1. Buddhist

Pride Is a Function of the Devil

Part of my daily mantra is to not give voice to my pride, because when I do so, it robs others of their self-confidence.   That may not make sense to you, but when you are saying, very clearly, that you are right, that you have the answers, the person you’re talking to hears that as your saying the he or she is wrong and doesn’t have the answers.   It’s just as injurious as directly belittling someone.  Especially if someone is battling insecurity and a lack of self-confidence.

Even after all these years of practice, and all the distance I have come on the path and the deepening of my practice, my pride still sneaks up on me at times and I give it voice.   It is as Ernestine, the Flip Wilson drag character, used to say, “The Devil made me do it!”  But it’s not funny.   When I see the harm that it does, I am mortified that I should be the occasion of such suffering.  And so it causes me suffering.

Pride is the product of the mind.   It is small; it is not worthy of me, of my true self, my Buddha nature, my heart.   And so I have added it to those aspects of my mind that cause me suffering and say to it, “Not me!”  As the Buddha taught, “If it causes you suffering, it is not you, it is not yours, it is not your self, for your self would not cause you suffering.”

I have found that when I’ve been able to identify specific prideful action and name it in my mantra, I cease giving it voice.   But then something that I have not identified or named comes along and I give it voice.   Only today this happened. and as soon as I heard the words escape my lips I knew what I had done.

There used to be a placard hanging in my father’s office that said, “A word once spoken is like a stone thrown; it cannot be recalled.”  That is certainly true in such an instance.   No matter how much I apologize, the word, the tone of voice, has been used and it cannot be denied.

If someone calls you on this, do not get defensive.   Realize that the truth is being spoken and it is an opportunity for you to grow and strengthen yourself.   Being aware of the workings of our mind is the only chance we have of freeing ourselves from its control.

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