One of the great tragedies of human existence is the natural inclination of comparison. We determine our place among our peers based on image, personality, intelligence, wealth….the list in endless. We then base our self image on the imaginary bar we set. Sometimes, we excel and find vanity. Other times we find ourselves lacking and find envy.
What makes this nature so insidious is the resulting projection of our self perception onto others’ motives. When we determine that we are less than, we see others as if they too see us as less than. What is given as a loving gesture becomes insincere, what is given as counsel is received as criticism, what is given unselfishly is received as selfless.
When we see ourselves as superior, we become judgmental, and what is given as love is received as condescension. What is perceived as loving becomes a seeking to be loved. What is given as love is received with strings.
Our pain in life comes from the belief that our nature is our path. It is our nature that takes, that judges, that self-seeks. It is the commitment to rising above our nature that brings civility to the World, and peace within our own existence. This spiritual sickness manifests as intellectual arrogance. We believe we have the power to divine what are another’s motives, another’s thoughts, another’s heart. And in believing we can, we block out the truth, and find emptiness.
Inner peace comes from finding a value system to live, and self-judge by. Leaving the comparison world of envy and pride, we can live by a standard of guilt and righteousness. When I violate my own code, I feel disconnected until I right what I have wronged. I have the power to make amends. When I live in harmony with my ethic, I have the inner strength of knowing I am living rightly, and I lose the need of societal approval to determine my self worth within that society. The mirror we seek in another’s eyes becomes powerless to the mirror within our own.
It is in this perspective that we become whole.
It is in this wholeness that we find peace.
It is in this peace that we find God.