cause problems in every relationship that we have. And we will remain in constant conflict in our homes and in the world until we face this flaw and begin the process of self examination, self analysis and self correction to recognize and eliminate these patterns of superior and inferior thinking from our minds.
More in my next article…
Michal Muhammad is the founder of Give Life Coaching. Bro. Muhammad focuses on applying fundamental, spiritual and practical solutions to solve problems within interpersonal relationships, families and other groups of people.
For more on this subject and others, visit my blog at: http://www.givelifecoaching.com/blog/
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