Everyday we are all victims and often “executors” of such behaviors. A clear vision is not regarded, and all the sensible persons feel a sense of guilt. We meet a poor person on the road and we have the freedom of giving him money or not. The problem is that in most cases, we are unable to make a choice. We are conditioned to act in a determinate way, so we give him money. We are conditioned by the idea of making something good, but we make something wrong, because acting unconsciously means acting wrongly. I understand that this is perhaps difficult to digest, but an unconscious act is like a gun in the hand of a child: the results are unforeseeable. It’s a bad thing even if we don’t see the results immediately.
Society is a whole of complexes and false and hypocritical behaviors based on the sense of guilt, conditioned by a false love toward another. Loss of interest, egoism, self-ambition, are often covered in such behaviors. It is a common thing saying that our parents are guilty for our behavior, our personality, our fears, and conditioned attitudes. That’s true, they built the first foundation of our lives, made of various ‘you can, you can’t or that’s good or that’s wrong’, etc. But childhood, for most of us, has passed many, many years ago, and we still keep this baggage with us. I’ve noticed behaviors in myself, my friends, here on Facebook, even in my parents…that’s a comical and sad thing at the same time. “I have problems because my father (or mother) was so protective or authoritarian toward me”. This is a common alchemical formula of this topic: our parents are guilty and we are only poor, innocent victims (re)acting as a child, even if we are 35 (like I am) or 46 or 53 years old. And we often forget that our parents acted for our good – they were unable to do otherwise such as we are unable to do the same: conditioned minds educated by conditioned minds – this is the situation.
Searching as adults for the guilt in our parents is a perfect example of self-pity. Our parents were unable to change the education they gave us, because they were unable to do otherwise. The real problem (once again), is that we can’t make a choice, because as most of us know (not theoretically, but in practice), we can’t reach the capacity of being and acting.
Self-pity is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving these attitudes. How can we pretend to be able to make some changes if our minds are conditioned? We react, not act. This is the terror of the situation. Another reality is that there is a concrete universal (common) law, which functions for those who are more or less conscious: for every action corresponds an exact reaction. This is not a theory, this is a fact, so it would be better to keep it in our mind as a treasure. This law is of value both for the individual and the collective fields. To get the best results in our lives, we might become able to understand what reactions would bring every action we do, and this requires a better awareness and comprehension of the dynamics which determine our lives.
We must be awake. And to become awake we must achieve the faculty of looking at things without masks and other identifications which make many distortions in perceiving reality as it is. Self-pity is one of these masks, or identifications- maybe the most harmful. “All men (or women) are the same”, “I can’t live in such conditions”, “Look what you’ve made of my life”, “He’s the worst person I’ve ever met”, “You can’t understand what I’m going through at this moment”…there are many examples of self-pity. Everyone of us, being a little bit aware and of self-critical mind, could find many examples of self-pity in our daily discourses and interactions with friends, parents, at work.
Asking for help is not self-pity. Knowing when we really need to be helped is very important. Life is based on interactions, helping each other, understanding each other. Understanding this, means being mature and open-minded. No one can live a healthy life without interacting with others. We survive because we receive help from these “realms” which provide us the food for our body, mind, and Being. How could we live without food for our emotions, which is derived from nature and the relations with other members of our species? The vision of some kind of Superman who can live without any help from the outer world is unnatural, and the aim of any sober self-development system is exactly the opposite: openness, not closeness. A healthy equilibrated and mature society has its roots in its collective of individuals who have reached the balance between giving and receiving, not for personal and egoistic purposes, but as the result of the statement that all is maintained by unity, a reciprocal collaboration. Self-pity doesn’t mean asking for help when we really need it. And it doesn’t mean moaning. Sometimes, we have an urge to “release our baggage”, confessing to a friend who we know can understand our problems, doubts, fears, etc. This can be an expression or a need of our Being. Otherwise, self-pity means enjoying our frustrations, physical or emotive sufferings and discomforts, doing this without any purpose to find some kind of solution to overcome what afflicts us at this moment. If we analyze ourselves and others, we’ll discover that human beings have a tendency toward the behavior of self-pity, and sometimes this becomes a real pathological problem. Human beings are really and deeply attached to their suffering, and this tendency is visible in the fetishistic habit of maintaining alive in their memory, the “ghosts of the individual past”, fragments of memory of what was beautiful and fulfilling for them, and which they have lost. We remain morbidly attached to these memories. Persons love to suffer the pain generated by remembering what they have lost: they label such states as “melancholy” and even “love”. But, if we look a little deeper and objectively (we don’t need any ‘special skill’ to do this, only sincerity), we’ll see that this is only a kind of fetishism. Nothing more, nothing less. The most curious thing is that these remembrances do not arise to make a sort of joy, but a suffering. Men are very strange animals.
Now, how is it possible that people enjoy suffering? This is an important thing to ponder on. Self-pity represents our wish to not free ourselves from pain, and it becomes a sort of nutriment. Generally, this behavior needs external support, the attention of another person is needed. Attracting the attention of the other is the purpose of this kind of self-pity. But, sometimes, this behavior becomes pathological, and the outer attention is not required yet. It becomes an inner dialogue, and the conviction of a suffering that can’t be overcome is enough to feed the emotive. This is a very dangerous behavior, and the individual isolates himself from the world, loses every contact with reality, nourishing himself only with suffering. There is another cause for this ‘cancer’ of the mind: the desire to feel ourselves. This would perhaps sound strange, but almost all people are unable to feel themselves in a natural way. No one has taught us to feel ourselves and we can’t do this because we are not awakened.
We sleep constantly. But feeling ourselves is our biggest need. If a person does not have a perception of himself, even if false, he is bound for self-destruction. This is the main reason why we wear many types of masks, to feel something, however illusory, of ourselves. The pleasure and pain are the two “energies” through which we can “be conscious of ourselves”. They are the most intense expressions in our life. One who feels a pleasure or pain has a self-presence experience of a different, intense kind. Since childhood we are not educated to feel pleasure, so we don’t know how to achieve the intensity of every drive and need. I don’t want to say that a man doesn’t know how to feel pleasure in his life, but rather that he doesn’t know how to make pleasure an art capable of keeping him in a state of constant mental vigilance and emotive intensity. So, he is forced to sense himself through pain and suffering. Maybe these affirmations might seem absurd, but they represent the real condition of every man, and this can be demonstrated through a serious and constant self-observation of ourselves in our daily lives.
Observation is the only tool to demonstrate something in a more objective way. The other is dreaming and living our illusory life. So, the tendency to feel suffering and pain develops a false individual center and we achieve the illusory perception of being. The majority of persons are more conscious of the agglomerate of their problems and difficulties and less of the joyous and the beautiful. The tendency for suffering is a common thing for humans in general. Have you ever noticed that the most interesting news in various newspapers are always negative? Have you ever noticed that when an incident happens, every witness has the morbid curiosity to see what has happened, even if they know that what they will see would upset them? They search for a negative shock to live an intense emotive experience.
But, how to live an intense emotive experience that is positive? This would be a gift for everyone, but no one has taught us how to do this in this morbid society we live in, based on a repressive religiosity that preaches fear and sense of guilt. To become able to better manage our life, we must free ourselves from the culture of suffering and pain, and discover all the masks of our self-pity. If we don’t do this, we will transform our difficulties into a narcissistic from of self-glorification of our misfortunes, blocking every possibility to act efficiently and decisively.
Copyright © 2010 by Andrea Dandolo