The fear of being arrogant is one of the greatest hindrances to spiritual development. This perception prevents us from acknowledging our strengths and accomplishments. Without full acknowledgment, it is impossible to fully understand these strengths and abilities. Acknowledgment is awareness and honesty. Just as limitations need to be seen in order to be transcended, strengths need to be noticed in order to further evolve them.
The development of skill, power and ability will take us through the full gamut of emotions. When we fail we feel humbled, when we achieve we feel proud. This is emotional scenery. They have nothing to do with the achievement of real mastery. If we are to reach the goal of mastery, then pride, humility, arrogance and joy must become second to the main journey. We enjoy, we grieve, we rage and love, but we do not allow any of these to sway us from the path.
Arrogance is a strange one indeed. The path of spirituality is inextricably linked to that of self-mastery. Mastery is simply the ability to control our mind, body and consciousness. This control becomes a precision instrument for connecting and communicating with more expansive and subtle levels of reality. However we may choose to define spirituality, there is most definitely the opportunity to communicate with more than the “physical” when we develop the abilities to do so.
The fear of arrogance almost implies that we cannot acknowledge a difference between ourselves and others. The irony is that it is our perception of difference that started us on this journey in the first place. As we develop a little skill we believe that we must remain humble and so we repress the parts of us that would acknowledge these skills. This repression is a conscious and direct shutting down of our awareness. For anyone who has ever felt that they have practiced much and yet felt limited somehow, this may have some significance.
The other controlling element of arrogance is the fear that if we are perceived as such by others, that we will be thought of badly. This belief stops us from straying too far from the group consciousness. There is only so much development that can occur and be integrated while we allow ourselves to be controlled by this fear. Whole integration is the only way to complete and thus real mastery.
We need to let go of trying to control how others perceive us. We need to let go of trying to control how our own mind perceives us. How long can we struggle with these before we notice that the main journey has been on hold? These illusions are like carrots held in front of the donkey so that it keeps on plowing that field.
The truth is that as we develop in ability and awareness we will notice vast and massive differences between ourselves and others. This is no time to give into fear. These differences are what we set out on the journey for in the first place! We wanted to become something different, we wanted to evolve and grow! Of course the ego will begin to preen itself and say “Look at me, look at what I’ve done!” That’s just the ego doing it’s thing. It’s no big deal. In fact it is ridiculous to limit our skills, abilities and self-mastery because we fear that our ego is enjoying it too much. We let the ego do it’s thing and we continue on our way. This is just another aspect of inner strength.
Hindrances to the journey come in many shapes and sizes. Beating down arrogance may not seem like a bad thing, because we’re told that arrogance is bad and humility is good. These rules don’t apply to inner mastery however. Inner mastery is not about playing a game of illusions with society. Inner mastery is about creating inner control. Real control is not repression, it is not denial, it is not about being played by our fears. Real control is the ability to reach out and grab our destination regardless of the hindrances that may appear. It is in this light that we must look at arrogance.
The purest humility exists when we allow all aspects of life and this includes our inner self, mind and consciousness, to just be. Out of this landscape we find the element or stream of consciousness that is congruent with our highest goals or intentions. Then we simply jump on board. At this structure we will find that those aspects that we thought needed controlling and repressing actually don’t hinder us at all. In fact, the only time they hinder us is when we get off the boat and start brawling with them. The moment we step into our own direction all these other elements become scenery. Sure, they may hawk their wares to us from the shore, but they only hold power over us the moment we decide to buy.